Friday, November 30, 2007

Morphing the Girls

Just for fun, I went to see what celebrities the generator would turn my girls into:




Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Everyday Bullstuff

A few years ago, a neighbor of mine asked me a question. She was sending her kids to the local, parish school (the one I had attended, by the way) and was confused as to why they were starting to teach this thing called "Everyday Math". It was the first I'd heard of any such thing and decided to check it out. My neighbor was on the education advisory committee for the school at some point and tried to buck the system, but there was NO bucking the system. "When the kids go on to public school in the 7th grade (the parish school is only K-6) they will be learning with the public school children who learned "Everyday Math" so we might as well prepare them for THAT." was the standard line of reasoning she had been given.

Her son was having great trouble with this "new math" and had always excelled at math before. She asked me to take a look at the book and see if I could help him (and her) understand it a little better. Another neighbor (one of my best friends)'s child had recently enrolled in the local public schools and she, too was befuddled by this "new math" so I checked out HER book too.

(This, whole thing is pretty funny since I'm not exactly known for my wonderful math skills. I never learned properly myself (just wasn't that interested in math) and I totally regret that I didn't pay more attention to this day! I think they just wanted an "alternative schooler's" point of view or something like that.)

Even a dummy (in math) like me could see that this program was incredibly STUPID and a waste of time. I sat there absolutely STUNNED that someone would invent such a way to confuse children and NOT teach them the basic facts. The books were SO bad that I could only encourage the parents to fight it with all of their hearts and not give up. I told them to teach their children the way THEY were taught and maybe the kids would "go along to get along" but at least would learn the easier/more efficient/old-fashioned way and have a CHANCE of understanding how math really works in the end.

The whole experience made me REALLY happy that I decided to homeschool, but it made me extremely sad for the parents who don't really feel that they have that option and are forced to capitulate to the school's demands that their children receive a sub-standard education. If the parents went to the teachers (and they did) and demand to know why their child is learning this non-sense, or complain that they find it impossible to help their children with their homework...they were encouraged to "learn the new method themselves" and that was pretty much IT.

I'm all for adapting and learning new things, but RE-LEARNING something that you ALREADY KNOW one, really efficient way is like...

Let's say I am a hairdresser. I've been a hairdresser for 30 years and I'm really good at it. I have lots of repeat customers and new customers who LOVE me and my style. Now, the state recommends that I take a remedial course to learn basic, hairdressing skills in order to keep my license. "No big deal!" I say, figuring that I have the experience and knowledge to do quite well. "Oh, by the way..." says the state, "you'll have to learn the 'new hairdressing' wherein you actually do all of your haircuts with a manicuring scissors instead of a full-size one, you have to do buzz cuts with a nose-hair trimmer instead of that Wahl that you're used to, and you MUST use toothpicks instead of perm rods from now on!". "Gee, that's kinda stupid." I say. "WHAT?" says the state, "These, new methods work just FINE. We have been testing them and teaching them for over 4 months to the new hairdressers-in-training and we are finding that they work. If you rock the boat, or refuse to learn the new methods...well, I'm sorry, but you'll just have your license taken away. End of discussion."

Crazy analogy? Tell me what YOU think after viewing this video I just found on this post at Michelle Malkin:

I watched the WHOLE THING with my mouth on the floor.

There is hope. This is a portion from MM's post:

But don’t give up and don’t give in. While New York City remains wedded to “Everyday Math” (which became the mandated standard in 2003), the state of Texas just voted before Thanksgiving to drop the University of Chicago textbooks for third-graders. School board members lambasted the math program for failing to prepare students for college. It’s an important salvo in the math wars because Texas is one of the biggest markets for school textbooks. As Texas goes, so goes the nation.

God bless Texas!


I think Michelle is the lucky lady! Which book do you want, Michelle? Email your address and choice to laura7550atyahoodotcom and I'll send it off!

(Hey, Megan, what the heck are you doing on the computer so early in the morning????)

