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October 2012

Masterpiece Monday: Call the Midwife (ep. 5)

Good Monday Tuesday morning, my friends! Time to discuss our favorite little show ...

Call the midwife

But first, a quick note ...

Thank you for all your prayers for our safety during Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, New England was was spared the worst of it, and this morning it seems the storm has passed. As I type, it's still dark here, but we have power and the skies seem to be clearing a bit - in fact, we can see the Full Hunter's Moon through the western windows. We never did lose power but oh, how that wind wailed last night! And we got lots of heavy rain, but no flooding in our parts. So we were very, very lucky ...

By contrast, other regions did not fare as well. New York and New Jersey in particular, bore the brunt of the "Frankenstorm's" wrath. The images and stories shared on the news are so shocking and frightening! This morning I'm thinking of all those dealing with Sandy's destruction, and saying prayers for their safe and speedy recovery.

(If you were in Sandy's path, please check in if you have a moment - let us know you're ok.)


Ok, on to this morning's discussion ...

So, what did you all think of this week's episode? As usual we had some pretty sad, heavy storylines, interspersed with lighter more humorous moments.

The Peggy and Frank story - well, I will admit, I had a hard time getting past the fact that they were brother and sister. I don't know, that was just so disturbing. Everything else about that storyline was quite poignant and ultimately, very sad. I'm curious - who was Tip to them? Was he just a young lad who worked with Frank at the stand? Or was he a relation?

Jenny's rejection of Jimmy broke my heart ... I was so rooting for him! But you could tell all along her heart was just not in it. And maybe not just because of this lost love, but because of her work and strong need to commit to it. Bill wondered if Jenny may actually become a nun by the end of the tale ...

And the mysterious Gerald placed a beseeching phone call. Wow, so he's still out there and pining for Jenny. Do you think he is/was married? Is that why they could not be together? He certainly sounded older ...

The pig story was cute but I'll admit, I was honestly pulling out my hair when Chummy nearly ruined her planned visit with the Constable's mum. I was literally yelling at the tv, "Take the dress off! Just change first!" Ay-yi-yi ... maybe it's the hormones, but I was sooo aggravated by that scene, lol! Thankfully, her beau is a good man indeed, and was not only able to accept the situation but he pitched in to help out. They are SO well suited for each other, and I just love that he's so smitten. Chummy is just a doll, I love her. :)

Not too many babies this time, save for the fisherwoman's. Poor Trixie (who I don't really care much for) having to deal with the awful smell as she tended to the delivery ... I found myself holding my nose during the scene and trying desperately not too think too much about all that drying fish. Ick.

Previews for next week - a trial, a visit from Chummy's mum and a whole lot more drama. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Now, for some thoughts on Once Upon a Time ...

I must confess I fell asleep before the end of the show so I had to have the boys fill me in. And I also must admit, I was a bit disappointed in Dr. Whale's big reveal. We were so excited to find out who he was - perhaps the whale who swallowed Pinnochio? Or maybe Peter Pan? But Victor Frankenstein? Was not expecting that. Maybe because he's not a fairy tale character, but I guess they're expanding their horizons.

And wow, Cora's a really bad seed, isn't she? I wonder if they're slowly changing Regina - redeeming her even - so that she can ultimately save Storybrooke from her evil mother?

The storyline with Captain Hook is intriguing ... so now Emma and Snow are going to help him find this compass so he can buy his life back from Cora? And next week we encounter a giant in the form of the wonderful Jorge Garcia - aka Hurley from Lost? Cool. :)

And from what I've read ... and don't read the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to be spoiled ... next week we learn the identity of Henry's father. It also so happens that unidentified man from the first episode will be making another appearance next week. So, hmmm ...

Well, that's all I have time for right now ... the day has gotten light enough to see and at first glance I see a lot of leaves, puddles and small branches out there. Nothing too bad at all. Feeling very grateful this morning that we weathered the storm fairly easily, especially in light of what so many others are going through ...

