Tuesday, September 30, 2008
As I write this it is October 30th. Five years ago I had been working at my grandparents rock pit. Spending the days weighing trucks. It was a numbingly boring job. Mostly I read, crocheted, or scrapbooked. I had been filling in for the full time lady off and on since I was in high school. I spent the week working, taking #1 some days but the weigh shack was a 10x10 room...not the most awesome place to spend the day with a 2 year old.
On this October 30th Mr. Wiedz and #1 picked me up at the pit and took me to my prenatal appointment in town. I was 39 weeks pregnant with #2. Dr. L did all the regular prenatal appointment stuff. At the end of the appointment she nonchalantly said, "come in tomorrow and I'll break your water."
Whoa! You mean have the baby tomorrow? Okay, are we ready for this?! Okay! See you tomorrow.
Mr. Wiedz suggested that I not return to the rock pit that afternoon. I agreed that it was important to spend the day as our family of 3. We returned to the pit only to leave a note on the window for the trucks and to call Grandma and let her know. I don't remember what else we did that day...I'm sure it had something to do with packing a hospital bag and squeezing on my #1.
We had to be at the hospital at 6AM the next morning. I was having contractions but nothing remarkable. I remember commenting how interesting it felt to be driving to the hospital to have a baby without being in labor. #1 stayed with Grandma D.
I got to the hospital and got all settled into a room, all the monitors and answered all their questions. Dr. L came in, broke my water and sent me on my way to walk the halls of the labor floor to get my labor to go.
I don't remember much about the day...I walked, I sat in the bathtub, my mom, Mr. Wiedz's mom and one of my best friends came to visit, wait and be part of our special day. I do remember being afraid to push. It had taken a lot of pushing to get #1 to be born and I was so afraid it would be like that again. At one point Mr. Wiedz asked our audience to give us a minute alone. They cleared the room and I confided in Mr. Wiedz about my fear.
Shortly after everyone came back in my back hurt so bad so I asked the nurse for some ice. She thought that wouldn't really help but I insisted and she left to get something. While she was gone Dr. L came in to check on me and thought maybe if I should start pushing. The back pain stopped immediately as it took about 3 pushes to greet #2 into the world.
Mr. Wiedz tells it that it took forever for him to start breathing...but Mr. Wiedz says that about all the kids. I do remember Mr. Wiedz asking over and over if he was OK. Of course he was and started letting it wail in no time.
Our fabulous #2 was born 5 years ago October 1st at 4:10 PM. He's my big boy at 10 pounds!
Five years later, #2 is such a challenging joy! One minute he's so sweet and kind. The next he's smacking someone up the head or taking a toy from one of the little guys. I feel like I'm always saying, "#2, don't...stop...put that back...make right choices". But then there are the moments we walk hand and hand down the driveway and he talks up a blue streak about snakes or bees or whatever else is running around in his sweet head of his.
Happy Birthday to my "little" big guy!
At grandma's funeral in August we all talked about going up to Washington anyway. We could still get together, still go to the Duck game and celebrate not only Dad's birthday but Aunt M's and cousin B's too. We bought tickets for the UO Duck game versus Washington State and all continued with plans to stay together at my brother's in Washington.
I waited to tell the kids until just a couple days before the trip...you can never be to sure what will happen that will change plans. But we were able to pack up and head out of town. We recently added a third seat to our Tahoe so our packing ability was limited but we packed everyone in and started off.
The plan was to pick #1 up from school after lunch on Thursday. But when Mr. Wiedz got up that morning he thought we could get going even earlier and she should just stay home. She was fine with that but it was difficult for me to change my list of things to get done to get out of the house any earlier. We did though...leaving about 10:00.
The trip to Eastern Washington is L O N G from our house but we stopped a couple of times and the little boys took some good naps. The drive is also very pretty, up The Gorge, with it's winding river, steep cliffs and beautiful trees. Mr. Wiedz always wants me to just sit and look at the scenery as we pass. I'm not so good at that, I need something to do...I take after Grammie N that way.
We arrived at my brother's just before dinner. The kids got to run around, we got pizza and got a place to sleep for everyone. After some playing and getting settled Mr. Wiedz and I got the kids to sleep and had a fun evening visiting.
