Saturday, June 28

Horsey Horsey don't you stop!

Or... rather.... Horsey Horsey don't you dare throw my girl off your back you four legged beast of burden! ;D
Jessie LOVES her riding lessons. For a while Jack was going too and he'd have a quick ride on the horse and LOVED it..... These days Rex takes Jessie to her lesson and I stay home with Jack. After the lesson they usually go out to the lake and eat cookies whilst watching the wildlife together. It's a nice bonding time for them.

Jessie has been aching to canter for months. MONTHS. Last lesson her Daddy took her along, then left to run a quick errand and collected her when she was finished riding. Turns out, after all that time, that was the day she was allowed to canter. And no one saw it. :(

This week Jessie was DETERMINED that no one should miss her proud moment, so Mommy, Daddy and Jack ( Oh, AND the dog! ) dutifully piled into the van, with cameras in hand of course, and headed off to the ranch! It was a glorious day, sunshine and blue, blue sky. We could see for miles. We leaned on the fence and got to watch as my little girl rode at speed on the back of this beast!! :D To be honest, Cash is a sweet boy, but I've seen her fall off once and have a horse bolt with her hanging on for dear life, (... another reason why Rex takes her to class now....!!) it's scary stuff for me!

Here are some pics of the horse riding heroine!!!
In this one the horse has only one foot on the ground!
Look at that mane fly!
The satisfied grin!!

... and the pleased as punch smile! :D

Friday, June 27

I say Vegan, you say Cheese.

One of the tricky things about turning vegan is a) trying not to sound like a born again convert and b) trying to avoid cheese. Seriously. Cheese is everywhere. Well... you know... in food I mean. It's not like it's scratching at the windows trying to get in....

We like to get these delicious Burritos from our local Co~op and hubby offered to pick some up for us last night. He told the lady at the Deli.... "No Cheese, Vegan please".... and she dutifully made him up three huge and delicious burritos to take home to his eager and hungry family.

I tore off the wrappers, plonked the food onto the plates and we began to eat! I took a huge bite out of mine first...... GAH!!!!!!! CHEESE!!!!!!!!! Each one was liberally dosed with cheese. I told hubby and he said I should call them up and complain... they aren't cheap and it's sooo frustrating when someone can't follow a simple request. I called up and spoke to a manager there and explained that my husband had picked up our burritos for dinner and asked for no cheese and now they have cheese. I was upset as I would now have to try and make dinner and it was already getting late and they were wasted and fairly pricey. <> The manager was very nice and explained to me that the Deli manager was unavailable but would call me back as soon as possible and they were very sorry and would do everything they could to make things right for me.... and so on. I was happy with her response and hung up, vaguely irritated, but the promise of a refund AND free Burritos lifted my spirits. I scraped all the cheesy beans and filling out of the tortillas and heated up beans and salsa. I chopped up onions, spinach, red pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes and filled the tortillas back up, sprinkling them with sunflower hearts before rolling them into Burrito shapes. They turned out very tasted and I prided myself on staying relatively calm and making lemonade out of lemons so to speak. I was half way through my dinner when the phone rang. I picked it up and it was the Co~Op. The manager calling me back. I was pleased, prompt service and I should think so too. The manager went on to tell me that she had spoken with the young woman at the Deli ( Oh good. I should hope so. ) and the woman had informed her that my husband had said "No cheese, Vegan cheese..." *ah* I fell silent. Somewhat mortified. Turns out the woman at the counter had misheard Rex and used Vegan cheese in our Burritos. I closed my eyes and thought of all that yumminess scraped into the trash can. "Oh. Well. That explains it all and makes a lot more sense, doesn't it! Thank you so much!" I said, as breezily as I could.

I carefully hung up the phone.... no refund, no free Burritos.... just a lingering foolish feeling.


Following yesterday's post it was somewhat ironic I noticed, when I became aware that the fish had given birth to seven babies. *sigh*. Damn fish. Cruel Irony.

Thursday, June 26

June 26th 2006

Today is the two year anniversary of the death of my baby boy, Jacob Michael Baker. He lived only three hours after being born at 21 weeks gestation outside Home Depot, in my sister in laws car, at 4 in the morning, on the way to the hospital. My poor hubby had left that evening to drive to Madison, Wisconsin. He'd called me at 1am to tell me he had arrived. At 3am I called him and told him that I was in labor. He turned around and started to drive back home. My sister in law and niece came over, my sister in law took me to the hospital whilst my niece stayed here with the children. She called 911 on route, but I delivered the baby myself. He was still in the sac and I could see him moving around in there. I was in such shock that I thought I had accidentally pushed my uterus out too..... I looked up to find we had stopped and were surrounded by fire trucks and sheriff cars... All I could say was "He's 21 weeks, he's 21 weeks...." I knew... I knew... they couldn't save him.