I like all of your answers, but I have to say, I think Mrs. Mom had the most correctest answer for number three so I'm going to have to offer her a prize for "honorable mention"! (plus, she lives near me so no postage hahaha!)

Looks like I'll have to pose more of a challenge next time I decide to have a contest!

Too Easy (The Contest!)

This morning, as I was writing out the kid's assignments for the week, I told them that they didn't have to do their regular English assignments. I told them that we were going to work on something different.

Me: You are going to do a theme.

Trina: What? Are you SERIOUS?

Matty: YAY!

Matty got out his notebook and started right in (Which is weird because he usually does his work in order and math is first. Plus, he HATES writing.)

Me: Wait just a minute! You are to do an outline today. Refine the outline tomorrow. On Thursday you will write it all out and I'll correct it. On Friday you will write it out, neatly, and read it to Daddy.

Here's what Matty wrote (in about 10 minutes...totally skipping my schedule. I wish I could have scanned his actual handwriting. Trina edited it and they both handed it to me, giggling):

"What I want for Christmas is a Red Rider bb gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time. I think everyone should have a Red Rider bb gun and I also don't think a football is a very good gift."

1. What was the title of this theme?
2. What movie did we watch the night before?
Bonus question (no prize):
3. Why are my kids so weird?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Because I Like Free Stuff...

...I'm having a CONTEST!!!!!!

Later today/tonight, I'm going to post something.
You'll have to guess the correct answer.
If you get it right (and you are the first to answer...and you are NOT a family member), you'll get your choice:
1. A brand new, paperback copy of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle.
2. A brand new, paperback copy of Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy (part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers)
3. Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People.

By posting the prizes first, I hope that you only enter if you want one of these books...but just for fun-you can answer if you don't,too! I just won't post your answer until after the winner/wanter of the prize is announced. I overbought, thinking I didn't have these yet so my mistake will be your benefit!

Also, if you have some...uh...difficulties with these titles, please, don't tell me about it. I LOVE Captain Underpants, and you can't change my mind (the books were the gateway for Matty's reading abilities and love for reading, so I can't knock them!). This is just supposed to be for fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

On The Ledge

This has been a WEIRD Thanksgiving! We didn't get to go to my brother's house because Bocker and Mari were coughing and feverish so we just stayed home and had Thanksgiving dinner here with all of us (we need a bigger table, Mari had to sit in an extra chair off to the side. It's pretty bad when you need a "kid's table" for everyday meals!).

Now, Butch and I are BOTH sick. I sneezed about 2 boxes worth of tissues in the last two days and have a headache and a fever now. BUT, through it all, work HAD to be done so here's what I got done this weekend (in between sneezes)...

1. We changed the girls out of their bunk beds (Trina couldn't even sit up on the bottom bunk!) and cleared 3 TALL KITCHEN GARBAGE BAGS worth of actual garbage out of their room (junk that had worked it's way under and around the big bunk bed). I took off the closet, bi-fold doors because there is no room to open them and now they have a nice, neat, clean, EMPTY room to relax in. I had to sort Analise's clothes too (she gets most of the hand-me-downs from other people and deals from the store I work at).

2. I moved a dresser from the boy's room downstairs to hold the mittens, scarves, hats, etc. in the entryway. THAT project led to me cleaning their room again and re-organizing some of their toys to make more room for them to play a little in their room (only 1 garbage bag worth of garbage from THAT room).

3. I inherited a table/sewing machine from my grandma so I decided to move a couple of bookshelves and make a "sewing space" in my dining room. This project involved sorting books also and much dusting (and cleaning the living room...the toys have been sorted and, along with the doll house, have been moved into the classroom so Mari and Niklaus have easier access to them.

4. Trine got a free playset (big, plastic thing with slide) from the lady she gave her two cats to so she brought it over here and I set it up in the basement. Our neighbor also was getting rid of an old couch and easy chair so Butch made room in the garage for those (it's set up like a living room again! TV, surround sound, insulated and heated!) until either Anna needs them, or we finish the basement.