Friday, cousin K had to go to school, much to his and #1's complaining. We tried to take all of our passport stuff to the application place but that didn't work out. But we had a nice lunch out together as a family. Uncle K, Grandpa N and Mr. Wiedz went to Uncle K's football game a couple of hours away so Aunt M, Grammie N, 6 kids and I made dinner, kept the peace and waited for the rest of the family to arrive. My sister and her 3 kids and my cousin and his 2 kids all got to the house and set up in their rooms. At this point we had a FULL house but the kids were so excited about being together. I put my kids to bed early but after a full day of playing they were wiped out.
Saturday was the day we'd all come for. Dad's birthday and the Duck game. Aunt M had hired a babysitter for #3 and #4 so after she arrived and we'd given the information she'd need we headed out for the 3 hour drive. Uncle K had arranged car assignments so the whole group fit into three SUV's. We arrived at the game and had to walk a long way first to get some cheese from the college creamery (and ice cream for the kids) and then to the stadium...Uncle K and Cousin J had the longest walk as they had to walk the cheese back to the cars first to be in the cooler. Dad, still recovering from his broken ribs, went straight to the stadium once we realized how long we'd be walking.
We all arrived at our seats and settled in for a great game against Washington State. The Ducks killed them...actually the Cougar fans started leaving at half time and after the first half a wave of fans would leave after each Duck touchdown. The kids had fun...mostly with the candied apples, popcorn and duck calls. In hopes of saving dad a long walk Mr. Wiedz, Cousin J and Uncle K went to the cars and drove them closer to the stadium to pick us up.
After a long drive back and hauling all the sleeping kids to their beds we sang Happy Birthday to dad and cut his lemon cake with lemon frosting (most people passed on that combination at 9:30 at night!) and gave him his presents.
Sunday we packed up and got ready to celebrate Cousin B's 4th birthday. Aunt M and Uncle K had rented a bounce house for the kids to play in and made a delicious birthday lunch. After presents and cake most everyone got in the cars and started the long drive home. Again we tried to make the drive a pleasant as possible for the kids. We had a good stop for a snack and a new movie for the computer in the back.
We'd decided since Mr. Wiedz's next trip would leave so early the Monday morning we'd stay at Grammie N's. Dinner, some games on the Wii and running around making chaos at Grammie's then we got some nests built and kids to sleep. #4 had a hard time in another house and another bed so he was up and couldn't get settled so I finally had to just hold him and try to get as much sleep as I could. Mr. Wiedz headed out SO early after only hours of sleep himself. I was forced out of bed by 3 kids who had slept fine and thought nothing of it being 7:30AM. Grammie took #2 and #3 to get doughnuts while Grandpa N was returning the camper they'd used in Washington. After breaky, Wii and getting dressed we headed for home.
We were too late to make it to school for an worthwhile portion so we came home, ate lunch and since #3 and #4 had slept the whole way home they were not going to lay down again, had play time. The kids, having been gone from their own home for 4 days had so much fun together. I got to have some computer time and some time to adjust my attitude for the days without Mr. Wiedz.
Being home. Tucked into our own beds (which was really great for #4). Being home is great but being with the family is worth all the work, I still remember how frazzled and worked up I was trying to get out of the house. I'm so glad we take the time to get our kids in the same place. Having all of our kids so close together gives them the fantastic time of being cousins, it was hard in the baby and toddler days to get together but we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, how well they're getting along, how we can let them play while we visit. The memories of this wonderful weekend together will last a long time.
Can't wait for the next time.
I hand quilt the quilts I make. This one I went around some of the squares in the log cabin blocks and then did circles in the corners where the blocks meet. In the borders I did feather-y vines. It is the most quilting I've done on a quilt and I loved the way the vines came out.
The week before our trip I finished quilting and binding it. Then on our drive to Washington I finished the tag for the back identifying who made in for who and when. One evening in Washington while we visited I appliqued the tag onto the back and it was FINISHED!
We had already made plans with Mr. Wiedz's cousins to stop a their house and give them their gift on our way home from our trip. So after the kids were asleep at Grandpa and Grammie N's we went to their house. Cousin R was excited, she squealed that she'd hoped I was making a quilt for her. It matched their living room well and will be well used as a cozy wrap up blanket while watching TV.