 I think we'll all be glued to our news devices today for updates on the aftermath and who needs our help. In the meantime, we can offer them our prayers.

Have a good Tuesday, my friends ... take care of yourselves and your loved ones and I'll see you here again very soon.

Awaiting the Storm ...

Good morning, my friends ...

Well, it's a dark, rainy and windy morning here, and as I type, we're awaiting the brunt of Hurricane Sandy ...

"Sandy is a hybrid storm - which means a huge Nor'easter w/ a hurricane in the middle. 900 miles wide! That's 2nd largest on record." ~ Anne Allred, 7News

Thankfully all the kids' outside classes are canceled (not that I'd be taking them anyway!) and Bill is working from home ... Our yard's been secured and our devices are charging ... now we just wait and see what's to come.

Prayers for all in the storm's path ... be safe, everyone!

P.S. I'll be back soon, but if we lose power it might be a bit ...

Friday Family Photos

(Presented to you not on Friday, but Saturday, which is par for the course these days.)

Oct mime 1

Here's Crackerjack with his Mime Troupe at a performance in Salem earlier this month. This was a very funny piece called, "The Musem." :)


Came across this the other day. This was taken my first year in cheerleading (pop warner football). I think I was 10. And I promise I was happier than I appear in this picture, lol. I loved cheering. :)

Fall foliage 1

Fall foliage at its peak - I think it will all be blown away by the "Frankenstorm" this week!

Leaf pile 1

Two of my favorite guys. :)

Photo class 1

Bookworm's pic from a recent photo class ...

And a few more ...

Photo class 2

Photo class 3

Photo class 4

He's learning a lot about my camera! :)

Pumpkin lights

Little pumpkin lights lining our walkway.

Shark with jets fan

And finally, with sincere apologies to New York family and friends ... we pass this funny Halloween decoration a few times a week. I finally had to pull over and get a shot! ;)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend ... and if you're in Sandy's path too, I pray we all keep safe. Batten down and tuck in ... I'll see you here again very soon!

Thoughtful Thursday: Crazy Cravings

"To a certain extent, these suddenly eccentric (and sometimes borderline bizarre) eating habits can be blamed on hormonal havoc, which probably explains wy they're most common in the first trimester of first pregnancies when that havoc is at its height." ~ What to Expect When You're Expecting

Ok, ladies - let's talk pregnancy cravings!

Now, I'm only in my 10th week, so I have some time before I pull out of the first trimester and (fingers crossed) the near-constant queasiness that comes with it. (For some of us, certainly not all - I had it with my two older boys but not with Earlybird.)

I'd say about 90% of my waking day I feel completely apathetic about food - nothing appeals to me at all. The other 10% is spent either feeling hungry enough to eat or suddenly and wildly ravenous for some random kind of food. And all the while in between, I'm popping Tums for heartburn.

(Fyi, take those percentages with a grain of salt - math is not my thing, lol!)

When I was pregnant with the boys I craved all things "lemon" (especially lemon danish!) and big salads - with lots of dressing, chopped tomatoes and croutons. But those were pretty subtle cravings - more like preferences, really. So far with this pregnancy, I have been hit by wacky out-of-the-blue cravings for the most random things!

Like yesterday - I spent most of the day feeling seriously queasy, but around 4:00 I was resting in bed (if you can believe that, lol) when I suddenly had the strongest urge to eat a tuna fish sandwich - with extra mayo and lots of pickles! And I needed it like, ten minutes ago!

So I hurriedly checked my pregnancy bible for any precautions on tuna and then tore off to the kitchen to assemble myself said sandwich. Fortunately, we had tuna and mayo and a loaf of fresh Italian bread ... but alas, no pickles. (None of us are fond of pickles, so we hardly ever have them in the house!) I ate the sandwich and it was perfect - for about 10 minutes - and then I just felt sick about it, lol.

I've also craved pungent flavors like hummus, sharp cheddar, ketchup and extra sauce on my pasta.

