Friday, August 31, 2007

37 weeks 6 days

I had my first home visit from my midwife today. She measured me, listened to Ellie's heartbeat and checked out where we would be delivering the baby. At my last visit, I measured 37 (cm's I think) which is right where I should be. Today I measured 33 and she couldn't get over how low the baby was. I told her that my pelvis felt ready to give way and very achy, and she said that all I needed were some regular contractions, and we would have a new baby. I haven't carried this low with my first two pregnancies, so maybe I will finally get a baby with a conehead! Bennett and Rachel both had nice round heads because they didn't engage until right before they came out. I am also getting really tired with not sleeping well at night and the aching back and pelvis are making it hard to be comfortable whether I am standing, sitting, or lying down. I am definitely hoping that this baby comes a little early. Two more weeks seems like an eternity to me! Jeromy gets home tomorrow, so at least Ellie waited to make her appearance until her daddy got home. I am so happy about that!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Finally Finished A Project!!

I started knitting this blanket when I was pregnant with Rachel, but we didn't find out her sex beforehand, so I didn't feel compelled to finish it. The original plan was to have 4 white/pink squares in the middle and 16 squares altogether, but I don't think I would have ever gotten it done, so I left it at 9. I also had planned on knitting a heart and sewing that on the middle square, but I couldn't figure out the pattern I had for it, so I went with the monogram. It turned out alot better than I thought it would. I was nervous about sewing all the squares together and having it look decent. It feels good to have that done. Now I just have to get started on Rachel's scrapbook!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I made a list last night of all the things I need and want to get done:

(Done)-Wash towels/receiving blankets for homebirth
(Almost Done)-Get supplies ready for homebirth
(Done)-Sort and wash baby clothes
-Unpack baby items and get Ellie's room ready
(Done)-Sew together knitted baby blanket squares
-Sew curtains for front door window
(Done)-Shop for Cal King sheets
-Clean Upstairs
-Print out new recipes
-Cook freezer meals
(Done) *2 Meatloafs
(Done)*60 Meatballs
(Done)*Spaghetti Sauce
*Teriyaki Chicken
*BBQ Chicken in Marinade
(Done)*Salad Dressing (mix together seasoned salt mix for salad dressing)
(Done)*Salad to eat this week

I have so far spent 3 1/2 hours in the kitchen and made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce, 60 meatballs, 2 meatloafs, 2 batches of salsa, and a large green salad. I also did a load of laundry that is still in the washer and will probably stay there until this afternoon. I am wiped and don't think I will be doing anything but resting on the couch for the next few hours. Tomorrow I would like to get the upstairs at least vacuumed and the 2 chicken freezer meals done. I know that I have orders to take it easy this week while Jeromy is gone, but I just can't do it. There is too much to get done and not very much time left to do it. My mom came over last night for dinner and helped with the kids, made a pot of chili for us to eat/freeze, gave the kids a bath, cleaned that bathroom while the kids were in the tub, and put them to bed. That was a huge help. Evenings are when I run out of steam and getting the kids ready for bed is enough to kill me! 4 more days until Jeromy gets home and then I can start doing things to encourage the arrival of our little one. Hopefully it will be cool enough to take some long walks.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Turning 30

I don't feel any different today being 30 than I did yesterday being 29. I think the only difference I will encounter is when people ask me my age. My mom has always told me her 30s were so much better than her 20s, but I always thought my 20s were pretty good. I became a Christian at the age of 23, so I spent most of the decade serving the Lord and seeking Him in my decisions. I got married at the age of 24, had Bennett at 25, Rachel at 27, moved to Washington and owned my first home at 28 and sold it at 29. They were very full years, and I am sure the next 10 will be even fuller yet. I still have a desire to adopt a sibling group from Africa, serve in my community more, and get my children involved in giving and serving others. I don't know how that will all look but the desire is there.

I watched an interesting 20/20 program that I had taped today looking at philanthropy and charity in America. The myth is that Americans are stingy and cheap and that America doesn't give enough of our wealth away. Another myth is that liberal people give more than conservative people. It just isn't true. The two people groups that give the highest percentage of their money to charity is the working poor and the rich. People of faith, all faiths, give more than anyone else, not just to their church either. They give more to non-religious groups, they give more blood and donate more of their time. The top 23 of the 24 most generous states are all "red" states. It is true that the US government doesn't give as much of its money away than other countries, but Americans give more individually than any other people. No one else is as generous as Americans with their money.

