Featured Post

I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Currently and Some News

Officially, it is annoying when people ask if I'm still preggie... or "Haven't you had that baby yet?"  I'm sorry, but it is annoying.  I'm not even 40 weeks along!  Seriously.  I can't help the fact that I'm still preggie - unless I want to put my baby in danger.  Castor oil is as likely to give the baby the poops as me, and NO, I do NOT want my baby living in meconium before s/he is born no matter how my midwife tells me she's birthed healthy babies that did!  (Just as a note, she has NOT encouraged me to take Castor Oil lately or ever and I only know this bit about her experience with birthing babies who lived in it because of some anecdotal info she shared with me when I was really overdue with Tea.  She has, in fact, dissuaded me from such "starting labor" efforts in the past and I'm sure she would/will again.)  So, I'm not going to do anything to put my baby in harm's way.  If harm is meant to happen, it will happen withOUT MY help.  And our constant prayer is that all will be WELL and that the Angels sent to help us along will bear us up lest we dash our toes on rocks in our path.  So, we are expecting all to occur in due course with a joyful outcome.

I've honestly wanted to have this baby since February 14th (and really thought I would!) and it's not here, so YES, I'm tired.  Basically, that's to be expected at the end of pregnancy, but knowing that I have (given history) at least until March 18th to be preggie... it IS annoying to be asked if I am "still" preggie.  Sorry!  I honestly cannot help it.  It seems obvious to me that this is one of the down sides to having a 35-37 day cycle....  Carrying babies beyond the Doc's or Midwife's set "due date" seems to be basically the only down side I can think of... unless one is anxious to get preggie and then 35-37 days to wait between tries might be annoying, but I've been at peace concerning when conception would occur since the first time - when I was overly anxious and wanted to get preggie when I wanted to get preggie.

On the up side, there are months, when in normal cycling (out past post-partum amenorhea), that I don't have to HAVE a cycle cause it only comes every 35-37 days.  I like that.  Given the cramps I must endure just to bleed... it's NICE to NOT have them come more frequently than they do!  So, we take the "good" with the "bad" and keep on plugging along, right?  Well, seems to me that's about all there is to do!

And right here and now, the above is just me venting... cause it IS frustrating.  But I'll take it.  Cause the baby IS moving and I am well.  ^_^

Anyway... GOD knows what this baby needs and I'm absolutely sure that the baby will come in The Lord's due time no matter what my preference is!  So, I will Wait On and Trust In the Lord.

In other news:

Jess had a blast working a party last night as service.  He boiled and grilled, served and ate.  And just had a good time.  The girls and I did, too.  It was our Ward's Blue and Gold Banquet for the Cub Scouts (which was also a Ward Social) and turned out REALLY well.  It was fun to watch Jess in one of his elements.  He really DOES enjoy working with food AND people!

Ria is currently either very difficult or an angel.  I have nothing more to add about that right now.  Can you guess which end of the pendulum she's dangling at right now?

Kat has a little shadow named Tea.  Tea has been Ria's shadow frequently, too, but lately she's been settling most often in the footsteps of Kat.  I'm not sure how much I like or dislike this.  I'm SO glad my girls have such awesome playmates, though.  What a gift to have multiple same gender sibs!  I didn't have such a blessing and it's lovely to watch and enjoy now as a Mama.

Tea (rhymes with Ria) plays piano every day.  She'll play for a moment and then pause to say, "Sound petty, Mama?"  She is ADORABLE.  Well, until the end of the day during which time I'm trying to make dinner, inevitably... and she starts the constant fussing.  She still really NEEDS a nap, but if she GETS one she's up way too late at night, so I don't push them.  She's ready for bed by about 6:45pm with an hour or more of constant fussing before that.  *sigh*  YES, it IS frustrating!  She's generally such a happy girl....

