Saturday, May 31, 2008

Weekly belly shot

ok, so I didn't take one last week. I was in bed with a NASTY head cold. So, here's my new pic:


18 weeks stats: weight gain- 11 lbs; fetal heartrate- 135/bpm; fundal height- about 20 cm. (still, normal for me...)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some zoo pics

here's some of my zoo pics. I really enjoy photography. I hate my camera... it's way too slow. Oh well, it works as well as it can, and I get some decent shots.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Denver Zoo

Ugh... we are home... finally. I wish I could say it was a fun day.... ::sigh::: not really..

We drove down there, early, but none of the children went back to sleep. That may very well may have contributed to the day. The morning was exceptionally foggy. Now, in some places, that may be normal. Here in Wyoming, it's not. We got on the interstate and you could see about 75 ft in front of the van.... oh joy. Dh used to be a professional truck driver, so I trust his driving... it's all the other dingbats on the road that worry me. He told me it was supposed to clear and Denver was supposed to be sunny and warm.. but believe me, I was very doubtful it would. Well, he was right, and I was wrong. It started to lift at Wellington.. our first bathroom stop. By the time we made it to Longmont, it was nice and sunny.

We got there just as the zoo opened, and I'm thinking this is a good sign.... until I start noticing various groups of children in matching shirts start showing up. Not a good sign. I really don't like going to the zoo, library or parks when there are masses of children there. Oh well, such is life, and I'm not going to turn us around over that.

We get to the window, pay our $50 to get us all in (2 adults, 6 children, military discount) and dh begin to wonder what the cost is for a family membership pass. I tell him to go check it out real quick. He returns, and says, "they will credit our $50, and charge $30 for the year pass." I'm thinking, cool!! $30!! Not bad at all. So, he goes in, sets it all up, comes back and hands me the receipt for $50. I ask, where is the one showing the refund? There isn't one. Miscommunication, big time....:::sigh::: They didn't give us back 50, they added 30. So, now $80 later, we finally enter the zoo.... :::WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA::::::::::: ok, it's only money, and I guess we'll have to fill up and go back down to make up the difference.

So, now we're in, go change the baby, and we're off. I take pictures (love doing that) and we walk around. Ok, well, that was the plan. Notice nothing has gone according to our plan yet? The boys and Liberty are off like a shot. Now, if this had been a normal day, and half of Denver's elementry school and day care population hadn't been there, it would have been annoying, but not a huge deal. Since all those other children are there, keeping track of my kids becomes a nightmare.... ACK! Between Rowan screaming (she was not enjoying herself, for the most part), and the other four running off constantly, I was rapidly developing a headache.

I had taken the time last night to make 5 1/2 dozen muffins to take with us. Whole wheat apple muffins... they are very filling. Well, at this point, the children start plowing thru them. You'd think we hadn't fed them that morning!! So, they manage to go thru all the muffins I had, and the 6 apples I brought along. Ugh... So we decide to stop for lunch. I know this is going to bite me tomorrow, because it is highly doubtful that the Denver Zoo will be serving high quality foods containing no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors to their customers. I am going to pay for this lunch for the next 3 days.... oh well. Prices are expectanly high, so I get everyone a corn dog (something we haven't had since going on Feingold) and a couple of large french fries (something else we don't eat)to share. Everyone starts eating. Everyone, that is, except Natasha. She decides to throw a rare fit, and lie to me & dh. She says the corn dog sitting there is Michael's. Its not. Then she tries to say its Liberty's... nope. So, while everyone is enjoying a meal, I get to engage in the battle of, I got it for you, you will eat it. Would you believe it took her half an hour to eat that STUPID corn dog?! By the end of this, the boys are bouncing off the walls again, and, to top it all off, Liberty decided she didn't have to use the bathroom we took her to, 10 minutes earlier.... she'd wait and pee her pants in front of everyone!


That's it, we're done. Once Natasha was done eating, we hightail it out and head to the van... much to the dissappointment of the children. (bummer!!) We finally get to the van, get children loaded, and I realize, dh needs to pull the van out to get the wagon in. My lovely and darling dh already realized this, and was in the van, to back it up. Well, he comes around, and I mention he needs to back out, I can't get the wagon in. Then those lovely words everyone enjoys so much. "I'd love to, dear, but the battery is dead."

