Night Night Nurse

It is fitting on my last 12 hour overnight shift as a labor and delivery nurse the World Health Orginization announced that "next month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, will add overnight shift work as a probable carcinogen." Fox News I knew the toll on my body was significant but now there is proof. So it is with both glee and a bit of sadness that I close this chapter of my life. I have been a L and D nurse for 5 and half years with 5 of those years being overnights. It has been a blessing to see so many babies brought into the world and to have a job that pays you to help people. Of course it has its less glamourous side. Staying up for 24-30 hours, and well lets just say birth isn't a "clean" process. Beautiful yes, but neat and tidy, no. I will miss my time to use my critical thinking and feeling like I made a difference for one small moment in one person's life. I have delivered two babies all on my own (doctor didn't make it in time) and I have "saved" a few babies lives with resuscitation. I have helped mom's and dad's wade through the agony of losing their baby and supported numerous mom's through high risk deliveries. The job is full of emotional highs and lows. I will miss caring for other families, but am thrilled to be able to give my all to my own. It is hard to imagine not working. Although staying home is the hardest job. It requires more strength, patience, devotion, love, understanding, and organization than I thought possible. I plan to return once Version 4.0 is in school full time. So this is the close of one chapter and the beginning of beautiful new one.

Time for the Body Butter

I did it! I am 17 weeks and I pushed, pulled and sucked my gut into my regular pants and shirt today. However, today is the last day. Maternity clothes here I come! I am bit shocked how much I have grown in two weeks. I wish I could blame it on the baby, but it is probably all that pie and turkey. 17 weeks has been the mark for all of my pregnancies in which two things happen: 1. maternity clothes and 2. Cocoa Butter Body Butter gets liberally lathered on my belly. I have escaped stretch marks thus far and while I know science says it is all your genes; I am not convinced. I have stretch marks on my thighs and other places that grow during pregnancy that did not get the daily body butter lather. I suppose I could do an experiment and not use it this time, but I'd rather not take the chance!

The Sick House

We have been fighting a cold for three weeks and it is winning. It has moved on to give Hailey and Karlie ear infections, Kaitlin pink eye, and me a serious sinus infection. We are a bit under the weather to say the least. The only one still standing is Max. He has yet to let the bug conquer him. Hopefully our allies the antibiotics will come through strong and eradicate this nasty bug!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you studied hard because the results are in. I was hoping the baby would give us a clear shot so there wouldn't be any wondering and waiting and I got what I wished for.

Looks like we are going to have a whole new operating system!

It's A BOY!!!!!!!!

Grateful Wednesday

Happy Thanksgiving
Max- "I'm thankful for my job which keeps me highly entertained throughout the day - what can I say, I'm a nerd."
Katie- "The Grace of God."
Hailey- "My backpack because it helps me carry all my stuff for school."
Karlie- "Shoes."
Kaitlin- Her Blankie.

2 Days Unitl Turkey Day

Hailey- " I am thankful God made my body with all the stuff inside, like my heart, my spine, my bones and stomach."
Karlie- "My famwee (family)."
Katilin- She gave me a kiss, so I guess kisses!
Katie- "My sisters who I share so much of my life with."
Max- "My parents and upbringing."

Manic Monday-But Still Thankful

Katie- Well today got off to a great start! I have been sick all weekend and woke up not quite full of energy and zest. Karlie has an ear infection and the dog threw-up all over the carpet while I was trying to get everyone fed, dressed and out the door for school. But, despite this manic Monday morning, I am still so very thankful.

I am thankful for my-in-laws today. Many people loath their's, dread the holidays because they will have to see them, or are thankful that they live far away from their in-laws. Not here. I am blessed to have such loving, giving and helping in-laws. Max and I wouldn't be where we are spiritually, occupationally ( is that a word?), or as successful without them. I need my mother-in-law when I have my babies. She just knows how to take care of us in that blurry and crazy time. I would not be the staunch breastfeeding supporter nor would I have nursed each of my babies for over a year without her guiding support and encouragement. What a difference support can make! So a cheers to my 2nd mom and dad.