I'm just tired.  Not a good time to post, perhaps, but this is me.  It's part of me, just like the optimism and efforts to remain in Peace moving ever toward Joy and trying to remain in Light!  I have bad days just like anyone else.  Today I woke up with a headache... so it's definitely not THE brightest day I've had lately.

We did get to go to the temple yesterday.  ^_^  It was our February temple trip as a family and was REALLY nice.  I couldn't find my temple bag, for which the Lord had been preparing me for at least a few days before...  I'd heard whispers  in the days leading up to our temple day (the last chance for February!) that went along these lines: "It's super important to simply get your girls to the temple,"  and, "Just make sure you GO to the temple for the consistency, your girls so WANT to be there, keep them in that desire,"  and, "It isn't always necessary that you go in to work, but sometimes it's just important to GET there together, to reaffirm that just BEing at the temple is precious, special and valuable."  So, even though I couldn't find my temple bag (with recommend in it), we went to the temple.  And then, after using the toilets inside (which is part of our routine to get the girls IN the temple), we went to one of their favorite stops - a playground park.  Our yesterday morning time together after we left the temple is like the ones Jess makes with the girls while I'm working in the temple.  And it was really NICE!  What a WONDERFUL morning for an hour at a playground!

I was just telling a friend, last night, about these sorts of trips.  You see, Jess tells me all about their escapades and adventures of an hour or two in duration which occur when I'm in the temple working.  He tells me about what they do, what they see, if they talk to anyone, if they avoid anyone (which they sometimes do when they are on secret missions ^_^)... basically everything, it seems like.  And I've had this feeling that it's SO super enjoyable to be with Jessie - especially when he's focused on being OUT with the girls in the way he is when I'm in the temple.  Having a GOOD time with them.

And then I got to go to some of their places when my Mom came to visit back in October.  Now, one of the places we visited was one Jess told me a LOT about previously.  He'd described to me how amazing it was to watch these hordes of wasps gathering mud and how they would fly right by your face - totally uninterested in the huge human they passed - yet so close Jess could see how the legs were all working together to hold the mud as the little beast flew.  His descriptions were just magical!  I was sure there were sparkles in the air around my girls as they observed these things with their Daddy... there certainly were sparkling motes floating in my mind's eye over and through everything I saw from his description!  :)    And then I got to go and see these things for myself.  As a result, I came to realize something really amazing and wonderful: the things Jessie observed with and did for/with our girls were not all that magical in and of themselves... the magic is in my JessieHE is the reason these things are so amazing... HIS eye and HIS perception of the world around him is just BEAUTIFUL!  And WHAT a gift to see these normal and even boring sorts of things for myself... to see how normal and boring they appear to me, yet to know how magical they are TO me and - even more importantly, to my girls, BECAUSE they get to see and experience it/them with their Daddy with the Magic Eyes!  Oh, WHAT a man!  :)

That's us for now.  Hope to hear from you!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In The Last Week

We've been busy.  :)

Jessie AND Tori have new  jobs.  Jess had FOUR scheduled interviews this past week.  He only made one of them and called the others to thank them for the opportunity, but to let them know that he'd accepted an offer.  And so, Jess will start his new Executive Chef job on February 28th.  And I'm SO excited for him... US!  It seems, thus far, that our new boss is a straight shooter, bold truth speaker, and may even be truly virtuous and full of integrity!!  Should this be the reality and not just my sense of things (which has sometimes been swayed by Jessie's description of his experiences, though this is usually not a problem when I listen harder to the Spirit than his words), this will be the SECOND time we have had such an employer.  Jim, back at Red Star Tavern, was our first experience with such a man and he was WONDERFUL.  Seriously awesome.  But we didn't get to have him long cause he wasn't willing to be treated poorly by the establishment and he left RST before Jess did.  We've had a couple other bosses that were either completely or mostly fully of integrity, BUT were not straight talkers and/or WERE totally passive aggressive in management and otherwise.  Those experiences were very valuable because they taught Jess how detrimental such behaviors are, generally, and for bosses, specifically.