The hospital staff were magnificent. Such loving and tenderness. They brought him to me dressed in tiny tiny baby clothes and bundled up in a blanket.
They let me hold him the entire time. He died after 3 hours in my arms and I still continued to hold him. I thought he was beautiful. He had my husbands feet....the same toes. My midwife came to sit with me... my Doula came to keep me company, all the time I watched the clock for hubby to arrive. I stayed sensible. I cried of course, but didn't really let go. I organised the disposition of the kids, I talked with the nurses, I even made jokes and laughed once in a while, but all the while I held my dead baby and rocked him in my arms.

It seemed like forever for Rex to arrive. He phoned me countless times along the way, he was sobbing, I was scared he would crash the car... when he got close to the hospital he asked that we would be totally alone. I made sure that everyone knew not to disturb us at all until we asked them to. I could feel my heart beating faster knowing he was coming and when he walked into my room we both broke into bitter, broken hearted tears. We held each other and sobbed. It was what I had been waiting for. After some time we asked for a drink of orange juice and we began the process of paperwork and such that is necessary in such cases. He went to fetch the children and we brought them in to the hospital too. Jack was very uncomfortable and nervous. He knew I was so sad and didn't know how to respond so he withdrew. Jessie broke into tears when she saw me, I had phoned her in the morning and told her myself, what had happened. At first she didn't want to see her brother, and I said that was fine. I asked if I could describe him to her and she said yes. I told her he was like a tiny little doll and so precious. She asked if she could see him and I let her hold him. She was so tender with him.
Rex took the kids home and he himself went to get some rest... he hadn't slept for sooo long. The worst part, the absolute worst part, was when it came time to leave the womb that was the hospital. The staff had been soooo considerate and gentle taking pains to keep me away from other mothers and the cries of new babies. I never once heard or saw another child. If you have had children of your own in a hospital, you know the exciting time comes when they say you are free to go. You have to wait for them to get you a wheelchair and in those moments your new life with your child is ready to begin.... I remember that with both my other two children. This time was so different. I was standing, rocking the baby and swinging from side to side, patting his back gently. This tiny child weighed no more than a large bag of M&M's. I was a new mother. I had my baby in my arms... but then the nurse came to take him ... to the morgue. It was devastating. I could pretend, as long as I was holding him, that I had my baby and he was just sleeping. Once I handed him over I could pretend no more. I sat in the wheelchair and numbly allowed the nurse to wheel me out the hospital. I closed my eyes and sat in mortal fear of seeing someone coming in with flowers or leaving with their new, healthy, baby. By the time I reached the car I was shaking. As soon as my door closed I broke down. Once we pulled out into traffic I felt lost and alone and devastated. No more pretending. No one out there, on the street, knew what hell we had been through. No one knew our pain and everyone was busy getting on with their lives. If we got in their way they would blare their horns, compounding our agonies by making us find it in ourselves to offer a wave in contrition at our slowness. For days, weeks, months afterwards it was impossible to function normally. I was no longer pregnant. My breasts filled with milk and I was told to bind them up, don't let the milk out or I would have a hard time getting it to stop. Women with new babies were everywhere, pregnant women seemed to congregate around me. I began to abhor Target which seems a pregnant woman magnet. I wanted to tell everyone my pain. I wanted to share it if only to make it smaller. I wanted their sympathy .... I was afraid if someone was accidentally rude to me I might crumble right there. I wished I wore a badge "Please be nice to me, I just lost my child"... I began to look at people around me with new eyes. How do I know that the woman at the checkout hasn't lost a baby? How many women right here are struggling with infertility? How many miscarriages have we all had between us? How much loss? How much pain??


We dealt with the loss of Jacob with the idea that we would simply get pregnant again. We did actually conceive again, ON Jacob's actual due date. I was exstatic. This was Jacob coming back to me. This was the answer to our pain. This was perfect. This miscarried at 7 weeks. I lost all faith in everything. I never have been a religioius person but I was a spiritual person. I believed in reasons for things, I believed in coincidences being meaningful, reasons behind things. I believed I was meant to meet my husband, I believed in fate and destiny. With that loss I believed in nothing anymore.


