Monday, July 14, 2008

My Birthday

Today I am 39 years old. Rich will be home later in the day - he is just starting a new paint job for the exterior of a house. He called to ask me what I wanted to "do" later for my birthday, did I want to go out anywhere? The honest answer to that is NO. The last thing I want to do tonight when he gets home is walk around. I just want to lay in bed and rest -- seriously. What I want the most for my birthday is his help around here. He's never home. The station keeps him there to cover for the guys that are at the fires still. And then when he does get a day off, he's playing catch-up with his extra painting jobs. So where does that leave me? Alone. Doing -- or trying to do -- all the housework, running kids from here to there, cleaning up after everyone. Not even getting a break at night because as a fire fighter, he stays 24 hours at the station. I have just 14 more days until this baby is due, and normally this routine of not having a husband around much is typical and I don't complain...but I'm just SO needing a helping hand around this house. If you've ever been REALLY big and pregnant, you know that the last two weeks can be challenging. I can't bend to pick up things easily -- and believe me, there are things all over the floors around here. Doing laundry is completely OUT of my comfort zone right now, all the bending to sort clothes, put them in the washer, take them out of the washer, put them into the dryer, take them out of the dryer, folding them and putting it ALL away upstairs in the kids rooms....no way am I up for that. So...the laundry is stacking up in huge piles and everyone is out of clothes. Tony and Afton are away at camp, and Audriana is here trying her hardest to be a help. I don't expect her to do the laundry on top of helping me with the little ones. Waa Waa Waa... Can you tell I'm near the end of this pregnancy, or what?!! LOL I'm grouchy! Anyways, I'm looking into hiring a helper for the next two weeks, at least until Rich gets his vacation time from work. I want someone to come in to keep my kitchen clean and do laundry. Just 3 hours a day is all I need. I'm going to call around to my friends in this neighborhood to see who they use (I swear, I am the ONLY one where we live who doens't have hired help!)

Okay...so ignore all that complaining...and let's talk about my birthday! Yes...I'm 39 years old today. Just one more year until I'm FORTY!! Yikes!! Today is also my nephew's first birthday!! Jason was born on my birthday last year -- my sister's baby. How cool is that! Too bad they live so far from us. I'd like to see the little guy today. It sucks being states away from family. I like having July 14th as my birthday. I get gifts every 6 months -- Christmas and my birthday! When I was little, having a summer birthday was pretty cool because I always had a pool party. It still feels odd to me not to get a card in the mail and a phonecall from my grandmother on my birthday -- she passed away March of last year. I woke up this morning and still had an expectation of her phonecall. This is the second birthday I've had that she hasn't been here, and it still feels strange. But I know that she's thinking of me. I have her photo here on my desk and as I look at it now I swear I can hear her saying, "Gosh Treenie...39 years old. Where has the time gone? I remember when you were just a little baby...." It seems that every year she said something like that to me :)

Okay, well I'm going to lay down now and count the hours until Rich gets home and can take over for me.

I might be a litte on edge and grouchy lately...but make no mistake, LIFE IS GOOD -- very good. I am so incredibly blessed by all that I have, all WHO I have, in my life. I'm sore and tired now, but for a GREAT reason! Not because of any sickness or disease or failing health...but because I'm bringing a new person into our family, into this world, who will be a blessing to us all. And all that laundry that I complain of? It's because I have EIGHT wonderful little people in my life, all who I would not trade for the cleanest most uncluttered home in the world. And soon I'll have more laundry to do with little Aria's clothing. It's all good :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Fire Fighter is Home!!

Rich got back into town (from fighting the fires in Big Sur) last night -- so he came home late in the evening and we all had a nice day together today. He was super glad to be home, after being gone 15 days from us. And me and the kids, of course, were glad to have him home! Bummer that he goes right back to work tomorrow! Yep, just one day home. But, the good news is that he will just be doing his regular paramedic/fire fighter shifts for the rest of the month at his normal station. They more than likely will not send him out on another fire because 1)he has a baby due in just 20 days! and 2) he has vacation scheduled at the end of July and beginning of August. He will have 3 weeks off when the baby comes, so that's going to be so nice!

