Saturday, October 27, 2012

Xander's Birth Story & the past 7 years

Today we are celebrating the birth of my 3rd child, my son!  I can still hardly believe that it has been 7 years since he was born!  7 years ago at this time, I was checked into the hospital and going through the process of induction.

I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions on a regular basis for the past month, and at my last check up I was already 4 cm dilated.  My doctor suggested that I be induced because I was steadily and continually dilating which meant a couple things; 1) I could "pop" at any time and then we would have a mad rush to the hospital while in labor.  2) being dilated left my cervix open and increased the chance of infection... to both me and Xander.  So I (happily) agreed to go in and be induced 2 weeks before my due date.

When I checked in, I was already 5 cm dilated, which is considered "active labor" even though I wasn't having any contractions.  They hooked me up to a low IV drip of Petocin to get the contractions started, and then took me down the hall to get my epidural, which I had opted for.  My oldest child was born sans-meds and I am sorry, but once was enough for me!  Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist had trouble getting the epidural in, and it must have been crooked or off center, because the left side of my body went numb, but not my right.  I could move my right leg, but not my left.  I couldn't feel the contractions on the left side of my body, but I COULD feel them on the right.  Very strange sensation!  We gave it some time, but nothing changed and I could still feel contractions on my right... though the contractions were very mild.  By this time I was 7 cm dilated and they felt it was too late to try and fix the epidural so we all just agreed to move forward.

My doctor came in and told me she was going to break my water, and then she was going to go have lunch.  I told her I didn't think that was a good idea.  She said she would be right downstairs and not to worry.  Lady, this is my 3rd child!  First of all, with my previous two children, once my water was broken, things moved along very quickly!  Secondly, this is my THIRD child, so I am expecting things to go a bit faster than before!  But she insisted that I would be fine, AND that she would have time to eat lunch. HaHaHa!  As she left the room I told her, "You're not going to have time to eat lunch."

She broke my water, checked my cervix and everything again, (still 7 cm) and left the room.  Right after she left, I had three HUGE contractions.  I knew he was coming.  My husband went and got the nurse, who came and checked me... and guess what?  10 cm dilated and the baby's head was crowning.  They paged my doctor, who had just gotten off the elevator on the lower floor at the cafeteria.  When she came back into the room to find me surrounded by delivery nurses who were scrambling to get everything set up, she said, "Wow, you weren't kidding, were you?"

I only had to push 3 times, and Xander was born.  7 lbs, 0 oz, and 19 1/2 inches long.  He was just beautiful!  We looked at the clock and it was 1:00 pm... only 15 minutes had passed between when my doctor broke my water and when my husband cut the umbilical cord.  I realize I am blessed with quick, easy, uncomplicated labors!  And I continue to be blessed in many other ways in my life every day!  Here is a look back over the past 7 years of Xander's life....

Me, Hubby & brand new Xander

Little Baby Boy!

6 months old - chubby crawler!

Age 1 - swimming

Age 3

4th Birthday

Age 5 - doing some preschool homeschooling

Age 5 - starting Kindergarden

Age 6 - Graduating Kindergarden

Age 6 - this picture was taken just a couple weeks ago.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Where is the Poetry?

I have this desire,
no - this need
to write poetry.
To write something
beautiful, meaningful,
something to transcend this moment.

I desperately search the endless spinning thoughts in my mind
flipping through a photobook of my life,
in my head, searching for the poetry.

Is there still poetry in my life?
Is there poetry in my unfolded laundry?
Is there poetry in my organized pantry?
Is there poetry in the dishes I wash, the children's homework I help them with, the dinner I cooked, the hours I spent away from home working or grocery shopping?
Desperately, I try to find the poetry in my life.
Here, by my desk?
There, by my yoga mat?
In there, where I sleep?

Where has it gone?

When I was young, the poetry came easily
filled with teenage angst
the search for love,
the search for God,
the search for Meaning.
Somewhere, somewhere along the way
the words and I,
we drifted.