Jacob's body was cremated and we keep a few of his remains in a tiny brass urn. At the hospital they took a cast of his foot ( the one with his Daddy's toes! ) and a local jeweller in sympahty for us, took the cast and made it in gold for us. I keep his foot with me still. The rest of his remains are in a box on the mantle. We had been undecided about what to do with them. Lately I have been reading Bill Bryson's book on the universe and how we are all made up from molecules of those who have passed before us. It occured to me this morning that I need to let Jacob go. I want to scatter the ashes to the winds so he can go on to become part of something else.

Today we'll maybe make an Angel Food cake or something to show we haven't forgotten him, but truly, he's not someone I will likely ever forget. After two years I thought the pain had gone. It turns out it's not all that deep under the surface. One little scratch and it bubbles right up.

Happy Birthday Jacob. We wish you were here.


My Running Shoes...

are so grippy I find them quite trippy
whilst wearing them inside the house.
I stumble on carpet and feel like a half wit
or someone who's been on the souse!! ;D

Kids say the funniest things...

Jessie, bless her, will not want to remember this when she is older, but yesterday Jack looked as if he might need to go to the bathroom. We asked him "Jack? Do you need to pee??" He said "NO!!" and went on playing with determination! "BUT!" Jessie said "He keeps pulling on his crouch" !!! LOL!!! Aww bless her. Her Daddy pointed out that the word was crotch and she said "Well! I don't think it's a word I need to know anyway!!!" Heee heeeeee!!!!!

Special Olympian!

We were at our favorite whole food coop yesterday when a lady approached me and indicated Jack

"Is he enrolled with the Special Olympics yet?"

(erm... he's FIVE......!!)

"Nooo....." I said. She went on to explain that she's a coordinator for the Special Olympics, and I told her how he's only little and couldn't POSSIBLY be in the Special Olympics yet...... however, I wondered. Perhaps she'd been watching me with him in the store. He'd make a good Olympian.... He took an orange from the stack and hurled it down the aisle with some force ( shot put ), He snatched a bread loaf from the shelf and ran off with it ( relay ) ... and BOY can that kid run .... ( sprint! ) So really I should chase the woman down and see what she can do with him!!! : D

Wednesday, June 25


TWO MILES!!!!!!! I just got back from running TWO MILES and I have to say THAT is a workout. And, thanks to my poor planning, the last half mile is all uphill.... I've heard running is 50% physical and 50% mental and I have to agree with that. I literally hear my body fighting it's self... "I can't do this" " I want to stop!" "I'll just walk a little way...." and my brain saying "No, don't stop, you can do it!!" "Just to the next crack in the pavement.... now one more... now one more......!!" It's a good thing I'm stubborn is all I can say! :D

Anyway, I'm back and I'm proud !! LOL!! I'm off to the basement to do some "Power Pilates" then shower, then the grocery store. I suppose I'm going to have to make up a menu one of these days... darn it! ;D

(LOL!!... The Cat is freaking out... one of the Guinea pigs is whistling and the cat has no idea what's going on!!!)

Tuesday, June 24

At 4:11 am the National Weather Service....

...issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning... and again at 4:30, 4:45, 5:00, 5:15..... and so on!! ;D Not the BEST way to start the morning !!! At 4:17 the dog barked. Just once. I ignored it. She sometimes does just one woof. A minute later she did it again. This usually means trouble, so I got up and went down to see if she needed to go out. Nope. Apparently she just didn't like the storm and wanted a cuddle. I obliged! I wandered into the kitchen to watch the storm rage out the window and THANK GOD the light from the street was enough to illuminate a dark patch on the kitchen floor. Kitty puke. SO happy I didn't find it with my bare feet !!! I cleaned that up and wandered back to bed. I managed to get back to sleep but leaped to my feet in an instant after hearing one of the kids yell "MOOOOOOM" !!! I jumped up and tore out the room and found both kids sound asleep. The CAT however, was sat looking askance in my bedroom having come in to say Hello! 'D (Stoopid cat! )

So... my morning routine was delayed by a couple of hours... I got my new shoes wet by running in the rain, but they were up to the challenge and performed mightily!! :D I came home and tried a couple of different workouts.... the Salsa workout?.. not for me. Denise Austin's Power Yoga and Pilates? ... Perhaps... if I can get over her CONSTANT talking and breathy voice!! Man that's annoying!!! Once I get the hang of it I can always mute it I'll bet! That will work! Oh! and on another note... does anyone else find that those little ear buds on MP3 players are TOTALLY irritating?!?! Is it just ME?!? They won't stay in my (tiny delicate) ear 'oles. I mean honestly, I'm concerned. Did my ears fail to grow properly? Do I have the ears of a mere child?!?!? I get frustrated at trying to run and fiddle around with the ear pieces. I've considered using a band aid to tape the things to the side of my head.... but fear I'd get hit by a car and not have to worry about wearing shabby knickers, but rather having to explain the band aids...especially as they would likely be either Disney Princess ones or Pixar Cars!! ( My hubby had to go to work with Snow White wrapped around his finger one morning!!) .... ( I suppose there are worse things...!!?!? )

