07 January, 2016

At the Doctors

We did go into the doctor this morning to get Leora's ear drained. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect; I talk to his wife frequently & she had remarked that when they were first married he'd wanted to be a surgeon & would practice surgical knots perfectly & mindlessly while watching tv.
He examined it more thoroughly than I'd done but it didn't yield the result he was looking for he gave me all of the possible scenarios. This was fairly painful for Leora & while they were out assembling the cart she sobbed "I hate Dr. A-!" Dr. A- saw her last fall, but I didn't correct her. Sorry Dr. A-!

 I explained that he was going to make her ear healthy deciding to drop the obvious lie of "feel better" But I'm hard hearted. Since it had become re-infected so badly & so close to the last time I opted for the more invasive procedure to just get it done, heal from the inside out & hopefully never come back. I'm hoping that since she's only 2, she won't remember it. I was also wishing myself back & that I hadn't tried to help it on its own yesterday, I think that added to the trauma. That's a lot of hope & wishing. I had pulled her scab off w/ tweezers to encourage it to drain last night & during the procedure she kept screaming " I hate tweezers!" It didn't look to me as if the lidocine did anything by the way she was handling it but again, she's only 2 so she won't remember. Right? Right?

Anyway, after some Tylenol she took a looong nap & woke up very cheerfully.

Her ear was feeling better & in the van she remarked that "Dr. B- did make me braver at the doctors so I can be healfy."  She processed it by dragging out her doctors kit & making the bad ear on all her stuffed animals feel better. With scissors.

06 January, 2016

First Sickness-Preauricular Pit

Leora is such a fun little girl. She is the sturdiest, heaviest, loviest Little we've got. She is the picture of health from the crown of her head to the sole of her foot. I wish I could say that every square inch of her is perfect but there is one small square inch that isn't.

That square inch is her ear, a preauricular pit (branchial sinus) that failed to close while in the womb. Last fall it got infected & took a week of antibiotics & a month of draining to look like this.

She started complaining of her ear hurting this weekend. On Sunday it was red. Monday it began to swell.

And today it looks to pop. We're thinking surgery to remove the sinus will be the way to go, but she'll not be added to the insurance until the end of Jan.

My poor baby.

02 January, 2016

Hillbilly Science

We've had this tree stump on the side of our branch since we moved here nearly 5 years ago. it was taking a looong time to decompose & has threatened vehicles several times when we have a lot of company trying to maneuver into our parking spaces so I thought I'd see if I could hasten it. My solution? Chickens!

When leftovers go bad or some yolks come our way (a friend won't eat hers & so saves them up for us in pint containers) I pour them onto this tree stump. I figured the food would draw the ants up to eat it which would attract the chickens but more often than not they just scratch & peck the stump for themselves to extract every speck.

It's been a fun experiment & the stump has diminished faster in the last 6 months than the last 5 years. The heavy fall rains are pulling it out a bit but a goodly sized hollow has been pecked out too. We refer to the process as "greasing the stump".

22 December, 2015

Free IndoctriNation Movie

Here I go, shilling again!

About IndoctriNation

Are the public schools an educational “neutral zone,” or a humanistic program designed to undermine the influence of the Church and the family?   Is there any truth to the “salt and light” argument that encourages Christians to send their kids to public school?
Join Colin Gunn, a Scotland-born homeschool father as he travels across the USA on a quest to understand the origins and social impact of America’s modern public education system.



20 December, 2015

The Rain is Raining

all around
It falls on field & tree.
It rains on the umbrellas here
And on the ships at sea.

Hey! Instead of doing dishes (which I'm already proficient at) I just learned how to use paint on regular pictures! You're probably shaking you're head at that, but I'm excited for Mike to get home so I can show him. I mentioned our root cellar caving in in another post. We had so much rain this fall I thought I'd show the carnage. All of these yellow arrows are sinkholes. Since I've taken this picture Mike has taken all of the dirt off of the cellar roof to get a better idea of what we're dealing w/ & filled in the sinkholes w/ cellar dirt. We then had another 3 days of rain & they have sunk even deeper.

There are one or two more on the other side of the birdbath. This one by the birdbath opened up underneath Charlotte, it's knee deep to her. Kind of freaky.

