Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time For an Update

I know that I am excused from any regular blogging while in my first trimester, and it is nice to not feel the pressure and guilt of not posting. The truth is that I am feeling pretty good. Well, I will back up a little bit and tell the complete story.

I had been feeling functionally nauseous since I found out that I was pregnant. As long as I kept my stomach full, I was okay. We had a week-long camping trip to CA planned since before I got pregnant that we were planning on still doing. On Sunday I took a major turn for the worse. I felt the severe nausea that I did with Ellie's pregnancy and spent Monday and Tuesday pretty much on the couch all day. (Lying down is the only thing that has a chance of keeping me from getting sick.) I was preparing myself for the long haul of being really sick for the next month or so (remember, I had no idea how far along I was to even know how long to prepare for.) I decided to eat more Wednesday morning so that my stomach would be more full going into lunch when I started feeling really bad. The really bad never came. Hungry, still kinda tired, but back to the nausea that can be controlled by eating. I talked Jeromy into taking me to Red Robin for dinner. I was totally craving the CA Chicken burger (chicken, bacon, guacamole wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun) and lots of french fries. I was very happy to have my craving satisfied, but starting to wonder why I was feeling so good. Thursday was the same thing. Very mild symptoms. The reason this was worrying me is because this is exactly what happened with my miscarriages. The symptoms just got better one day.

After a very bad night sleep on Thursday and realizing that I was worried and pretty sure I was going to miscarry again, I had an ultrasound scheduled for Friday afternoon. I needed to know what was going on inside there. I prepared myself for the worst and was pretty resigned to not seeing a baby or a heart beat. 32 ounces of water was consumed (Is THAT much water really necessary? I have had 3 babies and this seems really cruel on the 'ol bladder!) and the ultrasound was started. There he was. A little wiggly baby with those little arms and legs and rapidly beating heart. I am so happy I went in for the ultrasound. Now I can just relax, enjoy the pregnancy and be thankful that I am not horribly sick. I am 9 1/2 weeks along and due March 22. With my luck that probably means early April! I say "he" because I wasn't as sick with Bennett's pregnancy as the girls, so I am telling myself that it must mean it's a boy. Jeromy likes to find out the sex (I like the surprise) so we'll see who gets to pick this time. It is my turn for a surprise, but we'll have to talk :)

That's all for now, we went to the fair last night, so I will have a picture update soon!

(Oh yeah, we aren't going camping after all. With my not feeling well and now my mom not feeling well, we decided that being over 8 hours away from home, living in the woods wasn't a good idea. The kids are sure disappointed, but I am trying to talk Jeromy into taking the older two overnight somewhere to go fishing.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Here are the reasons why chickens cross the road:

The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

To die in the rain. Alone.

Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too.

In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

I invented the chicken!

Did I miss one?

Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

Monday, August 18, 2008

China confiscates Bibles from American Christians

BEIJING A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese officials when they arrived in China is refusing to leave the airport until they get the books back, their leader said Monday.

The group arrived in the southwestern city of Kunming on Sunday as China hosts the Summer Olympics in Beijing, its capital.

Pat Klein said he and three others from his Vision Beyond Borders group spent the night at the airport after customs officers took the Bibles from their checked luggage.

"I heard that there's freedom of religion in China, so why is there a problem for us to bring Bibles?" said Klein, whose Sheridan, Wyoming-based group distributes Bibles and Christian teaching materials around the world.

The Bibles were printed in Chinese, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Last year, false media reports claimed Bibles would be banned from the Olympic Games. The state-run China Daily reported last month that 10,000 bilingual copies of the Bible would be distributed in the Olympic Village, which houses athletes and media.

In China, Bibles are legally printed at just one plant - the world's largest - run by a Communist government-backed Christian association, and are available in many bookstores. But the officially atheistic government prohibits proselytizing and is worried that if the spread of religion goes unchecked, believers might ultimately challenge the Communist Party's authority.

A woman on duty at Kunming airport's customs office confirmed over the telephone late Sunday that 315 Bibles were found in the passengers' checked baggage.