The program also looked at the uber-rich, the American billionaires. There is a movement within their ranks to give generously... Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, and the Gates have all given away at least a billion of their own dollars. They call it "philanthropy" though, not charity. The difference is that philanthropy creates something new to solve problems in the world, it doesn't just throw money at it. The host interviewed several billionaires and asked them why they don't give more of their money away. Why do they need so much? There were many different answers to that question. Some said that they do give enough, some said that there weren't enough organizations to give to that do a good job, some said that investing their money back into business helps more people by creating jobs for more people and creates more wealth, some said that they can't "afford" to give more. I thought that one was funny. The show was very interesting, and it was nice to hear the truth for a change that Americans aren't all bad.

One thing that their research found was that private charities do a better job than the government does at meeting needs. That means that people like you and me can really make a difference. That is one of the reasons the researchers say that liberal people don't give as much. They live with the philosophy that the government should meet the needs of people. The government should create programs and distribute wealth to the people. That just isn't how churches and the generous American operates. They take it upon themselves to do the job, they don't wait for someone else to do it. Churches start foreign orphanages, schools, hospitals, soup kitchens, and shelters. When they give of their money to these causes, they become invested personally in them.

I feel compelled to do more with the resources the Lord has given me. Give more money, time, energy to serving those less fortunate. I need to start praying that God will lead me to where He wants me to serve. Jeromy too feels the desire to get more involved in our community. We just haven't found where that will be and what God wants us to do. There is so much work to be done, and I want to use my talents wisely. That seems like a good goal for my 30s.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Plumbing Update

Well, the hole in the huge, old cast iron pipe was fixed this morning. We live in a 1940s house and the guy that replumbed it when they rennovated last year was able to come out and fix the pipe. He knows the whole system well, so he knew what was wrong. Unfortunately, the sewage backing up into the house isn't related to the hole in the pipe. What are the odds of that? Now we have had a different set of guys out in our backyard digging for the last several hours. They said the pipe they are trying to get to is alot deeper than they thought it would be. (Of course it was right under my flower bed!!) Hopefully they will be done soon, they can can clear out the blockage, and we will be back online with a working system again. We are going to go to my mom's house tonight to do laundry if they aren't. The first plumber that was here said we could use a little bit of water today, so while I haven't gotten a shower yet, we have flushed a toilet or two and washed our hands when needed. This has made me thankful that we are no longer homeowners and don't have to pay for any of this!

On a much brighter note, my very considerate husband came home during his lunch to clean the very stinky, sewage covered upstairs bathroom. I was so appreciative because my lower back is ON STRIKE today! Thanks honey!


Is there anything more gross than raw sewage coming up from all the drains in your house? I am waiting for the plumber to get here before I clean up the bathroom where it spilled over the toilet. Luckily that was the only place it overflowed although I am not very excited about having to clean it up. Jeromy leaves for his week-long trip in the morning and I need to do laundry so that he has something to wear while he is gone. Pray that the plumber is able to fix the problem ASAP and that I can use our toilet! Yikes, 9 months pregnant and no toilet!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Benton-Franklin Fair and Rodeo '07

It's that time of year again. We are suckers for the fair. I think we have gone every year since Jeromy and I were dating. We decided to forgo the overly expensive rides for the kids this year since they got to go on some when we were in Minnesota at the Mall of America. Instead, we opted for the overly expensive but not very good fair food, looking/petting the livestock, the rodeo and something called an Elephant Ear. My favorite fair treat is a funnel cake, but we were appalled to find out they were charging $6.50 for a regular size funnel cake. Are these people mad? That is ridiculous even by fair standards! Instead we got an elephant ear which is an enormous piece of deep fried dough covered with cinnamon and sugar. It was good but not funnel cake good. So sad!

Rachel was really scared of the animals unless Jeromy carried her. Actually, she wasn't scared of the chickens, bunnies and bird building, but just of the noisy animals.... pigs, sheep and cows.

That cow in the background was the biggest bull Jeromy or I have ever seen. He must have weighed a good 1200-1500 pounds. He was pretty intimidating.

One of the girls let Bennett feed her pig a treat. Did you know that pigs like red vine licorice? They don't like the cheaper Twizzler variety of licorice (who does?) but they really like red vines.