(All very strange things for a girl with GERD, lol.)

So anyways, I was wondering what other women have craved when they were pregnant. Was it the same with each pregnancy or did your cravings differ from child to child? Were they stronger in one trimester over another?

I'm just being curious - nosy even - and I thought I'd ask.


Please leave a comment if you have time, but as always, I thank you for stopping by and wish you all a good day!

A Nutty Little Nature Story

Pinecone picker 1

I was wishing I still had my "nature notes" column up, because Earlybird and I observed the funniest little nature "story" yesterday!

It was a lovely afternoon, golden and breezy - and we were sitting in the learning room, with a couple of windows cracked open. EB was at the computer, and I was reading in my chair, when the sound of rustling leaves caught my attention. I thought it might be an animal of some sort walking by, but every time I looked outside I saw nothing. I did notice some rambunctious blue jays hopping around, so I dismissed the "ruckus" at that.

But, next thing I know, I start hearing little "pops" and "bangs" on the roof and windows. Now I'm kind of freaking out because I truly can't figure out what is making all this noise! I'm thinking perhaps some early Halloween "tricks" were being played on us!

Finally I figured I'd best take a closer look ... so I walked out front and when I looked back at the house I immediately noticed a flurry of movement at the top of the HUGE spruce tree that stands beside our house. The branches were swaying like crazy!

Glinting in the sun, and weaving in and out of the branches, was a bright ball of reddish-brown fur, and a closer inspection revealed this:

Pinecone picker 2

A tiny red squirrel was perched way up high in the tree (and let me tell you, that is one super tall tree!) and making quite a business out of "harvesting" spruce cones! He'd climb onto a branch and nibble at the cone till it fell ...

Pinecone picker 6

... and THAT was what we were hearing!

Cone after cone being dropped from the tree by the squirrel. They'd hit the ground, the roof, the windows ... like little bombs, lol! This went on for over half an hour - such an industrious fellow!

Archie was quite taken with the whole procedure:

Pinecone picker 3

EB and I walked out to the feeder area to take a closer look and we were amazed by how many cones were covering the ground!

Pinecone picker 4

So we'll be watching these next few days to see how many cones disappear and who all is spiriting them off. (One squirrel or more?) We often find cones half-stripped looking like this ...

Pinecone picker 5

And these have been quite nibbled as you can see.

On the diet of red squirrels ...

"His food is far more varied than many suppose and he will eat almost anything eatable; he is a little pirate and enjoys stealing from others with keenest zest. In spring he eats leaf buds and hunts our orchards for apple seeds. In winter he feeds on nuts, buds, and cones; it is marvelous how he will take a cone apart, tearing off the scales and leaving them in a heap while searching for seeds; he is especially fond of the seeds of Norway spruce and hemlock."

(From the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna B. Comstock) 

So Earlybird and I are starting the "squirrels and other rodents" portion of our animal study this week. We already have lots of great "field observation" to report! Throughout November we'll be covering the general topic of hibernation as well.


Well, my friends, I hope you're all having a good week. I'm almost caught up with Call the Midwife ... made it about halfway through the show last night, and hope to finish up this evening or next. When I do, I'll pop back into Monday's post to catch up with comments. :)

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your loved ones ... I'll see you here again very soon!

Happy 19 Years!

Wedding dance 1

And they've been very happy indeed!

Nineteen years of marriage ... three beautiful children ... and one more on the way! Time sure has flown ... but God's been good to us ... so very good.

This photo is my favorite from our big day ... our first dance as a married couple. I remember this moment so clearly! Our song was "At Last" by Etta James ... it's a beautiful song to begin with, but it was very fitting for us ... we had been together four years before we got married: two years spent dating and two spent engaged! So we were truly so very happy to be married, "at last." :)

Now, Bill and I usually enjoy dinner at our favorite restaurant on our anniversary ... but we're postponing our night out this year - just until my morning sickness passes. ;) Instead, we'll enjoy dinner at home with our boys ... Bill just helped me assemble a huge beef stew in the crockpot ... it will cook all day and be served alongside a nice crusty bread and glasses of sparkling cider (the same kind we served at our reception!). And later today I'll enlist a boy or two to help me make our annual "family birthday cake." Because, after all, our family was "born" on October 23rd, 1993.