Tori has a job?  Yes.  Actually, I do.  It's a gig that will be more an investment at the outset, but can potentially pay well enough to constitute a nice stream of income.  Also, it's totally contract-type work, so I don't clock-in anywhere, which, from what I've been hearing (from the Spirit) is the only kind of work Father will approve me to do while I am primarily engaged in childrearing.  (This also means, if you read between the lines, that I'll probably be paid very little for the time I'll put in - ESPECIALLY at the beginning.)  The work is something I believe in and will enable me to do something that I'm pretty good at already... sorta being paid for one of my Gifts.  So, what is it?  I'm a new Area Representative with ICES.  I am officially an Area Representative as of this past week.  I received my start-up package yesterday, as a matter-of-fact.  In it: lots of paperwork to become familiar with and some business cards (my name is not typed, I wrote it in, but still, it's official...).

Jessie has been inspired that we should pursue multiple streams of income.  I have felt the Spirit witness to me that this is of Father.  So, I began to ponder on what I could do?  Should I do anything?   The kind of work Jess does just doesn't leave him much time to do much else (especially when he's in an Executive Chef position).  Well, I'd looked at a particular possibility way back in September or October last year and expressed interest to the companies I found.  I didn't hear anything and, though I'd received confirmation that this is something Father was approving I could pursue, I figured it wasn't meant to be.  I started hearing back from them in November, but I didn't respond immediately.  Finally, I did write to one of the companies at the end of December.  I got paperwork in January and faxed it back this month.  Now I "just" need to establish relationships with area high schools and find some host families.  :)  No prob, right?  Well, I figure if Father really wants me to do this as a stream of income for my family, He'll provide in this area just as He does so marvelously and miraculously in all others.  I will have to do my part, of course, but where I end He will begin and complete.  He always does for us, so how can I doubt!?  I cannot.  I refuse.

Have you heard that song?  "I Refuse"?  OH!  It is AWESOME!  And inspiring.  And just wonderful!  If you haven't heard it (or my favorite song), and you can leave your internet on to hear an awesome radio station, I HIGHLY recommend: Z88.3 for ALL your listening enjoyment.  It's SAFE for the little ears in the back seat (^_^) and it's super uplifting.  My favorite song currently is:

Sanctus Real - “Lead Me”

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

The other streams of income?  Well, obviously Jessie's job will be our primary one.  Additionally, the ICES gig is another.  In addition to those, I've felt led to pursue the goals I felt compelled toward since before we actually moved here, but to pursue them for our family AND as streams of income.  Do you remember what those activities which I desire to pursue are?  Probably not.  It's only super important to me, I think.  :)  Here they are (but not in order of how they will come about): rabbits for meat and pelts, chickens for eggs and meat, bees for honey, and vermiculture.  I still really want to raise Nigerian Dwarf goats, but given this winter, I know we need to make sure we have enough income to buy feed for the goats through a winter cause the chickens ate up the yard all on their own!... so goats will have to wait a bit. I'll also have to wait on sheep for the same reason.  Not enough land!  I think the vermiculture will initially be primarily for composting and creation of vermipost for sale, but I'd also like to get into African Nightcrawlers for fishermen's bait (for sale).  We'll see.  :)

All of this is a lot more difficult than it sounds BECAUSE I have a problem.  I know it's a problem, given our current system, but I'm going to overcome it because Father is leading me on this path and He desires me to overcome myself... to take up my cross and become what He has in mind for me to be.  My problem?  I'm ready to live Consecration NOW.  All these things I would do for home use and then simply give away our excess.  But Father has in mind for me to help our home and family in financial ways and to build streams of income doing these things He has inspired in my heart a desire to pursue.  I accept His leading, so that's what I'll do until Consecration is truly possible... and along the way I'll give away what we can and do what we where we can for others.  :)

