Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mistaken identity

Look! It's Baby Carla!No, not really.
It's Baby Tess.
Who looks an awful lot like Mom, except in this pic
because I'm pretty sure I never made that face.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bath time




Sunday, May 24, 2009

1.5

Down another pound and a half, despite not tracking points for several days. I'm getting a little lazy with the whole writing things down stage. Still eating the same kind of food, just not logging it.

And that's all I have to say right now because I need to write a paper that I have been putting off for days.... only 4 more weeks in this quarter, no, maybe only 3.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Under attack

Ahhhh, what is that God awful noise?I was awakened, at 7:42 am I might add, by the sound of the sky falling. Or at least, something very near to my sleeping head falling.
See the green roof up there? Yes, above the ivy. I love my ivy. Don't you love my ivy?


Well, it is slowly coming down. Very early in the morning.

See the window on the left side of the picture? That's my bedroom. Um, as in, there is no attic in between the roof they are ripping off and the drywall that is my bedroom ceiling. On top of all the banging, one of them has the goofiest laugh I've ever heard (at 7:42 am or any other time). They're close enough that I heard one of them exclaim "There's nails for days!" Yep, that's what you get under 3 layers of asphalt shingles and the original 97 year old wood shake. Lots of nails.
We had just enough wind damage from the last major storm to file a claim for a new roof. Amazing, considering with all the gables and the steepness of our roof, it's not an inexpensive job. So, there is a high point to the early morning banging. Unfortunately, they expect this to take a week and I have to go back to work Wednesday night. Ugh.


On to the cute kids
Tess is loving her piano.

Just not loving sharing the spotlight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The After Party

Remember this?It is now this!
I even made some cool little thumb tacks. Not too sure how they will work though. I used spray adhesive and I'm thinking the gems are just going to pop right off when I try to pull them out.

In true procrastinator fashion, I did this today. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. I looooove this fabric. It is a robin's egg/brown toile. I wonder if I could use it to reupholster my desk chair. Hmm, two problems, it is a light cotton, not a thicker upholstery fabric, and two, I've never reupholstered anything, ever. What do you think?

Pop on over and see Melissa at The Inspired Room for more procrastinator party fun!
Btw, the fabric and gems I found at Joann's SuperStore. The gems are just a bag of decorative gems, like you use to fill vases.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birth Center Reimbursement

H.R. 2358 - The Medicaid Birth Center Reimbursement Act - Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

In support of midwives, birth centers, and womens choices for childbirth, I urge you to do what you can to get this bill passed. I know many of us are not on Medicaid, and many more would choose not to birth in a birth center, but this is the beginning of the end for women's options for childbirth. If this bill passes and Medicaid continues to reimburse for birth center deliveries, insurance companies will follow suit. So many birth centers have already closed.

As a midwifery student, a nurse who works with wonderful midwives, a Mom who chose midwives for prenatal care, this is something that is very important to me, to all women. Women deserve to have choices when it come to childbirth.

What you need to know:

U.S. Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) have introduced the Medicaid Birth Center Reimbursement Act to ensure Medicaid birth center facility fee payments to states.

President Obama announced that health care leaders have pledged to save the nation $2 trillion in the next 10 years. Birth centers are part of the solution to our soaring maternity care costs, and they also provide a safety net for Medicaid women. This is not the time to be discontinuing payment to facilities that provide safe, cost-effective care for healthy women with Medicaid.

What you need to do:

1) Call your U.S. Representatives and Senators
Ask your Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 2358 The Medicaid Birth Center Reimbursement Act. Ask your Senators to sponsor a Senate Bill Click here to learn how to contact your Legislators in 6 easy steps.

2) Continue to spread the word/collect signatures for the Consumer Letter
We are over half way to our goal of 10,000 signatures by May 31st. Let's keep the momentum going. Spread the word via email, facebook, put the letter in your waiting rooms, on your websites. Make our voices heard!