So my lab results came back to show that I am anemic. No real surprise, actually. My mother has always been borderline anemic and I think I've always been the same way. We are both very healthy people, so I think it's just the way our blood is. But, with me, since this is my 8th pregnancy & delivery, being anemic is dangerous because I could bleed excessively after the birth. Although with the other births I had minimal bleeding afterwards (so little that my doctors and my current midwife are always so surprised at how easy I recover) so to tell the truth, I'm not even concerned about it. Nonetheless, I am now taking a liquid iron supplement along with alfalpha tablets and eating two green salads a day with mandarine oranges (the vitamin C in the mandarine oranges helps the body absorb the iron that is in the green leafs of the salad) and I'm also drinking 2-3 cups of Pregnancy Tea, which has Red Raspberry leaves that will help stregthen my uterus, along with three capsuls twice a day of Red Raspberry Leaves. So -- I'm doing all I can. I can't believe I'm down to the last 20 days of this pregnancy! I sure hope I am a few days late. I'd love to have an August baby....but, she will come when she's ready. I have been having those "stretching" feelings whenever I have a slight tightening of my belly....like I can feel myself dilating. Usually I dilate during my last month, so this is normal for me. I typically go into labor being at least 2-3 cm dilated already, if not more than that. That is why I have 3 hour labors, I suppose!

Shay, my horse, started his training this month! He is 4 years old now and it's time to have him trained to ride. It's so neat to see him being worked with. He really is a beautiful mover, and I suppose if I were a different horse owner I would enter him in Arabian shows. I know he'd win ribbons. Everyone who works with him says he's an elegant mover, and it's true. But, I didn't get him to show him -- I got him to simply love him and to ride him. He's so darn cute.

I took the kids to Las Vegas this weekend, even though Rich was supposed to come with us but couldn't because he was at the fires. I didn't want the kids to miss out on our planned vacation because of some natural disaster...so we went dispite of being one parent short! The kids were all well behaved and I'm glad we went. We stayed at a hotel and then spent time at different pools during the day while visiting family. Both the drive to and from were easy and uneventful. I was sore by the end of the days....my hips get stiff and my sciatic nerve acts up...but all in all, I felt good and had enough energy to do what I had to do.

I took the three older kids to the library today -- it's so much nicer to go when I don't have my younger five with us!! The four of us separated to look for our books, and the met up to compare what we had found. Tony and I were in the same area looking for books to read. I really wanted him to get Gone With The Wind, but they only had ONE copy, and it was out! Can you believe they only had one copy?!! He's looking forward to reading it because of the history element of it...but not looking foward to the "love" or romance. He has seen the movie and didn't like it at all, but I'm hoping he'll find the book much more entertaining. He loves anything that has to do with history. I remember when I first read Gone With The Wind...it was when Rich and I started dating. I remember it shedding a whole new light on the Civil War for me. I hated history in school and wouldn't learn much in class because I wasn't interested, but this book made the Civil War so much more clear for me, and I really enjoyed the book because of that. I'm hoping Tony likes it was well. I'm thinking I'm just going by a copy for our home. I have enough kids coming up in rank who will be "next" to read it :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Going to New York City!


(Audriana on the right)



Audriana's Girl Scout Troop has been planning a trip to New York City for the past 4 years...and the date finally arrived!




A Limo came to take them to the airport. They priced the shuttles and it turned out to be the same price to have a Limo take them...so they went in style!!

I had a hard time letting Audriana go on this trip. I was in denial the past 4 years that they would actually end up going -- so when the date came, I was like WHAT?? Is this really happening? It was hard to send her off on a plane all the way across the United States. They had 4 moms go on the trip, and she has been with this troop since the first grade...so I knew everyone and everyone knew Audriana well. I felt comfortable about it...but still. They were gone 5 days and had a blast. Audriana called me from the top of the Empire State Building, they went to a Broadway musical, to the Statue of Liberty, to Ground Zero, and shopping in New York City was her favorite, and she loved China Town. She had a really good time, but I was so glad when she came back!!

Piano Recital

Afton has been taking piano lessons for about 4 years now. She is getting quite good! Here she is at her recent piano recital.





This is a group shot of all the students that her teacher works with. Afton looks so grown up in these photos for some reason. Maybe it's her black dress, and her hair is getting longer! She will be 13 this month!

