Baby and I are good. The kids are starting to get excited about the coming baby.

Edwin, David, and I went to Ikea yesterday and looked at the baby stuff. David wanted to help pick the crib, which made me very happy. He's getting onboard!

Lori has spent her birthday with her Dad, and is supposed to stay the week but she's giving attitude and driving her step mom crazy, so we'll see how it goes :(

Michelle is off with her Aunt for the next 3 weeks. It's nice to have some down time with just one kiddo.

Not much else is new. Slow life.
I'm 7 weeks pregnant as of today.

So far it's been pretty easy. Things are going well so far. Have my first appointment on the 10th.

I think I'm working on a bladder infection. That does not excite me at all.

I am holding my breath until the first trimester is over. Then I'll go REALLY crazy. :)

I seem to be having some pretty gnarly blood sugar issues. I have to eat every couple hours or I get irritable, shaky, nauseated, and dizzy. Fun at every turn.

But all in all it's been easy so far. Only thrown up once. I am tired a lot but not daily. It comes and goes. Some days are great, others I wish the kids could do their own thing all day so I could sleep.

See?! There's good reason for having large gaps between children!

The kids are doing well. David is getting tall. Still can't say his R's. Still w's. "Pawents" "Lowi" Kinda cute honestly.

Lori's almost done with this year of school, she's excited to start summer. Not sure what we'll do this summer but we have some thoughts. Do some fun "stay-cation" type stuff. Local camping, day trips to local places. Can have fun on a budget, right?
1) My children laughing..over anything. Especially my youngest as he's some how/somewhere picked up putting his head down on his arm and slamming his other fist on the table when he laughs. It's adorable.

2) Watching my children discover new things. It's like learning all over again.

3) Watching my favorite shows while relaxing after a long day. I love me time.

4) Good times with good friends.

5) Knowing that I have an amazing husband at the end of each day.

6) Explaining my family to other people. It sounds so much worse than it is.

7) Having a net to catch me when I fail. It happens more often than I'd like.

What doesn't suck for you?
Today I'm wondering if I should get a career. I feel like I should be doing more. It's been 10 years since high school and while I have 2 beautiful children I feel like I want to do more.

I've been considering for some time the prospect of being a midwife. I want to help women have successful safe births. I've been called a little militant about hospital births and I guess that true on some level.

Hospital creates a worse case scenerio and intervenes in ways that create more problems than they solve. Women have been birthing with only other women to help forever. Even in current society, Europe relys almost exclusively on midwives for non-complex births. They still vaginally deliver breech and multiples. There are so many unnesscary c-sections.

But do I become direct entry or a nurse-midwife? Do I instead just be a doula and help women who birth in the hospital?


I have to decide.

So we've been super busy moving into our new place(pictures to come probably) and getting into the swing of things after spring break and spring week.

We're almost unpacked...well, we have less boxes to unpack than when we started. I hate unpacking when there's not enough space. I feel like if I just tried harder I could find a home for everything but the facts are that there simply isn't enough room!

Edwin and I have been discussing hanging pictures for, well, two weeks now. We've yet to do it. I started doing it on my own but they were slightly crooked and Edwin was all "blah blah blah deposit, holes, haveyoulostyoureverlovinmind?!" so I gave up until he can help.

You see, Edwin has a system. He holds the picture against the wall with a level to make sure it's straight, then has me mark the corners, then he takes it down and measures the distance from the top of the frame to the nail holder-thingy. Measure twice nail once. Generally it means that the pictures hang perfectly without making many holes only centimeters apart(my method).

As you can tell, that's a totally lame way to hang a photo. What is hanging pictures without worrying about if that new hole will hold above the old one?! It's all about the risk.

So, we haven't done that. Probably because in our last place we were on the phones with divorce lawyers before it got done. We have VERY different views on it and each of us may or may not be ever so slightly crazy control freak-y.'s been mentioned a couple times by various crackpots friends.

The children are loving the new place and seem to barely remember the old one. It's probably the indoor pool.

We also got a new cat name Mojo Thunder. He's quiet large. About 16lbs. He's between 7-10 and a sweety. He's got a mind of his own but is pretty good with the kids. He leaves before he scratches. Our biggest challange has been David wanting to play fighting games with the cat.. Apparently a 3year old with a foam sword rushing you is scarry to kitty. Go figure!