Well I've rambled on some today... I guess breakfast is in order and no doubt, laundry, school, errands, etc etc !!! :D

Have a great day!!! (Oh go on!!!)

Monday, June 23

Doh! A Deer!!!

Well, this morning actually... we had a Doe and... AND her fawn cross the path in front of us!!!!!! OH MAN!! And my camera??? Yes? What had happened to the camera that captures every minuscule moment of our daily lives?? What of it???? It was 'fulled up' !!! 'D I had JUST taken another ( ANOTHER ) photo of my kids pulling each other in the wagon and my memory card was full! This monster holds well over 700 photos... and I had not ONE left to capture the beauty that was just standing there in front of us...GAH!!!! I knew I could fiddle around and delete some pictures, but I knew that then I would have my head in my camera and not on the deer and I'd miss all the action!!!

Ah well. Jessie felt bad that I couldn't take a picture but I told her it was ok... we saw it with our eyes and now it's in our memories... and she said "yeah, and they can never be deleted...." !!!

I'm gonna put on... my my my my my running shoes

.... and boogie all by myself I suspect! ;D

I took my new shoes out for another run this morning and this time I took a longer route. When I got close to home I detoured again and went further still!!! I'd warned Jessie to expect me to be about 30 minutes ( as I figured I'd probably have to walk some of it ) but in fact I made it back in 15. I quickly drove the route to measure just how far it was and it was 1.5 miles!!! Now, to the seasoned veterans out there ( Sarah again ) 1.5 miles isn't much, but to me, it's awesome!! LOL!! ;D I have been running .8 of a mile so I'm getting there! To be honest I could have kept going and going this morning! I felt great! And, as Sarah says, "It's not something I ever regret doing! I don't ever run and say "Well! I wish I hadn't done THAT" !! " ( she's so wise!! )

After my run I came home and checked in with the kiddoes!! We recently picked up a carton of Enriched CHOCOLATE Rice Milk and I'm happy for the kids to drink it as it's full 'o' Vitamins ( and yes, I said Vit~amins, not Vite~amins!!) so they were amazed when I agreed to let Jack have chocolate milk on his cereal this morning!! LOL!! I love freebie "Great Mom" moments like that!!! It's almost TOO easy!!!!

I headed down to the basement to work out a little and this time tried a Pilates DVD I had forgotten about. Sheesh. I know why I'd forgotten about it!! The woman is a Nazi!! She's so "Bendy" !!! ( who says that? Anyone know?!) and she's so serious and MEAN!! Hmph. I'm going back to Tammi Lee and her Buns of Steel at this rate!!! I don't want to be bossed about on my time!!!!! So anyway, I forced myself through the Pilates but man did I mutter about it and now the day is my own! Sort of!!

Monday is whole house cleaning day ( Flylady anyone? ) so we're stripping the beds, washing the floors, cleaning the windows, sorting out magazines, emptying trash, "hoovering" the house, doing the laundry and taking in the recycling. Then, after lunch, we'll have some fun!!! I've almost got the whole house clean under control... it sort of depends on how the weekend went. If the kitchen was clean on Sunday, then the house takes care of it's self on Monday. That is not usually the case!! :D We need to walk the dog this morning too... nearly forgot about that! ( sorry dog! ) The kiddies will no doubt want to swim again, the neighbor has more cherries she needs to pick and I have another bucket full to pit. Hmmm... what else.... Oh, plants to water, fish and rat cages to clean out AND another neighbor came over last night to ask if we could watch HER Guinea Pig for a couple of days!! It really is a zoo here!!! :D

Well, I suppose I should get off the computer and get myself some breakfast.

Have a super day everybody! :D

Sunday, June 22

Just in case Cherry Pie ain't sweet enough for ya....!

Here's ma Dawg! ;D She's waiting patiently for a piece of baked savory Tofu. The CAT will have NOTHING to do with tofu, savory or otherwise!! ;D

She started to feel at little self conscious at this point and put on her "daft dog" face! ;D
She's a funny girl!!

