Thursday, September 27, 2007


We've been scared into painting part of our house. That's right. Scared. Part. My dad says our house will rot from the outside in (of course, he lives where algae growing on your house is normal) if we don't deal with the fact that the wood is showing through the paint. That's the scared part. The Part part is because we priced primer and paint. Holy Moly, whatever moly is. We used our 'discount membership' through our insurance and bought what we hoped would be enough primer and paint to do the front of the house. Five gallons of each. Almost $300. Of course, Hubby misunderstood which side of the house was in Dire Need and started on the side of the house instead of the front, and we're going to need more primer. Perhaps the north and east sides will remain Chipped Beige, the west side will live Primer White, and only the front will end up Clary Sage (which I chose while sitting in front of the computer monitor). Wow, to think I get to keep the taxes down without rotting my house away. *sigh* Where IS that St. John's Wort?

Catching Up, A Bit

Somehow life doesn't slow down even when I do...

We are "on our own" now. My mom left Sunday morning, Gi-gi arrived shortly thereafter, and left early Wednesday morning. My mom spent much of her time here enjoying the girls and the kitchen (hers is in remodel and hasn't existed for months). She cooked a lot, and did crafts and activities with the kids regularly. Gi-gi is very practical, and spent her time catching up on laundry and vacuuming and such things.

We went to town yesterday, 3 carseats smashed into the backseat. Needed a new pair of 36x32 jeans for Hubby and about 30 lbs of cantaloupe. I'll explain that later. Hubby led the Search and Rescue Team to locate the infant carseat, which, I'm sorry to say, wasn't in very good condition. It was in a garbage bag, on the floor under some shelves in the basement. Sounds like a decent plan, but the bag had been breached, and moisture and subsequent mold had found it's way onto the pad, in a very ... profuse manner. I didn't see it, which is probably good, but Hubby spent some time cleaning the parts and laundering the pad. It still doesn't look very good to me, but we used a nice little fleece carseat-blanket thing (has the holes for straps already in it) to line it, and used it anyway. Of course, in 6 years, Graco has changed all it's carseats and our "old" model isn't included on the 'replacement parts' list. Perhaps I'll get ambitious and tear it apart or re-upholster it in some fashion. The three carseats mostly fit... The hardest part is Big(gest!) Sister's booster uses the shoulder belt... and you have to cram your hand down underneath and between 2 seats to latch or unlatch it, which is complicated. My folks are sending us a narrower backless booster which I hope will make the whole operation a bit smoother.

Another thing that would make things smoother is if my hips/pelvis would straighten out. I'm not sure what's "wrong", but walking hurts still, and I can't lift much (the baby, but not the carrier too). I may have to make an appointment to be rearranged. When I get tired, my left leg gets hard to lift and scuffs along the floor a bit. Worrisome.

Regarding 30 lbs of cantaloupe: Hubby saw his doctor on Tuesday. He was actually supposed to see him Friday morning, but we were busy then. On this crazy food sensitivity diet, with the rotation, he's lost 11 more pounds. And he ate like a horse. But, as with everything with his diet, it's time to complicate it again. First, he has to do a 72 hour mono-fruit fast. Hence the cantaloupe. Today, tomorrow, and Saturday, ALL he can eat is cantaloupe. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, cantaloupe. Oh, plus a nasty concotion at morning and bedtime; 8 oz water mixed with a tablespoon each of psyllium seed husk and flax. He used boiling water this morning, and ended up having to put it in the blender. His term "gorilla snot" wasn't far off reality. I wonder if he'll use cold water next time. After this fruit fast, he resumes his rotation diet, but eliminates all pork and any beef not 'ground'. AND he adds some crazy herbs to his routine. $100 worth of stuff, a program to clear out any bad bacteria in the intestines. Some he takes 3 of 3 times per day, others one a day. He also has to wash his hands with rubbing alcohol or vodka so as to not reintroduce bacteria into his system. I think I may institute that myself: "Visitors of The Baby, please wash with vodka prior to holding her."