I just got back from helping a family friend through some tough times. She's early in her pregnancy and was on bedrest for a week following some spotting. It seemed to be adhesions from her c-section 9 years ago, but better safe than sorry. She was also having some emotional stuff so I stayed to keep her company and help her with her kids. While the circumstances were less than ideal, it was fun.

Ok, I should go finish my house work so that the house doesn't totally come crashing down. Perhaps unpack some more pesky boxes.
I'm not dead. I know I've been MIA but packing and moving in 3 weeks is not an easy thing. We finally have closed out the old house and turned in the keys this morning.

Our apartment is working out well. It's crowded with boxes right now but it's slowly coming together. Just have to put in the time to make it perfect. Not to mention the storage, or lack there of.

We have downsized a ton, but may need to do more.

Will provide pics and more info soon..
To conserve money we're considering going back to apt. living. We could save a couple hundred dollars in rent plus save on utilities. We could use that money to pay down our debt and be that much closer to where we want to be. The only pause we have is that we HATE apt. living! I mean....HATE IT.

But, it would be for just a short while. We'll have to downsize some of our stuff, but that needs to be done anyway. It's hard to see a down side when the short term won't be too bad and the long term goals will be met.

Plus, it's less area for me to clean!
I made my first cake from scratch today! I also made macaroni and cheese from scratch! I made fried chicken as well. I think MAYBE the cake will turn out ok. The cheese and chicken left something to be desired. Learning experience I guess. Hoping to do more scratch cooking but good lord it's time consuming and messy.. I'm in denial about my kitchen.

Thankfully today was a better day. Lori seems to have moved past the whining stage. She spent her day doing school work because it's preferable to doing nothing. So she's catching up! and she is not a pain anymore! I hope hope hope hope this continues.
That's what my 8 year old daughter told me. She was in a snit about her life. It sucks. No one has it worse. She has to DO THINGS before she can go outside to play, she has to do school work every day, she has to do her own laundry, she has to do her punishment for the full amount of time given. AWFUL!!!! She says "My life is just like a bowl of spagetti that never gets eaten!!"

I just don't know what her problem is. I swear, recently she's been so freaking moody that I'd swear she's going to start her period. Drives me crazy. I know that she's just doing what all kids do. You know, your parents are the meanest and eating your vegtables will kill you and doing chores is the worst.

Some days I just want to run away. She says she's convinced I'm going to get mad and strangle her. *DISCLAIMER* I've never hurt her or put my hands on her. I don't know what her deal is. I just know that it makes living with her difficult. 

The End
We've planned our family vacation for this year. We've got the dates set, the activities planned, and all the last minute crisises that inevitably pop up when things seem perfect.

This year, in April(on Edwin's birthday no less) we're going to Alabama to see my family. Yes, I'm from Alabama. No, I don't speak with an accent. Yes, I wore shoes to school. Any other questions?

All kidding aside, my family there can be difficult annoying interesting. As it is, we're apparently flying into TANTRUM 2010 as my father and his parents aren't seeing eye to eye. Again.

Last time I was there visiting, nearly eight years ago, I ended up being basically asked to leave my grandparents house because of my dad. It was a mess, largely started by my father, that resulted in me getting the brunt of the difficulty.

This time, I'm going prepared. I'll have a back up plan and a no-nonsense attitude. Those of you who know me in real life know that right now, I'm lying to myself.

How is it family is the master at minupulation? They always seem to know exactly what to push to get what they want. That's not to say that I'm guilt free, I've been told I minupulate, mine just isn't concious like other peoples. I don't set out to do it.

Going home to Alabama raises some interesting issues. I love the enviorment and atmosphere and charm of the south, I just don't especially like my immediate family. Well, that's not true, I just don't like SOME of my immediate family. There's always a few who stir things up.

This time we're going down for a week and we'll be going to the AWESOME aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My father took me there once before and I remember being in awe of it! I know the kids will love it. The plan is then to stay in a local motel for the night, then drive the couple hours to Huntsville, AL for a little something special for Edwin. He dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a child. This will be an awesome exerpience for him as well as the kids. The rest of the time, we'll likely stay visiting family. I'm eager to introduce my husband to my family and show him where I grew up.

I want to show the kids fire ants(notice SHOW not introduce!) and hopefully avoid chiggers. Using mason jars to catch fireflies in the evenings. The things that I fondly recall from childhood. I want them to have a memory of my grandparents and all their awesomness. Because, with kids, they're awesome.