As another stream of income, Jess has become an Amazon Affiliate.  If you look at his blog, which the previous link will get you to, you'll see the Amazon ad carousel thingy to the right of his posts as well as an ad for the Kindle in his post about the same.  I'll probably have some Amazon ads here soon (via his affiliation).  How does this thing work?  Well, if you wanna buy something, see if it's sold via Amazon.  If it is, click on over to Jessie's blog and get to Amazon through his ads (or his ads here, when they're up) and use his link to get to Amazon and then to what you want.  That way, if I understand the whole thing correctly, he'll get paid a small sum for your purchase.  Neat, right?  I need to learn the whole thing better, but that's the gist I've got so far.

We are going to pursue some other affiliations (like Home Depot or Lowes as well as others) because it can really benefit a body.  Jess went to a conference thing about it and came home determined that we could figure it out (rather than paying $2000 for the program that the conference thing was set up to sell).  So, we're doing things slowly, but hopefully building a strong foundation in the slow laying of it.  :)  We'll see, of course.

By way of update about our pregnancy: I've been awakened by contractions 3 or 4 mornings in the last 10 days or fewer.  Those mornings have resulted in  a few hours of crampy contractions (no, not Braxtong Hicks... THOSE are way easier to deal with) and then I was able to get some sleep.  Thankfully!  On last check I was dilated 1-2 centimeters (which I've walked that for about 2 months each baby before this one) and was soft and effacing, but not significantly enough for my midwife to give me a percentage on the effacement.  So, the contractions are doing their work, though slowly.  I'm still hopeful that this will be a different labor and delivery... and really, I'm right on track for that.  I've not been having these kinds of contractions this early before.  So, we'll see.  ^_^

I have been nesting something fierce!  What have I done?  Well, I think I've already mentioned the nesting coop for my chickens, which I'm building.  It's about half-way done now, which includes the door (probably the most time intensive bit).  Still have a bit left, but hopeful that it'll come along quickly when I get back outside to it.  I've been a bit tied up inside with nesting fits, though.  I've reorganized the living room.  I've reorganized and done some better ordering of things in our office/craft/media room.  I've put together some milk-crate-shelves for books and, as a result, I've been able to get my library more organized.  I've actually reached a stopping point on that project because I have no more crate/shelves to put books out in/on.  Bummer.  I used 3 crates to make some shelves for organizing clothes on top of a long dresser Jessie saved from the curb a few weeks ago.  One crate is neatly full of newborn items, which were already freshly washed.  I placed them every so nearly in the crate - just waiting the arrival of our baby.  The other two crates are stacked and full of clean t-shirts for Jess which are organized by color.  It looks SO nice!  Because of those clothing shelves, the laundry room is beginning to look REALLY spiffy, neat, and orderly!  Having that room all straight and tidy feels SO good!  I've been able to catch back up on laundry (the kind that needs washing and putting away, I mean), which ALWAYS feels SO good!  The only organizing left to do in the laundry room is to straighten up my own clothes (our laundry room is big part of our closet system) and then maintain!  YEAY!

Still left to do in Nesting:
-Dump all girls clothes out of stuffed, messy drawers.
-Repack drawers with summer appropriate attire - NEATLY.  (We will keep some warm clothes out, but most will be put away cause we've had a lot more warm days than otherwise lately.)
-Figure out where to keep Tea's clothes (they used to be kept in the laundry room on a shelf that is now used for some linens).
-Go through, take out to add to daily wear, and repack (as necessary) clothes previously set aside for growing girls.
-Finish chicken nesting coop (with run, preferrably).
-Hem some pants for Jess (totally not as easy as it should be since I don't know how to operate the sewing maching we do have).
-Finish a small crochet project for Kat.  (When she sees it, she asks for it, so I know she wants it!)
-Wash couch cushion covers.  UGH.  Such a frustrating job cause the girls always dump something on it right after they are put back in place.  *sigh*  And such is life with littles, eh!?  :)
-Call High Schools in my county (to start with) and figure out what needs done to prepare the way for International Exchange Students with my company.
-Clean two remaining kitchen drawers to put back in place.
-Begin pulling fence boards from rotted wood and stack in the place already set aside for them (preparation for when we can afford cross beams to re-set our fence).
-And, of course, basic maintainance, which is always there to be done (sweeping, mopping, dishes, trash, feeding chickens, homeschool, daily piano practice, food prep, work for Calling, etc.).  And very soon I'll have to add lawnmowing!  YIKES!  Hopefully the baby will be happy with that kind of noise....