3) Continue to collect signatures for the Physician Letter
from our friends in the medical community. Legislators want to know that we have support from physicians.
(Get on board OHIO!!! There is only one Ohio doc signature)

Yummo

Who doesn't love Chip*tle? Those who are taste bud impaired, that's who! Unfortunately, to get a Chip*tle burrito the way I like it really racks up some points. So I, with the help of my hubby who does most of the cooking around here, have come up with my own version for about 10 points. Start with a La T*rtilla Fact*ry whole wheat, hi fiber tortilla. Add in:
Baja Chip*tle marinated chicken breast
Chip*tle lime rice
Pinto beans
Homemade tomato/corn/jalapeno pico de gallo
2% shredded Mexican cheese
Light sour cream

I had some blue corn tortilla chips and pico on the side. Yummy!


What the....
So the Barbie phase has begun, apparently.



An almost balanced breakfast for less than 6 points!
I like to mix one egg into my egg whites so it looks and tastes like a regular omelette. (Okay, so my spell checker says omelet has one T and no E. What say you?) This is more like a broccoli cheese egg fold over. My hubby is the omelette maker around here, but he felt napping mid morning was a better idea. Unfortunately, I ran out of my English muffins and didn't even have any wheat bread around, so it wasn't quite a complete breakfast. But, I did get in two servings of fruit in one meal, which is great, considering I sometimes have a hard time getting two in one day.

And now someone please explain to me why when you have a house with two kids rooms full of toys, a play room with toys, and a living room with cartoons, your little peeps must shut themselves into your office with you and fight continuously until your head explodes?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lip smackin good!

Check out the lip smacking. Isn't she funny?

Today was an errand day. We actually kept the boys out of school since they had appts this afternoon, and Tess had one this morning, all half an hour away from us.

Tess had her 9 month check up. Pretty uneventful. Our wonderful pedi that I absolutely adore said she looks great, and even with all the snot she's been draining the last few nights, everything else is clear. She's 27 3/4 inches tall, but only 15.3 pounds. That puts her in about the third percentile for weight. Yeah, I have skinny kids. Don't worry. It'll wear off by the time she gets to my age. Dr L gave us the go ahead to try meat and eggs if we want. She's pretty much had everything else.

From there, we swung by the resale store and bought some summer clothes for the littlest peeps. Tess's wardrobe was getting pretty slim. She had no summer clothes, which I guess was okay since Ohio can't decide if spring means cool or warm temps. Tess is still fitting into her 6-9 month clothes. We found Teagan some new shorts, all with belt loops, thankfully. The poor little guy loses his drawers without a belt. Don't know where his tiny butt came from. Must be a recessive gene.

Then it was off to the orthodontist's office. And boy was it nice. They really cater to you there. Do you kids want some sunglasses, how about some chapstick? Here's a teddy bear for the baby (with a logo T-shirt, of course) Would you like a drink? How about some coffee or hot chocolate, or maybe a bottled water (with our strategically placed logo on it, of course)? And everyone was really nice. I loved the doctor. He was really cool and explained everything to the kids so that they could understand it. And, they get you back within 5 minutes!!!! After waiting over 20 minutes at the pediatrician's office, that was pretty darn impressive. And get this, one of the docs has 7 kids!!! So I'm not a freak.

We did wait a little bit in between taking pics and Xrays and meeting the orthodontist. It was just the boys, Tess, and I. I have to say, my boys are pretty funny. And Travis, he is a talker. He's usually off playing with his friends so it's not as noticeable, but make him sit in a room for an hour and he'll talk your ear off. Tess got a little antsy towards the end, but big brother Tanner kept her entertained. Without any prompting from me, he picked her up, then cooed and gooed in her face until she laughed at him. It was pretty cute, and tugged at my heartstrings. Sometimes having a large family is exhausting, but I'm glad that they have each other.

