We Survived Spring Break!

The children are back in school! We survived the craziness and hectic-ness of the week. Now there are no more planned breaks until Memorial Day. This is the longest stretch in the school year without any days off. It really is bad throughout the year we can’t get any a full week because of holidays and teacher work days. And now we go almost 2 months without a break. Then they wonder why the children get antsy and won’t sit still….

This week is only slightly less hectic. 🙂

Monday
Volleyball practice
Catechesist training at the church

Clean up dining room and living room
Master bedroom

Tuesday
Well Child Visit for Mandy
DH has Knights of Columbus Meeting

Boys bedroom
Hall bathroom

Wednesday
Liz has finals for Forensic (debate) at School
DH Works

Basic maintenance

Thursday
Free Day! WOOT!

Errands/Shopping

Friday
Afternoon Volleyball Tournament

Clean kitchen

Saturday
Volleyball Tournament
Tennis Lesson

Sunday
Volleyball Tournament
Cub Scouts

Dinner Menu for the week

Monday: Soup and Sandwiches, Apple Slices
Tuesday: Meatloaf, Potatoes, Green Beans
Wednesday: Chickwiches, Chips, Apple sauce
Thursday: Pork Chops, Sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts
Friday: Crockpot Chicken, Salad, Corn
Saturday: Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Sunday: Crockpot roast w/potatoes & carrots, Rolls

So there I have my week all laid out! Now praying for the babies to get over the cold they have so I can stick to it. It is very hard to get everything accomplished with 3 babies wanting to sit on your lap all day.

And just why do they call it Spring Break????

I thought a break from having the children in school was supposed to be a restful time. No hustle and bustle, just staying at home or maybe going for a visit. But is that the case at my house? NOPE! In the past 2 days we have had 6 doctor’s appointments. And we have 2 more scheduled for later in the week. Plus Liz had volleyball practice 2 nights. Mandy was supposed to have karate for 2 nights, but she injured the rotator cuff in her shoulder so she is out of that for a few weeks (and the cause of one of the doctor’s appointments).

I forgot to mention on Thursday the tree in the front of the house is coming down because it was injured in one of the wind storms that we have had this year. Oh and Liz has her first date with her new boyfriend.

Friday I plan on visiting a friend in Virginia. (The only me time carved out during this week.)

Saturday Liz has an all day volleyball tournament on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Becky, Emma and Patrick have a First Communion Retreat all morning. (That reminds me I need to get their banners done and finish the last couple of chapters in their book.)

Sunday Douglas has a tennis lesson, then both Douglas and Patrick have Cub Scouts. Mandy was supposed to have a karate test, but that isn’t happening.

Richard is working 2 days, plus was able to get 12 overtime shift.

Then the children head back to school on Monday.

So see what I mean about a break…

I’ve been tagged!

I’ve been tagged by Michelle. So here goes.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I enjoy reading blogs.
2. I have two sets of triplets.
3. I am looking into ways to live off grid, but must have running water and electricity.
4. I enjoy country music.
5. My goal is the have all the credit card debt paid off by the end of this year.
6. I am starting a vegetable garden for the first time this year.
7. I am not as organized as people think I am.

Hey all consider yourself tagged!

Debra
Gina
Karyn
JoAnn
Cari
Molly
Kristi

A mother’s love and the hardest decision to make

An internet friend’s family is going through a horrible time. Her granddaugher was born very early, think micropreemie, and has spent the last 6 months in the NICU. She has developed a heart issue and infection. It has been suggested that they take her off of life support. Oh the emotions from three years ago came rushing back. I know exactly what they are going through….

For those of you that do not know in Janaury 2005, I gave birth to a son, Andrew Sean, at 25 weeks. Now Andrew had a lot of issues stemming from some sort genetic syndrome. We could never find out what exactly it was, but they are thinking it was a bilaterallity misfire. The left side of his body had all the issues, fused ribs, missing rib, missing thumb, and an extra toe. His heart had an extra chamber (tri atria to be exact). Well when he was born he had a PDA. Basically the fetal heart/lung circulation wasn’t shut down after birth. This throws the blood pressure off. This led to a brain hemorhage (not uncommon in these micropreemies, but the PDA almost ensured it would happen). This caused hydrocephalus (extra fluid on the brain). During all of this we found out he also had an issue with his intestines. We weren’t sure at the time what the issue was, but he could not be fed by mouth. Now the IV feeds, called TPN, used long term cause liver damage. All this was on top of the normal lung issues these micropreemies have.

He had to be transferred to a different hospital because of his brain issues. We were finally we were able to do surgery to find out what was going on with his intestines. Turns out he had a malrotation (where the intestines are backwards) and a jeujunial atresia with an apple peel deformity. Basically his intestines had split high in the small intestine, only one major blood vessel and the intestines wrapped around it like an apple peel or Christmas tree. NOT a good thing. The surgeon repaired it and we held out hope. After another month things still were not looking good so they went back in and found out the intestines had atrophied (died). So he was left with only 4 inches of small intestine. (We need around 25 FEET to survive). This was in March. So we dealt with all of those issues and then the hydrocephalus started to get worse and they were not able to do anything about it because of the intestinal issues.

He then developed an infection that led to menigitis. Things got progressively worse as his liver started to fail. He began having more breathing issues and he had to be intubated again. At that point I knew Andrew was telling me he was tired of fighting and wanted to go home. So Richard and I had to make the hardest, yet most loving decision to take Andrew off of life support.

So on July 5th we went to the hospital for the last time. Held him and told him we love you and watched him pass into heaven. I know he is whole now and in a much better place, but I still have a piece of my heart missing here on Earth.