The (elder) girls and I spent some time in the garden today. It's a mystery to me why 90% of my tomatoes are still green, and it's almost October. We picked a couple reds and a small pile of orange ones to watch ripen indoors. The gourds are even ready, and we picked what we could locate in the jungle. I processed the tomatoes I picked just before going into labor, and a few Gi-gi brought, and got 4 more ziplocs frozen. Worst case scenario, I'll try jerking up the vines and hanging them in the garage to ripen before frost hits.

Between Baby, tomatoes, and helping scrape and prime part of the house, I think I'm done in for today. Well, I need to cook dinner, but at least Hubby's dinner won't be very complicated...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mission Accomplished!

Deliverance, you might say. At last. Not without some considerable work, of course, but I didn't have to ask the pharmacist for a pregnancy test after all.

Caution: birth story to follow. Skip to the stats if you prefer. :)

Thursday evening I was having more semi-regular contractions, but still nothing I couldn't talk through or anything. They began to be a little more serious, and around 11:30 they required mild breathing and focus to get through. Still not excruciating. We called the midwife and she loaded her gear and got here around 12:30 a.m. on Friday the 21st. By this time what hurt most was the baby's movements and kicking between contractions. THAT'S why we shoot up with narcotics at the hospital. It's not to 'take the edge off', it's to drug that baby so you can have a break betweentimes! The midwife got turned around in the directions a bit, or would've been here a bit sooner. She examined me about 12:45 or 1:00 and I was at 7-8 cm. Nice! With Little Monkey it only took about 15 minutes from 7 cm to birth, but then I was plugged in to evil pitocin, too. This time I was at 10 for a while before ever feeling the need to push. My water still hadn't broken at that point, and she doesn't prefer to do it prematurely, as it protects the baby from infection, etc. Both previous times the doctor had used his giant crochet-hook to do that. By the time you're at 10 though, labor isn't going to stall, so as her assistant was reaching for said hook (and not holding up her splash-guard) that's when it went. No one looked unusually drenched by the time I was unoccupied enough to open my eyes, but she did say there was 'a lot' of water...

Her assistant dosed me regularly with some under-tongue drops ("Rescue Remedy"? It makes it easier to relax or be happy, I think), over-tongue drops (sheep's bane? Lamb's purse? Some livestock-sounding herb - don't remember what it did), and under-tongue beads (iron sulfate, to help with blood clotting).

After some considerably painful pushing (don't think there's enough 'drops' to make those happy), we had our surprise. Surprise, another girl! Weren't we all wrong! Surprise #2; 9 lb, 6 oz! I only gained in the neighborhood of 20 lbs, so with her, combined with the water loss, maybe I'm lighter than I was last winter...? I wouldn't know at this point, though, because with her extreme skill at sucking, and maybe the herbs, my milk is already coming in, and THAT weighs a bit. I tore a bit, but instead of stitches, I got... some herbs! Yay, herbs. And so far it hurts less than in previous experiences. Even that little spray-bottle-in-lieu-of-toilet-paper has an herby-concoction in it. So far so good. The belly-button treatment is not alcohol, but olive-oil with other herby oils. Gotta love it. And St. John is keeping me happy and (now that I'm taking it more often) lessening the after-pains. THOSE were getting mighty bad.

The Stats:

Born at Home
2:48 a.m. Friday September 21, 2007
9 lb 6 oz (our largest by an oz)
14" head circumference (yeah, felt that!)
14" chest
21" long
Gorgeous, as all our girls seem to be. Sorry this picture is angled funny. Hopefully her beauty shines thru though. :)

She finally even has a name, now. Took us awhile, since Hubby wasn't entertaining conversations that dealt with the possibility that he might be a she. :) And her name is fabulous, though another one to make Gi-gi cringe, I'm afraid. I won't post it here; you'd have to email me for the privilege. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bit O' Progress