The officer, who would only give her last name, Xiao, denied confiscating the Bibles. She said authorities were just "taking care" of them and provided no further details. She later said she was not authorized to speak to the media and referred questions to the national customs headquarters in Beijing, which did not answer phones on Sunday.

On Monday morning, Klein said Chinese officials had shown the group what they said were regulations that banned bringing Bibles into China, but that the documents were in Chinese. "We are waiting for them to come back with the law in English," he said.

Chinese officials had asked the Christians to leave the room at the airport where they spent the night, but Klein told the officials they did not want to go without the Bibles.

Klein said the customs officers had told him that they could each have one Bible for personal use, but no more than that. He said the officers had videotaped them and were insisting that they leave the airport.

"We don't want to go without taking those books. It cost us a lot of money to bring them here," Klein said. "They're saying that it's illegal to bring the Bibles in and that if we wanted to, we had to apply ahead of time for permission."

China faces routine criticism for human rights violations and repression of religious freedom. Religious practice is heavily regulated by the Communist Party, with worship allowed only in party-controlled churches, temples and mosques, while those gathering outside risk harassment, arrest and terms in labor camps or prison.

A Chinese Christian activist was detained Aug. 10, the opening weekend of the Olympics, on his way to a church service attended by President Bush in Beijing. A rights group said later that the activist, Hua Huiqi, a leader of the unofficial Protestant church in Beijing, had escaped from police and was in hiding.

Police have denied any involvement in Hua's disappearance.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HCG Levels

I got the results back from my second hormone test, and the levels are a little bit higher. Yay!!! They are not doubling anymore because at 8-11 weeks, they level out and then start to go down a little bit in the second trimester. I am really excited and can't wait to hear a heartbeat! I always feel so much better then. I am a little shocked that everything is okay, call me a pessimist, but I have been guarded and trying not to get too excited. Well, I am excited now! Now to just get through the morning sickness!

Sufficiently Sick?

My midwife suggested on Friday that I take an HCG hormone level test to tell us whether or not my levels are increasing and how high they are. They are supposed to double every two to three days in the first trimester, so if mine are going down, I will know that a miscarriage is imminent. I had someone say how awful that is to want to find out, and while it would be sad news, I would definitely rather know now than have it be a surprise later. I had the second test done on Monday, so I should find out this afternoon what the second reading was. My midwife called me yesterday with the first results, and she was very pleased with how high they were. She also said that the levels were consistent with me being around 8-9 weeks along which was my best guess as well. I figured that I first noticed symptoms around 5-6 weeks along and that would put me at 8-9 weeks right now. I am also starting to feel much sicker every day that goes by which usually happens around that time as well. Although with Ellie's pregnancy, I was really sick starting at 3-4 weeks. So, I am guardedly hopeful that I may break the every other pregnancy cycle, and we will have a new baby the end of March. I got my first (of what I am assuming will be many) comments about being pregnant with such a little baby from the phlebotomist. Ellie will be 18 months when the new baby arrives which is not uncommon or even as close as many siblings we know happen to be, but people still like to comment about how "full" my hands will be. I had to tell her that they are pretty full as it is, so what's one more to add to the barrel of monkeys :) Someone else commented recently about how small our house is and where we are going to keep putting "them all." I told her that at least the kids are small, and we will just keep stacking them. I am very happy that we have bunk beds with a trundle because we really CAN keep stacking them :) Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ohanapecosh with the Covers

We did our first camping trip of the summer a few weeks ago. We met our pastor and his family up at Mt. Rainier for a couple of days of fellowship and fun. Previous camping trips we have borrowed a friend's trailer to pull all of our stuff because there just isn't enough room in our small van, especially with Ellie in the middle row now. We planned on squeezing Ellie's car seat in the middle seat between Bennett and Rachel in the third row, but when Jeromy tried, it didn't fit. We had several options at this point. Buy a smaller carseat for her to use when we need to squeeze her back there, borrow a trailer, buy a trailer, buy a platform that attaches to our hitch, or just make do with the space we got. I got on Craigslist to see what I could find, and I came across a cheap but old tent trailer. I called Jeromy, and he decided that we would drive the hour north to go look at it. Oh, let me mention that this was Tuesday night, and we were scheduled to leave on Thursday morning.

