Saturday, July 31, 2010


So much for breastfeeding amenorrhea. Never mind it's only around 7 weeks PP and I've only nursed on demand. Let's pray my milk doesn't dry up.

Friday, July 30, 2010

One Day At A Time

The Invalid 1669 by Wolfgang Heimbach
You can buy this print at

Hubby is recovering from his illness and we are taking it one day at a time. Both of us are quite worn out from the whole ordeal and it's nice to just take it a little by little.

We've been so blessed by family and friends. Just today we had a young lady from our church stay the whole day to help care for our children. Friends came to visit from out of state and a church deacon rang us up to see how things were going.

It is now 9:30pm, all children are asleep. It is time for me to turn in and get the rest I need before another day of recovery is before all of us.

Just as an aside....I wonder why stores sell summer squash this time of year when neighbors are practically giving it away. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Garden Fence

It has come to pass that my vegetable garden is going to need a fence. The local wildlife has turned it into their personal salad bar. However, me being the ever frugal housewife was at a loss as to how to erect a fence affordably and attractively. I've decided on a material that will be completely free. Stone. I live next to a farm field. What are farmers always willing to get rid of in their fields? STONES!

I don't need a high fence. The deer ignore my garden because of the farm next door. It's the little critters who are avoiding the crosshairs of the farm hands' rifles that bother my garden.

So, hopefully this late summer into autumn I will be constructing a fence around my garden.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby Boy Blessing

I've been reminded quite frequently lately that my newest baby boy is such a blessing. I've received so many compliments, oohing, ahhing, admiring and love over him as the poor little guy's been trucked from doctor to doctor and in and out of the hospital. Thankfully, all this trucking isn't for him. He's very healthy. Mommy had a couple postpartum issues, brother hurt his arm, but most of the trucking has been for hubby who is seriously ill and was admitted last night. Thankfully, he should make a full recovery, though it may take a while.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Giving Them Up Too Soon Part 2

It isn't just infants that modern parenting is giving up too soon. It seems earlier and earlier we're giving up our kids. Or maybe I should change that to "giving up on our kids."

Giving up our kids isn't a new concept. Latchkey kids of yesterday have been given over to after school programs and day care centers today as the parent or parents have to or choose to work. Johnny playing in the neighborhood until the street lights came on has given over to Johnny in every sport, lesson and play group available. Mary calling Mom on a 10 cent pay phone about her plans has turned into Mary texting Mom from her very own cell phone.

Frankly, if your young child (I'm not talking middle to upper teenager here) is away from you enough to merit owning their own cell phone, then they are away from you too much. That's just my opinion.

But, I'm not so much talking about all that. I'm talking about the general modern culture giving up on their children.

It seems to me that many parents simply want to make it through the day. Let's just survive until they are 18. While schools, play groups, sports, etc can be good tools for raising your children, sometimes I feel as if parents just shift their kids into these groups and thus shift responsibility for the rearing of the children on the teachers and organizers.

It is a yearly ritual for parents to say, "I can't wait until my kids go back to school and get out of my hair!"

Even I sometimes wish public school were a decent option for me so I'd have peace and quiet for the day. (My local public school is NOT a good school at all.)

Even so, 18 isn't always the magic "done with parenting" number. It seems parents are done being parents when their kids are old enough to pretty much care for themselves (get dressed in the morning, grab a Pop Tart and get on the bus by themselves). Then, they seem to turn into wardens or probation officers instead rather than involved parents.

Thankfully, this isn't true for all parents and may not be true for many. But, it is a trend I see and I do believe we ALL at some point give up on our kids in one way or another.

What do you think?

Giving Them Up Too Soon?

Now that I'm not a silly goose trying to follow modern advice on baby care and I've embraced baby wearing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding on demand, I've begun to wonder if in this day and age we moms give up our babies too soon after birth.

My son is just over a month old now and I already hear people say, "Are you bringing the baby, too?" Um, yeah! I can't leave him with a sitter! I'm the only way he can eat!

I've read things in the past about, "getting your baby to sleep through the night in their own crib" at this age. What?!