Well, the midwife had good news for me. I was beginning to worry that last week she meant "point three" centimeters. I'm at four now, and 80% effaced. Baby is at minus-two station (darn, I was hoping for -5). I managed to do my errands with only one complaint. I'll list it here, just because I'm not sure what else to write... It was my 5th of 6 stops, to pick up some yellow wax beans and some celery at the local grocery. I parked in the semi-shade along the side of the parking lot, where I often do (as do others). My separating pelvis makes for painful ins and outs from the car, but I got out and slowly made my way up to the front and onto the sidewalk in front of the store. By this time a semi was coming along the front, and the driver was wildly waving his arm at me and pointing. Apparently he didn't like where I'd parked. I paused and looked at him, to make sure he was serious. Indeed he was, because the pointing and waving only increased. With some astonishment I shook my head and turned, carefully stepping down from the walk and ambling back towards my car (maybe 40-50 feet away) -- giant semi truck following right behind me! I (carefully) got into my car, (manually) hoisted my feet onto the pedals and pulled into a parking space. I (carefully) removed myself from the car, and made my way (this time successfully) into the store. He didn't actually 'use' the parking spot, but possibly used it to make a wide turn before backing into the loading bay. I don't think he gestured wildly to the dumpster that was just behind where I parked, but I wasn't watching him to see. I'm sure I sound very hoity-toity, or that the world owes me some concessions, but dang, it would've made a big difference had the guy rolled his window down and started with "excuse me, ma'am..." I guess he communicates better in gestures. I wish I had known the gestures for, "Are you kidding? I'm basically in early labor here, buddy! Show some compassion!" Hubby recommended a gesture, but it's not one I keep in my vocabulary.

I spent some time in the garden again today. It's really more like a jungle though. I've trimmed up all the tomato vines I can find, so hopefully they'll put their plant energy into bulking up the tomatoes and ripening them eventually. Maybe I'll go pick some jalapenos and send them with the midwife. They're easier to harvest than carrots, and neither of the above are OK for Hubby's diet right now. I will probably freeze some though, in hopes that eventually he will be able to partake. Weird to be on a diet that won't let you eat carrots, huh?

Between the lost glasses, the delayed baby, the business-going-crazy, and the remodel issues, my folks have decided that my mom must leave here Sunday morning. They MAY be able to return next week, but right now I'm just hoping to have their grandkid before she has to go. Now would be good. The good thing is, with being nearly half-dilated, it shouldn't take 3 days of labor to get this job done. The midwife wants me to call 'right away' if I go into labor. I'm wondering if I delay a bit, or she gets lost on the way, can I get a rebate or something? Wood pellets are through the roof this year, and I could use some extra cash.

Speaking of, they're delivering the wood pellets tomorrow. That could be interesting, depending on what's going on tomorrow. I (or someone) may have to sign for the overnighted glasses as well. Good grief.

Thumb Twiddling

Well, not exactly. But I'm not doing what I want to be doing. I think it's amazing how God manages to make pregnancy exactly long enough that by the time you're supposed to have the baby you're no longer concerned about the pain, or anything else. You just want to get the job done.

I haven't really been twiddling my thumbs, but there's a definite air of 'waiting' around. I bought some wool yarn and have begun to crochet a "wool soaker" which I really don't know enough about to be doing, but it gives me a little project. One that doesn't require me to be in the sewing room (a.k.a. guest room).

My mom is also suffering impatience. She is trying to help my dad run their business from afar, and I think it's making them both crazy. Their house is also under remodel, and that never goes the way you want. She needs to get back sooner rather than later, and at this rate there's no way I'll be up and on my feet by the time she must leave. God knows, though, so I'll have to trust Him. Although, she HAS lost her glasses, and has spent the last day and a half searching for them. There is no way she can drive home (or even spend time outdoors - hurts too much) without them. She may be here longer after all... (Actually, I think my dad is overnighting her spare pair).

I keep shopping to 'stock' the fridge and pantry to get us through this, and I keep having to go back because we're not through it yet!

