Still Here

Reasons not to post anything lately:
  • Typing with one hand takes a LONG time
  • A wonderful week of food poisoning
  • Appeasing the needs of a super nurser
  • Birthday and Christmas celebration
  • Wrapping A LOT of presents
  • Hard to think of big words and use them correctly due to tiredness
Here are a few pictures instead:


Introducing Finn

It Would Have Been a Great Week at the Ranch

Last Monday, the sweetest little baby boy joined our family. His name is Finn and we cannot get enough of him. He weighed eight pounds two ounces and was 21 inches long. Today, one week later, he weighs four ounces more. He is a champion nurser. Pretty much a pro from the start. He has the softest, roundest head, the cutest little tummy, and the wrinkliest old man feet. He sleeps, eats, poops, occasionally stares us down, and snuggles like there is nothing better in the world.

Here are a few photos of our first week together.

Blogger didn't like my formatting and turned a few of these pictures. Sorry about that!

As a side note, and an explanation to the subtitle of this post, I was able to watch a bit of TV in the hospital. Since I don't regularly watch any shows it was a bit challenging to find something that I could just jump right into: enter Biggest Loser! It's pretty likely that I would have been safe from elimination this week. My total weight loss percentage for the last seven days is a whopping 12%. Of course I have little or no concern for that number on the scale at this point, but it still intrigues me!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 60

Pretty Unbelievable

Wow. Sixty days is a long time for me to commit to anything let alone follow through. Add to that a pregnancy nearing an end (hopefully very soon) and it seems nearly miraculous. Okay, so not every entry was super exciting, probably most bordering on mundane, but it did make the time pass more quickly and gave me a bit of a challenge.

Today's chores for the visitors included cleaning up yard waste. Leaves, annual flowers, tomato plants, pepper plants, cabbage bottoms, etc. Tomorrow it is suppose to rain so getting it all out of the yard seemed appropriate. I meant to put some caulking around the edge of the porch where it comes in contact with the house but didn't get that accomplished. A little extra defense against water and bugs. I know there are plenty of small cracks and holes to fill along the sides of the house so perhaps I will try to get as many of those as possible too.

Where to from here? Well, I won't guarantee a blog post every day. I will update regularly though. And I will include pictures of the new wee one when he is born (hopefully very soon).


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 59

She Cooks, She Cleans

Aunt Gee Gee has really been working her tail off since her arrival. Yesterday she cleaned the toy room. Today she tackled the bathroom, the kitchen, made dinner, and cleaned leaf and branch debris off the roof, gutters, and snow stops. Thanks!!!! Additionally she gave me a little pedicure, complete with a lovely foot rub.

I managed to pull together a top for a dresser so it can be used as a changing table. It's been a while since I have used power tools and the tummy tends to get in the way when making long cuts with the circular saw but it turned out alright. I do love the compound miter saw with its straight, precise cuts. What a lovely piece of machinery.

Clare enjoyed more fun times playing with Cheda. Her favorite game is hiding Pudgy the Hedgehog under a blanket and having Cheda find him. Cheda plays along very nicely, pretending she has absolutely no clue where Pudgy might be hiding. They also enjoy bouncing Pudgy on the blanket until he falls on the ground and Clare bursts into uncontrollable giggling. Pure laughter from a three-year-old is one of the nicest sounds around.

And yeah, no new baby yet....


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 58

Running Out of Posts

Day 58. First of all, who knew that I would ever be able to stay on track for such a long time. There were a few days when I was actually headed to bed before I realized I'd forgotten to post something. This only leaves two more days in which I'll need to be on the ball. After that, no promises!

I had my 39 week doctor visit today. No progress. It was almost devastating in a way. A whole week of contractions, pain, discomfort, lack of sleep, and absolutely no change. Another reason to have all that extra pregnancy hair on your head - so you can pull it out!!! This baby's due date is Saturday, so he'd better decide to get a move on. And in a hurry.

Don't ask the pregnant lady if the baby has arrived...she'll be more than happy to tell you!


60 Days 60 Posts: Day 57


It's as if Clare and Gee Gee were never separated after their time in Sitka. Clare views her aunt as the perfect playmate. "Come see this." "Let's go do that." Makes for a pretty relaxing day for the mom. I did a few (very few) chores, took a nap, made dinner, and worked on this agonizing quilt project (I'm sure I will love it when it is FINALLY done). We took a trip to the library as well which reminded me of the days when I was able to walk five blocks without having to pee!

Still playing the waiting game. Contractions come and go. Nothing consistent.

It would be disappointing to not make it to 60 Posts, wouldn't it? Hmmm......

The plum wine is in the finally purification stage.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 56


After a week of just the three of us, another wave of reinforcements has arrived. My mom and sister Brigid are here to act as crowd control (Clare) when the time comes for me to head off to the hospital. Hopefully that time will be soon as each day is just a wee bit more uncomfortable than the last. Lots of contractions today but no rhyme or reason to them.

I do believe that today may be my favorite day of the year. I love gaining that extra hour! Plus Clare slept in a bit later than usual both days this weekend so I think I may have gotten six hours of consecutive sleep last night. Dreamy!

Tomorrow is a full moon. Maybe that will bring new baby luck. It always seems to make kids crazy at school, so perhaps it will have the same effect on me tomorrow.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 55

Tootsie Roll Anyone?

Happy Halloween! What a great holiday to have a three-year-old in the house. Clare wants to be such a helper to everyone. Before she headed out for trick or treating with Mike a few groups of kids came to the house.

"I will go with those kids and help them."

"Kids usually go with their mom or dad or a big sister or something."

"I am a big sister."

Point taken.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 54

Get Your Heiny on Board

Side note first: Heiny is not in the dictionary...what the hell? That's approved slang for butt, isn't it? As in, "Get your heiny over here." Merriam-Webster, you might just need an update!!!

Anywho, heiny is what we call H1N1 around here. Today there was a vaccination clinic within a reasonable distance at a reasonable time of day on a day when the weather was decent and I hadn't spent the previous evening at the hospital due to pregnancy. All systems are go! We did have to wait an hour and a half, but Mike and I are now fully vaccinated and will hopefully be immune within seven to ten days. Clare has another dose in four weeks. The shot was cake. The nasal mist Clare received was, well, not well received. I made the error of telling her what was going to happen, at which point she clamped both her hands over her nose, buried her head in my chest and refused to come out. I had to pry her hands from her face and Mike had to forcibly turn her head toward the man delivering the mist. Then the screaming commenced. I'm pretty sure there was no pain or suffering from the mist, but, oh the agony of it all! And to think that we will need to repeat said performance in four weeks...so looking forward to it.

The baby continues to maintain status quo. Yesterday he was very quiet until it was time for bed, at which point he proceeded to rotate around at least two full turns, perhaps trying to find a more comfortable place to rest his head. Good luck with that son. Guess where it is comfy? Oh, out here in the big bright world where you can stretch your limbs to your heart's content! It if it too roomy for you, I promise I'll swaddle you tightly so you feel at home.

Eight days until the due date and counting!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 53

Sleepy Time With the Fresh Smelling Spiders

Just thought I'd mention once again that I love our basement now. Okay, so there still are giant spiders, other creepy crawlies, lots of dust and cobwebs, unfinished walls, and one scary furnace but the smell of ass is gone! Just so very sad it took us so long to get the problem fixed. I guess with summer just behind us, the season of open windows and continuous onion ring smelling air (from our local onion ring and blooming onion plant), and the house shut down tight to keep out cold air we became slightly more aware of the problem.

