Monday, August 20, 2012

I think I "can"

What better to do while moving from one home into another with projects up to our ears?  Add another project, of course!  Completely unrelated, of course...

CANNING!  I've enjoyed canning for about 3 years now, starting with pickles and hot peppers from our very own garden, moving on to pinto beans because we eat CRAZY amounts of beans and I hate cooking them in small batches, and this year moving on to corn and peaches.  Corn because there was a crazy sale and peaches because Kari and Jonathan got a GRIP from their peach tree this year.  Kari was able to help me one evening and it was definitely more fun to do it in a pair, but there were SO MANY it took me 2 nights!  Until midnight! We ended up with 22 quarts of pach halves, 5 quart bags of frozen slices for smoothies, enough pie filling for a 9x13 cobbler (frozen), and 8 pints of peach sauce, like apple sauce but yummier. SIn spite of the time spent, there is something soooooo delicious about home-canned peaches, they are 1,000-million times better than store canned, so it was definitely worth it :)

Now back to the house!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Good news!

Good news time!

1. We are well on our way to getting moved in to the new house!  We have ripped out all the carpets, cleaned and sealed out the multiple pet stains, ordered new carpet, and it's being installed next week. We have scraped all the ceilings, textured them, and painted them. We have painted 80% of the house, including all the trim, and this weekend I'll be finishing the edges in the mostly-finished rooms.  We picked out colors for the entire house in one fell swoop which was GREAT - the colors all flow and coordinate and can play in accents from room-to-room and, by gosh, they are COLORFUL.  From day 1 we painted the last house with the intention of selling it; this house we are painting with the intention of LOVING it!  It's so fun to walk into each room and be so excited about what we picked, and I can't wait to post pictures of what we ended up with :)  Of course, this means there are 1,000 things to do to complete the house - assemble and space plan furniture, coordinate bedding, make curtains, organize closets, figure out art, and... and.... and....  BUT STILL.

2. I found a doctor! In Pueblo! Who does VBACs! Turns out this was more of a major miracle than I even imagined, as there are a whopping NINE OB/GYN's in Pueblo.  Hmmmm, 100,000 people in Pueblo, so roughly 50,000 women, of which probably 30,000 are of the age to necessitate an OB.... and NINE OBs to serve them.  That's only about 3,500 patients per doctor! And only half of those 9 will do vaginal births after cesarians. No WONDER it's been such a fiasco... but the good news is I got one of those few and am set to deliver at Parkview medical center and NOT on the side of the road on my way to Colorado Springs!  Hooray!

3. Joe's job continues to be awesome.  No updates, it's just AWESOME that we get to be together so often. While taping off some trim so Joe could spray with our fantastic new paint sprayer I had a vision of what this WOULD have been like if he was still working construction... it involved an incredibly pregnant me, alone, using a paint roller to do the entire house while the kids literally drove me insane... and then we've have a half-painted house with an insane woman who lived there and a husband who was never home. I like THIS situation MUCH better :)

4. I have the best sister in the WORLD.  You think yours might be better? You're wrong. Sorry.  Kari has watched the kids for us so many times so we could work on the house (the more work we get done the sooner we live even closer to her!) and has opened up the beds in her house so they can take naps during the day while Joe and I continue to work, rather than me dragging them across town to nap while I sit on my incredibly pregnant butt and wait for them to wake up. She says it's no hassle and they're family so they're practically hers, but I happen to know the secret that everyone else's kids are more annoying than your own, so it's a bigger favor than she'll ever let on to.  

5. In the spirit of that secret, I have the TWO best sisters in the WORLD.  You think yours might be better? You're wrong. Sorry.  Elsha has taken in Patrick for an entire week and I happen to know that since he's not her kids he "obviously" has some super-annoying habits that her own children do not have ("thankfully!" she's sighing), but that she'll put up with because she's so awesome. Brian, too.  My parents, too!  Many people to thank for his care. It has made the work this week so much better as Patrick can be....well.... annoying when we need to get things done, like any 4-year-old can be. So having 2 kids instead of 3 (and often having none thanks to Kari) has made this entire project possible. At all.

And that's the good news!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Let it Be

A long, long time ago I made a quilt from all my extra high school shirts - you know, the ones you say "I'll keep that because it would make a good pajama shirt" and then before long you have 12,000 shirts to wear to bed but none for public use? Yep, THOSE shirts, plus some old jeans.  The quilt has served me well over the year, it turns out t-shirts and jean scraps wear just as well in a blanket as they do on your body.  Currently the blanket is doing time on Patrick's bed since we'd left his blanket in Thornton with the furniture we staged.  One day he was taking a look at all the weirdo t-shirts I have sewed in there and noticed one: 

He said "Hey, I know who that is!"
Me: "who WHO is?"
Patrick: "The one in the (right-hand) corner - it's Sirius Black!"
Me: ....die laughing.....