5. I cleaned the theme (spring/summer) from the ledge above the front door (I climb in through the window that's accessible from the kid's rooms above the porch) and changed it to a Christmas theme.

I am trying to simplify EVERYTHING in this house and get rid of ALL things that are useless or junk to make room for actual people but it's hard for me to stop once I get started. Butch calls this "nesting" but I call it "I can't stand living in FILTH". You know how once you get started on one, teeny, little project, you notice how much other stuff has to be done? Yeah. That's what happened this weekend. Hey, it's not so bad, I got a TON of dusting done and I got my walls painted FINALLY in the living room! I'll do a video tour when everything is all done. I promise I won't open drawers or cabinets to show you how obsessive I can get...I also won't do closeups of the bathroom floors...with all of this organizing this weekend, I sorta skipped the necessary bathroom cleanings. I'll get to it. Someday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

I was feeling a little sorry for myself as three of the kids are down for the count (croupy cough, fevers, headaches) and we may not get to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities.


Then I read about this and I can't think about much else.

Butch is home from out of town, we get the next few days off to do some organizing and getting healthy again. We get time with each other.

We are all HERE. We are all alive. We may not be 100 percent healthy, but we are generally healthy and well.

Hug your babies! Whisper a prayer for ALL of our brothers and sisters that can't this weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Niklaus' Big Day!

I have a cousin who married a man named Kenny. He is from a big family in our home town and is a great man. I loved him from even before he and my cousin were married because he would joke with us little girls all the time and didn't seem to notice that we were mere kids. We used to tease him because he is "x" number of years older than our cousin by joking with him about needing a cane, a walker, having gray hairs, etc. and he would always play along. We (Trine and I) would always be recruited to be "servers" at the reception of our cousins because we were younger and had no lives, basically. We served at Kenny's wedding and followed their lives as they went on to have 3, stunningly beautiful children, and serve our hometown parish and community in many, wonderful ways. They (their whole family) are such humble, sweet, caring's funny we're related haha!
Anyway, Kenny's family was raised on a farm just outside of town that has an unusual feature...a round barn! I never knew about it (which is silly, since I must have seen it hundreds of times in my life) until I saw him a couple of months ago when we were at the grocery store, getting flowers to give to Anna at the airport (all of the kids were with us and Trine was in the store when I saw Kenny in the parking lot). He told me that he was trying to get into the fields to bring in the beans but that it was too wet. When I realized, with those words, that he still farmed the land a little, (his parents moved off the farm just a few years ago and it's been empty but Ken still works a few of the fields around the farm just to keep it up. His real job is in the U.S. postal service for a neighboring town.) I got very excited because Bocker has been wanting to ride in a tractor for the LONGEST time and he'd been seeing combines everywhere. He can describe for you all of the details of harvesting corn and knows what most farm equipment is called by seeing just a picture of if. I don't know why he is so fascinated by that stuff, but I suppose it's in his blood a little (both of our families farmed in past generations)? Anyway, Ken said he'd be happy to have Bocker see him harvesting and maybe get a ride when the time came. The time came!

Round barns have a very interesting history in the U.S.. There are not very many of the original buildings still standing and I was so happy to get a tour of this fascinating structure. The farm itself is such a cute, neat, little farm and Kenny was so generous with his time to show us everything we (well, ME, since Bocker had only eyes for the combine!) wanted to see. The barn is amazing on the inside with NO trusses and open all the way to the rooftop (you can see the daylight through the top windows). There aren't very good windows so the inside pictures didn't turn out very well, but I took a few pictures of the hooks and pulleys that were originally used to grasp the bunches of hay and stack in the barn. If I had a couple hundred thousand dollars, I'd buy that thing and renovate it for wedding receptions, or get-togethers and maybe turn the house into a gift shop/historical society for the town. In the next picture, if you can click on it and get a closer look, you can see the swampy area and woods beyond the farm through the oddly placed "window" on the right side of the barn. It's in a little wall that connects the barn to a silo.