In news of other small miracles around the house, Clare decided today would be a good day to take a nap. I couldn't have agreed more. I did manage to sneak one in this morning while I was suppose to be watching The Land Before Time with her but that wasn't exactly fulfilling as I was sitting upright and pretending to answer her constant stream of questions. The nap this afternoon was actually in a bed with covers and a cuddly little body next to mine. And it lasted longer than 15 minutes. Two hours for me, two and a half for her. Plus, she was in such a pleasant, agreeable mood this afternoon. If this phenomenon could only be replicated on a more regular basis!

Have you noticed the countdown? Uh, yeah, now we are in the 50s. Even with the bad math, that is still fewer than ten days until D-day!!!!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 52

Sixty Bucks

Okay, so it isn't normal to have to pour water into your basement floor drain daily or even more frequently. Plumber confirmation of this fact today. Two plumbers in fact.

When we were considering buying this house we were a bit put off by the age of the furnace. Our realtor offered us option of purchasing a home warranty (may have blogged about this before) and we took her up on it. There's a yearly fee and a service call fee but if something breaks they will send someone to fix it and if it can't be fixed they will replace it. It's a nice little insurance policy.

So when the bathtub wouldn't drain again and the thought of climbing around in the tub with my huge belly getting in the way while plunging it and hoping for at least two weeks of good water flow didn't sound very appealing combined with the fact that we were constantly adding water to our floor drain so it didn't smell like ass downstairs, we decided to make the call and get some plumbing taken care of. Of course the home warranty company didn't have any local service technicians, so Mike lined up someone local (two week wait) and then tried a company a bit farther away. That company sent two plumbers out within two hours of his call!!!! Two hours and sixty bucks later (well, we paid the full amount but should be reimbursed all by sixty) our bathtub drains like a dream and our basement smells fresh as can be. I'll need to apologize to the cats because apparently it wasn't their stinky asses after all.

Plus I got some great tips from one of the plumbers:
  • WD-40 removes soap scum better than most cleaners, plus, since it is oil-based, it repels further deposits. Use it on bathtub fixtures and glass doors.
  • Pouring a cup of bleach into each drain once a week and flushing with hot water in the morning prevents the buildup of soap and other scum deposits, thus keeping drains running freely for years and years.
  • A new sewer line typically costs $10,000. If you are going to buy a house, some plumbing companies offer a service of sending a camera down the entire line to check for problems for a minimal cost of about $200.
  • If you own an older home with plaster and lathe walls, use a grinder with a flat grinder blade to cut through the walls where you need access (as in upgrading plumbing or electrical). A reciprocating saw causes too much vibration which results in unnecessary damage to the wall.
Now I'm off to take a shower and not stand in two inches of water while I'm doing it!

And Happy Birthday Gee!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 51

Short and Sweet

Some might call it nesting, but I call it shear panic! The thought of all these unfinished projects looming over me without a second to myself for, oh, say maybe the next four or five months!!! Mike might be feeling it too as we have been fairly productive these past few days.

I had a doctor's appointment today: 38 1/2 weeks down. Things are still looking good. The baby is moving well, has a good heart rate, and is still in the head down position. The ladies in the office commented on how cute I looked, all preggo and stretched out in one of the waiting room chairs! I love them, I do.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 50

The Birthday Official

And it looks like she gets to keep it to herself as her little brother has yet to make an appearance. Tonight we had Clare's Choice for dinner: homemade macaroni and cheese with a side of frozen raspberries and blueberries. She then enjoyed a bowl of cookie dough ice cream. I'm pretty sure she wanted another cake but when I told her we might make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins tomorrow and she could put frosting on a few she seemed okay with that.

We love you Sweet Pea Monkey Butt! Thanks for making our lives even more enjoyable!!!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 49

We Loved the Gibbon

Clare's birthday request was a trip to the zoo. We were planning on going on her birthday but the weather doesn't look so hot for tomorrow so we went today instead. She was super excited to show Mike all the things she has seen before since this was his first trip to this zoo. So excited in fact that she only went down the giraffe slide once. Those of you who have been to the zoo with her before will know that the giraffe slide is her favorite part. Seriously. On the three previous occasions that we have visited the zoo I have practically had to pry her away from the slide, but not today. The weather was great. Cool and sunny. We must have arrived soon after the animals were fed because most of them were pretty active. Which brings me to the gibbon.

Three gibbons (apes (no tail) - not monkeys (tail) as many parents were incorrectly telling their children) occupy one exhibit area. Two active but mellow sorts and one CRAZY teenager type. I have never seen anything like it. He was too cute. The other two were constantly on high alert as he would swing through the cage, jumping here and there, and with no warning attack one or the other of his mates. Play attacks, like a kitten wrestling, but of the full-on, full-speed variety. Mike and I truly loved his antics and had to drag ourselves away to appease the young birthday girl who wanted to look at the giraffes.

Super side note: the zoo smells a lot better at 50 degrees than it does at 100 degrees. Maybe only three seasons of visiting are in order.

Super Super side note: tomorrow my sweet baby will be a three year old!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 48

Still Holding Down the Fort

After a trip to the hospital last night due to some unexpected bleeding, I was sent home with the knowledge that the wee boy is doing fine and that I had three contractions during the time I was on the monitor. I was busy answering questions and what not and didn't even notice the first two. The third one was noticeable, but nothing more than uncomfortable. All about 10 minutes apart. They did continue through the night and this morning but eased up a bit this afternoon. The show is back on tonight but again they are not very strong, not well grouped, and probably just annoying enough to wake me up and keep me up. Hopefully either things will settle down for a while or there will be positive forward progress and Baby Mullin will make a slightly early appearance. Or, this might keep up for two more weeks so that I will be completely sleep deprived when he arrives. I think the smart money is on the latter.

Mike's parents were here for the week allowing me to take naps, lounge in my pajamas on the couch all day, and get a few minutes of solo time. Ah, the luxury!!! Thanks Bob and Carol.

Today we spent some time in the yard. Clare and I raked leaves into a large pile and she spent a good amount of time jumping in them, running through them, throwing them in the air, and picking small sticks out of them. No foreign objects in Clare's leaf pile. I also (finally) transplanted an echinacea plant that had been overgrown by one of our dogwoods. In my hurry to get all the little plants in the ground this spring I really overlooked certain details like appropriate space. I think it will be much happier in its new home and it will hopefully even out some of the other flowers planted in that bed. In the process I did end up showing off a tremendous amount of butt crack to all the traffic passing by. Sorry local residents, if I have offended any of you!

Due to the hospital visit last night, the long drive to Boise, and the potentially excruciatingly long wait in line there were no H1N1 vaccinations for the family today. We are hoping to catch the clinic next Friday much closer to home...


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 47

Mike returned from his hunting trip today, and let me say I do love him dearly because there was not a sign of a bloody carcass needing to take over our kitchen table, be cut up, wrapped, labeled, and frozen. All with a demanding three year old and a huge belly with which to contend. So while I was really hoping for his sake and the relief to the pocketbook that he would have some luck and there would be deer in the freezer I guess the subliminal part of my brain was not on board. Here's to vegetarian cooking! Bring on the beans....


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 46

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

It's a good thing we have plenty of activities to fill our days before this baby arrives. Chudda came for a visit. Grandma and Grandpa are in town now. There is the much-anticipated trip to the zoo in the next few days. And of course there are more birthday presents that the little girl doesn't even know about on the actual day of her birth. Then the arrival of Cheda and Auntie Gee Gee.