:::thud::: can I curl up into a sniveling, whining, crying ball? It's just not fair. My dh, being the safe and responsible driver that he is, had turned on the lights when we left the house because of the fog. Well, when we made it to Denver, he didn't realize they were still on. And since our van is ancient, it doesn't have 1. an ring/alarm/notice that your lights are on, or 2. the ability to turn off your lights automatically. So, we have a dead battery..... very very very dead. No click dead. No dome lights dead. Nothing.

Remember what I said about nothing going according to plan? yeah....

So, dh runs back to the zoo's security office. They bring over this little portable battery recharger. yeah, like that's going to work. So, we sit there, plugged into that for like half an hour. Meanwhile, said security dude is talking to his supervisor (which we can overhear, because it's on speaker) saying it's not working, what should he do. She say's, oh, it's probably not their battery, they should call AAA, they can call for a tow. Um Hello!!! All we need is a jump from a battery stronger than one required to run a golf cart!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dh finally gets them to agree to bring over a truck from the security office. So, while 2 security people stand there, another goes to get the truck. They start talking amongst themselves again... You know, if you are going to have a private conversation where you are trying to make someone feel stupid, you should at least do it out of earshot. It went something like this. "well, how are we going to jump them? you can't reach the battery" Dh says, I'm going to let the van roll out into the parking lot lane so you can reach it. um, DUH!!! So, we roll backwards, with the security guys white-faced panicked that we are going to hit a car.... It's been a long day, I'm trying to bite my lip... ARGH!!!

Security truck pulls up, we hook up our cables, let it run for a minute, and, whadoyaknow, it fired right up!!!! We were finally off and running, headed home.

it was a very very long day..... But, I got some good pictures. I'll share them tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Group Hug

So, we're supposed to go to the Denver Zoo tomorrow. The children all know that they house has to be cleaned before we can go. You'd be amazed that, dispite how messy our house is, we actually clean it about 2 times a day. Six small children can make an amazing amount of mess on a daily basis. Well, add that to the fact that I am most assuredly not related in any way to Martha Stewart, and so therefore, my house is not expecially neat and tidy to begin.

So, back to the point, Jamie got up this morning, before I did (I've been ill) and picked up the boys bedroom, the living room, the bathroom, and swept the kitchen. All without being asked! Very sweet of him, don't you think? Here's all his siblings thanking him. Jamie would be the middle child in the group of the three biggest ones here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

French Puff Muffins

Ok, so here's another cooking post inspired by Marye at Baking Delight. She's such and awesome cook, and she does so much other fun stuff!! I just want to hang out at her house...

Anyways, these are the French Breakfast Puffs. She posted these before I had made breakfast... had to have them. LOL That's what a pg woman gets for reading a baking blog before breakfast. On the upside, they were really really worth it!!! The recipie was so simple, and I had everything on hand. Gotta love recipes like that!! I didn't finish them the way she suggested, by dipping the cooked tops in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar. I just sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the tops before I put them in. Very Very yummy!!! A definate must try! Unfortunately, my dh didn't get to sample them... even though we made a double batch... somehow, they all dissappeared within, oh... about half an hour! But it was very good!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

another yummy baking day

So, Michael's been bugging me to try and make pretzels. We have a recipe from the Taste of Home Baking book. I haven't let him try them yet.... Have I mentioned I hate trying new things? Well, I relented today. It's been a really rough week. Rowan has been ill since last Saturday (finally better!! YEA!!), and the kids got into some unapproved foods on Sunday (spent three days climbing the walls detoxing), and Michael got into some vanilin, (we ain't going there...). So, the fact that we survived the week, got all of our school work done, and the house is semi-clean, I told Michael that as long as he cleaned the kitchen last night, he could try the pretzels this morning....

He followed the recipe (miracle for him.. lemme tell you) and made the dough without any help from me. Let it rise, and cut it into tha appropriate number of pieces, according to the recipe (another miracle...). Now, I did help him form them into ropes and fold them into the standard pretzel shape. That was fun.

Oh, notice the shirt? My mom got it for him... it is unfortunately very accurate for this particular child... Anyways, back to pretzels..

I helped with this part, too. Each pretzel was dipped in boiling water with baking soda in it for about 1 minute. Not as easy as it seems, the pretzel comes out with a funky texture, and wanted to break. I'm gonna have to get me a bigger slotted spoon or spider.
Michael sprinkled salt on them after I put them on the cookie sheet. Let's just say, he needs practice in the salting area. Some had a small pile of salt, right in the center, some had just the right amount. Live and learn, and this definately counts as learning....

