Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reading Books Just Because

I joined the website Goodreads not too long ago and it's been great for finding books to read from my friends and also for keeping a list of books to read in a place I can always find it.

However, I'm finding that I'm adding books to my list that I don't really want to read. I'm only adding them because so many other people have read them and they are classic books.

One such set of these books are the books by Tolkien. I realize that he is quite revered in many circles; in fact, many of my own family members love his books. So I decided that I needed to read "The Lord of the Rings". I did some research and decided to read "The Hobbit" first. My husband also read it a few months ago.

This book is complete drudgery to me. I'm not the least bit interested in the characters or the plot. I've never read "The Lord of the Rings" either, but I lost interest about 1/3 of the way through the first movie. It's just not up my alley. I love fantasy and really get into certain types, but this type is just not something I'm interested in.

But I'd still like to try and read the books. Maybe I'll find more to be interested in as I go along, I don't know. Right now, I'm about 1/4 of the way into "The Hobbit" and bored out of my mind every time I pick the dreadful thing up.

I guess some books and some people just don't mesh!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Worn Out

I am really feeling run down today. I've been feeling happy the last week and hopeful about everything still going on with the molar pregnancy, but today, I think all the exhaustion from caring for my family and not really having time for myself this last week is catching up.

My son and daughter who've been sick seem to be doing better. I'm hoping for good health this weekend because my husband and I are going on a trip and taking the baby and the rest of the kids are staying with a nice young couple from the ward (sad that we no longer fit into the category of "young married couple").

But I haven't been sleeping well. I'm too worried about everything, from sick kids, to Christmas, to healing fully from the molar pregnancy.

Today I had another blood test to check my hcg levels from the pregnancy. They have gone down again, which is good, but they are not back to normal so I have to go in again next week. My poor arms have had it with all the pokes and the ladies who do the drawing at my lab are horrible at it. They used to have two other girls there that were really good but now both the girls they have are just terrible. Today, and last week, she missed my vein in one arm and had to draw from the other. Since I've had so many pokes in the last three weeks, my arms are not healing--they are still bruised and with clots around where the last poke was. It hurts really bad every time and I'm not looking forward to next week. I am hoping that the levels get back to normal soon so I can stop having all these pokes! Plus the sooner they go back to normal, the sooner we can start with our six months of waiting to be able to try again for a baby.

Anyway, it was just frustrating to get that news back at the end of the day today. I was so hopeful that the numbers would go back to normal by today. Guess it takes longer than a few weeks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book Review: Faith of Our Fathers

Faith of Our Fathers: One Nation Under God (Volume Four)Faith of Our Fathers: One Nation Under God by Nancy Campbell Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this series, especially reading about that period in history.  I definitely had characters I attached to but some of it was a little too cheesy and unrealistic for my taste.  I have actually read this series before, about ten years ago, and found that certain side subplots were so unnecessary to the main story that I skipped them altogether and didn't miss out on anything.  Overall, though, I did enjoy reading these.

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Challenges of Children

It's been an exhausting week for me. My daughter, who will be four in about ten days, has not been sleeping at night. She wakes up at least half a dozen times almost every single night because she's scared of the "haunted people". Now I don't really believe that she's seeing things. I think she's scared herself from all the pretend play she's done with her brothers since October that has revolved around haunted houses and ghosts, goblins, witches, vampires, etc. We have since banned all scary play from our house (this week we did) because they would play it during the day and then she wouldn't sleep all night. Plus, she won't go play in another part of the house by herself. If we are downstairs doing something, she won't go play upstairs unless someone is with her. That is how much she has scared herself.

In addition to being very frightened every night, she's also developed a pretty bad case of croup. During the day she is mostly fine, coughing occasionally, but at night, she has trouble breathing and is awake coughing. So even if she wasn't afraid to sleep, she still wouldn't because of all the coughing. I know how to treat croup, as my now seven-year-old child had it all the time when he was ages two through about six (and he still had it a couple weeks ago, just not as bad as he used to get it). We've had her sit in the bathroom each night before bed with the hot shower running (usually when one of us showers) to help clear things up and then we've been running the humidifier in the room she's been sleeping in, and she's been doing okay, but it hasn't been fun. Two nights, she was separated from everyone else because the cough was so bad and because she was alone in the guest room, I had to sleep with her because she was too afraid. I don't sleep well when I sleep with any of the kids for any reason.