Dressing like a pirate seemed a bit difficult but I pulled out the face paint and figured that would go a long way.
The kids thought it was great...add a head wrap and a hat and we've got it!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Course all the driving it takes and energy makes me only want to sit on the couch, drink a Pepsi, and watch all the TV I've got on DVR.
All the gory details later.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
me: "#2, please do (insert any number of things here that I may ask him to do).
#2: "why do I always have to do what you say?" (why being a favorite question of #2, he is almost 5 and all.)
me: "because I'm the boss of you."
#2: "Well, Uncle K calls me chief." (said so matter-of-factually)
This is true, my brother, Uncle K calls most people chief. This title though has gone to #2's head and he's taking it quite literally.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I picked a day that it was just #3 and #4 with me at home, Mr. Wiedz had #2 and #1 was at school. This kind of thing is easier with fewer kids involved in helping me. Although the day was right, #4 wasn't feeling great, running a small fever. As a model, he wasn't the greatest. He wasn't even his normal smiley self.
I did get a couple usable ones but mostly the look like this:
#3 wanted to help so much but mostly he wanted to be IN the pictures.
Or he would be great but I would have moved around so much getting to look at me with a happy look on his face that the photo would turn out like this:*I would love to show you a really cute one but Mr. Wiedz has strict security issues that prevent me from posting pictures of the kids' actual faces. So sorry!
A few months ago I found a link to a wonderful blog written by Rachael Anne. Each day she posts a "small thing" to help create sanctuary in our homes. Mostly I've just been reading along...her insights into her "small things" are just a great as the "small things" themselves. I especially love the scripture verses she picks each month and did indeed post this month's on my fridge.
This month I've tried some of the "small things". And this week was to cook something from scratch. I don't use too many mixes and the like...they tend to be more expensive then just having raw ingredients so loved the encouragement to get in the kitchen. Plus I took it a little further and let the boys bake with me.
We looked online for a recipe for a from scratch cake. We didn't have any baking powder so we had to keep looking until we found one that used baking soda instead. We did find one, called "day before pay cake". It also called for chopped apples which was a nice touch. Makes me think it is a little healthy snack and we have a lot of great apples right now.
So, the boys and I set off to make it while #4 was down for a nap. They took turns pouring in ingredients and stirring. And each of them got to lick some of the spoons or bowls (#4 woke up just before we were done so got to join in on the licking).
We had fun. And the cake turned out pretty good...really good that afternoon for after-school snack with ice cream. And also good the next morning with coffee.
Monday, September 15, 2008
1. They do crazy things. Just now...climbing onto the back of the recliner and "sliding" down. How do they come up with these things? Even #4, although he can't climb up he's standing at the base of their climbing area and trying.
2. #2 started saying girl correctly. He's been saying "greel" forever and just recently he's got the sound right. It made me kind of sad to hear it go.
3. #3 is thinking that he might be ready to use the potty. He takes off his diaper at some point most days and runs around free. When free he really knows what to do and where to go...plus he gets chocolate chips as a reward. Only willing to do this when he wants to though...when he doesn't want to there's no go.
4. #1 asked #2 tonight at dinner if he wanted some ABC Gum (already been chewed). She thought she was hilarious. I thought it was so funny, something I remember doing and saying so long ago is fresh and new and she thinks her and her friends are so clever for thinking it up.
5. #2 doesn't look like a little boy anymore. He looks like a big kid. It has just happened really, one day I looked at him and he's 5 (although not really for a couple more weeks).
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I've been brewing a sore throat the last couple of days and today was the worst of it but I finished the last 7 quarts of peaches then spent the rest of the day relaxing. Mr. Wiedz was perfect; cooking, keeping the kids occupied and taking care of me.#1 helped today. I had been thinking about the whole "passing it on" concept of canning with this season. I remember my mom canning when I grew up. But I did not learn canning from her. I learned when I was an adult and after I had kids. Canning isn't such a process for letting kids help with but it is something I wanted her to do with me. So today she took the skin off after I cut and pitted the peach, then she gave it back for me to slice and jar. It was a little slower but I was happy to have her with me.
*The only thing I still want to do is apple pie filling and I will probably do some more applesause but I like to think I'm done.