Off to the oven!!!!

three words... OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why did I wait so long? I love love love soft pretzels, and these were amazing!!! I wish I could describe the aroma... oh drool-worthy! you could smell the baked salt in them.. they were crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.. ok, you know if you've had a really bad soft pretzel, they have that nasty chemical taste, unidentifiable, but really gross? That is not these!! If you've ever had a good fresh pretzel, then you also know what I mean. There was 2 complaints on these. 1: I think they cooked to fast, there were a few slightly soggy spots in the twists and such. I think I'll try to cook them at a little lower temp for a touch longer, see if that helps. And 2: They don't make neough!! ok, most recipes don't, but you know. And I'll leave you with some satisfied customers...

weekly belly shot

ok this shot stinks, but it's the one I have. I think I need to find a better place to take my pics, but this is my only full length mirror. Anyways, here you go!


16 weeks stats: weight gain- 10 lbs; fetal heartrate- 150/bpm; fundal height- about 20 cm. (I have't measured yet, but we're up to the belly button! yes, that's big, no, I'm not showing yet (never do), and that measurement is normal for me.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


baking bread... yum... around here, it's not really a luxury, even though it seems like one. It's actually a necessity. We follow the Feingold program. What that is, is removing all artificial colors and flavors, and certain preservatives from our diet. Ok, well, I cheat sometimes, but mostly for the children. We have some pretty energetic kids around here, and I ain't talking about goats... wish I was. Anyways, we have discovered thru using this program that my children are sensative to, or even could be considered allergic to, these additives. For example, our pretty much extreme example, my son Michael. He's a wild bundle of energy, and that's when he's not on any colors, flavors or preservatives... when he is on them, he's dang near unhandleable. One item in particular, we have discovered, sets him off like no other. Artificial vanilla, or vanilin, as its often known. It makes him rebellious, moody, and agressive... very agressive. Our lives are much better having gone on this program.

So, what does this have to do with baking bread? Well, a lot, actually. Most store bought breads contain what we call "bad stuff." There are some breads that we could have, but 1. we can't find them, and 2. we can't afford them. So, where does that leave us? Why, with the horrid task of making our own, wholesome, delectable smelling, warm, crusty bread.... bummer for us...LOL We have also started grinding our own wheat.... why? well, because I think it's better for us. Bread can easily be made with regular old store bought all purpose flour, in fact, that makes a mighty fine loaf. But I'm really enjoying the ability to make our own... and the health benefits.. Well, just turn on your tv or open up a magazine and you'll see the many benifits of whole grains.

So, why this whole shpiel on bread? Well, let me show you....

How's that for yum? Too bad you can't smell it... delish! Now, this isn't our normal everyday bread, although it's close. This is my normal everyday recipe, but instead of using my whole wheat flour for the whole wheat portion, Michael wanted to try our 7 grain mix. Now, I will admit, I didn't expect much of it. I've never used the 7 grain on a loaf of bread. Why? well, because I hate change. I like eating things I know I will like, and I'm scared to spend time, energy and money on something that I might not like. silly, isn't it. Well, my first worry was that there wouldn't be enough gluten to make the bread rise well, so I added some in.

I don't think I should have worried... do you?

My son is well on his way in following the bread baking tradition within our family....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Well, Happy Mother's day to all you mothers out there.

No post yesterday, mainly because my whole day went like this.
dh wakes up, notices baby has barfed all over the crib. Clean up baby, clean sheets, baby barfs again, clean up baby, snuggle baby, baby sleeps, baby wakes, baby barfs, repeat for hours.

So, no post yesterday. LOL.

Today went better, no barf. Baby sleeping, however, so I ended up not going to church. My dear darling Jim took all the children, except Rowan, to church alone. And, then he took them to do all of the shopping, too!! he's a dear. I'd be lost without him... Came home, put food & such away. Whee. That's our exciting sunday!

Friday, May 9, 2008

New weekly post

This is the start of a new weekly post for me, Watch my bump grow! I'll be posting on Fridays belly shots of my growing new child. I'm doing this, 1.- because I want a record of how my body changes, and 2.- because this is really hard for me to do. I have never taken belly picture of any of my other 6 children, and I want to celebrate every moment of this one, instead of being ashamed of how my body looks after having carried 6. So, here I will record baby belly shots. Friday is when my weeks change, so fridays it is.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rowan's Birthday

Happy Birthday Rowan!!!!!!!!! How hard it is to believe she's a year old already.. Of course she walks, and has started talking a touch. It s still always hard to believe she's grown that much.

Well, here's some birthday pics.

We had a lot of fun. The cake, is a pineapple upside-down cake from Marye at Baking Delights.