Me! I still haven't gotten a good hair picture yet. You can't even tell I have any bangs in this shot. I think I need a more head on picture to see all the layers. I can't believe I survived walking around the fair. I wore my belly belt which is a lifesaver on my back and my Dansko clogs which my back can't live without either. By 9:30pm I was done and ready to head home!

A picture of a cool horse-drawn carriage at the rodeo. We didn't get very many good rodeo pictures because we weren't up high enough to get any shots without the fence in front of us. We saw mutton riding (too cute!), steer roping (I couldn't believe how hard you can snap a cows neck without it breaking!), bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling (I am not sure of the correct rodeo term for this, forgive me), and we missed the bull riding because we left early.

It was a fun night for all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Homemade Tortillas

I LOVE homemade corn tortillas and after having some really good ones last Friday at a restaurant, I thought, "How hard can it be?" I bought some Masa flour at the grocery store, I already have a tortilla press that my in-laws bought me a couple of years before (that I hadn't used yet), and a cast iron skillet. That is all you need. I mixed 2 cups of masa in a bowl with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 cups of water. The directions said to mix it for 2 minutes. It was just like kneading regular bread dough, but a little stickier. I think I would have added a little more flour next time. This recipe was supposed to yield 16 tortillas which I figured would be enough for dinner (steak fajitas) and some leftovers.

Mix the dough.

Roll the dough into 16 balls.

Line the tortilla press with wax paper to eliminate sticking. I didn't have any problem with sticking, so the wax paper worked great.

Press and Voila!

Heat the cast iron skillet (It has to be cast iron for the authentic thing) to med-high and cook each side for 50 seconds. I found that the tortillas would start to bubble when ready to be flipped and that it took a little longer than 50 seconds.

There are some things I would do differently next time, and it was so easy that I will definitely make them again. They tasted so good!
-I would only made 8 balls with the recipe next time. The tortillas were too small with the 16 (only 4-5 inches in diameter). I made a few small ones for the kids and then used 2 balls to make the rest. They were a much better taco size.
-I will absolutely double the recipe. We didn't even have enough to satisfy everyone for dinner. We each had 2 and we all wanted more!
-I will roll them out a little thinner than the press makes them. The press left them a little thick, almost like pancakes.
-I will cook them on lower heat (medium) for longer. They didn't really have enough time to brown much, just charred a little in spots.
-I will make sure everything is ready for dinner before I make the tortillas. You have to completely babysit them and can't get anything else ready at the same time. I sauteed onions and bell pepper while making the tortillas and even that was a little hard. You could also cook them first and then get everything else ready. I kept them in a bowl with a wet towel surrounding them and they stayed hot and didn't stick at all. It think it also helps them to finish cooking in the steam.

All in all, it was a culinary success! I love when I go to special work to make something that turns out well. I don't have pictures of the finished product because the camera ran out of batteries. Bummer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fun at the Columbia River

A very nice woman, Donna, that Jeromy works with took us out on her boat Saturday morning. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time seeing the sights of the Mid-Columbia from the river. The kids thought it was a blast and played in the water for a while too. Bennett's favorite part was driving over the wakes of other boats and bouncing really high. We were so proud of Rachel hanging from the back platform of the boat kicking and playing in the water. She is usually really cautious about water, but not Saturday. She and Bennett played until we told them we had to head back to the dock. It was so much fun that Jeromy asked Donna alot of questions about owning a boat! That would be fun, especially because we live 5 minutes from the river.

Monday, August 20, 2007

El Prego

Okay, okay, I have succomed to the pressure of posting pregnant pictures of myself. So there you go! I will post pictures of my new hairdo when I get some good pictures of it. If I leave the camera upstairs, there is a much better chance of getting a couple. Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

7 Things That Make Me Laugh

I am never good about doing the list of things about myself when tagged, but I just saw this on the Heldts blog and liked this one. Although not tagged, I thought I would play along anyway.

7 Things That Make Me Laugh

1) Animals dressed in clothes, especially chimpanzees and Weimreiner(sp?) dogs.

2) Bennett's new found love of making funny faces. Ask him to make his "gawking" face. It is hilarious!

3) Watching people fall/get hurt. (I got this trait from my mother who used to laugh when she would see us biff it outside. So mean, I know!)

4) When Rachel says a new phrase that we have never heard her say before. (Yesterday it was, "Talk louder, I CAN'T HEAR YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" We were cracking up. Okay, maybe you had to be there.)