I've already come to terms with the likelihood that all of these projects will probably NOT be totally and compeltely finished prior to the baby's birth.  I'm mostly okay with that.  But it sure would be nice to get it all done!

I will share news about the baby as I know stuff.  Basically, all there is to know now is that the baby rolls around and moves well and regularly.  Strong baby.  :)  And the girls, Jess, and I are looking forward to welcoming this new little person to our family!  My next midwife visit is sometime next week.  No appointment set yet, but I'm supposed to set one.  And as of Sunday or Monday I'm 38 weeks along.  Getting closer.  ^_^

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Until Further Notice

Just because I have, in the past, NOT had my babies by their due dates, I wanted to share with you the most up to the minute news on this current baby's arrival - or lack thereof.  If you desire to know the news - UP to the MINUTE!

So, when you wonder, "Has Tori had that baby yet?"  Just click on THIS link until further notice.

It IS accurate!  ^_^

Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting Down, but Going Up

I'm getting down in the time left in this pregnancy, but going up in pounds.  I'm almost 36 weeks now!!  As this (gaining weight in pregnancy) has not before happened to me, it's all new territory.  I get to feel what most pregnant women (I've heard) feel about their bodies when preggie.  I have to say, it doesn't feel too good.  BUT it DOES feel good to feel the baby moving around and know that it's a strong one and as healthy as we can tell from all indications.  YEAY for that.  ^_^

I've had and been able to take a lot more time away from being the sole care provider of and for my children in the last month and a week or so than EVER before.  It's been a gift and blessing to me.  I'm the kind of Mama who is basically always with the kiddos.  While I'm thankful that I get to be that kind of homeschooling stay-at-home Mom... because of my hardworking hubby!, it IS exhausting in a way only women in the same situation can understand.

In the final trimester of each of my pregnancies, I've had this overwhelming desire to GET AWAY.  Yes, even when I was preggie with my #1... I just wanted to get away from my job (involving children).  I wanted Jess to take me off somewhere so that I would not have to deal with "little people" for a while.  It didn't happen.  It didn't happen with #2 and it didn't happen with #3.  During my 3rd trimester with the last two, I wanted to just go to a hotel a few blocks away on the beach and spend the night alone... truly alone.  I daydreamed about being able to take an undisturbed shower and read without any interruptions... and - maybe even - watch TV or a movie alone - again, the whole "no interruptions" being a key drawng/attracting factor.  Didn't happen.

This time the whole hotel thing is totally out of the question, of course.  And, really, doing anything for myself to take care of myself away from my family (because it basically always costs money... read: gas money, specifically) is way out of range of our income, which, because Jess is drastically underemployed, is just not possible right now.

During December someone I've never met made a suggestion, which the Spirit turned into a challenge.  She said, "When my husband was unemployed for 2 years, we found great comfort in attending the temple weekly."  Of my natural self and to her, in reply, I said I couldn't possibly do that because of our financial sitation and the fact that my hubby was already making tremendous sacrifices of time to help me be there with my family as much as we were.  But over the course of about two weeks, the Spirit translated that sweet Sister's statement into, "You should really try to get to the temple more right now.  It's easier for now.  Tea is older.  Jess can stay home with the girls sometimes and you can still accomplish your family goal for temple attendance.  You can get to the temple alone the other weeks."