Kenny had already harvested the fields (he said it would have been hard to combine with Bocker in the tractor since the fan was broken and the dust was pretty intense) so he gave him a ride to his brother's property adjoining the family farm about a half a mile away through the fields. I took the van over to the house to wait for Niklaus and Kenny. When they got out, Niklaus had a thoughtful expression on his face. He was so quiet in front of Kenny and his brother, and an elderly neighbor that had stopped by on his four wheeler (I got video of them chatting because I love the sound of their German accented, farmboy voices!), but when we got in the van, he chatted nonstop about his big ride and had a million questions about the whole thing. He probably will talk about all of this until he gets a chance to see planting in the spring! I know for sure that he will never forget his ride! I'll never forget the few times I got to go in the combine with my Grandpa Rudy. It was a pretty rare privilege because of having so many cousins, so I'll treasure that time alone I had with him.

Being in a tractor makes you feel like you're on top of the world...
According to almost-four-year-old boys...and their thirty-something moms!

Again, This Woman Is A Genius

OH, I know, she's not "perfect". But I think she's hit this one on the nose!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weird Connections

I was looking up Mass times for local churches to see if anyone had a 6pm Mass. I found that St. Martin's in Rogers has one so I am going there tonight. As I was looking up today's saint shortly afterward, I saw that it was St. Martin of Tours (I don't know if St. Martin's Church is named after this particular St. Martin, but I still thought it was cool.). He is the patron of soldiers! I thought that was pretty neat since today is Veterans/Armistice Day!

As I was looking up more info on St. Martin, I saw a funny word used for a kind of monastery:

Who knew?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

By The Grace Of God

...I was able to save this baby." He says. Like Amy wrote...get past the music video and promo and listen to the last few minutes.
It's amazing what one, little word or moment of kindness can do for all of mankind.

"...our dreams can be our worst enemies if our dreams are not aligned with God's will!" -Eduardo Verastegui

We saw Bella tonight. It was very good and I loved the message. A few criticisms I would have are that I didn't like all the shaky camera/extreme closeup action. The whole movie had sort of a strange flow that I would have liked to be a little smoother. I wish they would have stepped away a bit. I did love the interplay between the actors. They seemed like a real family. I believe they said a lot without a ton of dialogue and I loved the "Spanglish" in the whole film. I am happy that I didn't read anyone's review before I went to see it because I'm sure it would have ruined it for me. I'm really happy that it wasn't really a romantic story so much as it was about true love. That's all I'm going to say about it!

Friday, November 09, 2007


As if I needed more convincing that soldiers were admirable, brave, honorable, and...H.O.T.! (Ladies, don't watch this unless your hubs is in town and you have time for a date tonight!)

Pointed out to me by Michelle's soldier hubs, Bill.


Sorry, girl soldiers, it's not the same for you. You do a great job, but don't look as hot in the uniform!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Price of Freedom

Analise and I went out for a special mom and daughter night tonight. Unlike me, my girls LOOOOOOVE shopping so we went to the clothing store I work at and got some things for Analise and Mari. After, we went down the mall and into a Dunn Brothers where we had cocoa, and coffee, and a little snack. Weazy chattered the whole time about all kinds of things and it was a nice time for both of us.

She said that she was really thirsty for some water and noticed that they had bottled water on the wall by the cooler.
"Should I go over there and see how much it is?", she said. She's becoming more aware of the price of things since we try to be frugal and she is learning about how much things cost and the value of things.
"Naw, I'll just go up to the counter and get some ice water.", I said. When I came back she asked, "How much was it?". I told her it was free and you should have seen the look of pleasure on her face. "Wow, REALLY? That's so COOL!".

Could you imagine a conversation like this 20 years ago? Who could have imagined that we would see a day where water was a major monthly purchase (or filters for "purified" water)?