A few things have been off limits. We haven't been to the playground in a while because I am really not interested, or capable at the point, in monitoring the every move of hand to mouth, nose, or eye to prevent the possible spread of germs, that pesky H1N1 in particular. We haven't been to the library during peak kid hours for the same reason. It's pretty much been a self-isolation routine until we can get ourselves some vaccine...hopefully this Saturday and get our little immune systems up to date with necessary antibodies!!!! Of course, there is only 35% coverage for those under ten so we will likely continue to isolate ourselves for another few weeks until Clare can get the second vaccine on board. Plus, even if he does get some immunity from me, there is still the exposure of wee baby Mullin to consider. He can't have the vaccine until he is six months old. And the jury is apparently still out on us preggos. At first there were reports that we too might need a second dose, but that information has not been updated in some time. And what if you might only be pregnant for, say, two more weeks. Is a second dose still required? Ah, the questions that remain....


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 45

Coma Naps and Other Pregnancy Fun Times

As Mike headed out into the woods this morning for a few days of hunting, armed with not only a rifle but also a borrowed cell phone (thanks Mom and Dad) in case of emergencies (mostly mine), I suddenly felt the effects of waking up numerous times during the night to use the bathroom and was so happy to have Bob and Carol (the in-laws) here for the time Mike would be gone. Just a few hours later I crashed on the bed in what I can only describe as the coma nap. When just a few minutes to rest my legs turns into 90 minutes of non-recollection. Pure time lapse. Which I wouldn't have been able to do (I don't think) without the presence of additional adults in the house. And this coma nap must be pregnancy related, because I'm sure that no one in any other state of mind or body could so effectively tune out 90 minutes of Clifford the Big Red Dog on the TV!

Plus I don't think I have written a sensical (yes, the opposite of nonsensical) entry in the blog in months. Also blaming the pregnancy.

And I'm a bit stressed out about finding the H1N1 vaccine in time....17 days until that due date. Time keeps on ticking.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 44

Two For One

Today Clare and I both had doctor's appointments. Week 37 for me. Three year well child check for her. Somehow, at this point, Mike and I have a tall child. She is in the 75th percentile for height, 50th percentile for weight. She also refused to have her blood pressure checked, had to be bribed so the doctor could look in her ears, cried the entire time the nurse and the doctor were listening to her heart, and needed tactics of gentle persuasion in order to be weighed and measured. On the other hand, I was quite cooperative. Things are looking good on my end. Eighteen days until the due date. Good fetal movement and heart rate. Although I feel like someone has beat my pelvis with a baseball bat I think that is normal. So now it is pretty much down to the waiting game.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 43

Early Birthday Celebration

There is a new member of our household. Her name is Valencia. She has four rather rigid legs, black stringy hair, and springs. Grandma and Grandpa arrived yesterday to help hold down the fort while Mike goes hunting this week and since they were in town we thought it would be nice to have an early birthday party for the wee miss. Her gift from them: a Radio Flyer Spring Horse. Clare chose to name her Valencia in honor of the first horse she ever rode. She brushes her mane and feeds her carrots. Valencia comes with a battery-powered interactive voice which shall remain something of a mystery to Clare for as long as possible. Just call me mean. I can live with it!

Clare and I also made a cake in honor of the celebration. It is one of my favorites. I've only made it twice before but each time I think to myself that I should make it more often. It is a chocolate raspberry torte. A dense, dark, chocolaty cake sliced in half and filled with raspberry infused whipped cream (fool) then frosted with the same and topped with fresh raspberries and mint leaves. Beautiful to look at, delicious to eat.

And in one week we will have a bona fide three year old living with us. Honestly, where did the time go?


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 42

Still Hurting

Doesn't this headache know that I've fully acknowledged it and now is the time for it to go away? Because I know that. And Mike knows. And Clare knows. I think even the cats are up to speed at this point. Here's hoping that tomorrow brings a pain-free morning, at least for my cranium!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 41

Pain in the Head

Well, it is my place to vent about my migraines after all. So let's just say that I hate them all the time, but even more so when I have a bun in the oven and can't take any freaking medicine. Well, I can take some things so I shouldn't complain, but still, migraine #2 in less than a week is kicking my ass. And of course it is the weekend. And I'm cheap so I'm not going to the emergency room no matter what (migraine related, baby is a different story).

My dad headed home today after a quick, productive visit. I always feel like we take advantage of him because we don't let him sleep in, we work him hard, and we make him do crazy things like boost himself up into the attic from a too-short step ladder. Although I heard a little groaning, he was a champ, especially at the tender age of 70. Thanks again for coming!!!!

I have some great pictures to put up soon. Just that process of getting them on to the hard drive, then on to the blog. Someday!

Mike's parents arrive tomorrow for a week. Extra hands are always appreciated at this point in the game!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 40


The sprinkler blowout family came today, fought, bickered, blasted a sprinkler head out of the ground and cleared our sprinkler lines for a mere $40. Clare was mighty intrigued, not only with the geyser-like spray from the sprinklers but also with the family dynamics. I'm pretty sure Mike should schedule a vacation day next year so he too can enjoy the show!

Rewiring of the bathroom fan to isolate it on its own ground fault circuit has been completed. This was a crucial step in our quest to insulate the attic. Now the remainder of the wiring on the circuit to which the fan once belonged can be be put on an arc fault circuit breaker, reducing the chance of fires in the attic. Thanks Dad, you're great.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 39


Today Chudda presented Clare with a special treat. A spicy soda. Of the root beer variety. At first she didn't want to drink it because, "Beer is for Daddy and Mom is too young to have beer." When I had finally convinced her it was really just soda we had the following conversation:

Clare, do you want your spicy soda in the can or in a sippy?

I want it in the can.
With a straw.
I want to drink it from the can with a straw.
That's the way I roll.

And that little phrase right there, "the way I roll," made up for a week of cranky, almost three-year-old behavior. I so adore some of the things that find their way out of her mouth!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 38

After a year of sitting in a bag, the log cabin quilt top I made last October has finally been made into a quilt sandwich and rolled up for machine quilting. I was hoping to get started on that tonight, but with the arrival of the dear Chudda (my dad), Clare was in no mood to go to bed early. He is like the king of show and tell. She needs to show and explain everything to him. Their relationship is very interesting. For the first year and a half of her life she really wasn't too keen about him. He was always very gracious, saying that she would eventually come around. And she has. Boy does that girl every love her Chudda. I don't think there was even momentary shyness this time. She was in the bath when he arrived and she wanted him to come in and watch her float (a new trick that requires her baths have much less water than they use to and that she is super closely monitored). Then he got to see some of her things, but she was most interested in showing him where her books were. I think she might remember from his last visit all the story reading they did.

She doesn't know that he is here strictly on business and will not be available for fun until the wiring project is complete! Hopefully it might only involve a day of analysis, labor, and cleanup to get it all running properly. Fingers are crossed. That will give the two of them a couple days to just enjoy each others' company.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 37

The apple crisp is in the oven. Locally grown Johnathan apples, sugar spices, oat topping. Mike and Clare made ice cream. It was a rainy, blustery fall day around here. We had our chimney swept and discussed the logistics of installing our wood stove insert. Spendy for sure but probably worth it. Especially over the course of a couple winters.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning. The 36 week check-up. Plus the Demerol shot. I couldn't remember a single question I was going to ask because my mind was so wrapped around the stabbing pain in my left eye and temple and the huge blind spot that blocked half my vision. Then I came home (Mike drove) and literally passed out on the futon for several hours. For the half hour or so that I was coherent between the shot and falling asleep I kept thinking to myself, "Damn, drugs are good." It was a lovely warm and fuzzy, pain-free feeling. I'm not even sure that most of it wasn't just the glory of not having the migraine anymore. I've had mixed luck with the Demerol before, sometimes getting little or no relief, but after expressing this concern to my doctor she has increased my dosage and it works like a dream. I know I'll be dealing with that sore injection site, probably at least until after the baby is born if not longer, but a sore hip seems so much less troublesome than a blazing headache, loss of vision, nausea, and super irritability.