Karlie- "Food. Apples dipped in peanut butter, pretzels, steak, and fish". What no turkey???

Hailey- "The snow so we can make snowmen."

Kaitlin- "Disposable diapers (Ok, so she didn't say it. But I know that is what is thinking, or maybe that's me.)

Max- "My truck."

Thankful Sunday

Thanksgiving Humor

Max~ "My job."

Katie~ "My parents. Not many kids can say their dad chose to raise them. Mine has raised 4 girls, none of which he fathered. My mom is the most loving and kind person I know. She doesn't know how to say "No". Everyone comes before herself. She is the ultimate mother; who I strive to be."

Hailey~ "My parents who go to work to give me food and all my stuff."

Karlie~ "My room because it's so beautiful."

Kaitlin~ "mama."

So Much to Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving

Karlie~ "My Christmas presents from last year." Hmmm, do we have a conniving three year old?

Hailey~ "My school because it helps us get good brains and good learning."

Kaitlin~ "ba-bab" (pacifier).

Max~ "My lovely ladies."

Katie~ "Our little house and the laughter that fills it."

Friday's Giving Thanks

Images of Thanksgiving

Katie- "Max's job that is able to give him satisfaction and provide for us."

Karlie- "The mountains because they are so bootiful (that is how she says beautiful)." I think we have a future environmentalist here:)

Hailey- "Pets. Daisy because she gives me so much love and attention."

Kaitlin- Karlie's baby dolls and that she so readily shares them.

Max- "My house." Always a man of few words :)

What Do the Old Wives' Tales Say?

I thought I would do a little experiment with the old wives' tales for gender prediction before we find out what Version 4.0 is. Numerous ways of telling what your baby will be have been thought up and passed along through the generations. I picked 8 of the most popular to try.

Chinese Gender Calendar
The Test: look at chart of that uses your age at the time of conception to see if it's a boy or a girl. Well, it seems not even the Chinese Gender Calendar can decide if the baby will be a boy or a girl. On's Chinese gender calendar it claims there is an 83% likelihood it will be a boy. But on the Baby Gender Prediction site, it says it will be a girl! I guess either way it will be right. Let's look at what it said about the girls.
Hailey - Boy
Karlie - Girl
Kaitlin - Girl


The Drano Test
Drano picture
This test is not for those with a weak stomach or sensitive smell (which is most pregnant women). It can be dangerous, so if you elect to try this one be sure to mix the Drano and urine in a glass container and in a well ventilated area. I know, gross! Yes, I did mix my urine with Drano to see what color it would produce. It immediately fizzed and fumed and then turned a bluish yellow. There are many charts that contradict each other. But this is the one I followed:

Bluish yellow = boy
Greenish brown = girl

Brownish = boy
No change = girl

Brown = boy
Green = girl


Gold Pendent Test
The test: Hang a gold pendant over the palm of the mother’s hand. If the pendant moves in a circular motion, it will be a girl. If it swings back and forth, a boy is on the way. You are suppose to use a necklace the mother wears, but I don't wear a necklace. So, I used the gold dolphin and necklace Max gave me for Christmas when we were 16. The test doesn't indicate which palm. So being a scientist and all, I did it over each palm. The result was it swung in a circular motion over the left palm and a back and forth motion over the right palm.


Carry High or Low
The Test: look at the mom and see if she is carrying the baby high or low. The rumor is boys like to be low in the pelvis while girls like a view from up high. I am definitely carrying high in this pregnancy. As my friends like to point out, I am "all stretched out after 3 times, so that is mostly guts hanging out". Nice friends I have.