Andrew you are still loved and missed greatly.

Andrew in March at about 6 weeks of age just after his 1st surgery

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Andrew in June. 1st time Richard held him.

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Andrew in late June, before the infection got worse. Best picture of him!

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Community Supported Agriculture

Here is the link to the local farmers that I promised you. Thanks Rachel for giving it to me again.

With this site you can find local farmers that provide fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, etc. Most of them in my area appear to be using organic and free range practices. You know to get the organic seal takes so much time and money most of the local people don’t go for it.

I am going to check out the site and find those farmers that are close to me and see what purchasing a share entails and how much food you are purchasing. Let me know if you are using one in your area.

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I splurged this week on a climbing toy for the girls. They have been climbing on the couch and getting into trouble. So we bought them toy that has a tunnel, slide and a ball pit. So now they are staying of the couch more and trying to jump off the slide. Oh well.

Abby

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Maggie says “Wheeeeee”

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Marian

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It’s the Pits

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Saving Money

I found a book today about square foot gardening. I will be reading that over the next couple of days to see what we need to get started. I am getting really excited now. Then I need to find out when to start planting things. I figure I will get some seed starters soon and start the process.

Over the next couple of days I am going to be baking a lot of breakfast goodies. My crew loves pop tarts considering that with our family we can go through a box a meal, I refuse to pay the price anymore! I am going to make a bunch of muffins (which they also love), homemade waffles, and pancakes. That way they will have something better and cheaper to eat. I will be making batches chocolate and peanut butter chip muffins, whole wheat muffin, and a streusal topped muffin. I will probably make 4 batches of each. That will give me about 12 dozen muffins in the freezer. That should last us a while.

When that is done (or while it they are baking) I will start on the pancakes and waffles. I figure I will make a couple of batches of each them too. That will give the children a wide variety of breakfast foods. Especially since we have cereal available too.

Menu for the week
Tuesday — Shepard’s Pie, Green Beans
Wednesday — Chicken quesadillas, salad, apple slices
Thursday — Pork chops, flavored rice, broccoli
Friday — Fish Sticks, Mac & Cheese, Applesauce
Saturday — Left Overs (Volleyball tournament so DH is in charge)
Sunday — Roast Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Spinach
Monday — Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad

Household Plan
Tuesday — Errands, DH Chaparone field trip, DD Karate
Wednesday — Clean off buffet, pay bills, DD Volleyball practice
Thursday — Vacuum downstairs, bathrooms, master bedroom, DD Karate
Friday — Mop kitchen floor, wipe out fridge & freezer
Saturday — Volleyball Tournament in West VA
Sunday — Church, DS Cub scouts, DS Tennis

Monday I start the spring cleaning!

Gardens

Continuing with the feeling the pinch thread and reading another friends blog I am considering starting a garden this year. However, my backyard is basically in the shade most of the afternoon. So we are going to plant a small garden in the area that receives the most sun and also so some container gardens on the deck, which remains in the sun most of the day.

Now of course I am trying to figure out how the heck to garden. My family had a garden 1 year that I remember. Nothing grew well because they tried to grow it in red clay. So tomorrow I am heading off to the library to find a book on gardening and see what we need to do start one. I figure this year I will just start small. I will grow things like lettuce, green beans, a couple of tomato plants, squash and cucumbers. I might even try a row or two of corn.

I am hoping to grow enough to blanch and freeze a bunch for the winter. I will also scout out the local farmer’s market when it opens next month. Although the prices there aren’t always the best.

The next thing I want to do is see if I can find a local butcher and see if we can get a side of beef and a side of pork at decent prices. If not I will still keep searching the local stores for the best sales price. There are couple of websites that were posted on another board I am going to try and find. Basically you purchase a share in a local farm and get great prices on produce. The other one provides other farm options like milk, eggs and meats. When I find them I will post them here too. That way I don’t lose them again. 🙂

March 1st and a new focus

The beginning of the week was chock full of running around. You all know the usual for our family. 🙂

Thursday was a sad day, we had to put down our dog Ginger. She was 10 years old and had been battling cancer for the past 18 months and finally reached the point where it was she was too uncomfortable. The older trio were very upset since she has been around their entire lives. The oldest three had a feeling it was coming since they saw how much pain she was in. Of course the babies have no idea. You know what I am finding I miss the most about her, she was our vacuum when the babies would throw those cheerios overboard. Now I have to haul out the dustbuster more. LOL

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Seriously though, I have been having thoughts about what I what to accomplish around the house and with the budget. I am sure you all are feeling the pinch too. Our electric bill went up 72% percent in July 07. It is slated to go up another 15% in July of this year too. Do you even want to talk about gas prices???? How about food prices?? Two years ago I was able to feed my family of 8 for $500. Now it is up to about $700. And that is taking out the increase with the girls. You add them in it is almost $800 a month.

How many of you are carrying credit card debt? That is just a major drain. Thankfully we don’t have much. My goal this year is to get it all paid off. That will just leave us the house and the van payment. I have me semi-following the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt. I intend to pick up the intesity and “go gazelle” like he says and have the cards gone by the end of the year. I have some little medical bills, copays and the like I didn’t know about that I am going to pay off this week, an orthodontist to get paid off, another loan and then 5 small credit balances. My grand total is $6,260. Not horrible, not real great. So this is my goal, I figure I will have least $1,500 gone this month.

Today I am writing out a new budget. Seeing where the fat is as seeing how much I can cut off. I know the family isn’t going to like it much. I am going to make those pennies squeal. I am going to have the older girls inventory the pantry and see what we have. Then I will be making out the menus, except for fresh milk, produce and diapers I do not want to buy much this month.