I have a midwife appointment in a couple hours (that I was SURE I'd never have to attend!), so maybe she can do some voodoo and work things out for me. :) Not too quickly, I hope, because I need to do the abovementioned shopping right afterwards... My dad told me the other day he felt like it would be "Wednesday". Of course, he didn't say what Wednesday in particular, but if it was yesterday and he had money on it, he's out. Gi-gi used to staff an ob floor with nurses and never felt short because she staffed 'by the moon'. She thinks things look good for this Friday or Saturday. She's probably the only one not completely anxious. My in-laws got a wrong number call the other day at 5 a.m. She was jumping out of bed exclaiming "That's them!" and he was putting on his pants... all for nothing.

Hopefully my errands will prove a decent distraction today, without wiping me out totally. Last time I was out, I was sorely tempted to walk (waddle?) up to the pharmacist and ask where the pregnancy tests were located...

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I'm getting quite impatient and somewhat annoyed. Is that odd? I'm doing my stairs, and cat-curl exercises, and thinking laborious thoughts, and.... nothing. I think I might stay like this forever. But then again, HOW LONG CAN A MAMA WALK AROUND DILATED TO 3 CM??? I've run out of one of my little dropper-thingy herbs, and I really don't want to spend another $15 to get me thru the end of this. I will call the midwife (she'll probably grab her stuff and head for the door when she sees my number) and ask about that, and also if there's anything to do that would be reasonable to deal with this.

I really don't want to have this baby tomorrow. Tomorrow is my neice's 3rd birthday, and our family already shares Hubby's birthday with his little sister's husband. I don't want to have two birthdays to worry about planning around. I guess I'm selfish.

I ran into some other relatives while doing errands on Thursday. One of which has 5 children, most all grown. She asked about things, and as she turned to leave she referenced her Secret Medical Knowledge (without sharing, of course) with, "I'm a nurse. I never let myself go over my due date." I've decided it's a good thing I ran into her on Thursday and not today. I'm sure I couldn't help but utter some wicked thing, like, "well, how sad you weren't happy to wait on the Lord" or even give her a black eye. Not that I'm exactly content to wait on the Lord, either, obviously, but that would not be the point.

My mom, who came a day early after hearing the midwife's update, is fielding phone calls from far away, only to say, "no, nothing yet." I'm so glad they're calling her and not me. It would be frustrating to attempt to give a black eye to someone 700+ miles away.

I guess I'll go do some laundry and get some tomatoes put up. Hubby revamped the chicken house and locked the chickens back up, so hopefully we'll be able to find some eggs and the tomatoes will have more than a hollow shell left. Speaking of annoyance.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Midwife News

Well, I saw the midwife yesterday. It was a late afternoon appointment and I had to wait quite a while. While waiting, I browsed an issue of Countryside or some kind of homesteading magazine and found an intriguing article on dealing with 'calving malpresentations'. That would be the bovine equivalent of a breech baby. There was a lovely photo of a cow in labor with her head held between two posts and a farmer at her other end doing his best to 'push back' the misturned calf. He was up to somewhere between his elbow and shoulder. I couldn't help but ask the midwife if she was known to employ similar methods, and showed her the picture. She assured me that she would not do such a thing. I was much relieved.

While I can't say I enjoyed my pelvic exam (though I'm grateful this was the first of such this entire pregnancy!), I enjoyed hearing that I was dilated to about 3 cm. And after she 'moved' my cervix forward or somesuch, I could feel a definite difference (the baby moved down a bit) and I could be classified as 50% effaced. Yay. All yesterday evening I had minor contractions off and on, but nothing more.

I've been instructed to do the following twice a day: Go up and down my flight of stairs 4 times, followed by some cat-curl exercises (those would be: get on hands and widely-spaced knees, arch back, lower back and hang belly, then lean back so arms are extended and buns are somewhere between feet). This is supposed to help the baby get or keep that lower position and get things moving better. I think it will utterly wipe me out. I see why allopathic medicine can be so tempting. Do your thing, eat your Cheetos, show up, get a pill or a shot, ta-da! Actually I have managed to do that routine once today, but it hasn't resulted in any contractions or anything. I'd really like to have things dealt with in the next 24 hours; I can get a good price on PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric thru a co-op (for diaper covers!) until tomorrow afternoon, and it would be nice to know what colors to order, don'tcha think? Hehe, what a motivator.