Long story short, the trailer needed some work, but the price was right, and we bought it. We registered it, got new tires for it and got on the road a little later than planned on Thursday.

The roof has quite a few rips that need to be repaired, but we decided to use duct tape as a short term fix until we have time to sew. It has two queen beds and two tables that fold into two full beds.

Sleeping arrangement on night one were: Jeromy in one queen bed by himself. It was too short for him, so he had to sleep diagonally. Ellie was in her port-a-crib where one of the tables were detached. Bennett and Rachel shared a queen bed and I slept below them in the full bed. I have a hard time sleeping in the best of circumstances, but add in camping and sleeping with 100s of other people close by, and I usually have a hard time. I put in my ear plugs, but was bothered that when the trailer moved and shook around, I couldn't hear if anyone was in distress. The night was pretty bad with Rachel kicking and fussing all night, bothering Bennett and me constantly having to move her off of him. I am not sure if she is just a very restless sleeper or if it was the environment. Night one: no sleep.

Our first full day of camping we hiked to a waterfall and had a great time. It is a little under 3 miles round trip which is a long walk for little ones, but they all did great. The Covers have 8 children, so there were lots of people to help us with ours. Samuel wore Ellie on the hike, and Bennett walked with the older boys most of the time.

That is one of the slugs that Bennett found on the trail, and yes, he did lick it. He is so my son!

Ellie finally fell asleep.

Pictures around the campfire. It was cold, so we kept a fire going most of the time and hovered over it.

Night 2: Jeromy and Ellie stayed in the same places, I slept in the queen bed with Bennett and Rachel got the full one below us to herself. I was so tired that I fell asleep immediately which is so unusual for me. I was jarred awake at some point soon thereafter by Rachel kicking and fussing which kept waking up Ellie who would then rustle around for a half hour before going back to sleep which would wake up Jeromy who would toss and turn and shake the trailer all around. I tried to get Rachel to stop fussing. I woke her up and talked to her and finally took her blankie away and told her she could have it if she lay still and was quiet. This unfortunately had the opposite effect. She started screaming and crying as loudly as she could and nothing would make her stop. It took me 20 minutes to get her calmed down. At this point, Ellie decided it was all too much in the middle of the night and started screaming and crying. She wouldn't take her binky and was mad! I brought her in bed with me and nursed her, and we both fell asleep for a couple of hours before morning. Bennett is a champ of a sleeper. It is like sleeping with a rock. What are we going to do about Rachel? I was a wreck after 2 nights of little sleep. We are going camping for a week later this month, so what are we going to do with a week of no sleep? Someone help me!

It was a nice time, even without sleep, and we love our dear Covers! We make quite a crew don't we? I didn't know about Bennett's face until I looked at the pictures either. He is such a clown sometimes :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bennett the Pollywog

We decided to do swim lessons this summer with the kids. It is quite a commitment to go for two whole weeks every day, but I knew that Bennett needed some practice in the water to be more comfortable by the time we go to the lake for a week later this month. He started out the week a bit tentative, and I nearly yanked him out of the lessons after the first day of seeing some really naughty kids, but we stuck it out and it turned out great. I had Bennett stay toward the end of the line away from the boys, so he didn't have to get caught up in their ADD craziness. It is called discipline people. I was so sad to see what a bad start these boys were getting in life. Not being taught self control, yes, taught because it isn't natural, is setting them up for some major problems (for their teacher and other students who can't learn because they are so disruptive) down the road. If I were at all on the fence about homeschooling before (I was not) this would have solidified my decision.