It seems as though the baby has dropped since I measured about a week and a half behind what I should be. The pressure in my pelvis and the relative relief in my ability to inhale a decent amount of oxygen are also good indicators. He's a good boy, still in the head-down position. Hopefully now that he has dropped he will stay engaged and there will be no surprise right-side-up baby at any future doctor visits.


60 Days 60 Posts: Day 36

Is It Too Late For Coffee?

I need some caffeine. Or some narcotics. Since the doctor's office is currently closed and the Emergency Room is far more spendy than a hot cup of coffee I think caffeine will be my drug of choice to take the edge off this nasty, right side of my head, is there something in front of me because I can't see headache. Damn. I should have stayed away from that Halloween candy.

Chocolate: I love you and I hate you. I need you to taste terrible so I won't be so tempted to eat you. Or maybe I am just blaming searing, throbbing, tooth-grinding pain on you when it is perhaps pregnancy hormones or something else. Ah, you are an easy target!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 35

Hospital Visit and Childbirth Class

Tomorrow I have an appointment to meet with the woman in charge of educational classes at the local hospital where, presumably, this crazy little monkey will be born. I am the only person who signed up for childbirth classes so I get some one on one time at my convenience. Mike may or may not come. Let's keep in mind that he had missed all classes when I was pregnant with Clare because he was always working Monday through Thursday at some remote boat- or fly-in-cabin and classes were Wednesday nights. Not a problem. Plus, it was at the first one that he was actually in town for that my water broke ten minutes into class and I had to leave anyway. I'm pretty much going for the tour of the Labor and Delivery portion of the hospital, a few refreshers on pain management, a possible meeting with the CRNA to discuss pain management if the need arises, and to preregister.

It looks like we will be having a few visitors in the next couple of weeks. My dad is coming to assist on a wiring project and Mike's parents are coming so that he can go hunting and not leave his pregnant wife solo with the first child in case child number two decides to appear a bit early. Following their visit, my mom and baby sister will be coming to hang out until baby number two does decide to make an appearance or they get so bored of our little house and our little town that they make a made dash for home!

Not much happening on the home front today. Mike made some delicious smelling salsa and enchilada sauce (enchiladas for dinner tomorrow!) and I think I did some things although they must not have been very memorable because I really can't recall. I spent the day battling a headache and a general feeling of bodily grossness. Maybe migraine, but I can't quite tell yet. I'll know for sure tomorrow. Fingers are crossed that I am just a bit dehydrated or something????


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 34


Today is officially the day that I consider myself entering the final stretch of this pregnancy. It is significant in the fact that we are now four weeks from the due date. That's a mere 28 days from today. But what made it seem like it might be getting close to the end was the sheer panic I felt when I told Clare that her birthday would be in two weeks and then equated that to the fact that only two weeks after that this baby is due. Uh, two two-week increments and there will likely be a floppy, pretty much helpless infant coming home to live with a rowdy three-year-old who, up until this point, has pretty much been the sole focus of my attention. Time to prepare, I'm thinking.

Now Clare is well aware that her baby will be coming soon. She's super curious how it is going to get out, what she will do while I am taking care of that task, and whether it will be ready to play ball with her. She is also in a very needy state at this point in time so I think she has a sense that my time will not be solely her time. And she keeps asking, "Do you think the baby is getting excited to meet his big sister?"

Ever read Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes about Lily, who loves her baby brother to no end until he is born? Then all she hopes for is the day that he will be leaving. Ah, yeah, that's our world. Or Zaza's Baby Brother by Lucy Cousins about how a baby comes home and there is now no time to do what Zaza wants right when Zaza wants it done? Reality stinks sometimes!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 33

What? A Sewing Project Complete? In a Day?

Yes, it really is true. This morning I picked out fabric for a breastfeeding cover and by 11 p.m. it was finished. This is the tutorial I used. And to make things even better I only failed to follow directions in one spot which then required a little creative thinking, but I was still able to create a finished product very similar to the one shown. Pictures (along with those of the teeny tiny diapers) to come.

On a completely different note, have you seen this? I've been reading for a while and find it intriguing, incredibly hilarious, and sometimes painfully true. I think the "making your own diapers" is what triggered my brain to remember to include it in this post.

There is also this, which I also find entertaining, but please don't go here if you are easily offended by swearing. Don't say I didn't warn you.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 32

Picture Day

It's been one of those days, so you'll just be getting pictures.

Mike wearing Clare's pants, at her insistence.
The last of the summer outfits until next year!
An animal menagerie, created by the little girl. She called it, "Piggyback." Mike and I called it something else.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 31

Tiny Diapers For Tiny Buns: Check

Finally. Completion of the cloth diaper project. Clare and I put all the snaps on the pocket diapers today. There are eight total plus I ended up buying 20 tiny prefolds and two diaper covers. That should be enough to last two days, fingers crossed. We will be trying to avoid using disposables as much as possible so convenience and supply are key. I'm thinking that within a few weeks the new baby will be big enough to use the BumGenius one size diapers, but those first few weeks, if my brain remembers correctly, involve a ton of diapers!

Pictures to come.

And I made a deal with myself that I would not be starting any other sewing projects until I wrapped this one up, so now I can move forward toward procrastination of a different project. Ah, the beauty of it all.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 30

A Wrecking Ball

That's the only phrase I have to describe my daughter today. Pure chaos around here. There was the 45 minute fit in the bathroom when she kept calling my name, then freaking out when I tried to open the door. The refusal to go outside and play. The refusal to put on clothing even though it is a tad chilly in the house. The insistence that a bath was in order immediately. Good thing I have all this extra pregnancy hair to pull out. I'm not sure if she is starting to get sick, is overly tired, was hungry (but refuse to eat, thus further lowering her blood sugar levels). It was, I'm thinking, a lovely preview of age 16. Better strengthen my powers of Love and Logic in the next 13 years. On a super positive note, she was in bed and asleep by 7:30.

And 30...that's half of 60! I'd better take some more pictures to supplement my postings. It's sort of like freezing meals ahead of time so when you don't feel like cooking there is something on hand.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 29

What to Blog About Today?

Should it be that vicious flame-point Siamese who shares our house, demands that we feed and water him, and bites the crap out of the end of my finger (blood, missing skin) when I try to give him medicine? Or would you like to hear about the little tantrum our daughter (so sheltered) threw today after discovering that you can't just rewind TV and watch it again? Or that I was told to use my quiet voice in the grocery store by the aforementioned child?

No, let's discuss the complete lack of knowledge of an employee of the public health department. Because it really riled me up. Seriously. I called because my doctor's office does not carry seasonal flu vaccines for anyone under the age of 18 and I was hoping to get the girl vaccinated before the arrival of her little brother, but with two vaccines (yes, she'll be getting both) there were some questions I needed answered.

  • Do they need to be administered at different times? And, if so, how far apart?
  • Does she need two doses of H1N1 to be fully protected, or, since she has already had the double dose of seasonal vaccine at the age of one, does she only need one dose?
  • Will the H1N1 injection be available through private practice or only through public health?
  • Since I am pregnant, and in the priority group, how do I get notified when the injection (nasal spray not approved for preggos) is available in our area?
Okay, so these all seem pretty straight forward. Nothing too tricky. Except, when I call public health and talk to the immunization receptionist, these are some of the things I hear (and I will paraphrase, since after the first response I had a hard time focusing):

I'm not sure why you would want to get her immunized right now anyway. Flu typically isn't a problem until January and those shots are only good for three months.