Cravings have been one of the typical methods people used to guess the sex of the baby before ultrasounds were available. If you are craving something sweet, like chocolate, then a sweet little girl is headed your way. However, if sour things like citrus and pickles are what you can't live without, then a blue bundle of joy is what you will get. If we look at my past cravings it seems to match more than not. I ate more Hostess doughnuts with Hailey than I care to admit. I was well known at work for having my chocolate cupcake for breakfast at 4 in the morning with Karlie, and Kaitlin made me crave lobster! That was an expensive pregnancy. So far with this one I love pickles and deep fried food. If there is a Chinese restaurant, McDonald's french fry, or Mexican food made with lard within a nose whiff - watch out! I might steal your lunch.


Do You Have Acne?
The Test: Take a long, hard look in the mirror and judge yourself. I will spare you a picture of this one. Unfortunately, yes. I feel like a teenager all over again. So much for that beautiful pregnant glow. Unless you consider bright red zits a glow. If you have a zitty complexion, congratulation a pink bundle will soon be here to compliment it. If your skin is soft and smooth without a blemish, then its a boy!


Pick up a Key
This might be the silliest one yet. While doing these "experiments" the thought crossed my mind that people came up with the silliest test to see how far an eager mom would go in hopes of learning the sex of her child. I mean really. How could the way I pick up a key have anything to do with the baby's gender. But I am a good sport and this one isn't nearly as dangerous as the Drano test! The test: pick a key up off the ground. If the mom picks it up by the larger, round end then she is having a boy. If she picks it up by the pointed, narrow end then a baby girl is on the way. If she picks it up in the middle then its TWINS! I picked it up by the large end as I think most people would.


The Baby's Heartbeat
FHR Strip
Now this one seemed to me to be the most scientific, but it has been proven to be just a myth and I can tell you that after watching 100's of fetal heart rate strips that there is no difference between girls and boys. But we will play along anyway. The Test: over 140 bpm its a speedy little girl, under 140 and its a low key little boy. All three times I have looked the baby's heartbeat has been in the 150's.


When we total up our Old Wives' Tales Experiment we get 50 % GIRL and 50% BOY! Who would have thought.

I would love to hear if you have tried any of these or if there is one you know is accurate!

A Week of Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving by Jennie Brownscombe.

With Thanksgiving in a week, I decided to have the girls think of one thing each day until Thanksgiving that they are thankful for. We have so many blessings in our lives and it is easy to start taking them for granted. Hailey's school is doing a food and toy drive and that has sparked good conversations about what we should be giving to those in need and helped them see just how much we have. I will post what we are thankful for each day.

Hailey~ "My family. All of them. From California to Michigan to Grammy's. I love them all."
Karlie~ "Trees because they can hold you."
Kaitlin~ she pointed to her shoes!
Katie~ "Version 4.0."
Max~ " My Family."

15 Weeks Belly Pictures

*WARNING* This site will now contain belly shots. Viewer discretion is advised! With this being our last go around in the pregnancy department, I am going to take pictures every few weeks to document the journey. So watch us grow if you dare.

I am still squeezing into my regular clothes, but it is starting to look ridiculous. My shirts are not long enough and my pants are getting tighter and not only in the waste!!! I have made it to 17 weeks with all the others before giving into the maternity clothes, but somehow I don't see that happening this time. Oh well, I will just have to console myself with some cake or pie or maybe brownies.

I have been feeling the baby move for a little while, but recently they have become distinct kicks instead of the light fluttering that your not always sure if it really is the baby or not. Last night Max felt little squirt move for the first time! It was so much and so rhythmical I asked him if the baby could already have hiccups. I checked out the fetal development on Baby Centre (a UK site) and sure enough the baby starts hiccuping at this gestation. Wow!

Pretty Pumpkin Pie

Okay, I admit it. I have a serious problem with cookie cutters right now. Maybe the kids are wearing off on me and my inner child is coming out, but I am having a lot of fun with cookie cutter shapes. I am using them for the kids' sandwiches, chips, croutons, pies, and of course cookies!! You can really add some fun to that traditional pumpkin pie with just an extra step. Cut out cute shapes and place around the crust and you have a festive pie. I used this leaf cookie cutter set that you can get on amazon. I also recently dressed up a a berry pie with large leaves instead of the typical lattice work design. It really makes for an eye pleasing dessert. So let that kid in you out and see what you can come up with for Thanksgiving. I want to see your creations!