I'm not sure how much the rain plays a part but our house is noticeably uncoupling along its marriage line. The join that joins our 2 halves together is a visible ridge in the living room & there are 2 lumps rising up through the dining room carpet, I think from the foundation piers. I don't know how much it costs to level a house & if we'd even want to do that. If it lasts until the children are grown & out we'll probably just get it hauled away & retreat to build one of those tiny home shacks in the woods somewhere. Here's the excavated cellar roof:

And the view from inside:
He's done some damage control to stop further rain pouring in until we can figure out what to do w/ it. The cellar was so moldy we didn't store food; store bought cans rusted fairly quickly in there. Hating wasted space we thought of making it into a smokehouse but the smoke didn't kill the mold. It was moldy as in moldering stalactite mold w/ cave crickets & giant spiders & the occasional toad everywhere. Then I thought it would be a fine family crypt. An opossum went through the vent pipe & melted into the floor in less than a week so I thought it would be ideal but all of the rain crushing the roof undid that idea. So now we've got walls in the ground & nothing else we'll try again when we're able.

10 December, 2015

New Possibilities...

meet Allison Rose

...in a package smaller than a cat.

Allison Rose arrived on a Sat. at 12:40 am, 11 days overdue. 9lb.2oz, 21" & w/ so much black hair. She was my biggest, fastest & easiest delivery yet & this was the first placenta that's ever birthed itself w/out varying degrees of assistance. I am SOLD on Red Raspberry Leaf tea. The Fri. before I was freaking out over my size & weight & we agreed to go to the hospital Tues. for an induction if nothing happened.
Sat. morning the painless contractions that had been pretty frequent all week got longer & stronger though not really closer together. By suppertime I was getting uncomfortable & trying to decide if this was it & if the children should go to grandmas or not. Husband had just returned from his first Black Fri. ever, we've made a point to avoid them but you can't do that working retail. He came home, took them over to his moms & laid down for a nap. I tried timing but didn't want to be tethered to the computer, so I laid the shower curtain liner under the sheet, prepped the room w/ drop cloths, chux, towels & a crockpot w/ warm water & called the doula to tell her I'd be resting but I'd be calling her when/ if I was wanting her.
I laid down for 2 hours to try to rest & nodded off in between but there was no sleeping through them. After 2 hours I went to the bathroom & knew we were in business. I had thought of receiving blankets while resting & couldn't find them so I ended up re-aranging the diaper drawer & dusting the room in between contractions. They were demanding my focused relaxed attention now. Husband woke up around 10:30ish, laid out his OB kit, doppled the baby & took my blood pressure. 11:30 I called my friend as I knew I was in labor & she was the call point for our churches prayer line. I then called Husband to call the doula, I was done w/ the phone.
I was laying down again when she came & she just went to rub my back. After 2 very painful contractions of that, she helped me to the toilet so I could pee but rubbed my back through an endless contraction where I went from shivering to a hot flash & my water broke. I was making pushing noises & wondered why Husband wasn't paying attention to them from the living room so I called out "Baby." & he & the doula helped me to a pillow I had laid on the floor & covered. I dropped to my knees, pushed for 15 min. & she was here! They helped me clean up, Husband got her to cry & they passed her to me so we could try out nursing. She excels! An hour later my placenta came sliding out on it's own. The doula helped me to the shower, made my PP smoothie, cleaned the room & left around 3am.
I'm making a conscience effort to keep this story shorter than Leora's, it's not too difficult as her birth was so much quicker & smoother. We spent a wonderful week staying home & cuddling. She is a dead ringer for Miranda, only darker. Our wonderful church body has meals lined up for us until New Years. My mother keeps sending packages in the mail. I am acutely aware that most people don't see the blessings of a 5th baby & I'm thankful to live in a community that does.

Leora is behind Victor, she'd had enough.

Recognizing Leora's voice

06 December, 2015

The Great War

I mentioned it in the last post, but Mike & I are watching a great Youtube series called The Great War. Week by week it takes you through the events of WW1, whatever happened that particular week 100 years ago. It's hosted by Indy Neidell; the shows not flashy but he's a bit of a spaz, very obsessive, objective & a thorough & thoroughly entertaining narrator w/out turning it into entertainment necessarily. The subject matter is too grave for that & he's very keen to keep the individual perspective on the forefront. If you had a favorite teacher back in school it was probably because they were passionate about their subject matter. That's Indy.
Some links to consider or catch up on:

The Prelude to War

Recap Summaries; What Happened So Far

This Week 100 Years Ago

Who Did What in WW1?

All Videos in Chronological Order