They don't even know if the injection is going to work so they are only sending out the nasal mist.

I'm not sure I would get that if I was pregnant.

Uh, what the hell? Here I am, calling with questions that should be answerable by any public health employee specializing in immunization, and these are the answers I get? COME ON PUBLIC HEALTH! Get your act together.

I did end up calling another office, not in our county, to get the answers to my questions and guess what? The wonderful woman I talked to could answer every one of them. Thank you, wonderful woman!!!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 28


This, apparently, is my 100th post on this blog. Not that I would ever keep track, but Blogger does. Hmmm....wish I had some super cool news or the like to share or something great to give away, but alas, no.

We rearranged the house (yet again) to deal with changes in seasons and temperatures plus the addition of the new little Mullin. In the process, we brought the TV back upstairs, plugged in our converter box and, if I stand on one tiptoe with my right leg touching the futon and my left hand touching the doorknob while holding the antennae and singing the Star Spangled Banner, we can watch PBS. Well, it's not exactly that bad, but close. We are going to get (find amongst all of our junk) a longer coaxial cable and move that antenna around the perimeter of the room until we find the best location with the most consistent channels. We'll triumph over digital TV after all! Actually, we didn't get ANY reception on our old TV prior to the conversion to digital signals, so maybe this is good. Or maybe it is the start of that slippery slope we drug ourselves off of almost three years ago. Guess only time will tell.

Happy 100!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 27

What Is That Noise?

Silence is the answer. Twice today I was in the enviable position of having the house to myself. Well, the cats were still here, but they like to sleep a lot. And it was so quiet. Yes, sometimes Clare goes downstairs and watches a cartoon by herself, but I always spend my time anticipating the inevitable, "MOMMY. MMMMOOOOOOOOMMMMMMY!" and the thumping of tiny feet on the stairs, coming to get me. Not today. Clare and Mike took the recycling to the recycling center and later they went to the rodeo so Clare could further delve into her newest love affair: horses. Did I nap like I was suppose to? Nope. What I did do was clean the living room, thoroughly, without interruption. There was no bucket of LEGOS or pile of blankets making their way into my cleaning effort. There were no little feet tromping through the pile of dirt I had just swept. There was no demand for a snack, or lunch, or help on the potty, or anything! Thanks Mike!

The other noise we heard today that we haven't heard in a long time was the sound of rain on our roof. A nice steady rain. And if the forecast is to be believed we will be hearing much more of it tomorrow. We'll see. It is the desert after all.

Today marks 35 weeks of pregnancy. Just five weeks, or 35 days, to go. We'd better think of a name!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 26

Nothing Extraordinary But Pleasantly Enjoyable

Today was a good day. It started poorly, but after something to eat and some tea things were better. Not too many meltdowns (me), not too much whining (me), no wet panties (Clare). Now we have Mike home for two days during which I seriously hope to take a nap. I've been missing those. Desperately.

Clare was quite cooperative this afternoon while I mowed the lawn. She played with a praying mantis we found by the garage, blew bubbles, and used her sidewalk chalk to decorate her tricycle. Now she is just waiting for it to rain so that she can redecorate it.

All in all, we spent about three and a half hours outside. There was a lot of imaginative play involving her outside toys, lots of rolling, flopping, and somersaulting in the grass, and tons of giggling. Tonight as she was eating her dinner she nearly fell asleep on several occasions. I love it when she has such a fun day that she is totally exhausted by the end of it. Now only if that would translate into an afternoon nap. Hey, a girl can wish, can't she?


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 25

Remembering Doug

A picture of his wife was on the Missoulian website this morning. Teresa Beed, meeting with potential grad students at the University of Montana. I read an e-mail from him today, about how we were always welcome in his home when we were in the Missoula area. Then I deleted it. Tonight at dinner, Mike (without any of this other information) said he had learned a few days ago, after an undeliverable e-mail, that Doug Beed, a giant among men, a soft-spoken, ever kindhearted, genuinely brilliant man, a friend, a teacher, one of the dearest people we know had passed away. Sadly, in April 2008. Why didn't we know before? I suppose that since we no longer live in Alaska, we haven't made as great an effort to maintain contact with those whom we love and cherish.

We saw Doug for the last time in December 2007 or January 2008 when we were visiting my parents for Christmas. He was battling cancer (after a misdiagnosis and extensive treatment for a disease he never had) but was feeling extremely positive about the success of his chemo. He was cheerful, spirited, and kind as always.

"I took full advantage of Montana by hunting, skiing and hiking whenever I could. This obituary is to mark my life. Those who knew me know that mark." Doug Beed, his own words in the obituary he wrote himself

And, in a final generous act of giving back:
In lieu of flowers or monetary gifts to charities, Doug challenges you to donate 10 hours of your personal time (over and above any normal hours already donated) to an organization of your choice that is known for helping others.

We are blessed to have had the privilege of knowing you, Doug Beed! You will always be an inspiration in our lives.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 24

Clare and I took a little trip to the hospital today to register for childbirth classes. So, so, so, soooooo disorganized. Oh boy, this birth might be an experience. Good thing I really like and trust my doctor. And perhaps the maternity ward of the hospital is better equipped to handle questions such as, "What time do classes start?" than the front desk. So classes start tomorrow night. Maybe at six? Maybe at seven? We'll see.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 23

Positive Happy Thoughts

Please send them Henry's way.

And send any you have left over to Polly, Rob, Lydia, and Liam as well. Wishing you the best of luck and the brightest of outcomes. With much love for you all!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 22

Let Me Check My List

Several times today I heard the following: "What do I need to do now? Let me check my list."

It was like hearing a recording of myself, only a bit more pipsqueak-like and likely much cuter!

I loved it even more because each time she said it she would run into her toy room and check her list (one of those fuzzy clown games that hang on the wall that you throw those small, plastic, velcro balls at). Not sure it made us any more productive but it did make the afternoon more fun.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 21

A Lovely Morning Song By Clare

As we enjoy our relaxing morning, waiting for the minutes of the day to tick by so Daddy can come home from Denver, this is the song I hear from the couch:

Lolly lolly lolly
My mommy is my mommy
She goes to the store
And I go with she

No particular tune, but definitely a song. If I ask where she learned it I'm sure I would get the normal response, "I learned it at preschool." Well, they must be doing a good job there! Hopefully when she is old enough to actually go to preschool it won't be too much of a disappointment.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 20

Day 20. Do you know what that means? Bad math on my part at the start of this project. Seeing as I have 42 days until the due date and wanted this 60 days to end the day before, hmmm..... So, I'll just eat my snap peas and hummus and think about how that might have happened while the pictures upload.

Investigating the road while getting firewood
From the garden. These got roasted and frozen for winter.

Umm, yeah, not quite sure.
Hugs for the baby. By the way, this is what can happen to a clean room in less than five minutes when a certain someone is on the loose. Can't wait until there are two of them!

34 weeks today.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 19

Fierce Competition

When there is a wee girl just learning to use the potty and a pregnant lady with a baby's head constantly resting on her bladder, there is bound to be conflict on who gets to use the toilet first. Especially when there is only one in the house. So far, the wee girl has won out every time but one (which resulted in a snotty, blubbery fit), but as this baby gets bigger and my bladder gets more pressure, we'll see. The problem with the wee girl going first is that she is slooooowwww. Not so much the peeing part, but the decision making process that follows: how much toilet paper is enough, which hand to tear it off with, how many wipes, which side of the potty to get off of, which foot to put back into the panty first. Oh my god. I could literally scream in frustration each and every time, but I am trying to make potty training exciting and not terrifying so, for the most part, I have refrained.