Friday, September 12, 2008
When I was telling a friend about not feeling like I'd gotten much done I also told her about the blackberry pie I made for dessert. She said that was something...Mr. Wiedz agreed!
I got the recipe here. It was great and easy. I did follow the tip in the comments by adding more berries and butter dotted on top of the berries before the top crust. Mr. Wiedz and #3 and #4 picked the berries for me this morning. Mr. Wiedz was glad he did and the boys did a good job of only eating the berries they picked instead of all the berries as they were being picked...we don't usually come back from the blackberries with so many in the bowl.What a sweet end to a long but sweet week.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The pears we have picked are canned. Now that only gave me 14 quarts. Those 14 quarts took 2 days and a lot of effort. I'm not too sure that 14 quarts will be enough but I'm waiting to see what I get for peaches before I decide to punish myself by picking more.
Before I was able to hit publish on this post a neighbor called with ripe pears ready to be canned that she can't get to. So before she gave them to the pigs she offered them to me. Well, since I don't have to pick them or wait for them to get ripe I took them. So after tomorrow's planned day of canning peaches I'll be working on pears again! I don't really like canning pears...good thing the family likes to eat them so much
The chickens love canning season! #3 and I took out today's bowlful of pear scraps. The girls love them!
What doesn't get done on a canning day:Mr. Wiedz asked me tonight while I was telling him about the picture I took of the chickens enjoying their part in the canning if I'd taken a picture of the laundry...as a matter of fact I had. 4 or 5 loads worth that needs to be folded and put away. I was busy! It takes all I've got to can and chase after these people and pick up after them so we're not tripping and to run them back and forth to school and cook and everything else.
Now I'm going to put my feet up and wait for the canner to be done processing.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Side note: the canning has not gotten done, but neither is the fruit rotting. You'll be first to know when either of those events take place.
When #1 was born I took a beautiful black and white picture of her being bathed in the kitchen sink by Mr. Wiedz. When #2 was born the world had turned digital and so I was able to take a great picture of Mr. Wiedz bathing him in the kitchen sink and turn it black and white. Both photos have been framed since shortly after they were taken, hanging in the bathroom.
#3 and #4...they had pictures taken of them just weeks or days old being bathed in the kitchen sink. Because of the wonderful digital program I use I easily changed them to black and white. But they have sat in the computer. Not framed. Not hung proudly on our wall.
I'm working on getting the backlog of photos from outside the grasp of the computer and into frames or scrapbooks. I've finished our family album of 2006. I've got #3's baby album mounted. Still need to journal both of those projects...there is always something! And #2's album caught up to his 4th birthday...that one is even journaled!
So I ordered pictures for #4's baby album and while I was at it I ordered the black and white bathing pictures. Today I washed and painted the window I'd always planned on using as my frame. I mounted the pictures. I hung a "wall hanging thing-y" on the back of the window. And I hung it in the bathroom. Perfect!
I love getting projects done.
Now off to the peaches!
Another side note: having extra places in the window does not mean I'm prepared if we have other children. We only had 16 pane or 6 pane windows left over from the remodel many years before...just in case you were wondering!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Today I got out material (thanks Grammie N) and knocked out a system of getting the cards out all the time (no more remembering to get out the evening ones) and being able to figure out which ones are done already (just put the finished card at the back of the pocket, the evening one or morning one is now waiting).
I've still have some adjustments to make the system really great. Remark morning and evening on the tops of the cards, the portion that pokes out of the pocket. And I need to do some pictures on #2's, since he can't read yet I need a system for him to know what comes next so I don't have to stand there and read each one.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Fresh picked apples from the tree across the driveway from my front door. Mr. Wiedz picked apples from the ground for the pigs (he had some work to do in the pen and one does not go in there without a lot of apples to keep them busy, or they will eat you). These beautiful apples were picked in about 2 minutes, the branches are heavy with them.
#1 helped me get the apples quartered and into the water to cook. She thought it was so fun to help with the canning. I let her have a turn with the food mill to get sauce from the apples after they cooked but she wasn't into it anymore. Plus, it is a hard job.
Friday, September 5, 2008
So start we did. Today. We picked peaches and pears. We went to a local farm for the peaches. Mr. Wiedz found 1 that was perfectly ripe on the branch. He picked it for #1 and #2 to share. He searched and searched for another for the little boys but didn't find one. We picked them quite green but that's how we found them last year and they turned out just fine.