Like I said, the office and staff were pretty impressive. Of course, braces do cost thousands of dollars and it is a business. With 5 kids, they could conceivably make $25,000 just off of my family. Eek! That's right. $5,000 per kid. At this point, Travis just needs a few expanders to keep his teeth from "drifting". He had a few teeth pulled at the dentist for some pretty severe cavities, and the adult teeth are no where near coming in. The poor guy has a cavity every time he goes for a check up. I really don't understand it because we have to push Tanner to brush and he's never had a cavity. Travis had the spacers put in today and will go back next week to have the expanders placed, to the tune of $500. That's our part after the 60% the insurance covers.

As for Tanner, he'll be getting braces the week after school lets out. Even with a family discount, and the $1000 allowance from the insurance, it is still going to cost us close to 5K. Trying to decide how to cover that. I'd get a discount of $240 if I paid in full. But, I'd have to put it on a credit card, so by the time I paid off the balance and interest, it probably wouldn't actually save me $240. The other option is their in house financing. There is no discount, but it's 0% interest and the payments are split up over the treatment time. I think we'd be done paying off Tanner's braces about the time Travis would be ready for a set. Of course, adding a $200 monthly payment to the budget would knock my debt snow ball out of whack. How would you do it?

Ah, why can't money grow on trees?

Anyway, we were all starving after spending almost 2 hours with the orthodontist. So we headed over to Golden Corral, the one place that has food for all my picky eaters, and the last place you want to go on a diet. I suffered through though because where else can you feed a family of 7 for under $40?

I didn't do too bad though. I made myself a salad covered with veggies and a little FF ranch dressing. Hold the cheese and croutons, thank you. I had to get some of their Bourbon chicken which is one of the few things I will eat there. But I had a very small scoop, probably 1/2 cup of rice and less than 3 oz of chicken. I added some corn and a baked potato with a teensy bit of sour cream and some salsa for the topping. For dessert, strawberries with Splenda, pineapple and sugar free chocolate pudding which wasn't half bad. I did try their sugar free gelatin cake which was so-so, but I had to share it with Tess so I only had a few bites. Even with all that, I didn't go over my points for the day.

I know I'm late

So Mother's Day was yesterday, or rather, a couple hours ago. It's generally just another Sunday at my house. Yeah, I get little credit for pushing 5 little monsters out. For Mom and Grandma, I am a bad daughter and granddaughter and did not call. I was holed up in my office trying to finish my 6-9 page paper that was due before midnight. The one that I've been complaining talking about for a couple weeks, but joy of joys it is done. And yeah, I did turn it in at 11pm, but that's the joy of an online education. I even went on to finish an assignment in my other class that wasn't due until the 17th. Yay!

The little peeps did make some cards. Tatum had to make two. That's her thing. She and Travis came home from school Friday with the flowers. I guess they stop doing that in Junior High because Tanner was empty handed. You probably can't tell but Tatum had to sign her full name. You know, in case I forgot her last name.


Teagan made the red card with a little help from Dad. He really liked pointing out the smiley face that I managed to block in the picture. Supposedly that yellow haired fat lady on the yellow card is me. Yeah, thanks for that Tate.
Apparently, I do need a WW variety of chili cheese fries, which is what I had for dinner. I have been coveting the recipe since I spotted it over at the WW chick's blog. Unfortunately, when my hubby asked what the can of turkey chili was for, I didn't specify Chili cheese OVEN fries, so he actually FRIED them. So I made half of my Mother's Day dinner. We like fancy schmancy around here, can't you tell?

I know that looks like a huge dollop of sour cream but I swear it's only a tablespoon. All for only 8 points. Yummo. Down another pound, btw, so I guess it's still working!!! I walked a mile and half the other day too. All the way to the library and back. Of course, I had a convoy of 4 with me, which made it a leisurely stroll at some points versus an actual workout.