On top of that, the baby started having diarrhea right about Monday or Tuesday. I'm not sure which day he started in with it. I only remember that last Sunday, diarrhea wasn't a concern with him--he had croup too and was up coughing a lot the couple nights before Sunday. And I know that by Wednesday, the diarrhea was bad enough that he started with TERRIBLE diaper rash, which is now so bad that he is bleeding. He still has the diarrhea too, and I don't know what is causing it. I had introduced a new food last weekend, on Friday or Saturday, which was squash. He started with the diarrhea 2-3 days later, so I stopped giving him squash. If it had been the squash, you'd think he'd be done with the diarrhea by now, but he still has it. In fact, he's been refusing ALL solids and only drinking about 3/4 of his bottle every time. He's not grumpy at all when awake and not feverish, so I can't figure out what's wrong. But it's been 5-6 days of diarrhea and I'm starting to get worried.

So with all that, I'm completely exhausted. Oh, and I have three other kids to care for who keep seeming to need my attention. Go figure. Kids that need their mom's attention. It's a crazy life.

On a side note, I was uploading pictures yesterday and found a few pictures that my eight-year-old took of the baby in the laundry basket. He's so dang cute, you just can't resist those cheeks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feeling Good

I am grateful for feeling good. After nine weeks of feeling so awful, it's nice to have energy and not feel sick all the time. I can eat and doing things actually sounds fun instead of exhausting.

And there are all these things that sound like fun. I want to go ice skating. I think church basketball is starting up soon, and I'm looking forward to that. I can't wait for my husband's work Christmas party next weekend in California--they fly us out, and it's a fancy dinner and dancing at a nice hotel and then they fly us home. Two weeks ago when we found out about it, I wasn't thrilled at all because it sounded exhausting and I was so sick. But now, I can't wait. I've ordered a dress, should come today or tomorrow, I've been looking at online tutorials for ways to do my hair, I'm going through my fancy jewelry and trying to decide whether I should wear a pair of shoes I already own or purchase a new pair. Maybe a manicure/pedicure is in order as well. I can't wait!

And I love being able to eat! I had a pb&j today for the first time in seven weeks and the smell of peanut butter did not make me nauseated. And I'm still hungry and could eat some more without feeling sick.

After nine weeks of feeling so awful, I feel so physically good right now. And being able to sleep at night (due to not feeling sick--oh and my baby is doing much better) is so wonderful.

Yea for feeling good!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I feel the need to return to my never-ending to-do list. It sort of became neglected in the last few weeks. Now it seems like there are so many things I could be doing rather than lounging around on the couch watching TV all day, which is what I've done the past several weeks.

Here is my list the last time I did anything on it, which was before Halloween.

____Blog book
____Recipe book
____Garage Sale
____Fix It (____Piano Bench,____Closet Doors,____Kitchen Cabinet,____Kitchen sink and counter,____Dresser Drawer)
____5-year-old's 5-year pictures
____8-month-old's 6 month pictures
____New charts (____Daily Routine,____Sunday activities,____tokens)
____ceiling fans
____storage room
____organize pictures on computer

I'm pleased to say that some of these things got done despite me not staying on top of this list. Here it is currently:

____Blog book
_X__Recipe book
____Garage Sale
____Fix It (_X__Piano Bench (buying a new one--decided old one can't be fixed),_X__Closet Doors,____Kitchen Cabinet,____Kitchen sink and counter,_X__Dresser Drawer)
_X__5-year-old's 5-year pictures
_X__8-month-old's 6 month pictures
_X__New charts (_X__Daily Routine,_X__Sunday activities,_X__tokens)
____ceiling fans
____storage room
____organize pictures on computer

So my ongoing to-do list has now been cut down to this:
____Blog book
____Garage Sale
____Fix It (____Kitchen Cabinet,____Kitchen sink and counter)
____ceiling fans
____storage room
____organize pictures on computer

Although, I have had to add this:
____Call Home warranty to see if garage door is covered and then get it fixed.