Have a lovely Tuesday, my friends ... I'll see you here again very soon!

Masterpiece Monday: Call the Midwife (ep. 4)

Call the midwife

Happy Monday, my friends!

Well, I'm very sorry to say ... I fell asleep last night right before the episode began! (First trimester fatigue is hitting me hard right now!)

But I invite you to share your thoughts about last night's show in the comments section and I will join you very shortly. :)

Does anyone know how many episodes there are in all?

Because I just had an awful thought ...

If CtM is based on a book, once the story has been told in so many episodes ... will that be all there is to the show?


In the meantime, I was able to stay awake to watch Once Upon a Time with the boys ... do any of my readers watch that? What did you think of the show last night? Captain Hook - bad guy or possible (conflicted) hero? I really love how the show creates characters who are niether all bad or all good.

And where and who is Bae??

(I'm thinking he's Henry's father and remember the first scene of this season's first episode - the man walking through a city to his apartment? I think he might be Bae.)


Well, I hope you all have a nice start to your week ... posting might be slow as I keep up with my rest, but I'll catch up here again just as soon as I can!

Thoughtful Thursday: Natural Cold Remedies


My friend Jenney has a lovely blog called Journey Towards Simplicity - she's a wonderful writer and has many great natural living ideas over there! I thought this post was particularly timely since so many people I know - and live with - are dealing with terrible colds at the moment. I'm going to make up some of Jenney's "Mama's Chest Rub" this weekend ... a quick trip to Whole Foods should provide me with the few simple ingredients I need.

Now, so far I have eluded the currently circulating cold, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time ... because if it's not this cold, it may be the next one. And I'm kind of living in fear of it, to be honest, because this time around I can't take any medicine! (Dayquil is usually my one true salvation when a cold hits. Hardly a "natural" remedy, but it works wonders!)

So I stand here at the brink of cold & flu season - surrounded by sick people, lol - and thinking about both sides of infection (preventing + soothing). I'm looking to arm myself with information and advice ...

My friends, what are your favorite natural (homemade) cold remedies? What should I add to my Whole Foods list?

Here's what I have so far ...

lots of fluids

fragrant oils for steam

(I'm not a fan of eucalyptus, so maybe something else?)

vitamin c and zinc?

lemon & honey

favorite fruits

decaffeinated tea


*I'm a little nervous about herbal/vitamin supplements - only because I don't know what's safe for pregnancy and what's not. I'm sure if I "google" the issue I'll find plenty of (possibly conflicting) information, but I'll turn to my friends and readers first ... as well as my midwife, of course.


Well my friends, I hope this week's been treating you well. I have my first OB appt. today so please wish me luck! I'll ask about "nursing a cold when you're pregnant" and let you know what she tells me.

Have a great Thursday, everyone ... see you here again very soon!

Tuesday Tea ~ and Our Due Date!

Tea and baby books 2

I took time yesterday afternoon to sit down for a cup of tea, but alas, there was not enough time for a post. So here it is today instead. :)

The photo of my sunny sitting spot is a bit on the bright and blurry side, but I loved how it looked ... all soft and radiant with color. It made me think of nursery mornings and the way a new baby smells ... sweet and deliciously fresh. 

My tea this week is a bit on the weak side ... I still can't do herbals, but a decaf black tea is just right, with lots of milk and a dash of sugar. (My favorite "Constant Comment" tastes all wrong to me at the moment, so instead I chose a simple "British Breakfast.") And a cup of ready-made applesauce is a quick and tasty snack. I still don't have much of an appetite, but I find - as many of you suggested - keeping my stomach filled and blood sugar level seems to help with the morning sickness.