You can imagine me crawling from bed the moment the midwife announces, "It's a -----!"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shower Issues, of Course!

Wow, what a job! I decided I better make the shower at least useable if not perfect, so I have destabilized the universe with a cheap chrome and plastic on/off system. Oh, but it gets worse. It's not even a Moen cheap chrome and plastic thing. No, it's generic. Believe it or not, it gets even worse than that! The tile and cement board were cut so closely to the (old-style) valve that the screws to attach the handle system couldn't access their little screw-holes. Hubby could chip away at the cement board thru the hole, but he could do nothing about the tile. So he turned the valve thingy and the handle had to be installed upside-down. Why not? It points downward, and hot is on the right, cold on the left. Of course, the back plate things are designed with a hole at the bottom to let out any water that got behind it. Our hole faces up, which isn't really good. Hubby grabbed some caulking to take care of that issue, and after I freaked out about it needing 36 hours to cure, we realized that it is painter's caulking, designed for windows, doors, baseboards... not exactly tubs and showers. So-- here's hoping for no more troubling surprises!

Our tile-guy/relative is paid off. And wow, even with a "family discount", it ain't cheap. I am SO in the wrong business. He spent about 5 days setting the tile and grout, working anywhere from 5-9 hours per day or thereabouts. I didn't track the exact hours, but it comes out to almost $200/day! That averages out to $20-$40/hr., depending on the length of the 'workday.' I wonder what he usually charges. In any case, I think I could manage the thin-set, which was my troubling issue (I've set tile before, but with another medium), so as long as I don't have to depend on anyone else (Pan Guy) to take months to get here, I shouldn't run into such a time-sensitive deadline like I did this time. A very, very expensive deadline. We don't have immediate plans to finish the floor (which is good, because while I bought tile for the shower and bathroom floor, plus 10% extra, we are down to six boxes of tile, which won't even come close. I don't know if they were prone to breaking or what, but dang.), and after triple-scrubbing the toilet last night, the bathroom is almost useable, if undone.

[Note to self: wear hazmat suit when scrubbing toilets that have seen only hard water, construction debris, and men for 2 years.]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Diapers, anyone?

I wonder if this is my version of "the nesting instinct". I'm not all that informed about it, just that it's generally a flurry of cleaning or other 'nesting' activity before your baby arrives. I'm not sure if it's an hours-prior event, or days- or weeks-prior, but I daresay my diaper habits are hormonal at the least.

I've decided to cloth diaper this little one. Turns out cloth diapering is a hugely varied science and/or art these days. They say you can "save money", but some of the options out there are anything but 'money-saving'! Hemp, bamboo, organic velour All In Ones, anyone? No thanks. I'm going the cheap route, basically. Cotton prefolds and diaper covers. I've ordered the prefolds and some covers, the appropriate laundry detergent, some stuff to make my own wipes solution, a couple "Snappis", then decided it wouldn't be all that hard to make my own covers, so ordered the PUL fabrics, elastics, and touchtape (velcro) to do so. Plus a pre-cut cover kit to use and get ideas from. This adds up to orders from no fewer than 5 websites, including the one linked to at the left. I've also joined two Yahoo Group co-ops for buying fabric and sewing materials. I used a ton of coupons on Monday at my local Jo-Ann fabrics, getting anti-pill fleece, some pretty crushed panne, more flannel, and more. I'm trying to stick with the greens/yellows, but I've gotten a few blues, too. I still need polyester thread. I've drafted patterns based on website pictures, downloaded free patterns, and even made a cute little diaper cover. I've cut and serged flannel baby wipes, and that is tedious.

I must be out of my mind. Gi-gi thinks so. But then, she is probably thinking of 1950s cloth diapering, and I just don't have it in me to explain the difference between and science of All-in-Ones, Fitteds, Pockets, Contours, Prefolds, Covers, Inserts/Doublers, Soakers, and more; partly because I don't have it all figured out yet either.