Our purchases for the night: $28
Water: Free
Spending alone time with my 7 year old: Priceless

Katrina, Analise, and Mariela with their new haircuts. I think Analise has a piece of Halloween candy in her mouth. Mari's hair is covered by her "'at" but you can see the curl at the bottom if you look close. I thought cutting off the mullet would make it all straight (that's what happened to Trina's when she was little) but it's even more curly now that the infant fuzz has been snipped off. Analise's is a curly swirl but it sure looks cute and is much easier to brush through. I hope they all grow it long again, but this is how they like it for now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Working on Finding Work

"Deaf people can do anything, except hear."
I. King Jordan
Gallaudet University

I just found out that one of our good friends (who happens to be hard of hearing) has been laid off from his job of 22 years. He worked in a local cabinet shop and was not ever treated very well by the company. Please, pray for him and his family (wife and one 12 year old son).

He has one of the best work ethics I've ever known. He can do almost ANYTHING, and has helped Butch with every project he's ever done around both of our houses (we used to be neighbors in the town over. His mom and dad moved just down the street from us now so he has an excuse to visit often and will lend a hand no matter WHAT). You couldn't find a nicer person with a better attitude and I think it's a shame that his talent is going to waste. His wife taught me ASL and, even though I am FAR from proficient, we communicate very well and I'm so happy that God put us together over the years. We first lived in the same apartment building but didn't really know each other (I knew they were deaf and we waved to each other all the time, but never really moved in the same circles or had time to stop and say 'hello'). One day, when Trina was only a few weeks old, I saw my cousin with her-helping her move out. It turns out that my cousin is married to her husband's brother (they are sis-in-laws) and I finally got to meet her. I was all bummed out when I found out that they were moving, but my cousin told me, "Laura, don't worry, they are moving RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO YOUR PARENTS!". I always laugh when I think of the irony that two, deaf people moved next to my MOM (known for her talking...even worse than ME).

Anyway, the company our friend worked for has been almost borderline abusive of him and has given him only teeny-micro-puny raises, has gotten his attention by throwing things at him, has talked about him while he is in the room in a bad way, and generally never really tried to understand him or has given him credit for the wonderful person he is. I never heard him complain about it too much. Mostly his wife and other people that work there told me these things but it broke my heart to hear that someone like him could have been treated in any way other than with dignity and respect. He never really had the confidence to change jobs as many people are afraid to hire "handicapped" persons and I think he was just happy with what he had and that he could provide for his family with the job. I think he was WAY under-utilized and underpaid because he is so skilled at almost every project he attempts. He is a perfectionist. He is super social and gets along with everyone. I hope he finds a job soon so this won't be too hard of a winter for them. I know there are a lot of people in the construction business suffering right now and he is having a hard time finding anything around here for work.
Please pray for my sister, too. She still hasn't found anything (or heard back from any interviews) after a month of looking.

Thank you for your prayers and suggestions!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Name That Tune?

She's got such style about the whole thing. I think she might be the next American Idol. She's got the funky hair for it. Although, it's a lot less funky since I just cut off her mullet last week.

You can see it's getting close to bedtime in that video because Bocker gets really wound up and was attacking Katrina while she was filming Mari. He runs all around in his underpants and picks on absolutely everyone until its actually time to go to bed.

Also, take not on how she says, "I want to see". She says it like this, "iwahsee, iwahsee" twice, just like that, every time. She wants to see her picture on the little screen in the back of the camera so soon I barely have time to catch her in her "cheeeeeeeese" poses. At the end of it, I'm trying to get her to say, "I love you" but she thinks I'm counting and keeps saying "two" after I say, "I...". She's VERY advanced! I especially love the way she just ignores Bocker's distractions and keeps on singing her song and riding her horse. She's all set to be a big sister, I can tell already!