(And morning sickness is somewhat of a misnomer, is it not? How about every-waking-moment sickness, lol.)

The books on my side table are a few current favorites:

What to Expect When You're Expecting

But of course. :) I actually gave away my original copy so I ordered a new (and updated) copy through Amazon. I love its wealth of information and reassuring tone. There's an answer to every conceivable pregnancy question in this book.

What to Eat When You're Expecting

This is my original copy which I came upon downstairs the other day. (I'm having such fun unearthing all my old pregnancy-baby-early childhood books!) I swore by the "Best Odds" diet when I was pregnant with Bookworm - lo those many years ago - once the first trimester queasies passed.

A Guide to Natural Housekeeping

A recent impulse buy, I am simply savoring this book, a guide to "a calmer, healthier, eco-friendly home." It's written by the owner of Cabbage & Roses, purveyors of fine English fabrics, fashion and housewares, and filled with the most delicious eye-candy ... as well as an abundance of natural housekeeping recipes and ideas.

Mom's Almanac

I had originally purchased this lovely book years ago as a baby shower gift, but then greedily decided I had to keep it for myself, lol. Then recently I considered offering it here as a giveaway, but again, I held onto it. I just couldn't bear to part with it, even though I thought I'd outgrown the need of it. ;)

Well, I'm so glad to have it now! It's huge, first of all, and filled with the most charming, old-fashioned illustrations. But more than that, there's just so much great information in here and lots of neat checklists. (And you know how I love me some checklists!)


Speaking of charming, old-fashioned illustrations, here are some scrapbooking papers I picked up last weekend ...

Baby papers

Aren't they sweet?

I've decided to make up my own pregnancy/baby planner (I bet you're not surprised!) and I was quite taken with these "vintage-look" papers. There are all kinds of colors here, mind you - blue *and* pink as well as yellow, peach and green. ;) My first OB appointment is later this week and I can't wait to file and record all the pertinent information.


And oh my gosh, I just realized I made you read (or perhaps, skim) through this whole post before getting to the big due date reveal! I swear it was not my intention - my brain is a bit scrambled these days ...

Ok, so we've been informed us that our official due date is:

 ~ May 27th, 2013 ~ Memorial Day! ~

What a spring it will be ... it seems so far off, but I know, as all moms do, how quickly time passes ... how quickly our children grow while we're busy doing other things ... like cooking, cleaning, driving, managing ... and gestating. :)


Well, my friends, thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing a cup and a chat with me. I hope your week's going nicely. :)

Take care and be well ...

I'll see you here again very soon!

Crackerjack's Cuba Report

I just wanted to share a few pictures of Crackerjack's latest project with you ... this is something he was assigned for his Spanish class and I thought he did a really nice job!

Cuba report 1

His teacher asked her students to choose a Spanish-speaking country and then learn all about it. They could use any resources they liked. (CJ used some library materials - a couple of books and a video - as well as some online research.)

Crackerjack chose to learn about Cuba ... a country about which I knew little myself. I'd like to say I learned a lot along with CJ, but to be perfectly honest, with the way I've been feeling these last few weeks, I kind of stayed on the sidelines. Thankfully he managed just fine and Bill stepped in to help him with the more hands-on aspect of the project.

So in addition to preparing a five-minute oral report, Crackerjack also had to make up a t-shirt representing his country of choice. For this, he used some printer-transfer paper I'd picked up at the craft store, and for the front of the shirt he went with a map and flag image (see above) ...

For the back of the shirt he compiled a list of important information:

Cuba report 2

For the final part of the project, CJ had to present a prop of some kind ... so he chose to make a frame for an art print depicting The Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba's patron saint.

Cuba report 3

There is a rather neat legend tied to Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre ... 

In or around 1608, three Cuban fisherman set out on the The Bay of Nipe, looking for salt. The salt was for preserving meat for the copper miners (cobre = copper). Suddenly, a terrible storm came over them and they began to pray for their safety. When the skies cleared they saw a statue floating towards them, resting on a wooden plank ... it was an image of the Blessed Mother, holding her Son in one arm and a golden cross in the other. Along the edge was written, "I am the Virgin of Charity." The statue was perfectly dry.