5) The Seinfeld episode where Jerry pretends that his girlfriend's stomache talks like the Koolaid guy and says, "Hellooooo, bum bum bum." That episode kills me.

6) When I am in a situation, like church, when something funny happens and I know I shouldn't laugh, but I can't help myself. No self-control, it's terrible. If my mom is there, it is even worse. She makes this face when she is trying not to laugh that ensures that I will laugh uncontrollably.

7) Bennett dancing to the music in church. It is like he is jumping and shaking uncontrollably with seizures or something. Everyone else laughs too, poor kid.

This was a fun one, feel free to make your own list and link it with a comment in my blog.

Friday, August 17, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog

Okay, I am sitting at the computer totally uninspired to write anything interesting, but it has been since Monday since I posted, so I feel like I have to!

One potentially problematic piece of Markwort news is that Jeromy will be going to St. Louis, MO for 7 days on August 25th. (BTW, that is my birthday, but I missed his this year too while I was in Minnesota, so it seems only fair!) The problematic part is that we are having a baby in case someone missed my every growing hugeness these days! I have never had a baby early. Bennett was 10 days late, and Rachel was 1 day late. Chances are that I won't go into labor early unless something was wrong. With as fast as my labor went last time (2 hours), there is no way that Jeromy could get home in time to do anything but greet his several hour old baby girl. What complicates matters is that I am planning on staying home, not going to a hospital, so my mom would have to stay with me instead of the kids and the kids would have to chance it alone with grandpa :o) Jeromy said that my only responsibility while he is gone is to keep the baby inside. Someone still needs to take care of our other two children, so sitting around all day resting is totally out of the question. I do need to start slowing down more though because I have been getting really tired and am not sleeping very well at night. This is the craziness that I did yesterday:
-Made marinade for the chicken for dinner
-Drove to Jeromy's work to drop him off some checks
-Returned library books
-Went to the car wash
-Returned a baby monitor at Toys R Us
-Got my haircut at the mall
-Had lunch at the mall
-Started dinner
-Had a co-worker of Jeromy's with her daughter over for dinner

I have got to slow down one of these days or my back is literally going to quit on me! Anyway, grocery shopping, minimal housekeeping, dishes, laundry, meal preparations and basic childrearing will still have to go on even if Jeromy is gone, and I am supposed to be taking it easy, so I guess we will pray VERY hard that little Ellie doesn't decide on any early arrivals.

On another note, I mentioned that I got my haircut yesterday, and I was a little more daring than usual. My hair has gotten ridiculously long these last couple of years, and I have been a little bored lately with the same 'ol, same 'ol. I got about 3 inches cut off and got it layered and really thinned out. My hair is very thick normally, and I'll bet she took off a pound of hair. The most daring part is that I got bangs. I have been toying with the idea for a while and just decided to go for it. I have a really good hairdresser that I completely trust, and she said that it would look good, so there you go. They are the kind of long, side-swept kind that are just long enough to be in your eyes without being long enough to put behind your ears. Hair in my eye constantly and repeated pushing them off my face has not been my favorite so far, so I think I made a bad decision. I might be using a lot of clippies and headbands until they grow a little bit. Luckily the bangs aren't very thick, so there isn't too much to deal with. I am just not used to having anything on my forehead, so that might be the problem. The funny thing is that I have the same haircut as everyone else seems to have right now. I didn't notice until after the fact, but it has been funny to me to see my hair on all sorts of different heads in all sorts of different colors. I am not one for fads, so I am finding it hilarious to actually be in style right now! I'll post pictures soon, I promise!

Monday, August 13, 2007

35 Weeks 2 Days

I had a checkup today. I gained back the pound I had lost from the last time I was weighed. We talked about all the details of a home birth. She told me that we could have the homebirth anywhere after 37 weeks. We went over the list of things I need to have here for the home birth, the preparations we need to make, and what the midwife will be responsible for. I need to still find/buy the following things:
-10 old towels and washcloths
-Old fitted sheet(s) for our bed which will be a little harder because our bed is a CA King, not the most common size
-Shower curtain (I might just use some old vinyl tablecloths I have.)
-Large bottle of hydrogen peroxide (hopefully we won't need this for any carpet stains)
-Some old receiving blankets I don't care about getting ruined
-Several quarts of the drink Recharge (I drank this after Rachel's birth and it was great. It is an electrolyte drink like gatorade, but natural)
-Snacks and drinks for myself, Jeromy and midwife

I also need to pre-register at the hospital just in case I need to be transferred, so we don't have to worry about it during an emergency. (I live about 3 blocks from the hospital for all of you that are worried about such things!) My biggest concern is probably getting the midwife here in time. My other homebirthing friends that have fast labors have not called early enough and given birth without them. I hope that we are more aware of timing this birth and not ignoring all of the signs that the baby is coming.......soon!