Two very different generations there. Some day I'll tell him the Beatles are even COOLER than Harry Potter. For now, it's kinda funny to think of Sirius Black, escaped from Azkaban, singing "Let it Be."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quiet life

This past weekend we met up with family in Denver for a GLORIOUS vacation of hotels with babysitters, pools, take-out chinese food, and, oh yeah... Kari and Jonathan getting sealed in the temple!  It was a really awesome reason for a trip AND a really awesome trip, so DOUBLE whammy! No pictures from me, of course, I seem to have given up taking pictures - haven't taken a single on in July or August - but I pilfered these from aunt Ann via facebook.  Mwahahaha!  I blogged it first, Kari.

Gorgeous family, huh?  Anyway, I'll let Kari do her own post on that....

After the Denver visit we sent Patrick along with his cousins, aunt and uncle, and Gustavson grandparents to stay in Grand Junction for the week!  I feel slight anxiety at having him gone so long, just because part of the "mom" job description to worry even when there's nothing to worry about, but I know he's in the best of hands and the best company so I doubt he's feeling any anxiety at all - just fun!  I saw a picture of a massive fort of blankets and boxes that uncle Brian built them today, and who could feel anxious when they've got a playplace like THAT?  Nobody.  I imagined that without Patrick the noise level 'round these parts would be roughly equal to what it was, Patrick is a pretty quiet kid, but I was wrong!  It's been quiet... so very quiet....

Here's what I think it is: Patrick and Eli are good buddies and, when being good buddies, have a good time teaming up against Caroline.  Eli and Caroline are also good buddies, but BETTER buddies when Patrick is out of the picture.  Eli has been sitting down with Caroline and a heap of books on the floor, "reading" to her and pointing out the things I typically point out in books ("count the trucks!" or "which shape is green?"); they just get along so well!  Of course they still have their moments because Eli is a terrible tease and Caroline can be a terrible whiner... this is a common example....

Eli, so sweetly: Poony (her nickname from the kids), do you want this book?
Caroline: Yeh (says it very concisely)
Eli: No! You can't have this book, this is for big boys!
Caroline: NO! Don't! (insert slapping Eli on the head a few times)
Me: ELI, share the book with Caroline right now...
Eli, so sweetly: Poony, do you want this book?...

...and it all begins again.  Anyway, it's been fun having them play together so much and I've asked Eli a number of times if he misses Patrick and the answer is a matter-of-fact "no." I bet he'll realise how much he missed him once he gets back and the house is noisy again :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Feelin' hot, hot, hot

I've heard a few times that I'm looking pretty small for how far along I am.  I'm not bragging that anyone has said this because oh, honey, you must be forgetting I still have 2 months to go, but ALSO because I recently glimpsed myself in a full wall mirror at the carpet store and WOW.... those ladies were LIARS. I don't know about the belly size, but my hips and thighs were protesting (loudly) that I not wear those comfy stretchy pants again, they did NOT help the visual situation.  Saaaaaaad.

Meanwhile, my belly is protesting wearing anything BUT stretchy pants!  I get claustrophic when I lay on my back because it makes my lungs feel all out of room to breathe, and lately my pants have been making my belly feel like it has no room to breathe!  I can hardly stand to have a loose-fitting shirt on top of it, much less compression-top maternity pants, and I frequently let it aaaaaaaaall hang out.  SO HOT.  Luckily the kids don't mind the belly, as they enjoy giving the baby hugs and kisses and Eli and Patrick like the feel the baby kick them; Joe has wisely not mentioned that it's time to retire the stretchy pants.

Speaking of baby kicks, I am selling tickets to my new belly-dancing routine - I didn't even have to take a class!  Get pregnant, watch your belly ROLL and PUNCH and POKE in all sorts of unnatural ways.  Again, SO HOT. I have had some active pregnancies (Patrick & Caroline) and some not so much (Eli was my "lazy fetus"), but this blows them all out of the water in terms of fetal action, and that's not just pregnancy brain speaking.  This baby does not leave me alone.  I'm nervous to see if this turns out to be a colicky baby, I suppose time will tell.

That's it for now, and if you ask how I'm feeling it is very honestly "full of baby."   

Friday, August 3, 2012


If you thought new beds were exciting, how about all new carpet? And new paint? For a NEW HOUSE?!