At first the idea of those temple trips all on my own did not strike me as anything more than going more frequently to serve the Lord and sort of petition Him for favor in the whole job situation.  The idea of sacrificing the gas money was big, but going alone would cost less gas (taking the car instead of the van) and if Jess was willing, maybe I really SHOULD do it.  After I'd been a couple times on my own, Father shared with me another purpose for my efforts: to drastically reduce or completely eradicate any post-partum depression I might experience after this baby's birth.

I've been made aware of some of the Patterns in my life... the ones Father has allowed/created so that I might learn and grow.  I think I've shared the whole under/un-employment pattern of past pregnancies.  In addition to that there is the "Growing Faith and/or Temple Attendance Relative to Reduced PPD Experiences" Pattern.  When I was preggie with Ria I was not terribly faith-filled.  I was not attending church.  I did not pray... not much and not often, anyway.  I experienced 7 months of horrible, deep, dark PPD... undiagnosed, but I know what I went through and it was one of my very own 'valley of the shadow of death' sorts of things.

When I was preggie with Kat, I went to the temple once.  It was an awesome experience.  I could tell Kat was aware of the proceedings of the family temple trip and was, at least, aware of those for whom we were doing work.  It was amazing.  I was also attending church each week by then.  I was doing my best to hold a calling with the right heart about the service.  I was praying sometimes... probably mostly at night.  After Kat was born I experienced 5 months of PPD.  It did  NOT set in right when Kat was 4-6 weeks old as with Ria, though, it took a few months.  The 5 months of PPD I did experience, though dark, were not of the same pitch black quality I'd experienced of PPD after Ria.

During my pregnancy with Tea, we were making out monthly temple trips as a family and had been since we moved when Kat was 3 weeks old.  (Probably impacted that PPD after Kat, too!)  After Tea was born the PPD that did manifest did not show up until she was 5 months old (older than when the stuff fell on me after Kat) and it only lasted 3 months.  The darkness of that PPD experience was significantly less velvety with thickness than that which I experience after Kat and, compared with the PPD after Ria, it was, relatively speaking, a bright moonlit night!

Lord knows when this baby will come forth.  If s/he is born very near due date, I will have made it to the temple 9 or 10 times (as long as things hold out and I'm able to catch a ride or afford the gas as the case may be), 6 or 7 without Jess or the girls along, just detween December 31 and March 6 (due date).  It has not been easy these last few weeks.  My psyche has been hammered, my family has been in a bit of emotional and some physical upheaval... the deceiver is working overtime on us, for sure.  But the hope that Father has whispered to me through His Holy Spirit is worth the effort!  To have NO PPD (regardless of texture of blackness!) would be a miracle of the truly awesome sort.

I hear a scoff, "A miracle?"  You think not?  What scientific literature can YOU point to that indicates that a woman who has once experience PPD will EVER experience anything but WORSE cases of the same?  Can you even find one case of someone who has had reduced PPD in subsequent pregnancies?  All that I've found myself, heard from others' reading or heard of via others' experiences indicates that PPD is a kind of depression that hits when it hits - usually hard, and only gets worse and more UNmanageable with each subsequent birth.  So, given that I feel the confirmation of truth in this, I will shout, "MIRACLE!" in the experience I've already had!  Not to mention if this problem I have encountered in PPD is completely vanquished through the 'simple' effort of greater service to the Lord in His Holy House!  I'm feeling very hopeful that it will be so.  Yet I acknowledge that the prayers of His faithful can never EVER hurt... so, if you feel so inclined as to devote some of your heart and mind to this effort of mine to be so in line with the Lord and His Word, Will, and Way as to experience none of the "typical" darkness I've endured previously, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on my (and my family's) behalf!

So, though the time left in this pregnancy is getting down, I am going up in Hope and efforts to be faithful and Faith Filled... as well, of course, as seeing the scale go up.  BLAH!  ;)

copyright notice

© 2008-2016 Tori Gollihugh All Rights Reserved