I can't wait until the rest of my orders arrive. But by then I'll owe the mail carrier a batch of cookies. I'm sure she's more than tired of maneuvering my long pot-holed driveway when the packages don't fit in the mailbox.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tile Woes

Well, not the tile, specifically. But the tile project in general. The grout was done Sunday evening, and now we're faced with the issue of the fixtures. Our main problem: Behind the grout/tile/thinset/durock is our shower valve. It is one of those typical (or so I thought) valves which you pull out (to turn the water on) and adjust left or right for the temperature. The other side of the problem is I Hate Chrome. I would like a nice oil-rubbed bronze, or antique bronze. Heck, I'd settle for a miserable brushed nickel if I had to. But so far NONE of those nice finishes are available for the old-style valves. They're all made for the pressure-control, temperature-regulated, no-pulling-required valves. And as mentioned before, the valve isn't exactly accessible. What IS available? Chrome. Chrome and plastic. I'm sure the universe would collapse in upon itself if I built a fancy custom tile shower and put chrome and plastic fixtures into it.

What are the options, then? Well, Chrome and plastic, obviously, though the universe would be at considerable risk, and I would be considerably put out. The other option is to tear into the wall from the other side to change valves, which happens to be the front end of the tub in the other bathroom. The one we just recaulked? Yeah. The risk there is running into problems that put the whole thing on another delay, and having NO showers available for whatever amount of time. Bad plan. Add to that our "I can get you such a deal" guy not calling back (surprise!), and Lowe's not having anything tolerable and I'm ending up perturbed.

Best plan? Maybe put in the old crappy stuff so at least I have a "working" shower during this critical time period, and set hubby to work tearing out the other bathroom during his 'vacation' after the baby?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hubby, Again.

Last Saturday, the first of September, I went to town, alone, to try to find Big Sister a birthday present. We had thought about a bicycle, and I had shied away from the idea, everything I found online being absurdly ... absurd. Hubby feels even more strongly about it, and we are staying away from the silly Disney-Princess-Dora-Barbie fad crap. Which can make it hard to shop. There is an old bicycle shop in town with those nice retro-looking bicycles, but I'm barred from shopping there, because Old Man Bicycle screwed over my father-in-law about 35 years ago or so.

After much shopping and disappointment, I ended up at yet another big-box store and actually found a tolerable one. No "licensed characters," and the frilly stickers looked ... easy to remove? Service was non-existent, unless you used threats (which I did), and the "Team Member in Training" figured out that the bike was $70, after messing with his hand-held scanner thingy for 10 minutes. He'd told me that a boxed one would be brought up to purchase, if I decided for it. He then disappeared, so I took the little bar-code tag off the display rack and made my way to checkout. I held it up to the gal at the register and said, "I want to buy this, but I can't lift it." She laughed, and had me stand aside while she radioed someone to bring the merchandise and checked others out. The experienced worker who brought the bike did NOT bring it in a box, but brought the very bike from the display rack. I asked about it, and apparently they NEVER sell unassembled bikes, for liability purposes, etc.

I don't know if the gal used the tag I brought or the barcode off the bike itself, but it did NOT ring up at $70, but at about $36. It didn't click at first, but later I wondered if it was a season-end clearance, or the Training Boy just didn't know what he was doing. I'm not sure either way, but I'm not complaining.

What does all of this have to do with Hubby? Well, I got the bike in the trunk (barely!) and brought it home, and asked him to hide it until next Saturday, possibly in the basement. He decided against the basement, and instead brought it upstairs after dark to our walk-in-closet. He stood it on end in the corner, and completely hid it with bridesmaid's dresses I've worn, boxes, and a guitar case. After removing the flowery stickers, of course. Even so, he really doesn't want her to find it. And doesn't trust just some simple lock either..

No, if you look closely, she'd have to: 1) be cognizant that there is something she wants to see in the closet, and 2) find and master the use of a cordless drill!

Hubby gets highly offended when referred to with the word "Redneck," but he's making it very hard to define these things in some other way. Does every wife pick up handfuls of .22 shells when she cleans their bedroom? Mindless destruction of property is completely appropriate in his understanding, even for very short-term needs.