When my daughter was born, she practically lived in the swing. She was quiet and seemed happy so I didn't think anything of it. Until later, when I noticed she wasn't affectionate. It was hard to hold her and hug her. She was late to talk and screams a lot. And yes, I do believe it was because of a lack of interaction. She was schedule fed and left to cry it out. All these things were due to modern advice I was given to make baby more "independant." It was supposed to be a good thing. To this day she is not a good sleeper. She sleeps lightly and wakes often. (As a side note, she is not autistic.) Thankfully, I've noticed this and we've been working on correcting it with plenty of interaction and affection which she loves giving. She's a cuddler now.

We have all sorts of gizmos to keep baby away from us. Everything from bouncy seats to day care centers. Are they really such good ideas? Now, I'm not opposed to letting a baby sit happily in an infant swing once in a while so you can finally wash that pile of dishes in the sink or make dinner safely or even engage in a hobby, but to make it a habit to leave them in there....well, I just can't see doing that anymore.

So, do you think as a general modern culture we give up our babies too soon?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I finally did it

Or at least I started.

The other day I was removing laundry from the clothes line while my son helped me. I handed him a kitchen towel and asked him to put it in the drawer. He wasn't sure which drawer so I showed him only to once again sigh in discust over the yellowed, 1950's metal drawers.

Yes, my kitchen hasn't been updated since the 1950's. Good thing the retro/vintage look is in vogue again!! The cabinets and drawers are metal, which I don't mind. It's actually neat to be able to pin up anything I want all over the kitchen with cute magnets. The set-up and storage space is decent, too for such a small house. The problem is the once white cabinets have discolored over the years and none of the discoloring matches. The worst are the drawers next to the stove. They were all yellowed in varying shades and splotches and I hated them. Loathed them.

So, we were out of bread, the older kids were in bed and my truck was in the shop, so I announced to hubby that I was stealing his truck (I LOVE his truck) and going to the store to pick up bread. While at the store...yeah, I went to Walmart even though I hate Walmart...I picked up white spray paint. The next day the drawers were cleaned out, removed, cleaned and painted. I removed the stainless steel pulls and cleaned and polished them up, too. Oh, the drawers look so much nicer!!!

They won't be as easy to clean as the original paint job, but in order to replicate that I'd have to remove all the cabinetry and send it in to an auto place to have them sand blasted and repainted. For that price, I could just get new cabinetry. So, for now, spray painting will suit. And it does look good.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Every evening Baby Boy fusses and grunts in pain and discomfort from gas in his system. Every morning he wakes up farting up a storm. It doesn't seem to matter how often hubby and I burp him. Gas seems to build up in his lower digestive track.

Last night had me looking through some resources and I found that if I take vitamin B6 it should help not only his gas issues, but his developing cradle cap, too! I'm on it!

He's only a month old, so I don't want to start shoving supplements and anything other than breast milk down his throat. Therefore, I'm looking for things I can take that'll get into my breast milk and help him. I think I'll start drinking the mother's milk tea, too. He seemed to have fewer gas issues when I was drinking it after he was born.

Any other advice or suggestions?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How does your garden grow?

I'm trying not to be green with envy this year. So many good gardening reports have been coming my way, even from first time gardeners. Then I look at my garden and feel down. Of course, I have to remind myself time and time again that gardening season came at a time when I simply could not devote proper time and effort into my space. Neither could hubby since he was working out of town at the time. Consequently, the bird, woodchucks and weeds got the better of it all.

There is still time to do fall crops. And there's always next year, which of course must be in planning now.

My plans include 3 raised beds for onions and garlic, asparagus, and strawberries. Currently, my strawberries are up in a little plot by the pond. It isn't a very good spot for them. Instead, I'm going to remove them from that plot, put them in fresh soil and compost and move the blueberry bushes to where the strawberries were. The soil is more acidic for the blueberries by the pond.

I'm also beginning to think a garden fence is in order but I'm not sure what kind. Right now the biggest varmints are the woodchucks. The deer tend to leave my garden alone since they have a whole alfalfa field and feed mill next door from which they may glean. One woodchuck was bad enough, but she had babies. Also, I believe I'm dealing with 2 families of chucks and not just one. I want my garden fence to look nice, but I also don't want to spend a gazillion dollars. I wonder if I could fashion a sort of picket fence but line the inside with chicken wire to keep out the critters. I don't believe a simple livestock fence would do the trick because the chucks already proved they can easily dig under them as they have with the fenced in (unused) goat pen down back.