And now I understand why some houses have more bathrooms than bedrooms.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 18

Happy 30-something-ish Birthday, Jim Mullin! I know it is a number greater than 30 and less than 34. We hope you are having a great one!

The master rearranger and I spent the day moving furniture from room to room and then moving it around within new rooms to make it fit. The big goal was to get the crib from Clare's room into our bedroom, leaving enough room to still fit through the door and let the pregnant lady climb out of bed with relative ease. Our bed was moved to the opposite wall since the new fireplace insert will (hopefully) be installed directly above where it previously rested. Now, I'm sure that the floor is properly reinforced and all that jazz, but to purposefully place one's bed directly under an incredibly heavy, potentially scorching hot piece of iron and firebrick seems to push the envelope a touch too far when dealing with an old (yes, we've seen problems before, haven't we) house.

Clare's room, with all it's new found space, just got the addition of a small bookcase for the books she loves to have downstairs to read at night along with the fifty blankets she loves to drag around and a small portion of her collection of stuffed animals. We will also be bringing down her little table for art as the TV will be moving upstairs (and out of our bedroom) for the cooler fall and frosty winter seasons!

She had some gems today, although my brain is a bit fried, so I'm not sure I'll remember them exactly:

"Do you know why my tongue is always wet? Because I have all this spit in there to help chew up my food."

"Do you think Daddy is sad this morning? He didn't get his hug and kiss before he left."

And this one yesterday:

"My food goes in my mouth and down my esophagus and the throw up comes from my feet."


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 17

With Neighbors Like These

Our wonderful next door neighbor grows seed crops and we have benefited on more than one occasion. He has brought us corn and onions galore. Yesterday he arrived with beans of the kidney variety. Twenty-seven pounds of them to be exact. He is so generous and kind. I haven't asked him yet, but I consider him my backup ride to the hospital if I end up needing one. He's just that nice!

The beans arrived in a box which peaked the interest of our cats immediately. I put a second box over the top in case there was a mouse or some similar type creature inside. When I took the top box off there was a cricket clinging to it. That also explains the loud chirping I heard last night. Clare and I weighed and bagged the beans today. She scooped them from the box and put them in the yogurt container until we had a pound, then I put them in the Ziploc. She watched the numbers on the scale and kept asking, "Does it say one point zero zero zero yet, Mom?" Not like she understands what that means, but still cute.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 16

So, this morning I was thinking that on Saturday there will only be six weeks until this baby's due date. Six weeks. Oh crap, only six weeks. That spurred me into getting into the kitchen and starting the prepping/cooking/freezing portion of getting ready to have absolutely no time to prepare meals. After looking at several recipes, I got tired and took a nap while Clare watched Peter Pan. I did manage to make a double batch of garlic pasta (just the sauce) and froze four dinners worth. And I made extra sweet potato black bean enchiladas tonight and froze those as well. Tomorrow I am aiming to make a freeze Rachel Ray's version of corn and black bean stoup, carrot soup, and if all the stars align, samosas (plus some for dinner). I keep telling myself it is all about organization and time management, two qualities I am seriously lacking in these days. But better now than when there is a squalling infant, a demanding three-year-old, and absolutely no sleep.

Tonight, Clare and Mike made ice cream. They are so cute together in the kitchen.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 15

Gel Mats

This is what Costco needs!!! The kind that go in front of industrial sinks where people stand for hours washing dishes. Because pregnant lady + toddler + heavy cart + concrete floors = very sore back. They could maybe even just put them at the checkout area so when you are waiting in line you can enjoy the feeling of soft, relaxing gel under your feet.

And Target 75% off sales are awesome.

Two license plates I saw on our drive to Nampa today:

zooomx3 (guess which type of car)
2 ossom (middle-aged dude, beefed-up American car)

That's it. Maybe pictures tomorrow...


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 14

Live Wire

The joy of the old house. Cool architecture. Cozy rooms. Bad plumbing. Worse wiring. Luckily, our home inspector was a retired electrician so everything in the wiring department checked out... Peace of mind is such a great thing. Not sure where he got his training, but I think he missed a few things. Yep, a real electrician will need to be coming to our house sometime soon to rewire our attic (old, wood insulation over, well, potentially sketchy wiring) before we can insulate that space. Shredded wood, dust, pollen, tree seeds and the like aren't getting the job done and winter will be here sooner than later.

In the meantime, my wonderful husband has been "cleaning up" the wiring situation in the unfinished portion of the basement. He located the fixture for the mystery switch at the bottom of the stairs (concerning because it was fed with cloth-covered wire) which he then referred to as, "That light by the furnace, you know, the one that looks like Medusa." Oh yeah, I know that one. Now it is just a junction box with wire nuts instead of tape holding wires together inside. Up to code. Safe. And he removed some additional wiring and outlets in order to prepare for jacking up the floor under the kitchen to repair a previous owner's attempt at possibly creating space under the stairs by cutting out all the supports on a load-bearing wall. Genius. One of those wires was live, just sticking out the wall with tape on one wire and nothing on the other. Right now, as I type, he is reading his wiring book, learning new and exciting ways to make our house safer! Did I mention I love him?


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 13

The Wine Has a Stank

There's a weird odor in our kitchen. It's coming from the bucket by the door. A bucket of plums, sugar, water, yeast and a few mystery (to me) ingredients. Mike's first attempt at wine making is stinky. Like the time he brewed beer with Lager yeast and we both thought someone had just farted in the room where the beer was brewing. This has a bit more of a yeasty smell, but it is still bordering on foul. In defense of the wine, it is turning a beautiful reddish color so even if, on the off chance, it is not tasty, at least it will be pretty!

Three dry nights, three dry days on the potty-training front. It's been lovely. Lovely!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 12


The plumbing issues that are part of an old house are to be expected I suppose. This morning's plumbing project involved a new shut-off valve for the water as the old one leaked even when turned all the way off, then leaked again when turned on. The guys from the water department were super helpful, not only in their willingness to turn off the water at the meter without even 24 hours notice, but also their promptness with the initial turn-off and then again when turning the water back on! I'm not sure how loaded their schedules are but a huge thank-you to them regardless. And no leaks!!!

And on to the bathtub. Clogged. Again. We (well, Mike) tried taking out the clean-out plug in the P-trap but I don't think anyone has removed it in 80 years. So it was back to the plunger, because for some reason completely unknown to me and in defiance of physics, I cannot get the snake to go around the trap. And I've tried. Because I hate plunging and the stuff that comes out of that drain and up into the tub makes me want to vomit. So super disgusting. Today Clare even said, "Don't put your hand in there with that, Mom!" in an alarmed voice as I was trying to scoop it up so it wouldn't go back down the drain. Gross. It's draining again so maybe when my dad comes back for another visit he can bring the big guns (impact drill) and we can get that clean-out out. Until then, cheap rubber plunger, you are my friend.

And a big Happy 30th Birthday to my brother Morgan (yesterday). We love you!!!!


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 11

No Diapers Changed

There has been one entire day, starting with a dry diaper this morning, that has required not a single change of a dirty diaper, a wet pull-up, or a wet wipe of any sort! Yes, you read correctly, the girl used the potty ALL DAY LONG! That's not to say that it has been less work, mind you. There were the fifty seven trips to the bathroom for wiping, pull-up assisting, and accidental not-quite-to-the-potty puddles, but NO DIAPER CHANGES!!! And, yes, the bribes continue. Two M&Ms, five chocolate chips, and as much chocolate milk as she wanted with every successful drop of urine squeezed from her body at fifteen minute intervals! We love you, chocolate bribes.