Oooooooh, yeaaaaaaaah baby, we finally closed on the house!  House-S to be precise - on Monday morning we drove to Denver (Kari graciously adopted my kids for the day) and signed the papers and sold our Thornton home.  It was really an interesting experience, we got to meet the buyer!  Not exactly who I'd been hoping for - my dream was that a small family would move in - but he's very nice, is moving in with his brother, they both work construction trades so we felt a little kindred bond there, and it was his 29th birthday that day.  Can't feel too bad for someone who buys a house on their birthday!  Sadly, the sandbox will be put to use for horseshoe pits rather than dump trucks :( So after closing we were rolling in the dough for approximately 24 hours, until we closed on the house in Pueblo on Tuesday and said dough went toward a downpayment, paying off the LAST carpet we bought, and purloining some for new carpet and future improvements here. Still, it was an exciting 24 hours :)

Now our excitement is the new house! It needs a bit of work, but some of that is personal preference (like paint). SOME of it is that the previous owners were smokers and owned a dog that peed ALL OVER THE PLACE. When we bought it we really smelled the smoke but the more we were in it the more obvious the REAL smelly culprit was... and there's no amount of carpet shampooing that'll remove either of those smells (and stains) so we've already been busy! Kari adopted our kids again one day and we scraped the popcorn ceilings - what took us 2-1/2 years in Thornton took us 2-1/2 hours in Pueblo! With 2 people working, no kids distracting, no furniture to move or cover, and carpets not being a problem we SAILED through the house! The next day Joe SAILED through the carpet de-installation so now we have no texture above and no texture below, but big plans for everything. By the end of August we will not have a finished house, but it'll be pretty dang amazing and we'll be officially moved in with the basics done. THEN we can start our pet projects and drag them our for years and years, like updating the downstairs bath and (again) painting kitchen cabinets. Sounds awesome, huh? These are all "before" pictures, I'll have to get a few "during," but they're not very exciting just yet.
Welcome to our humble home!
Tri-level, just like ours last one, but this one actually put some parameters around the living room.  Feels kinda cozy :)
We still have an eat-in kitchen, but back where you see someone standing (the inspector) will be our "breakfast nook," where I plan to feed the kids so all the dishes from our meals won't be the first thing you see when you walk in the door. Phew!

 Fireplace in the basement, we're very excited to have a mantel to hang out stockings on this year.

 This house has some pretty great closets, the kids have already claimed a few of them as their "club house."
And finally, I love that the garage is finished and has tons of shelves already put up.  This is one area we seriously need to crack down on, with all our home projects we tend to accumulate project debris like flies on stink.  Which is NOT a good thing, if you couldn't guess.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Elsha's been writing such cute li'l tidbits about her kids lately, and I have not. This makes me feel a little "why can't you be more like your older sister?" since I laugh at 100 things a day and write down 0, which I know I will regret as my mind fails me more by the day. So here are a few, a very sparse showing, of my kids' tidbits:

Eli has been staying up later and going to bed at the same time as Patrick so he's gotten "in" on our nightly ritual of singing and saying prayers.  Last week he started requesting "All Froo a Nigh" - looks like we have TWO converts to that bedtime lullaby that I was never sung!  Now he sings along, and is quite good - except he doesn't pause during the rests, he just keeps on singing and we have to catch up.  He also knows all the words to "I am a child of God," but he flatly refuses to say the prayer.  When avoiding something (like saying the prayer) he rubs his fists in his eyes for as long as the attention is on him, like "you want me to...what? wait, oh, I'm busy, gotta rub these eyes...rubrubrub.... stiiiiill busy...... rubrubrub....are you still there?" and if we're still watching him, he goes back to rubbing.  What a weirdo.

Caroline repeats LOTS of words now so I like to ask her questions; "are you short or tall?" and she can repeat a word for her answer, even if she didn't know the word to begin with.  Of course, she often gets them wrong and is "old" and "sleepy" and "a boy," but it's WAY fun to hear her answer.  It also comes in handy when she's starting to get frustrated with something, it'll distract her away from a temper tantrum every time!

Patrick's great and has become an old pro at introducing himself and making new friends and now it's almost embarassing!  He instroduces himself to kids at the park, their parents, old ladies at the grocery store, other families at restaurants... but you have to give the kid credit!  He's got gumption. He's also become a SERIOUS hugger - he wants to give you a big, tight bear hug every time you leave, and he just holds you for a long time.  It's very sweet :)  He's also got mad art skills, I scanned a few more in for your viewing pleasure.

A picture of our family driving in the car, apparantly at night - we've got stars, the moon, and my headlights are on.  Yes, that's my headlights, don't make fun of what it could be like Joe did.

Patrick watches Netflix while Eli and Caroline (and usually I) nap in the afternoon, and he's currently obsessed with Godzilla.  So one afternoon he drew Godzilla.
I was knew what it was exactly when I saw it, probably because I understood the context, so here's what the beginning of his show looks like so YOU get the context.  
And he did it from memory. We'll be starting art lessons ASAP.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trite becomes true

You know that saying "fail to plan and you plan to fail"? Yes, I seem to be doing my best to make that come true with my delivery. 