Cooling Off












Since it's been so hot lately, we've been taking the kids to our community pools and water parks. This is one of them, sorta designed for the littler ones. I like it because there's no risk of drowning, so I can just sit back on the lounge chair and relax while watching them play, unlike when we go to the pools where I spend my time running around after the little ones!

Avery's Special Day



Okay, so her 7th birthday was in April and we had her birthday party in June. So shoot me...I get behind around here sometimes! Better late than never, right? Right! Avery had such a fun time with her friends. We picked up 4 of her best neighborhood friends and took them to SWIRLS which is a new frozen yogurt place where we live. You can build your own sundae, toppings and all. They had a really fun time there.



Here they are eating their creations....




I love this fun picture of them. I had to stand up on a chair to shoot it.




Here is Avery taking a whack at the pinata.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

ATM Fraud

I go online at least once a day to check our online banking. It's just a habit of mine...to see everyday which checks have cleared, or to mark down debits that Rich might have done that day with his ATM card, things like that. (I'm the one who does our banking, pays the bills, balances the checkbook, etc) and so tonight I went online like always...and there were two withdrawls of $300 made at two different 7-11stores in different towns that are each about 2 hours away from where we live. So I call our bank and they ask if my ATM card is missing. No, it's right here with me. In fact I used it a few times to today for Target and Costco purchases. Then they ask if my husband could be making these withdrawls...and I say NO to that, since he's been up north fighting the brush fires. Could his card have been stolen? they ask. So, I hang up and call Rich. He checks his wallet and his card is there. We only have the two ATM debit cards. So Rich calls our bank after that and has the cards frozen. Our bank is going to reimburse us the fraudulent charges, thank goodness. I can't believe someone made a copy of our ATM card when we used it to purchase something somewhere. We never withdraw money from ATM machines -- we just use the ATM card for purchases instead of writing a check. We use it at the gas pumps, in stores, for groceries. I have it linked up to our checking account and it's so much easier than carrying cash or writing checks. But now...I feel so robbed!! It makes me so angry! It's good we are getting our money back...but still. It's an awful feeling to have someone stealing from your checking account, your hard-earned money. The crooks. Anyway, our bank says that this is getting more common lately...where when you swipe your ATM card at a store or someplace it can be copied, the PIN you enter and all. What a joke. You'd think they could devise a way to keep this from happening. It's not enough anymore to guard yourself when you enter your PIN so that no one can see the number you enter. Now you just have to "gamble" that the machine you are swiping your card in isn't rigged up to copy it. Sheeeeesh!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Update....

Rich doesn't get good cell reception where he's at right now, so our phone conversations are brief and choppy at best. But today I understood him perfectly well when he said they are talking about keeping them there another seven days. Another seven days? Are you kidding me? What must his lungs be like by now, breathing all the yucky air? And not to boo-hoo about me...but man, I'm tired! These kids are wearing me out. Looks like we won't be going to Las Vegas this weekend like we had planned. I'm not going if Rich isn't home to go with me. Normally I would go without him...but right now, I just don't think that's such a good idea, seeing as I'm due to have this baby in 27 more days.

Speaking of the baby...I had another midwife appointment today. She drew my blood to check for anemia and I did a step B test. I love that I don't have to go to a lab or anything like that -- it's all done here in my home! Love that! Anyway, my belly measured 37 weeks. BIG. I hope this baby doesn't come early....

Close day of the month was yesterday, and it was busy for my Arbonne team. I promoted out one Area Manager!! And also I had another consulant promote to District Manager!! Plus, 3 more consultants are now in District Manager qualification this month. So, my team is moving on up in their positions. That's so cool. I've got classes/presentations booked this month right up until my due date, and then I'm taking the month of August off. Come September it's back ON again, and I have a couple classes/presentations already booked for that month. It'll be busy...but I want to be a Region by March, 2009. That's my goal. Getting that white Arbonne Mercedes is going to feel so good :) Not to mention the income for that position will enable Rich to quit his overtimes! Yay!! Wish me luck....

Not too much else is new. Oh yea, my birthday is in a few more days. I can't believe how old I'm getting. I don't feel old, and I don't think I look old...but wow, those numbers can be a little hard to hear sometimes. It's like...me? 39 years old? Can't be!! But yet...here I am. One year to go until the BIG 4-0. And yet...I'm still a new mommy! Life is GOOD.