A shrine was built for the statue (now known as the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity), and to this day the site remains a popular pilgrimage destination. The Virgin of El Cobre is considered an important cultural icon as well, to both believers and non-believers alike.


Well my friends, I hope you enjoyed this look at Crackerjack's Cuba project! When he made his presentation to his class, he said he felt it went well, if maybe a bit too fast! ("But Mom, some of the kids actually talked for the whole five minutes!" Lol.)

Another project he's working on right now - a multi-piece watercolor painting of the three principle Greek gods: Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. (He's a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series and Greek mythology in general.) This project is an assignment for his Art class, and I'll give you a peek at his work a little later this fall.

Thanks so much for joining me today ... I hope to be back later with a little Tuesday Tea but if not, I'll surely see you all here again very soon!

Masterpiece Monday: Call the Midwife (ep. 3)

Call the midwife

Well, this show certainly knows how to pull at the heartstrings, doesn't it?


Episode three brought us two very poignant plotlines ...

First we have Jenny's visits with Mr. Collett, a lonely widower living in a filthy tenement, surrounded by bittersweet memories. This man was such a sweetheart - obviously lonely, but quite happy with his lot. He just took to Jenny's attention like a bee to honey, and a tentative friendship developed. I just loved how he called her his "maiden." :) He reminded me of a few older male relatives I've known ... gentle and kind, proud and yet humble at the same time. The end of that storyline broke my heart, but I was so glad he knew such kindness at the end of his life.

Next we have Ted and Winnie, an older couple expecting a baby ... he's absolutely thrilled, she's obviously not. We begin to suspect there's more to her hesitance than her age ... and once she's in labor she admits she's afraid the baby will be black. (Making it clear she cheated on her husband.) Uch, what an awful situation ... we just know how this is going to play out ... only we don't. Because yes - when her baby is born, he's clearly not Ted's son, but who would have suspected Ted's amazing reaction? What a sweet and forgiving man. Given the nature of the show I guess I'm not surprised Winnie's gentle husband took this shock in stride, dismissed her indiscretion, and took that beautiful baby under his wing.

{Side note: I have to chuckle at how many "older" women are having babies in this show. Because I sit here, pregnant myself at the "ripe old age" of 43, and see these women who, I just assume, must be older than I am, lol ... only, the last two ladies were both revealed to be younger than me! Forty-one last night and 42 the night before (the mother of the bride who had the breech baby)! I just look over at Bill and say, "But they look older than me, right?" Well, you can imagine how delicately he answers that question.}

Hormones are a wonderful thing, are they not? ;)

So then we had the introduction of Jimmy, Jenny's old childhood friend, who shows up needing a place to stay. He's quite witty and a bit of a flirt, but we (and she) can't be sure of his feelings - though everyone around them sees them clearly. I like Jimmy a lot - he's sweet and, I think/hope, sincere - but I keep going back to that first episode when Jenny confessed that she loved someone once, but she couldn't have him ... or something like that. I'd have to go back for the actual lines. I don't think she meant Jimmy ... when he appeared she seemed fairly unruffled. Pleased to see him, but not overwhelmed. Of course I still can't help but wonder if the unrequited/unresolved love she mentioned will show up again in her life ... maybe just as she and Jimmy get serious?

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself ...

Anyhoo ... last of all we had a little progress between Chummy and her attentive policeman ... how I laughed when Sister, watching their awkward interaction, said she remembers why she's so glad she took her vows, lol! I cannot wait to see how Chummy's "pictures date" goes next time! And the brief preview of episode 4 promises a quite lively installment, filled with dancing and drama ...

I am just loving this show!