Anyhoo, by day three, Bennett was bobbing his head under the water unassisted thinking it was the greatest thing in the world. He learned his back float, tummy float, crawl arms, turtle arms, blowing bubbles, jumping in the pool, and going under water. He was a pro and did everything asked of him. I was so proud of him!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Tricks

I have been so bad about blogging lately that I can't even remember what I have posted about Ellie in the last few months, and I am too lazy to go back and look, so here is the recap (or the first time sharing, whatever the case may be :P)

Ellie has been crawling on her knees, finally. Before, she just army crawled on her belly I think mostly due to our hardwood and tile floors. I moved out the coffee table, so she has a large area on the rug to crawl around now, and she uses about 50% knees, 50% feet and kind of does a a funny push off with the side of her feet. She really just uses the crawling to get herself to where she wants to stand. She stands everywhere, all the time and is officially into EVERYTHING. It is kind of driving me batty! We have never babyproofed things. We have always just taken the time to teach them what, "No hands," means. I forgot how time consuming this is and for it to work I need to be more consistent with it. I can't tell her, "No," 50 times for touching the CD's and then let her do it once because I am too busy to stop what I am doing because that undoes the previous 50 times she wasn't allowed to get away with it. Yeah, I could use a clone of myself right now, and maybe she could carry the new baby this time :) Just kidding (mostly!)

Ellie's favorite activity in the kitchen is opening the drawer with the kid dishes in it and throwing them all over the floor. Unfortunately, they actually eat off of these, so this doesn't work out so well.

Check out those tiny little twig legs. I am still amazed that they are strong enough to keep her standing. (And yes, I know they look just like mine!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Beijing Olympics

Expert on Forced Abortions in China Urges Boycott of Beijing Summer Olympics

Washington, DC ( -- A leading expert on the brutal campaign of forced abortions and sterilizations that accompany China's one-child family planning policy is urging a boycott of the Summer Olympics. Steven Mosher, of the Population Research Institute, says the games will legitimatize China's abhorrent human rights records.

"The Olympics is intended to be a celebration of the human spirit," Mosher said.

'"But the spirit of the Chinese people, not to mention the spirit of the Tibetans and other minorities, is being crushed under the weight of an oppressive regime," he explained.

"We should no more celebrate the Olympics in China in 2008, than we should have celebrated the Olympics in Nazi-controlled Berlin in 1936," Mosher told

Although China is hoping to gloss over the problems during the games, Mosher says its record on forced abortions has gotten worse instead of better in recent years.

"China is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world," he explains. "Giving the Chinese Communist Party bragging rights over the games makes a mockery of their meaning."

As recently as May, a Chinese court upheld a decision by Beijing authorities to prohibit the wife of a leading opponent of forced abortions there from leaving the country.

Yuan Weijing had hoped to be in the Philippines in August to accept an award for her husband.

Yuan is married to Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney whom Chinese officials jailed for preparing a class action lawsuit defending more than 10,000 women in Linyi who became victims of forced abortions and sterilizations two years ago.

Chen exposed the barbarism to the world in interviews with American media outlets and he was detained by local officials afterwards and sent to prison on bogus charges.

Mosher has formed the "Beijing Boycott Coalition" to oppose the Beijing Olympics. His group invites activists and groups of different backgrounds to join in protesting ongoing human rights violations in China by refusing to watch the games or patronize its sponsors.

The Beijing Boycott Coalition reaches across ideological boundaries to include all those who care deeply about human rights and the Chinese people, and want to send a message to the Beijing regime, he explained.

Related web sites:
Beijing Boycott Coalition
Population Research Institute

(I don't think I will be boycotting the Olympics, but I will be watching them with the knowledge that China not only has a horrid record on human rights when it comes to forced abortions, but also in regards to religion. Christians are still beaten and jailed for meeting outside of the "official" Christian church and are sometimes jailed for years on trumped up charges. I am disappointed that the Olympic committee would be willing to hold the Olympics in Beijing and allow the Chinese government to falsely bolster their reputation without their need to change. I just heard a report today that a local Chinese newspaper published a picture of students wearing bloody t-shirts in Tiananmen Square after the confrontation, and they were forced to remove the picture from their website and all the newspapers were removed from newsstands. How about that for freedom. I will be remembering these things while watching the Olympics.)