My heritage raspberries died so I'd like to order more and put them in for next year. Lingonberries and possibly beach plums are my next venture.

Oh, and I need to buy netting for my elderberries so the birds don't get them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stuck at Home....and that's not bad!

My oldest has had an on and off fever for the past few days. Couple that with a truck in the repair shop and I'm stuck at home. I don't mind other than we're almost out of milk. It is nice to be forced to stay home because I am nearing my 6 week postpartum mark and getting antsy. If I wasn't stuck at home, I'd be out and about with 3 kiddos, driving myself crazy! LOL!

Rest is needed for all of us. I went to bed early last night and slept in this morning. We all did (except for hubby who had to go to work, although for once he didn't wake up BEFORE the alarm, but actually slept until the alarm went off.)

Oldest son is on ordered rest today, even though his fever broke. Daughter is "reading" a book to Baby Boy who's sleeping. I have the classical music station playing, the windows open, the lights off (it's cloudy today, so it's pretty dim in the house), and just cultivating an atmosphere of rest and peace. (Thanks Emma)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sources for Stuff for my Kiddos

I'm looking into these sources for things I could use for my children: With a 4 year old and a 2 year old and all the things they need from Mommy, I could use an extra hand. A Moby Wrap may just be the thing to help me hold onto baby boy and take care of brother and sister. These diapers come highly recommended to me. I want to try the overnight pull-ups for my son who still wets at night. I'm not going to buy the DVD unless I become more desperate. Baby boy has gas issues, but he doesn't scream and writhe in pain. He just grunts and wiggles. We do plenty of burping and massages to help him out. But, I did think this was pretty neat.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Getting through the first growth spurt

A panic started rising in me. Baby boy spent all of yesterday evening fussy, and nursing. He never seemed satisfied. The old fear popped into my head. I'm losing my milk.

Then I took a deep breath. I calmed down. And I reminded myself that he is probably having the 3 week mark growth spurt many babies have. After all, he slept all day except for waking just long enough for regular feedings. I noticed that more of my baby weight dropped suddenly and I'm suddenly a LOT more hungry.

So, I let the little guy nurse and nurse and nurse to his heart's content. I'm really hopeful that 3rd time's the charm and I can breastfeed past 3 months. I'm already thankful that he's had NO formula or bottles or pacifiers. (It helps that he really is an easy-going baby. My daughter was more high strung and that pacifier was better than an international peace treaty!) The only supplementing I did was during his jaundice when he could be too sleepy to finish feeding, I would give him a medicine dropper of my expressed hindmilk to help him gain weight and poop out the bilirubin.

July 15th, he'll be a month old and a month nursed.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Don't lift heavy things....

How does a mother of 3 under 4 NOT lift heavy things?

I have a hernia. Thankfully, it is small enough not to be a consideration for surgery and may correct itself as my postpartum body heals. I am not supposed to lift heavy things, that is anything heavier than my infant in his car seat carrier.

I ask again, how does a mother of 3 under 4 NOT lift heavy things?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

One Room Schoolhouses

I wish I had a picture.

Across the street from my house is an old, brick, one-room schoolhouse. My neighbor uses it as a storage building/workshop, but it still contains a lot of the schoolroom charm. That is, except for the old school books which now reside in my house thanks to my neighbor. :)

I have always been drawn to one room schoolhouses and apparently, so are my children. Hand in hand, my oldest son and my daughter walked into the schoolhouse with the same far-away look as when they walked into others.

My friends live in an old, one-room schoolhouse in PA.

I grew up kitty-corner to an old, one-room schoolhouse that was converted into a house.

I now live across the street from one and a short drive from another.

My children LOVED the one-room schoolhouses at The Farmer's Museum and Old Stone Fort. I could barely pull them out of there!

There's a GORGEOUS 18th century house for sale about 25 minutes from my house that includes a one-room schoolhouse on the property. Of course, I don't have the half a million dollars to buy the place!

I always thought it would be neat to get a teaching degree and start up a one-room schoolhouse private school that taught classical education the old way.

The one-room schoolhouse nearby was looking for volunteers to run the place for tourists 4 years ago. I so wanted to apply, but I had a newborn at the time.