60 Posts 60 Days: Day 10


It was bound to happen. The little girl has been sick for a couple days. Clingy. Needy. Grumpy. And in my face. Stuffy nose. Sore throat. Sneezing. If she hadn't been sick, I would have blamed it on my seasonal flu shot (yippee to being in the high-risk group for both types of flu this year) that I got yesterday. I did get one hell of a sore arm from that, but I'm pretty sure this crap is just an average cold or whatever supplemental crud is going around. No fever and no cough, so likely not anything terribly exciting like H1N1.

I've been trying to rest, which, at this point, is much easier said than done. There's the non-napper. And the squirmy internal wiggler. And I've had tons of water to compensate for the faucet that is my nose, which means going to the bathroom at least once every fifteen minutes. And the nighttime insomnia that is now my constant companion. As soon as my pregnant brain can remember to get some at the store, Tylenol PM, here I come!!!

And it is already day 10, which can only mean that there are 50 left in the countdown!


60 Post 60 Days: Day 9

A Daily Dose of Sanity (and Reality)

Every day I read blogs of (mostly) women I don't know. I think this is a bit perplexing to Mike. Today I was reading this blog entry, from a new blog I discovered a few days ago. Um, yeah, life-summed-up. And then I was reading the comments, and there was the answer I was looking for to the question about why I read them. To know that I am not alone. In this house. Day after day. Doing the same things. Again and again. Because that's how I feel sometimes. Mundane. Boring. And yes, when I don't feel as though I have gotten it right, inadequate.

And, no, I don't really care to hear how things were 20, 30, 50 years ago, because that IS NOT now. I want to know how contemporary women feel. Particularly women who have had a successful career outside the home before deciding to stay home with their children. Women who loved getting up in the morning, going out into the world, making a difference, and bringing home a paycheck. Who now sit on the floor and change poopy diapers, refill sippies, and answer, "Why?" too many times to count each and every day. Yes, we scrimp and save and don't buy many (any) luxurious items for the sake of me staying home. Yes, I could go get a job and put the wee one(s) in childcare. But I am CHOOSING not to do that. So I am not complaining about what we don't have. I just want to read about the struggles of women in the current day and age who are doing exactly the same. Thanks, ladies, for posting with honesty, with passion, and with humor. Maybe one day I'll even link you in my sidebar!


60 post 60 days: Day 8

Little Words, Huge Impact

How does a child understand death? And when? Maybe Mike and I shouldn't be so scientific and fact-facing when it comes to such issues and discussing them (well answering her questions) with our child. Today, while sitting in the bathroom, having told me she loves me for the hundred-gazillionth time, this is what she said to me:

"Mom, if you die, I will never see you again. That makes me sad."

Well, my sweet darling, it makes me sad too. Deep down, heart-wrenching sad. First, for the obvious reasons, like not getting to spend another moment with this precious little being, not seeing her grow into the amazing person I'm pretty sure she will be. But for other reasons too. Like the fact that my not-quite-three-year-old understands that death is a permanent thing. And that I was the one to give the okay to introduce her to that fact. Well, I had some help. Thank you Walt Disney and The Lion King, oh, and Bambi, and let's not forget Snow White. I'm thinking now that we should have held off on the whole TV/movie thing until she was at least eight or so. Freaking hindsight!


60 posts 60 days: Day 7

The Unloading, Sorting, and Repacking of Baby Clothes

Clare's favorite new pastime is looking at all the tiny clothes. There is half a tub or so of items for the wee one when he comes to our house. Clare knows them all by heart. The suit she came home from the hospital in, the snowsuit that has two, count them please, zippers that you unzip just like so, the tiny hat she wore when she was little and Mom and Dad's bedroom was very cold. The little blankets, the tiny socks, the mittens. She adores them all. She can't wait for this baby.

She wants to let him sleep in the crib, show him how to do things, and help change his diaper. She is going to explain to him that some rocks are small and some are big and crabs and mice live under them to be safe from other animals. She can hardly wait to show him all her tricks (climbing the stairs sideways, hopping like a frog, swinging between the two white chairs, etc.) and she practices them every day so she will be, "very good at my tricks when the baby wants to watch."

That being said, I think she is a bit apprehensive about where she is going to fit in with this big change. She is terribly anxious about me going to the hospital, even though Cheda and Aunt Gee Gee will be here with her. She tells us she loves us about a billion times a day. It has evolved from I love you to I love you very much to Why do you love me? She wants to be held, snuggled, and toted around more than ever.

I'm much more nervous about how we are going to handle her and show her that we love her more than ever than how we are going to put up with sleepless nights and endless diapers!


60 posts 60 days: Day 6

Just an average weekend day:

A bit later start than anticipated
A stop by the tire and brake shop
Off to Home Depot (GFCI breaker for our bathroom fan and paint for our kitchen!)
The Honey Store ($2/lb local honey)
Kelley Orchards for nectarines, peaches, and plums
Home for a nap, but that didn't happen, for anyone
Mike took Clare to the playground, leaving me time to go to the store BY MYSELF!
Leftovers for dinner, so no cooking...

I think tomorrow is when all the real work is planned. I'm going to try to sleep in and miss some of it!

And just think how boring these posts could be by day, oh, 57....


Happy Birthday, Eric

To the sweetest No-Talent Ass Clown I know:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And many, many more to come....

60 posts 60 days: Day 5

Making Teeny Tiny Diapers

When Clare was still small, before I was introduced to the beauty of BumGenius in our own home, I bought some diaper-making materials and made a few diapers for her. We had originally tried traditional cloth diapering with prefolds and flats, but her skin was so sensitive to either having wetness directly on her skin or being in the nylon pants that it was a constant battle to keep up with her diaper rash. And the entire time we were trying to be more environmentally conscious, our baby had this grossly sore butt.

Then I started babysitting Connor and he had these delightful Fuzzi Bunz with a fleece lining between his butt and the absorbent insert, and I thought, AH HA! So I bought the stuff and tried making a few of my own for Clare. They worked out alright, but between babysitting and taking care of an infant, there was little time to make more. I ended up buying BumGenius 3.0 one size diapers which she has been wearing ever since with very few problems.

Now that the wee one is going to be joining us, I plan on using the BG diapers, but many reviews comment on how huge they are on a newborn. I constructed a new pattern, cut up some pieces, and sewed up a teeny tiny diaper. It looks like a winner, but I don't have a teeny, tiny butt to try it on as of yet. I have enough material to make eight more. These should get us through most of a day and, with a quick wash at night, we will be able to seriously cut down on our disposable diaper usage! I mean, I'll be up at night anyway, right? Depending on how these go together and how much time is left when they are complete, I might order up another supply of materials and make a second batch. Wash every two days!!! Even better. Plus, even with shipping, it comes out to less than three bucks each per diaper. At 25 cents a diaper, that's only 12 uses and they have paid for themselves. Less than two weeks! And when we are finished with them, we can pass them along to another cloth diaper user. I'll try to post a picture soon.

Hey, only 55 posts to go...


60 posts 60 days: Day 4

How I love listening to a really good reader reading a story.

I'd forgotten what a great reader of stories my mom is. I was reminded, many times over, when she read book after book to Clare during her visit. No stumbling over words, no mispronunciations, extra expression during the exciting parts. It brought me back to the days of Little House books and Narnia and many other classics.

There is nothing like a great reader to really bring a book to life!

Thanks, Mom, for all the story reading, both in our youth and now for your grandchild.


60 posts 60 days: Day 3

"I'm going to play in my toy room."

Translation: "I'm going to take a big poop in my diaper in private."