Ever wonder what 90 pounds of peaches and, I think, about 40 pounds of pears look like all laid out? Well, after we got home and got everyone in bed I laid out the fruit on the hot tub to ripen. I know it's better to do inside but I couldn't give up our dining room table to this project as well.
The kids had fun picking both the peaches and the pears. Although the pears probably just a little more fun since they involved a very tall ladder. The pear tree is at Papa W's and had nice fruit on it. If I don't get quite enough jars out of what we picked then I've got a couple more trees to go to.
Well, this part was fun. I still can't say I'm looking forward to the canning part, but I'm sure I'll enjoy something from it.
I cheated, and used her links and got myself a new blog look! So excited. And it wasn't hard (although it was a bit time-consuming) so other than the time issue, I may be doing this again.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Last year we ran out of wood during the last cold snaps of spring. Not this year...we're get prepared.
And from the looks of it 3 loads of firewood will be plenty of work to stack so even though we're missing out on the splitting fun we'll get our fair share. And we'll be able to start the kids off on my least favorite childhood chore: carrying and stacking wood!
Getting wood to burn isn't all we had to do for our "preparing" bit. Mr. Wiedz borrowed the chimney sweeping brushes from our local store and climbed up on the roof.
Unfortunately, Mr. Wiedz picked the wrong size brush and it got stuck.
Eventually he was able to get the bottom part of our chimney (the part that goes into the wood stove) apart and got the brush off the rod and got everything put back together. Now it is all clean so we have wood to burn and no worries about a chimney fire.
I love preparing. Especially when it feels so much like fall already. The mornings are cold and fog is settled on the fields and mountain crevices around us.
Come on over and help stack wood if you're in the neighborhood.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The table is set for breaky.
Clothes are laid out for the morning.
As I write this my #1 is due home in about an hour from her first day back to school. She was squealing this morning as we drove to school because she was so excited. She has a new teacher this year. And her own desk, every other year they've used tables. She had a backpack full of new school supplies and a note from Mommy in her lunch box.
Tomorrow is #2's first day. He'll go 3 days a week to 4 year-old preschool. He was a little bummed that #1 got to go first without him but I think he's over it and just excited for tomorrow.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Mr. Wiedz thought it would be fun to borrow his friends boat. Remember the day I had to go and pick Mr. Wiedz up from a trip to Eastern Oregon? When I got half way to our meeting place Mr. Wiedz informed me that they were pulling the trailer with friend's drift boat. He thought it would be fun to take the family out on the boat. I thought..."right, in all that spare time you have."
That night as Mr. Wiedz transferred his belongings from his friends vehicle to ours and friend started moving the trailer. I noticed the tire was quite low and mentioned it. They kicked it. They looked around for air to pump it back up. They decided we could make it to the next town that would have air available at a gas station open later than the town we were in.
So we headed off.
We didn't make it far before the tire was coming apart. We decided to turn around and park the trailer at a friends lake cabin. All the way through this sleepy town we made so much noise dragging the tire which was now throwing sparks from the rim.
We got to the cabin and had to unhitch the trailer and walk it down the embankment to the driveway without killing ourselves or letting go and sending the trailer careening down the steep hill into the house. Not a small feat.
Mr. Wiedz jacked up the trailer and removed the wheel by flashlight. That job done, we were able to finally head home. Mind you all of this was happening at 11:00 PM.
The next day Mr. Wiedz took the big kids with him to get a new tire mounted on the rim and take it back to the trailer.
After finishing that job he took the kids to Lost Lake for a boating day. #4 and I stayed home since it wasn't that great of a day weather-wise and since the boat wouldn't hold us all anyways. I didn't want to hold #4 on a cold shore for the day when I could be home "alone" for the day.
I did have a great day. After the kids and Mr. Wiedz left I went back to bed while #4 took a fantastic nap. I ate what I wanted to for lunch. Lounged around and read my book. Watched a movie. Did a little bit of laundry but not too much work. It was fabulous!
The boaters of the family had fun too. #3 caught his first fish, which he was so proud. #1 had a couple fish on but they got away before getting into the boat.
Fun for everyone.