A Touch of Paint

It was time to paint the house and we struggled and agonized for a long time about which colors to use. We toured our neighborhood to see what color schemes worked well on houses like ours and then went to newer neighborhoods to see what color schemes were being used. We are always attracted to earth tones. Once we knew the general idea of the colors we wanted we went to Valspar's Digital Painter and plugged in a bunch of colors.
I have a very hard time imagining what things will look like, so this site really helped me visualize how different colors would look. It was fun to play with really bold colors and then finally find the scheme we liked. We went to Lowe's and grabbed a gallon of Valspar's Lyndhurst Gallery Beige for the base, December Starlight for the trim, and Redstone Ponderosa Pine for the door accent. We tested the paint samples on the back of the house to make sure we liked how it actually looked.
We are pleased with how it turned out.

Boy or Girl Poll

I am officially in the 2nd trimester and will have a couple chances to peak at the gender of the baby before my official scan in December. I started a poll in the side column for you to vote. If I get a good picture of the baby, I will post the results on Thanksgiving! So study hard! Here are examples of what a boy and girl gender determination ultrasound picture look like. Imagine the baby is sitting on a glass table and you are looking up.

GIRL The three white lines indicate a girl.

BOY Pretty self explanatory.

Moving Up

BEFOREMax and I have been know as the family friendly Salvation Army to our friends and family. If anyone is looking to unload some junk or stuff they no longer need, they know to call us first. We both ended up with the pack-rat gene and can't let anything go to waste. :)We have taken couches, beds, bedding, dressers, drapes, clothes, toys, tables, random chairs, grills, outdoor furniture, and on and on. It always seems other people's give aways are better than our current stuff, so we gladly accept the donation.

Well, we really struck the goldmine this week! My sister Chrysti and brother-in-law Scott are remodeling their kitchen and GAVE us their less than one year oven and matching microwave. What an improvement to our kitchen! We had a very cool thing going. We had an appliance from each decade. An ivory oven from the 70s(that my mom gave us when she remodeled her kitchen since one of our burners on our old stove didn't work), a black dishwasher from the 80s, a white refrigerator from the 90s and a stainless steel microwave from the 2000s. A few Christmas' ago we decided to buy a stainless steel microwave with the intention of slowly replacing each appliance. Well, that proved to be more costly than we thought and ended up just waiting for something to brake. Now all that is left is the black dishwasher and it seems to be on its last leg. Hopefully soon we will have an all-matching kitchen!


Amazon Girls

They already do match in orneriness!

Go Starbucks

Apparently Starbucks puts various quotes on the back of their coffee cups. It has been so long since I went and sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee and had time to read something on the back of my cup that I can't even remember. It was brought to my attention that they have "The Way I See It" quotes on the back of the cups now. I was surprised to see such a quote from them. Something to digest over your cup of joe in the morning.

The Way I See It #224
"Darwinism’s impact on traditional social values has not been as benign as its advocates would like us to believe. Despite the efforts of its modern defenders to distance themselves from its baleful social consequences, Darwinism’s connection with eugenics, abortion and racism is a matter of historical record. And the record is not pretty."

-- Dr. Jonathan Wells
Biologist and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

You can visit this site to read more Starbuck's quotes, or visit your local shop.

Trick or Treat?

We had a sweet Halloween full of lions, fairies, princesses, and LOTS of candy! At a birthday party last week we learned a new trick about the Tooth Fairy! Apparently she comes after Halloween too. The kids pick out their 10 favorite pieces of candy to keep and put the rest under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy. She comes and takes the candy because she doesn't want their teeth to rot. She then leaves a new treat. She showed up with lip gloss and magnetic princesses. I never knew the Tooth Fairy was so smart!