So, I think that the next project I will embark on will be organizing my digital pictures and working on my blog book (for 2010--I'm a little behind!).

Excited to begin!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cooking and Baking (Recipes Included)

One positive thing in the last few days has been the return of my appetite and the disappearance of my nausea. Today, I just felt like baking and cooking. I woke up this morning with a hankering for cinnamon rolls, so I got online and found the recipe that my friend posted on her food blog not too long ago and tried it out. I have tried about four other cinnamon roll recipes in the last year or so and none of them have turned out, and the only one that did, we didn't really like, it was too heavy. These were easy and didn't take very long to make--only about an hour total. I used another recipe I'd found on another blog for the glaze (icing). I had tried those cinnamon rolls too but they didn't turn out for me.

Since I had such great success with the cinnamon rolls, I decided to make my grandmother's roll recipe. I have yet to accomplish making them turn out exactly right, but this time they turned out better than any past attempts.

Since my husband was off today, a rare Sunday that he didn't work, we made a roast the right way instead of doing a pot roast. We browned the meat in the roaster in the oven at a high heat for 20 minutes and then brought the heat down and roasted the meat for another hour or so. It was delicious. My husband makes awesome mashed potatoes, so he did that part and we also made gravy.

For dessert, I decided to try my hand at that same grandmother's fudge. The last time I made that fudge was Christmas in about 1992, when I was 14 or 15 years old. I'm still waiting to see if it turned out. I'm not so sure it's going to set.

Lavee Fowles
1 Tbsp yeast
4 Tbsp sugar
2 cups milk, warmed (105-120)
1 egg
6 cups sifted flour
4 Tbsp melted shortening or oil (I used oil)
2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk. Let set a few minutes until foamy. Add shortening and half of flour and egg. Beat until smooth. Add salt and remainder of flour. Knead well (in Bosch or Kitchenaid 15 minutes). Place in greased bowl. Cover with dish towel. Let rise until double in bulk; stir down. Cover well and refrigerate until needed. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Brush lightly with melted butter and cut with biscuit cutter. Crease lightly through center and fold, pinching closed. Place on well-greased pan one inch apart. Cover and let rise until light, about 45 minutes. Bake at 425 about 10 minutes.

Lavee Fowles

1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter

Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in a large saucepan (4 qt size). Add milk gradually, mix thoroughly; bring to a bubbly boil on high heat stirring continuously. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 234 degrees F (soft, firm ball). Be sure bulb of thermometer is not resting on bottom of pan. Remove saucepan from heat and add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Allow fudge to cool at room temperature to 110 degrees. Beat until fudge thickens and loses some of its gloss. Quickly pour and spread fudge in lightly buttered 8X8X2 pan. Cool and cut.

The tricky part of that last recipe is knowing how long to beat the fudge. I think I did for about 30 minutes and it still seemed runny, but I followed everything else exactly. I put it in the fridge to set, so we'll see how it turns out. It might end up runny, but still tasty.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Molar Pregnancy

Well, I've been out all week because I got the devastating news that I have had a molar pregnancy.

In case you don't know what that is, you can click on this link here and find out. I am still waiting to hear back on the lab results from what was extracted from my d & c yesterday, but the doctor seemed certain that what I had was a partial molar pregnancy.

Right now, I am trying to focus on recovering from surgery and resting as much as possible.

I spent all day Wednesday crying.

I feel like my body has betrayed me. For the next six months to a year, I will have to be retested to make sure that the mole hasn't grown back and that it's not cancerous. We won't even be able to try to have another baby for at least a year or two and at that point, there is a possibility of a repeat of the molar pregnancy. Obviously we will have time to discuss this and decide what to do, but by then I will be 36 and I'm not sure I will want to have another baby. There are so many more risks the older you get (and the more previous pregnancies you've had).