We'll see how things pan out, hopefully drama free as this is our ONLY vacation, but with family, you never know. Just ask Clark Griswold.

Some of us are fortunate enough to know someone who's a genuinely good person. Who doesn't seem to have a selfish bone in his body or ill word for anyone. I knew someone. He was a good man and a gentle soul. It wasn't a mask or pretend, he just was. His name was "Tex". He was over 6 feet tall and skinny, but was a teddy bear none the less.

He was a best friend and would have one day been a great husband and father. He had a softer spot than most for children and animals. When he left school he joined the Army. I know that seems to contradict everything I've said about him, but he did it so he could help people. He told "Jessi, this way I can help all over the world."

While in the Army he met a woman who had a child. He fell madly in love with her. Perhaps just in love with her child. We'll never know.

They married and seemed happy. He was over the moon to have an instant family. He loved her little boy just as if he were his own.

A few months after they got married, Tex came down to visit as he was stationed the next state over. He mentioned that he was having some marital troubles and suspected his new bride might be cheating. We were not surprised because we had not thought them a good match. He had been firm so we had supported him in his happiness. He was concerned about what to do, about how it would effect his new son. We encouraged marriage counseling and perhaps divorce. He said he'd talk with her and think it over.

After that weekend we said our goodbyes and parted ways. The next day we received a phone call asking if Tex was still with us. He'd never arrived home and never reported back from leave. We called hospitals, police, anyone we knew in between our home and his. No one knew where Tex was.
We wrung our hands and searched on our own in known places. Two days later we got a phone call from police. Tex had been found dead by some hikers. He'd driven up to a favorite camping spot and killed himself in his car. His car had been littered with religious brochers, from churches in the area,  explaining what happens after death. There had also been a note. To his wife, his friends, and his son. He had felt it was better this way.

The Army held a nice funeral for him and his wife brought her lover to the funeral. She left before it was completely over. Tex's parents were devastated. The loss of their son and the cold distance from his wife during their grief.

When Tex's grandmother stood up to speak of him, she said a life times worth in just a few sentences. Her closing was "I can't believe he's gone. My gentle giant is gone." That line still brings tears to my eyes. It was so him. He was a gentle giant.

Our gentle giant has been gone 8 years today. I miss him just as keenly now as I did then. He's left a hole that will never heal and never be filled.

Sean Michael "Tex" Smith. You lived with honor and kindness. The world should  strive to be more like you.

 All of us, having fun about 6 months before he died. From right to left we have: Ian, Anthony, me(sitting), Sean(standing), Emily(sitting), Sharron(standing), and Chad. Behind the camera is Holly.
I'm working on a book. I can see the concept in my head. I know exactly how I want it to look and what I want it to say. I made some great starts in the book formatting last night. I had the 'bones' of it put together and when I went to save, the program crashed and hours of work was lost. I was beyond furious.

Thankfully Edwin has been super supportive. He's very behind the idea and thinks it will be great.

The start up cost is prohibitive. We're going to have to be stealthy with the budget to do what I want to do.

I'm so thankful that I've got a supportive family who's willing to bend over backwards to facilitate my dream.

Everyone had a great Christmas, even if it took me a month to post the photos. :-)
Getting back into the swing of life has been difficult. With the holiday break and the loss of a pregnancy my schedule has been lacking. 

We are doing well, healing, making no decisions. Just taking life as it comes. Of course, if we decided to make a decision, every one has an opinion. I've gotten more unsoliciated advice about whether to concive again than I did about being pregnant. Everyone knows best. 

But, that's life, that's people. Well intentioned I'm sure but unappreciated.

The kids had a good Christmas and break. Getting back on schedule has been difficult for them. 

Lori got her hair cut short after a long time of fighting about bathing and grooming. Plus, she kept getting food in it, but wouldn't wear it back. So now it's in a type of pixie and she's much happier with it. Have to cut David's because he is starting to look like a q-tip head. All poof on top of a skinny body.

Time is flying by. Lori and Michelle are going to be 9 this year!! David will be 4. 4!!!! How the heck did I end up with a 9 and 4 year old?! 

Sometimes, life seems to fly by in the blink of an eye.
I'm trying to change my template and am failing miserably. I'm so irritated at blogger I'm ready to throw something. Please stand by.