Pie! Pie! Me oh MY! :D

So!! After all the picking, the pitting and the cooking... we have.... Tah DAH... Cherry Pie! Or rather, Cherry Crisp....or, rather, Cherry~not~so~ crisp~ but~ still~ delicious~ and~ I'm~ so~ glad~ I~ added~ the~ Nutmeg.!!!

Sadly I neglected to take a picture of it before we'd all dug in... who knew? It smelled so good and we were sooo waiting to try it that we just dug in and ate up before I knew what I was doing!!

Here's some up close !! ( sorry about that!!)

Happily, however, Jack had been rather delinquent in eating his dinner so his pie eating was delayed! This gave me time to get over my cherry stupor and whip out the camera post~haste! ;D

Boy Meets Pie, Boy Eats Pie! ;D

Try not to drool on your keyboard now! ;D

Once you've picked 'em you've gotta pit 'em! :D

Just come in from watching the kiddoes in the pool and sitting in the shade pitting cherries!! ;D Two old folk, side by side, pit 'em, toss the cherry in one bowl, the pit in another. Sorry folks, no pictures, you're going to have to just use your imaginations for this one! :D

We have enough for two pies so far, one more bucket to pit... and the neighbor lady wants us back tomorrow to pick more!!!! :D Don'tchya just LOVE free food?!?! :D

More later...!!

Busy Bees!

Wow yesterday was so busy I didn't even get time to post...!! This is a run down on what we did.....

First thing in the morning I went for a run and rejoiced in the fact that this would be the LAST morning I run in hiking boots as I planned on getting new running shoes today!!

After my run we had breakfast and so on, then I took Jessie down the street for a tour of the Brand New Water Treatment Facilities!! Whoo HOOO!! It's not every day you get to see something like that so we jumped at the chance! Here are some pics!!

It's not often you see balloons at the water treament plant!!

New pipes!! Whoo hooo!! ( and three new engines! )
Mmmmm.... sewage....!!
Oxygenating the organisms!

Year old sludge!! "}
Huge new generator!!!

After all that excitement we needed to get a little closer to the green side of nature, so we went over to our neighbors house and helped her pick cherries from her trees!

She has a bumper crop so we picked and picked and picked!

It was a gorgeous morning for it!

After the picking the cherries, a friend came over to drop off her pets...

a Guinea Pig ( called Tiffany! )

and a pretty little turtle ( named Katy! )

My friend is going away for a week so we are excited to have a couple more exhibits for our zoo!!! Jessie is doing a wonderful job taking care of all the animals. She makes sure each pet has fresh food and water twice a day! What a star she is!

After the arrival of the pets we packed ourselves into the van and set off into town to run some errands and to visit our mailman who is languishing in a hospital bed after a well meaning doctor found cancer in Postie's colon. Happily it has all been removed and the coast looks clear, but it's a scary thing and he had NO IDEA ... * sigh *. On a side note, when we arrived at the hospital two large fire trucks rolled up to the front entrance, sirens blaring the whole thing. I remarked to another woman that perhaps we shouldn't be going IN to the hospital!! :} I asked a nurse when we entered if there was a fire and she said "Oh, it's just on the women's tower....." Excuse me?? What does THAT mean?!?!? There IS a fire, but it's only WOMEN!?!??! What is your point here??!!?! I was Per Turbed!! Not half as perturbed as I was to find myself walking through all the modernisation of the hospital and realising I had come upon the very elevators we travelled in whilst I was in labor with Jessie!!! My uterus actually cramped!!!!

So! After our visit we went .... * drum roll please!! * to get my new running shoes!!!!! Yipppeee!!! And here they are.......!! * sigh* aren't they glorious?!?!?!

After the shoe shopping, then we went for some yummy vegan Mexican food at our favorite restaurant where we made PIGS of ourselves!!! But it was sooo good!! After THAT we stopped to get printer paper and ink and finally back home where the kids headed for the pool and hubby and I flirted a little whilst he trimmed the trees and threatened to lop off my rose bushes!!! It began to rain heavily so we bribed the kids to come indoors for some vegan Berried Treasure sorbet. ( delicious!! ) I put the kids to bed and promptly fell asleep with them... DANG IT!!..... Rex came to get me and I staggered downstairs only to collapse on the couch again ... I roused once when the cat WALKED OVER ME to get behind me, but other than that, I slept there until midnight!!! A HUGE roll of thunder woke me again and I was able to drag my sorry self up to bed!!!! Worn OUT!!!