Consider the following: I can't believe I haven't blogged this story, but it helps illustrate my point here. One weekend in early summer I found this large gash in my master bedroom window screen.

I thought Hubby had been careless in removing it during one of his emergency "Oh! A rockchuck in the field! Where's my gun?" dilemmas. Of course I was wrong. There WAS a rockchuck in the field, and his shotgun loaded with 7/0 (?) buckshot (like small marbles) was right at hand. Turns out he didn't want to "waste time" removing the screen, for certainly the little varmint would be outside optimal range by then. That's right; he just thrust the barrel of his gun through the screen. *sigh* At least he got 'im.

Friday, September 07, 2007


It's been a busy week! Since Pan Guy finished the shower pan, Hubby has been working on all the other details. Taping and thin-setting the joints in the shower walls, putting up sheetrock on the outside, widening the 'doorway' to the toilet, moving electrical switches, putting in more, and even putting in a recessed light. Tile Guy came on Wednesday and Thursday, and I expect him this afternoon as well. A good portion of the wall tiles are done, and another friend who is a plumber's apprentice got me a pretty spectacular catalog of Moen fixtures. It's a contractor's catalog, and I really like this style. However, now that I'm looking at their retail prices online, I'm seriously doubting we can even afford the contractor's cost. When you buy the Costco toilet paper by the pile (cheap), it's hard to justify a $40 TP holder!!! And the finish I prefer (oil-rubbed bronze) seems to add $10-100 per item, for heaven's sake.

On Wednesday, my good friend (and Tile Guy's wife) came over and helped me do a few things. We picked beets and got them cooking (you have to entirely cook them whole, then chill, peel, and dice before freezing. Very annoying. And I don't even like beets), and cleaned and arranged part of my room in preparation for Baby's arrival. I even found all the pieces to the Graco playpen/bassinet thingy. She also swept (shoveled?) and mopped the kitchen and dining room, and they look great. I had just done it myself last Friday, but you wouldn't have guessed it by Wednesday.

Gi-gi came on Tuesday, and just left today. She must've done 100 loads of laundry, though I don't think we have that many clothes around here. She also tackled the Family Room, which I have barely stepped foot in (i.e. it was a disaster) and other little chores everywhere.

Thursday I went to Town for my errands, solo. It was also my oldest's 6th Birthday. I was sorry to be gone much of the day, but we are planning cake for Saturday. I had to stop by one of those home improvement warehouses to return some items, and wanted to look at the shower fixtures, which the gal directed me to the FAR corner of the store. I sighed. "Other than swallow my pride (and wear a bag on my head?), what do I have to do to borrow one of those little motor scooter thingies?" Yes, I used it. I would've left the store without the shopping if I'd have had to walk. The beets and cleaning and cooking for a crew so wiped me out on Wednesday that Thursday was excruciating. I managed to do 10 of 15 stops, returning home after 7 or more hours away. It included lunch with friends and a visit to the midwife, where everything is checking out (though I have 'trace leukocytes' in my urine), and 2 visits to a tile shop, where I got a giant free tile to have Tile Guy make some corner shelves, and had to return later to retrieve my cell phone. I still had my major grocery shopping to accomplish, and a scripture came to me that I need to hold on to: It's in Romans 8-ish, and says something like "the sufferings of this present time aren't worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." I couldn't recall the second part, and had to call my dad. I had the sufferings part embedded, but couldn't remember the rest. I think that verse is highly appropriate considering my present time!

I rested when I got home, more or less, but forgot to eat anything more than a bowl of popcorn (organic, of course). I didn't sleep much last night, and when I did it was full of bizarre dreams, and it wasn't until 4:30 a.m. that I realized I was probably very hungry.

I'm now convinced that my Prenatal Tea does wonders for my emotional state. At least at this point. I did those errands yesterday after leaving it at home, and it's not the first time I've noticed serious destabilization when I haven't had it. I got home, drank some up, and could cope much better. And it was nice to be home.