I still have this love affair with words. 
With paper, and pens, and journals and blogs.
Books half-filled with things I write,
and half filled with blank pages full of what I cannot say.
Piles and piles of these half filled journals,
but where is the poetry?

~ Wendy Josephine McDowell 10/26/12

Friday Fill Ins 10/26

Some random fill-in-the-blank blog prompts can be found every Friday at Friday Fill Ins!  Here's mine for this week;

1. Oh, that twitching in my eye?  Don't worry it should stop... sometime after the holidays!

2. It's a sure sign of being a mommy when you get all teary-eyed and emotional when your kids have another birthday.  How time flies!  Where did it go?

3. Are we having a minor panic attack again??!. Don't worry, it will pass soon!

4. My heart believes in kindness.  I think people are really genuinely kind, or at least want to be.  I still have faith in you, humanity!

5. Do you believe in Angels? I DO!

6. I'm a glass half full type of person!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing my yoga and going to bed, tomorrow my plans include my son's birthday party and Sunday, I want to sleep in late!


How about a Halloween Version for fun?

1. Oh, that huge wart on my nose?  It's part of my witch costume.  I really get into the spirit of things.
2. It's a sure sign of Halloween when we spend more time making the house look haunted, dirty, creepy, and abandoned then we do cleaning it.  Haunted houses are NOT clean, silly.
3. Are we having wing of bat again??!.
4. My heart stopped beating years ago.  Join me, let loose the mortal coil and come frolic in the realm of spirit!.
5. Do you believe in vampires? I do!  I've had to kill three of those bloodsuckers already this week!
6. I'm a vampire slayer ghost
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to haunt you in your bedroom, tomorrow my plans include slaying a few more vamps and Sunday, I want to join my living family for a dumb-supper!

So today is my husband's birthday.  Happy Birthday to my wonderful, hard working, patient, honest, loyal husband!  You were born to make the world a better place and you have made that difference in my life and for our kids!  Thankyou and I LOVE YOU!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Home Organization Challenge - The Pantry - Week 3

I did this challenge back in September, and now I am finally able to share with you the pictures of my completely re-organized Pantry!  Thanks so much to Toni and all the other home organizers at A Bowl Full of Lemons for some great ideas and for sharing pictures of their pantries as well!  I got all the plastic bins at The Dollar Store, plus the door hanging shoe organizer was found for a few dollars at Family Dollar.  I made my own labels with tape and a marker... not as "pretty" as some other pantries I have seen in the challenge, but working on a budget we had to aim for functional!

The Floor on the Right;

 The Floor on the right;
Canvas bag on wall hook holds all my canvas shopping bags.  The cardboard soda box in the upper right corner is for plastic bag storage.
The Floor on the Left;
 The Floor on the Left;
Stacked up all the mason jars nice and neat.  Used the large plastic bin for extension cords, power tools, painting supplies.  (We don't have a garage so the pantry doubles as tool storage area)
Lower shelves on the Left;
 Lower shelves on the Left;
Condiments, Hot Sauce, Rice, Soup
Coupon/Menu Planning, Pasta
Upper shelf on the Left;

Upper shelf on the Left;

Breakfast foods, Drinks, snacks
Lower Shelves on the Right;
 Lower shelves on the right;
Canning supplies, Canned vegetables
Canned beans, dry beans, Onions (fresh & Canned), canned tomatoes & tomato sauces
Upper Shelf on the right;
 Upper Shelf on the Right;
assorted vinegars, assorted canned meats
My Pantry leads into the Laundry room, which doubles as our "Garage"... not a garage, but the place we store tools and garage type items.  So once I got the pantry done, I was motivated to keep going and do the Laundry Room & "Garage" area.  the Home Organization Challenge at A Bowl Full Of Lemons had each of these areas listed as separate weeks challenges, but you do what you can with the space you have!  Here are some pictures of my organized Garage/Laundry Room area, (just the afters, no before pics, sorry!)  But if you want more ideas for organizing your own Laundry Room or Garage, check out ABFOL!

I used a door hanging shoe hanger for frequently used household items like screwdrivers, duct tape, batteries, flashlights, even sunscreen lotion and bug repellent spray!