She just kept going on and on. I think she might be saying, "Halloween" over and over but it sounded to me like "Purple Rain" which wouldn't make much sense since she's never heard that song (that I know of!). I did watch that movie in the middle of the night one time last week. It was as horrible as the last time I saw it. Prince is SO...well, I'll just let YOU fill in the blank on that deal. I remember it being such a huge thing for Minnesota when he rose to fame. He was/is such a weird duck (very talented guitar player, though) and just an absolute train wreck as an "actor". It was one of the worst movies I think I've ever wasted my time watching.

No...scratch that...Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour was the worst movie I've ever gone to a theater to see. I brought Trina for a special mom/daughter night (because it was the only pg playing) and we were the only ones in the whole theater...oh...except for the box elder bugs that were attracted to the warm spot in front of the projector and we saw their shadows crawling across the screen through the whole movie. THAT was the ONLY scary part of this movie, besides the acting. We laughed so hard at the actors attempts to be really dramatic. It was so cheesy, and stupid, and we found out it was supposed to be the "first in a series". Heeheeheehawhawhaw...if there's a "second in the series" it will most likely go STRAIGHT to dvd and not sell ANY copies. The actors were all related to the producers/directors I think, and they looked like they took some weekend acting classes right before filming. They had such robotronic hand gestures and poor delivery, it was worse than a third grade skit. Check the movie out when it comes out on DVD (if you have a free coupon or something), purely for the comedic value!


Well, I guess I officially lost the challenge now. No excuses. I just woke up at 2 am and realized that I didn't officially post for Sunday. Oh well. I was too worn out anyway! We had my sister, Anna and her new boyfriend over for dinner. We just bought half a cow so we were using up our steaks from last year. It was pretty good! No E-Coli or anything! Then we mostly took naps and relaxed. Perfect Sunday, if you ask me. I did get called into work (I struggle to get hours, there are a lot of moms who work there more consistently than me so I grab any hours I can!) from 5-8, which was kind of nice. I love helping people during store hours (I usually stock late at night) and love chatting with people about who they are buying for, what ages their children are, what looks good with what...I especially love it when I see a dad buying for the kids or a grandma or grandpa with the kids. I helped a big, huge dad with sort of a Russian or maybe Polish accent, help buy some things for a 3 year old and a 7 year old (boys) that would be "sent overseas". I wish I could be nosey sometimes and ask more questions of the customers, but they do have to finish their shopping sometime! It's pretty amazing how many international people come to the Outlet Mall and how many different languages and accents I hear when I work there during the day! 20 years ago, you would NEVER have guessed that we would have this much of the world represented on any, given weekend in this little ol' town!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


HA HA! You thought I missed blogging today, didntcha? Well, technically, it is still Saturday because of that silly "daylight savings" thingy! I just got off of work (I worked 8pm-12am and even though I know it really is Sunday, it's still Saturday for ME!) and ate some dark chocolate so I am rarin' to go! I just thought of a fun idea...

What if I advertised just to friends and family that I could be a "bus service" for a wedding night with my 15 passenger van? Wouldn't that be fun for the wedding party? I could cart them around and even offer rides home at a certain time at the end of the party (for an extra fee, of course!) I could even wear chauffeur's gear and put some snacks and drinks in the back of the van. I think it would be fun and a neat way to make a little cash on a weekend. What do you think?

Today we had a very productive day but it was also very busy. I had my nieces overnight and we went to Space Aliens for lunch. I looked in the rear view mirror as I was driving everyone (my five plus my two guests) and had a very nice feeling about seeing them all back there, buckled in, being silly and cute. It's good to have all of your children gathered in one spot, all heading to the same destination, and all in a pretty good mood. Isn't it? Plus, it's so cute to have that big van almost filled up (Butch came with us and I took out the first seat so it's only a 12 passenger right now).

It gives me a nice feeling.

Also, I met my sister in law at Great Clips because she had to get little Johnny's hair cut anyway and I ended up using two of her coupons to get Trina and Weazy's hair cut! They look so very cute with their new dos. I'll have to post a picture tomorrow!

It was a pretty good day.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Okeydokey, so I guess November is "blog posting" month and people are being challenged to post every day in November. No problemo! I've got lots and lots of things to post about. They might be boring to most people, but it will be fun anyway.