Plus, I just endured the worst nine weeks of my life with the worst morning sickness I've ever had (worsened by the molar pregnancy, actually) and I'm not sure I want to go through being that sick for that long ever again. One of the nicest things about today as opposed to two days ago is that everything sounds good and I can eat whatever I want without gagging or actually throwing up. I can even skip eating and still not gag.

So is God trying to tell us that we're done? I'll be honest here. I haven't heard much from His end lately. Believe me, I've tried. But it's like making a phone call with nothing but static on the other end. I have gotten no feelings one way or the other about anything I've prayed about. I had several priesthood blessings over the course of the last several weeks and I don't think one of them helped. My faith is being tested and I am failing. God may be a God of miracles, but not in my case. And if He cares so much, then why do I feel so empty like He's so far away?

You know what the hardest part has been? Explaining to my children how they are NOT going to have another brother or sister next June and how it's possible they may not ever have another brother or sister again. They were quite upset.

I think this is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with in my life. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep my footing. I guess I don't understand, in a world of sin and thoughtless sex and careless parents, why God would deny me the chance to raise a baby up right? I'm angry and bitter and just very sad.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm still waiting to hear my results from my blood test on Friday. I've been spotting for a few weeks, but I spotted with my last four pregnancies and they turned out fine, so it's hard to say that this is a miscarriage. I've had no cramping, only spotting. My blood test came back on Wednesday with high HCG levels. Thy retested on Friday to see if the levels had gone down or up but unfortunately did not get the results back by Friday evening, so I've had to wait out the weekend. I'm so sick of waiting to hear if I've actually miscarried or not. I wish that if I have, my body would just cooperate and do what it's supposed to do. I wish that if I haven't, my body would just cooperate and stop spotting so I can feel more positive about things. I feel like I'm in limbo, can't go either direction until I know for sure.

And when I feel like this, everything annoys me to death. I can't stand to be around people at all. I can't stand to be around my kids, they drive me crazy. I just want peace and quiet and time to sleep and time to reflect and figure out how to feel. I especially don't like caring for a baby when I'm feeling like this. They are so much work--carrying them up and down the stairs, changing diapers and clothes and having to use a billion burp cloths, following them around as they crawl and get into things, feeding them bottles and solids and trying desperately to get them to go to sleep for naps and night time. It's all so exhausting. If this really is a miscarriage, when all is said and done, I'm taking off to some exotic destination for a few days to regroup. Maybe I won't ever come back. Winter is starting, after all, and I just can't handle the cold. Don't think I will ever be able to handle it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Change That

Well, I'm feeling very out-of-sorts today and the last couple.

I've still been very sick, which really bites.

Here's why.

There is a huge possibility that I'm no longer pregnant. Actually, it's more likely than not. They are still doing a few blood tests, and I haven't been bleeding any more than I did in the past four pregnancies, which all turned out fine. But when I went in for an ultrasound on Wednesday to verify the pregnancy, I found out that they couldn't see anything in there. Well, anything more than a little blip, which is not what they should see at 9-1/2 weeks.

So there you have it. Impending miscarriage. I'm waiting for the phone call telling me the results of the two blood tests that I took prove it's a miscarriage and then the scheduling of a d & c, since I'm not bleeding on my own. Not looking forward to another d & c, as the last time I had one, the doctor poked a hole in my uterus. I feel very fortunate that after that incident I was still able to have four children.

Today I'm still hoping, the tiniest shred of hope, that they are wrong and I'm still pregnant. But it's not looking very likely.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Absence

Last month, I had committed to write every day but then I stopped in the middle of the month and haven't written anything since.

There is an explanation for that.

Remember last year when I groaned in agony over my horrible nausea that comes with pregnancy?

Well, I have the same problem again. Only it's worse this time AND I have a 7-month-old who is having gastrointestinal issues that make him a bad sleeper, so I'm exhausted and not feeling good.

It's been tough. I probably won't write a whole lot again until I'm feeling better, so another month or two.

On a happy note, I had my first ob appointment today. My due date is 6-11-2012. And then we will be done with our family--six kids in nine years. It would be cool if this was a girl, but a healthy boy will be fantastic also.

Now if you will please excuse me. My stomach is feeling very unsettled right now.


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