 Laundry Soap, laundry soap making supplies, bug spray
 Pet Care items, Car care supplies, bicycle repair stuff, miscellaneous tools, some cook books, and some DIY books.
I hope this blog post helps you with some ideas for organizing your own pantry, laundry room, or other storage area!  Don't forget, the real key to doing this was to GET RID of stuff you don't use or need! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thursday's 13 - Halloween Party Prep List

      One blogging meme I have always loved doing is Thursday's 13.  Oh how I have missed you!  I'm a list-maker anyways... so having an excuse to make a list of thirteen things every Thursday is just.... divine!  So in re-joining the world of blogging, I just had to jump in with a Thursday 13.... and the timing is perfect because I really need a bit of a To-Do List to keep myself organized right now! 
      This Saturday is my son's birthday!  In between the moments when I become catatonic thinking to myself "Oh. My. Gosh. My. Baby. Is. Turning. SEVEN."... I have somehow managed to plan this huge Halloween themed birthday party for him!  Then sometime yesterday I realized that there are only a few days left until the party, and the panic really set in! Double the panic by throwing in a couple days of work where I wasn't home long enough to do anything, and here we have it, tomorrow is Thursday; my one day off before the party!  EEEEKKK! 

So here it is;
Thirteen Things I Need To Do Before The Party!

1) Buy his presents.  Well, buy at least one more thing to go with the two smaller gifts I already got him :) Edited 10:34 am Thursday.  DONE
2) Wrap his presents.  Which also involves buying the wrapping paper.  So does that count as one task, or two?  Hmmm...
3) Buy the last of the goodies for the party.  A couple prizes to give kids for the games we play, and some candy to send them home with.  Hey, I am entertaining these kids in my house for a couple hours... the least I can do is send them home to their parents with a sugar high!  It's called payback.  Or Karma.  Or whatever.... you owe me so don't complain! Edited 10:34 am Thursday.  DONE!
4) Clean up the back yard.  You know, check for broken glass, nails, trash, cat poop.  Because I don't want this crowd of hyper kids tracking poop or blood into my house.  That's just bad party ju-ju.  Edited 12:12 pm ThursdayDONE!
5) Once the yard is cleaned up a bit, figure out where things will be hidden for the Halloween Scavenger Hunt.  Then make the clues that will be part of the Scavenger Hunt game :) Edited 12:12 pm ThursdayDONE!
6) Get the trick-or treat pumpkin baskets out of the attic.  Because for some reason they didn't get brought down with the other Halloween stuff, and of course I need them for the other Halloween Game we will be playing! Edited Saturday 11:00 am - DONE!
7) Clean the house.... the usual daily stuff like dusting and washing dishes and putting away the toys and laundry.  (Thursday) Edited Thursday night DONE
8) Finish organizing the girl's bedroom closet.  Not that this really has to do with the Halloween party, but it's my project for the week and I really want to get it done before the weekend. Edited 2:38 pm ThursdayDONE!
9) Make a cake and decorate it.  Oh yeah, that. 
10) Make green jello jigglers and then put a few in each little plastic sandwich bag.  The "other game" I mentioned?  It's called Brain Toss and it's like a beanbag toss but we are using "Brains" (bags of green jello)... tossing them into those plastic pumpkin trick or treat buckets.  Oh yeah and the buckets will be on top of someone's head.  Yup.
11) Final pre-party cleaning. (Saturday) The mad dash to get the house nice just so a bunch of kids can come terrorize it.  Why do I torture myself?  Because I LOVE my son.  That's what I tell him anyways.
12) Set up the hidden clues around the yard for the scavenger hunt before the guests arrive.
13) Get the kids dressed in their Halloween Costumes.  Because oh yeah, did I mention it's a Costume Party too?
Meanwhile, try not to go insane. 

Home Organization Challenge - The Kitchen - Week 1

I joined this challenge at A Bowl Full Of Lemons starting on Sept. 1st.  But since my computer wasn't working back then, I couldn't post my results.  But I can NOW!  So I will go thru and post the challenges that I completed, with my own pictures and links to the challenge!