So, tonight we are watching Meet The Robinsons with my two nieces, Ani and Lexi. Lexi's birthday was yesterday so I thought it would be fun to have them overnight and they are watching it right now, next to me as I type! My kids liked it in the theater. It was weird, but pretty funny and they made me buy it at Wal-Mart today. It got me out of taking them to Chuck-E-Cheese's but I have a feeling I'll have to use that CEC coupon tomorrow!

I have some political issues I am going to post about, some faith issues, some medical issues, and of course, kid issues (those will be the funnest ones!) so...stand by...

NOT Too Personal!

In my last post's comment box, Lee asked a question:

Hi Laura-

I am so happy that your ultrasound went so well and that everything looks great!

I hope you don't mind my asking, but it's rare (unfortunately!) to have the opportunity to ask this of a woman who has had (almost) six children. You mentioned that you have big babies -- has each been bigger than the last? My last (#2) was 10lbs, 6 oz., and I'm rather worried about the next one. I didn't have gestational diabetes either..
If this is too personal of a question, please ignore!

Again, congrats on the great news about Thomas!


I think I've talked about this before so it's not big deal for me to mention it again!
1. Katrina, born 2 days after (ultrasound predicted) due date (all natural, not induced): 8lbs

2. Matthew, born 2 days before (ultrasound predicted) due date (induced because we thought he was breach...went for ECV a week before but it didn't work so we went to the hosp. for cesarean and wallah, he had turned in the night! So, the doctor said I was HUGE and he would gel me and that's pretty much all it took to get him going...he was born about 6 hours after the second "gelling". Also, a bit unusual but I had a TREMENDOUS amount of amniotic fluid which allowed him to wiggle around so much even though he was): 9lbs 6oz

3. Analise, born about 5 days after (ultrasound predicted) due date (induced for no other reason than it was a good time for everyone, I guess):8lbs 13 oz

4. Niklaus, born ON his (ultrasound predicted) due date! All natural, not induced at all. In fact, I would have liked (at the time) him to have waited a week because I didn't feel "ready" for some, stupid reason. I didn't even have a bag packed for the hospital because I was so convinced he wouldn't come for another week or unless we forced him out!: 10lbs 6oz (it was very hard and the epidural didn't work, I thought I was going to DIE from the pain).

5. Mariela, born one week earlier than her (ultrasound predicted) due date. I was in great fear that she was going to be huger than Niklaus because even though Analise was smaller...I just had it in my head that they were getting progressively larger and I didn't think I'd be able to manage an 11 lb baby! Also, she was born on Feb. 26Th and I was worried about the winter drive to a hospital that was a lot farther away (about 45 minutes) and wanted everything to be "under control". It was by far the best delivery with NO pain! She was only 8lbs 5oz so my fears were unfounded.

She probably would have been only a little over 9lbs if we let her go on her own. My doctor said in the beginning that it seemed like my girls might be smaller and I guess she was right! I have the same doctor this time and I was thinking to myself, "If this is a girl, I'm just going to let her go whenever she wants to." but now that I know it's a boy...and I'm unsure about the date (I think the first ultrasound is the most accurate seeing as how my two, other boys were predicted by ultrasound and were pretty close and dead on!), I don't quite know what I'm going to do about that. I guess pray that I'll be able to make a good decision when it gets a lot closer to that time! I have a few hours when I start going into labor, so I know I'll get to the hospital in time (same hosp. as Mari this time) but I REALLY fear another ten pound baby, no matter HOW much "control" I have over the situation. It was HARD. I'm not going to be brave about that. I'm a total wimp when it comes to birthin' pains! I really am so surprised that I survived Niklaus (the after time was NO picnic and was hard to recover from). I got very depressed because of the discomfort afterwards.