Today, after MUCH trial and error (months and months of it), I finally either totally lucked out or got the right combination of bribes together. We had a successful poop in the potty! There was much celebrating, a call to tell Cheda, chocolate milk drinking, M & Ms, chocolate chips, and fingernail painting. To those of you who have the easily trained child, who don't believe in bribes, or have some other not so useful commentary, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! Regardless of the way it happened, there were only positive memories from this experience. Which will hopefully translate into many more experiences just like it!

Happiest DAY 3 ever!!!


60 posts 60 days: Day 2

I should be counting down, instead of up. I realized this mistake after posting yesterday, but am way too lazy to change it now.

Today was our last firewood trip for the season! September 8! I guess what makes it so exciting to me is that we were getting our last truckload for last year on November 22nd. And this year there is even a nice little stacking shed under our carport to keep it dry and tidy.

We went up a new drainage, one that doesn't see as much action as Mann Creek. Like favorite hunting or fishing spots, I'm leaving it unnamed. The fall colors are starting to come out and it was quite beautiful. Mike (he took the day off) found a dead-down tree about 75 yards above the road. A nice, dry old-growth douglas fir. He cut a few rounds and rolled them down the hill to see what would happen. They FLEW down the mountain, bounded across the road, and immediately disappeared over the other side.

Now, I've been on the receiving end of many a round of wood ripping its way down a mountain and I'm happy to say, pregnant or not, there was NO WAY I was getting in front of those to try to stop them. I looked over the edge and they were about ten feet below the road, tangled in some brush. After a quick discussion, Mike and I decided he would cut some more and we would hope for the best. I climbed over the edge to retrieve them and immediately wished I had not. Steep. Slippery. Grass. Probably in a not so wise fashion, I carefully maneuvered them back up the hill without killing myself in the process. Clare and I then gathered every branch, rock, and large piece of bark we could find and built a "retaining wall" for the remaining pieces of firewood that would soon be hurtling down the hill.

Retaining wall! Hahahaha!!! The first piece that hit our little wall not only barreled through with the force of a freight train but also took one of those difficult to retrieve pieces of wood with it. There was some swearing. Then, piece after piece followed suit. But there was still no way I was going to sacrifice myself to try and stop them. They were that big and that fast. In the end, we had one and a half pieces still on the road and a few stuck in the brush below. The rest are somewhere half a mile down the hillside. Yes. Still there.

Mike cut a couple smaller trees near the road and rolled them in sections about six feet long. I ended up chasing a few which had to look pretty silly since I'm rapidly losing the ability to bend over but I caught them all. Except for the piece that bounced over a smaller round, then rolled down the front of my shin and landed on my foot (pure genius on my part for not GETTING OUT OF THE WAY). But it stayed on the road, so in all fairness it was probably worth the loss of a large section of epidermis.

So, the woodshed is full. On the 8th day of September. Now on to the eight hundred fifty seven other projects that need to be completed before the first snows come!


60 posts 60 days: Day 1

So this new little baby is due in 60 days. And there's another blog I follow where the blogger is doing 60 posts in 60 days. I thought it would be a nice way to count down to the baby's arrival. Some days they might just be pictures, but it is the thought that really counts these days. Let's see how far we get...


It's still hot! But, in a couple days it is suppose to cool down with highs in the 70s. I'll just let you know that there is at least one pregnant lady in southwest Idaho who is excited by that news. For one thing, there are lots of projects that need attention and no one really feels like climbing around in the attic when it is 95 degrees outside. Lots of cooking too. We have tons of tomatoes in our garden waiting to be transformed into roasted versions of their sun-ripened selves. There is also a large batch of homemade spaghetti sauce planned, corn to freeze thanks to our generous neighbor, and soups and sauces to be cooked, cooled, and frozen for eating later (like after the baby comes and we need something that requires only one hand and no thought to get on the table). I've started making a list of things to make and freeze and hopefully will be able to make extra servings of most meals and freeze them as well. Plus, the delicious Hale peaches should be ripe soon. I love the U-pick orchard!

Since the last post, my mom came for a visit, Clare rode her first horse, we went camping and firewood cutting, visited the U-pick orchard twice, and my belly has gotten huge. I'll put up 26 and 31 week pictures for comparison. And I'm getting breastfeeding thighs. With Clare, I wasn't sure where those extra seven pounds were added, but there is no doubt this time around. They'll be extra cozy for the new baby to sleep on. In the meantime, they should be super helpful when the waddling commences. I'm pretty sure that is not far off.

Here are some pics from the month, plus a couple from our Bend visit that I didn't pull from the camera in time for the last post.

Clare reading with Cheda

Going to the park with Cheda and the sand toys

A nice zucchini from the garden

Watching steer roping with Mike

Riding a horse for the first time with Kiley

Making Mike do the hard work

Camping trip

Diaper change, Thermarest style

Just relaxing with Tiny Furry at Jim and Jessica's

Hiking with Uncle Jimmy

Look Dad, no eyes!

26 weeks
31 weeks


Always Playing Catch Up

It's been HOT! Since our return from Alaska, there hasn't been a recorded high temp here (local paper) lower than 96 with many days in the 100s. And the week that we were waiting to get our air conditioner fixed was brutal. I'm not sure how I would handle it normally, but the pregnant Kate gets CRANKY! And my skin gets all creepy-crawly when the house is hotter than 85. Sleep is a mixed bag. Sometimes decent, more often interrupted. I've been trying to nap, but with the tw0-year-old non-napper in the house, middle of the day sleep has been hard to come by.

So, what have we been doing?

  • Our anatomy ultrasound went great. The baby looks healthy, the heart was amazing to watch in action, and the little munchkin is super active. Also, I've notice there are patterns starting to emerge. One day will be fairly quiet, the next my torso will be under constant attack. Constant. Those are the worst heartburn days, of course.
  • Our attempt at getting out and enjoying a musical weekend at Targhee Fest was defeated by illness throughout the family unit. We just weren't bold enough to brave 90 degree heat, a vomiting baby with a fever, our own ailments, outhouse facilities, and camping on the ground as well. Call us crazy!
  • The following weekend we did drive over to Bend to visit Uncle Jimmy and Auntie J-Dog. Their house cools down at night! And they have a tiny kitten who was lovingly harrassed by Clare the entire time we were there. Jessita showed me how to rework my knitting when I've made a crucial error. Thanks! We went on a very short hike in the mountains with waterfalls and beautiful scenery. Jim cooked up some wonderful food on the grill. It was relaxed and fun and just the thing we needed after being sick. Thanks you two!
  • And, totally out of sequence, in mid-June we went to Gig Harbor for cousin Megan's wedding (not sure if I blogged about this before and way to lazy to check). We took a trip to the zoo while we were there. The highlights for Clare were feeding and brushing the goats, riding on the carousel, and playing on the playground. She also drew the picture of Mike (below) while we were there.
Clare's wonderful Daddy

Mike and Clare on the zoo slide

Brushing the goat

In the budgie exhibit

She's picked out her horse and she's ready to ride

Feeding the goat

Going to see the elephants

Watching the birds and fish with Sara

Just finishing up lunch with Lisa and Sara

Everyone's looking for something - Clare, Kyle, and Eve

Helping Eve blow out eggs for the big 16th b-day

Throw me the stick, throw me the stick! The Kenai River

Painting rocks at Linda's house

Bouncing on the big balls with Linda

This final picture truly illustrates what I love about Alaska. There's just such an overwhelming sense of freedom, the ability to feel like a child and enjoy all the wonderful aspects of nature with a healthy respect for the power it holds as well. Everyone should walk on a shade filtered path, moving at your own speed, dragging a stick in the dust, just because you can, as often as you can! Thanks so very much to Kyle, Lisa, and Eve, for letting Clare and I feel like this for seventeen wonderful days! We love you and we miss you and the rest of our Alaskan friends so much already!