I feel ready mentally to have the baby. I am starting to get uncomfortable and looking forward to having my abdomen back to myself. My ribs and lower back have been really sore this week, but I know it is because I haven't been resting every day like I need to be doing. In fact, I am going to sign off to take a nap right now. ZZZZZZZZZ

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What We've Been Up To

I have not felt like I have anything to blog about lately. I haven't been taking any pictures either. We've had people over for dinner, went to a baseball game, had the kids spend the night at my parents for a little break, watched some movies, gone to church/bible study, I have been buying things on ebay, and just played at home alot. I am starting to nest a little bit before Elizabeth (Ellie) Joy makes her entrance into the world. I found a girl's crib bumper at Goodwill for $1.75 which I was extremely excited about. It is pink on one side and pink and white flowers on the other side. I bought some curtain rods for her room as well to hang some lace curtains that I have been carrying around for years, but I don't think the kind of rods I got are going to work. I am wanting to get a glider rocker for the nursery too, so I have been looking around online for one.

I had my midwife appointment canceled this week because my midwife had a birth to attend. I had to reschedule for Monday morning. This will be my last appointment I have to go to her office for. At 36 weeks she makes home visits every week to do the checkup and to get used to getting to my house and where everything is. In case some of you don't know, I am having a homebirth this time around. I just about had one last time around, but we hadn't planned on that one. In WA, health insurance will pay for homebirths, which is the only reason we didn't have one before. The out of pocket costs were too high. Actually, we bought our minivan instead!

I can't believe I only have a little over a month to go. This pregnancy has gone by so fast. I think having two other little ones around has helped that alot. My constant indigestion has magically disappeared, so I am wondering if I have "dropped" already. I don't think I ever did with Bennett or Rachel until I was in labor, but I don't know why the indigestion would be completely gone. My only complaint is my back by the end of the day, but as long as I can take it easy after 7pm I am usually okay. If I am still cleaning up any later than that, I pay for it!

We have been attending Wednesday night Bible study at our church this summer. We are going through a DVD series put out by Focus On The Family called, "The Truth Project." We have been really impressed with it. It is very well done and has been very thought provoking. It basically is looking at science, philosophy, history, government, religion and trying to separate truth from the lies that so pervade our society these days. It is done in a lecture/classroom style with alot of multimedia thrown in (interviews, graphics, comments, etc.) There are interviews with R.C. Sproul, Ravi Zacharias and other very well respected Christians. We gather for a potluck meal beforehand, so it has been a good time of fellowship as well. It is nice to connect midweek with the body of Christ, and we know our days are numbered for doing this type of thing for a while once the baby comes.

That's all that we have been doing around here. I will TRY to get some new pictures this week, and people keep bugging me to post some Samantha pregnant pictures, so I will try to do that as well.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I have spent the last week or so compiling diaper prices to find out what brand and what stores have the cheapest diapers. I have always used Pampers with both of my kids, mainly because when I used Huggies, they both leaked out of them. That was enough to make me loyal to Pampers. There are so many other brands out there, but unfortunately you can't just buy a sample of a few diapers. You have to make quite a commitment buying a big pack. Rachel is at the point that I feel like I can try some other brands and use her as a guinea pig. I bought Walmart's brand, Parent's Choice, today and at first glance I wasn't as happy with them as Pampers. They said they had the stretchy tabs, but they didn't seem to stretch to me. I also want to try Costco's brand, Luvs, and Target's brand. Has anyone tried any of these brands? Any likes and dislikes? From what I have found so far at Walmart (I haven't priced Target brand, but have heard good things about them) Parent's Choice is the cheapest followed by Luvs, Costco brand, and Pampers. Pampers are the same price as Luv's though if you can get them at Toys R Us when they have the $5 off coupon. I don't think that comes around very often, but I guess you could stock up when it does. I'll keep you posted with my findings but would love any input you have out there.