The totally stupid, horrible doctor that delivered him insisted that I must have been diabetic (even though I never had any symptoms and passed the test with flying colors!). When I told my regular doctor (he wasn't on call that weekend...I never forgave him for that!) he just shrugged and kind of laughed it off and said that I just had big babies (he is cronies with stupid doctor and even if he was a little miffed at him for suggesting a missed diagnosis, he didn't show it...after that whole show, I went to a different doctor, the one I have now).

Soooo, from my online research, I see that one can have big babies because of being overweight during pregnancy (if it's not diabetes, that is) or if one has a lot of "big boned" relatives (if ya know what I mean!). I think my boys are bigger because I get bigger due to the fact that the girls make me sicker during pregnancy (especially early) and I don't eat as much. I don't have that particular problem with the boys. So, it could be my fault? I was really trying to watch what I ate this time, but I get sick to my stomach if I don't eat and end up pigging out like usual. I've even felt super hungry (like I'm really starving!) after eating a full meal! The last two months have been so weird this time. I've had moments where I feel like I've been fasting for two days and I've just had a snack! It's almost like I'm a bottomless pit. If I don't eat something when I feel like that, I feel like I'm going to puke! I don't know if it's the baby or me but I'm going to blame the baby, I think! Nothing really satisfies me. I'll eat lots of protein, high fiber, moderate doesn't matter. I still feel hungry. Oh well, I'm glad I'll have time to get back in shape before summer, at least! Meanwhile, I'm just going to sit here getting fatter and fatter until I explode or something. Wanna watch?

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Well, I went to the ultrasound appointment today and EVERYTHING is FINE! NO amniotic bands, NO tumors, NOTHING UNUSUAL...except a little, boy named Thomas who isn't really "little" at all!

I have large babies*. I don't have gestational diabetes...just large babies. Yay. Lucky me. Heehee!

Okay, I knew as soon as I posted it that I would get a lot of "you don't have to do genetic testing..." comments. I already knew that, sillies! My doctor, who is 100% pro-life (including NFP only) told them my age and went along with their recommendation to do the GC. So, I figured it couldn't do any harm and I might learn something. It didn't, and I didn't, but now I do understand a little better how the people at Children's hospital view genetic testing and it's uses. The counselor told me that a lot of people think that they do it to terminate the pregnancy when they find something wrong, but that is NOT AT ALL the case. She said that the testing is by no means 100% accurate and they know that, but it does give them a picture of what they are facing and a better idea of how different problems could be managed. Now, I don't know if she was just saying that because she might have sensed that after 6 pregnancies, it might be what I wanted to hear. Maybe, but I got the impression that they were VERY NON-PRESSURE about further testing, compassionate, and very understanding. I didn't tell her one, single thing about how I felt about testing other than that I didn't do any of the blood marker tests before. That's all! So, I really think that what I saw was what I got. I have to say that the 15 minutes that I was in her office was kind of entertaining and not a horrible thing at all. If I was a first time mother with a family history of genetic birth defects, I would want to know absolutely EVERY thing about what to expect with my baby and that's not a bad thing. I am not, though, so I am so happy to report that any fears I had were completely unfounded and wiped away by this ultrasound. When the doctor came in to review the report and double check the baby, he showed me some things on the ultrasound that might be mistaken for bands. He skimmed over the whole baby and uterus and looked kind of funny, as if to say to himself, "What's this lady doing here, anyway? She has three perfectly healthy children sitting here with her and one perfectly normal baby in there! Get out of here already!".

I am an extremely happy mama today!

*I know that the size of the baby in utero to determine when it will be "due" gets less accurate (by ultrasound) the further along one is...but the baby's bones and structures are now measuring 24 weeks, 6 days. It's going to be really hard when I get to the end of this to determine when to have the baby! I am extremely terrified that this one wants to be the "record breaker" and I am NOT excited to break that record! I would try to induce a week early if I knew exactly when that is...but due to my crazy cycle and weirdness about when he is due...I'm not exactly sure when that is! I already feel HUGE. It's gonna be a LONG 4 months, people!