We moved when I was about 23 weeks along or so and I called arond prior to moving to scope out which hospitals in Pueblo do VBAC deliveries (only 1, Parkview), and got the names of a few doctors who specifically do them.  As we got busy and packed and moved that list got lost but I remembered a couple names, so I'd call when I remembered.  I managed to ALWAYS remember on a Saturday or Friday after business hours (for some reason everyone closes at noon on Friday), so those calls were pretty unhelpful and I'd swear I'd remember to try again Monday morning.  *guess what I neever remembered come Monday morning?* It became a standing joke with Joe that I really needed to find a doctor one of these days! 

So sitting at 30 weeks (sounds awful, but it's really only like I missed ONE regular appointment, assuming I could get in quickly to a doctor here.... ASSUMING....) I finally got in gear and started calling around and there is some SERIOUS failing happening.  First, there were 4 doctors the Womens' Services Director at Parkview hospital recommended and 2 are not taking new patients.  WHAAAAT?!  This is SO unheard of for me, I NEVER called an OB, Pediatrician, Dentist, Optometrist, ETC that was NOT taking new patients in Denver.  Are there just fewer Dr's per capita in Pueblo? Or are they stingier on how many patients they have on their files? Or are Puebloans more needy in their health care so on Dr can only handle 1 Puebloan vs. 3 Denverites?  All unanswered questions, all I know is that cut my list in half.  The 3rd IS taking new patients and will be able to see me.... in September. I'm due September 30th. The 4th is taking new patients BUT they need to see my medical files because they don't usually take patients so late in gestation.  Uhhhh... whoops. That was my fault, obviously, but what if someone moves in who is 30 weeks along? Or further? My mom said she moved to Nebraska 2 weeks before Elsha was born, would they just not take her?  Well, those were simpler times, I suppose, and maybe Nebraska doesn't have needy medical patients like Pueblo, Colorado....  But I digress. So they're unsure whether they'll take me, they need to have my medical files transferred first for review.  I didn't wait til Monday, I hopped on the phone that very minute to the Women's Group in Thornton who are VERY helpful and can get my records faxed over... in 7-10 business days.  Okay, now we're 2 weeks out from them reviewing my medical history when they MAY accept me as a patient (more likely, they may NOT, this situation is getting alarming), then we need to schedule a "new patient appointment" which will undoubtedly be another 2-4 weeks, if not months.  New patient appointments are now on my "weird Pueblo things" list, I NEVER did this with myself or any of my children, but the doctors here WILL NOT see you unless you have been to their office prior to meet them.  Really, you need a meet-n-greet to diagnose my 2-year-old's rash?!?  Finding THAT nasty piece out (and having to go to urgent care for a stupid rash in the meantime) had me call a pediatrician in June who could see my kids for this new patient appointment at the convenient time of 10:00 a.m., SEPTMEBER 14th.  2 months out.  Just to say hello.  I'm beginning to think this town is taking crazy pills.

Anywho, delay on top of delay when I was expecting, oh, NONE, brings me to a whopping 36 weeks!  Why even BOTHER?! So then I started thinking....

....why even bother?  What about a home birth? Surely Registered Midwives are not as ridiculous as doctors offices, and considering Caroline's quick delivery I was ALREADY toying with it for this one... so I emailed around to some Midwives in the area and got the message that midwives take a sort of pledge not to treat patients who have blood problems like lymphoma, hemophelia, or (like me) blood clotting issues.  DRAT 100 TIMES!! WHY!?!? 

My third option (not a good thing when "plan C" on your list may be your best hope) is to go to Colorado Springs which, I hear, has more hospitals and doctors who will do VBACs.  Still have to do the medical records transfer and probably endure a new patient visit, but at least people won't talk to me like I've sprouted three heads and want to be seen for treatment.  I'm having a BABY, people, you act like I'm asking for magical moon rocks from space!  Now, back to Caroline's quick delivery, I HATE "plan C" because I will probably end up having this baby on the side of I-25, somewhere north or Fountain and precisely in the middle of NOWHERE.  Wave to me as you drive by! One hour, start to finish, barely gave us time to get to North Suburban hospital 15 minutes away; One hour, start to finish, would be disaster in the back of my Honda Pilot if I'm going to Colorado Springs, one hour away.

My fourth option (plan D)is to say "screw you" to the medical profession and just wait until I go into labor, make sure I'm at least at 9 centimenters, and waltz (or be wheeled, screaming) into the emergency room where they will just have to catch the baby and can't demand I be sliced open.  With a doula (like I had with Eli) I think this option looks mighty do-able right now.  Besides, I doubt a doula would need to see all my stupid medical records.

And wait, I've come up with "plan E" : move in with my parents until this baby comes; VBACs are allowed in Grand Junction, they have a bed for me, and I hear they've got a new kitchen I need to see. PERFECT.