Let me tall you, this is not your regular pineapple upside down cake!! Oh My Goodness!!!!! The cake is a sponge cake, light and fluffy. I left out the nuts (we don't care for them) and the rum flavoring and marchieno cherries (we can't do artificial flavors or colors), but the product was definately not sub par because of these exclusions!!! I cooked it in a 10" springform pan, which worked really well.....well, except for the butter dripping out of the bottom... My bad. I should have wrapped the bottom in foil... oh well, live and learn. The cake was light and fluffy, not heavy and sticky sweet like the upside down cake I grew up with. Jim, my dh, can't stand pineapple upside-down cake. He was very disappointed that I was making this for her birthday.. he wanted yellow cake with chocolate frosting... bummer for him. However, he had a taste of the batter, and had to try a slice. Aroma, intoxicating. He said there was only one thing wrong with the cake.... there wasn't enough of it! LOL I totally agree... We cut it into 8 slices, just enough for everyone to have a piece... yum...... needed more.... yum...... We will DEFINATELY make this again!!

Oh No!!!

Well, remember the startitis problem? I had cast on a baby jacket in cobweb weight.... well I was buzzing right along, to the armpit increases. I went to take a bath last night... and Rowan got into it! she pulled out the needles.... WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa :::sniff sniff::::: So, I have 3 choices...

1. Start over again... sounds like fun but I discovered the jacket won't fit a baby, but a doll, not that Natasha would mind...

2. Start over on a larger needle size to make one fit a real baby.... but I really don't need a jacket for a baby at this moment....

3. Put it away and finish some of my works in progress... gee, I only have like 5 to finish......

Or 4. (yes, I know I said three, but I could keep going if I tried...) Scrap the jacket, and cast on the Unst stole....

hmmmm, decisions... decisions.... decisions.....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

long but fun day

Long but fun day... that about sums it up. The kids took most of the day to do their schoolwork... it was just to gorgeous outside to stay in and focus for too long today. Then, we got to go vote on some stupid special tax session... oh yes, mr elected official, please raise my taxes. NOT!! Then off to Walmart to get stuff for dinner and presents for Rowan...

I can't believe she is going to be one on thursday..... It's been a long rough year.....

Monday, May 5, 2008


Startitis.... I have it, bad. For those of you who don't know, startitis is the annoying habit of starting another project before one is done. Well, in my case, before, like, 4 are done. :::sigh::: See, it all started when I was working on two socks on circs.... well, they didn't go fast enough for me, and I was designing them as I went, so they got put aside. Then, I finally get up the urge to finish my MS3 Swan Lake shawl.... and notice a hole in the wool about 50+ rows back.... can we say frog? :::sigh:::: so, now I don't want to work on it. So, instead of working on the MS3, or the 2 socks on circs, or even on the valentine sock that remains an orphan, I cast on a pi shawl, a la EZ. Then, a week later, while that's buzzing right along, we get to today. So, how is my pi shawl, you may ask? well, it's lonely.... see I cast on a baby jacket in cobweb weight a la Sharon Miller. So, that's what, like 5 projects in the works... and that doesn't count my lone Traveler's sock, that I stopped just after turned the heel.... namely because I turned the heel wrong, and I'm going to have to rip that out. So, I have startitis.... What's to be done? I dunno.... I currently have visions of casting on a fair isle sweater for my dh's twin infant cousins... luckily, I haven't the yarn or a pattern to do that. (of course, if there's any knitting enablers who would like to point to a pattern.... I won't complain! )

Startitis... I have it.... baaaaad.......

Friday, May 2, 2008


I'm trying to try and blog every day this month..... we'll see what happens.

We had wild weather today... ok, normal weather for Wyoming, but wild none the less. We were pushing 80 degrees on Wednesday... It was beautiful. Yesterday and today, cold cold cold, and today, mega windy and snow. Wyoming is so funny.

There's not much else going on. We finished up school for the week yesterday, so today was a day off.... which would be great if the day was sunny, but the children were just being wild. It can be really frustrating, but whacha gonna do?

ok, so this is a sucky blog.... my life is boring, I have no deep thoughts, but this is my life.....

Thursday, May 1, 2008


May.... Wow, I can't believe it's May. This time last year I was wonderfully round and enjoying the last of my pregnancy, not really wanting it to end, knowing that it would. Rowan turns 1 next week. I am once again looking forward to that day. Not only do we get to celebrate Rowan's birthday, but we'll be telling the children about our new little one on the way. I got Rowan a tshirt that says "I'm gonna be a big sister!! November 2008"