Week 1 was The Kitchen!
See the "How To Organize The Kitchen" post and pictures of a beautiful kitchen!  This is what inspired me!  Seeing these pictures is what gave me the ideas that I implemented in organizing my kitchen!  Check it out!

This is my coffee and tea station! 
All the coffee & tea making supplies, coffee cups & mugs, my french press and coffee grinder... all in one cabinet!  This makes mornings so much easier!  Before this challenge I had mugs in one cabinet, coffee in another, coffee filters somewhere else... I had to go all over my kitchen to make a cup of coffee or tea!

Vitamin & Medicine cabinet! 
The small cabinet above the sink is now a vitamin and medicine cabinet!  I found these bins at the dollar store.  The green one holds children's medicine - like children's tylenol, benadryl, cold medicine.  So It's all in once place when I need it.  The white bin holds my various vitamins and supplements, along with cough drops.  There is also room up here for protien powder for smoothies and various other "health" items.

The re-organized food cabinet.  I got a long shallow wire basket to hold ramen noodle packets.  My kids are crazy for ramen!  The green basket is called the "Snack basket" and I keep it filled with healthy after school snacks the kids can choose from... like granola bars, apple sauce cups, raisins, etc.

The baking cabinet!
All in one place - everything that has to do with baking!  Flour, sugar, corn meal, pancake mix, and the seasonings commonly used for baking... like cinnamon and vanilla.  I love having this all in one place and I have actually made cookies from scratch twice already since organizing my kitchen!

The Plastics Area
Plastic food containers, ziplock bags & sandwich bags, and plastic wrap.  I also store tin foil here. 

Under the sink. 
I found a plastic basket to keep all the household cleaning supplies all in one place... plus it prevents them from falling over and rolling to the back of the cabinet!

Ahhh - nice and organized!
I used to feel like there wasn't enough space in my kitchen!  But once I did this project, I realized I HAD plenty of space, I just wasn't using it very well!  Sorry there are no "Before" pictures with this challenge, but you're better off not knowing!  I hope this blog inspires you to organize your own kitchen, or at least gives you some ideas on how to better use the space you have!  Don't forget to check out A Bowl Full of Lemons for step-by-step instructions on how to organize your kitchen!  And you can see links to other great blogs which have posted their kitchen organizing process and results too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Haunted Yard - Wordless Wednesday!



I'm back! And I brought TACOS!

Well, I haven't blogged in forever and a day! But latley I have felt inspired to blog again so I figured I would come back!  It involved spending some time convincing Google that I am indeed the creator of this blog, since I hadn't used it in so long and had forgotten my password.  So here we are!  We survived another summer in the desert, and it's starting to cool down again.  Today was beautiful with a high of 78... it's that time of year that we all LOVE living here.  Kids are all in their second quarter of school - I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that they are in 8th, 3rd, and 1st grade this year!  I have many ideas for things to blog about, but for my re-entry into the blogging world I figured I would keep it simple and just share a really easy recipe with you.  This is what we had for dinner tonight and it was a great hit!
Turkey Tacos
1 lb ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chile peppers
1 packet taco or fajita seasoning (brand of your choice)
1 package taco shells (hard or soft)
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 package shredded cheese - your choice
Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet.  Drain.  Add the can of green chile, the (drained) can of chopped tomato, and the taco seasoning pouch.  Mix well on high heat until bubbling, then reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, chop up the big tomatoes and get the shredded cheese ready.  Toast the taco shells in the oven as directed.

Stuff the taco shells with the meat mixture, a layer of shredded cheese, and the tomatoes.  Optionally, add some sour cream and hot sauce... we love Tapatio brand hot sauce for our tacos!  These would be great with some avacados on top too, if they are in season!

There you have it, an easy meal!  Ground turkey is a leaner meat and a great healthy choice to substitute instead of ground beef, and my family loved these tacos tonite!  For a bigger family you might want to double the recipe... my family of 5 gobbled down all 12 tacos!  (And I only got one!)  Serve them with some Refried beans or spanish rice, or even just with a nice fresh salad and enjoy!