Hope all you Mamas and waiting Mamas had a good Sunday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nine

That's how old my baby girl is. Nine months old already. She's been on the outside as long as she was on the inside. She is such a happy, laid back little girl. Passing out grins left and right. She adores her siblings. The other night I caught the three little ones playing after bedtime. Tess was in her crib, up on her knees holding onto the crib rail, bouncing up and down and laughing at Tatum and Teagan jumping on my bed. Bobby said when he walked in she fell over and hid behind the rail, like she knew she'd been caught. She still has no teeth, although I expect some soon. My kids usually seem to start popping them out around 9 months.
She gets up on her hands and knees to rock, but still gets around much faster with the Army belly crawl. Beyond the crib rail, she hasn't really tried to pull up on anything else.
She eats like a little piggy, fruits, veggies, crackers, cereal, yogurt, even an occasional fruit snack left behind by her brother. Basically, if she can get it in her mouth, she will eat it. I'm glad she's tolerant of all veggies we give her so far. I've got too many other picky kids to add another with a special diet.

She's such a sweet girl, very mellow and easy going. If she doesn't nap well, she won't sleep all night, but it doesn't mess up her whole day. She's a go with the flow kind of girl. Only crying when she's really pissed off, like after bath time when she's getting dressed. She will cackle and screech in the tub, swimming around the bottom like a little fish, but as soon as she's out and lying down to get jammies on, watch out. Boy, can she scream. I think she saves it all up during the day just for that moment.

But, I'll take the crying right along with the laughs. I love this little dimpled girl. Happy nine months, Baby Tess!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

And so it begins....

Baseball season, that is. Travis's season started on Monday. They lost their first game and were rained out for the second. But today, was a winner! They won 13-12. And let me tell you, I have never seen so many bases stolen in one game. I think that is how most of the runs were made. Over throw a base, someone's running around to the next one.
In fact, see how nobody is really paying attention to Travis running to second? That's because the ball was just pitched and missed by the catcher.

And yeah, I know these are a little blurry but it was only 64 degrees and the wind was awful. I took these from across the field in the back of the van.


Tess was fascinated by Daddy's glasses. She also likes to play the head butt game. She butts her head right into your face, which she thinks is pretty funny, but the rest of us think is a little uncomfortable.


Ring pops are a favorite around these parts.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Garden is In!

I know. You were all patiently waiting for pictures of dirt, huh? Not too impressive, you say? Keep in mind, I was assisted by several little people. A job that should have taken a couple hours, took over 4. Probably due to a certain 4 yr old who found it necessary to examine every bug in his path before he put the next seed in. And I'm not too sure how the broccoli will do since those were all planted by Tatum and Travis. The run down for this year:
Potatoes
Green beans
Spinach
Onions
Tomatoes
Bell Peppers
Jalapenos
Strawberries
Cucumbers
Summer squash
Zucchini
Sunflowers
And some marigolds thrown in for good measure. We got it planted on Monday and waited for the rain to come. I'm no expert when it comes to gardening. I probably plant some stuff too deep and other stuff too early. I rarely water, just wait for the rain. I don't use any pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. I just put it in the ground and hope for the best. Surprisingly, my method has worked in the past.

If dirt pictures aren't your forte, how about a graham crackery girl?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Guess again

What do you suppose we did today?
What? Planted the garden?
That would have been a good guess. But nah, that's no fun. Instead, we headed south and went to the zoo.
It was a ponytail kinda day. Or would that be giraffe tail?

We met up with my pal Missy and her little cousin Kyra. She's a little poser, huh?
Missy's hubby came along too, but 4 kids 6 and under was a little overwhelming for the poor guy. He actually wore out faster than the kids and went to his truck to take a nap. :op

They all enjoyed the merry go round, or whirly go round as Teagan would say.
Tess had a pretty good time too. I don't think she cared too much about the animals but she looooves to be outside, so she was pretty mellow all afternoon.


Tatum's favorite animals were the giraffes and the elephants. Teagan's were the giraffes and the monkeys.



Yeah, not too many pics, but wrangling 4 kids through the hilly terrain didn't leave many photo ops. Speaking of hilly terrain, I'm pretty sure I earned a few activity points today. Pushing a stroller up and down hills is a workout. And no, I didn't mention my weigh in from last week, probably because I didn't lose a pound. Not one. I'm hoping the mad hills at the zoo, and the upper body workout and squats I did yesterday in the garden make up for it.