Now, did anyone catch the Downton Abbey season 3 preview at the end of the show? It looked so good! All those familiar faces and new developments ... even just hearing that soft lilting score made my heart happy! January 6th is getting closer, my friends! A question for my readers who live overseas: without revealing any spoilers, can you tell us how you're liking the new season so far?

Well my friends, I am gong to wrap this up now and get on with my day. I hope you all have a nice Monday ... thanks so much for stopping by!

See you all again very soon ...

Jack Frost Paid Us a Visit ...

The picture directly below was taken around 7 a.m. when the frost was on the punkin ... and just about everything else, including our lovely hydrangeas. I loved how the frost made the petals sparkle in the morning sun ...

Frost on hydrangea

But then just a bit ago, I found my beautiful blossoms looking like this:

Frost on the hydrangea 3

It certainly was a killing frost!

Has Old Jack Frost been to your neck of the woods yet? This was our first hard frost, and today it was mighty chilly, I tell you. I'm loving this fall weather, though I must admit I'd enjoy a touch of "St. Luke's Little Summer" later this week. :)

I hope you're all having a nice weekend - I bought myself a pair of "Sea-Bands" this morning (as well as a box of Preggie Pop Drops) and so far they seem to be helping quite a bit!

Have a lovely evening my friends ... see you all again very soon!

Call the Midwife, Episode 3 Preview ...

You can watch it here. :)


I was perusing the CtM website this morning and found the above video ... ooh, I can't wait for Sunday night! I am dying to know who Jimmy is to Jenny! A brother perhaps, or the one "she can't have?" And I totally called a little "something" sparking between Chummy and the bobby on the bike. ;)

My Sunday nights are just so fun right now - between watching Once Upon a Time with the boys and then Call the Midwife with Bill ... we also watch Boardwalk Empire (Bill and I only of course!) but we haven't had the time to catch up with the new season yet. Our dvr is getting dangerously full.

A few of you commented how funny it was that my "little news" post came right on top of the CtM chat post - and it's true! I laughed at that, too. The other funny thing is, when we watched the first episode - which was especially powerful as you remember - I said to Bill (and this was before we knew we were expecting, mind you) ...

"I could not watch this show if I was pregnant!"

Little did I know, lol!

I plan to stick it out though, because there's no way I can not watch this show! I will undoubtedly get even more emotional over the storylines than I normally would, however. That's ok, though - it's all "par for the course" right?

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday ... I will see you here again very soon!

Guess Who I Met Today?

Sonogram 1


He or she looks absolutely wonderful. Seven weeks along (due the end of May) with that gorgeous little heartbeat flickering away ...

I'm in love.

I'm going to spend my teatime today reading through all your lovely comments ... I keep saying it, but I honestly can't thank you enough for your support and for so enthusiastically sharing in our joy. This is such a special time for our family, and I'm thrilled to share it here with you all ...

Before I go though, I'd like to ask for nausea remedies/advice. Fortunately I'm not actually getting sick, just experiencing strong nausea at different times of the day (especially when driving and upon first waking up). Saltines are very helpful - I keep a baggie with me wherever I go - even to bed! But I find it hard to eat because the idea (and often smell) of something can make me feel queasy. I'll go from being absolutely sure I need oh, say, Cheezits - to eating three and wondering what on earth I was thinking. Lol.

So advice, please? If you have some, and the time to leave it. :)

Have a great day everyone ... I'll see you here again very soon.

How We Told the Boys (and THANK YOU) ...

First of all, I am just humbled and honored by all your lovely comments and the prayers offered on behalf of our new little one. Bless you all for rejoicing with us, easing my heart and encouraging me as you always do ...

Now, several of you asked about the boys' reactions, so I thought I'd share a little about that with you. :)

So, one of the ways I began to suspect something was up was because, not only was I very late, but as I'd drive the boys to and from their activities I was starting to feel sick. I am prone to car sickness certainly, but never while I'm driving. So that was weird. Pretty soon I started feeling waves of nausea at home, just randomly at any point of the day. Again, weird.

Then, in the afternoons, I'd find myself so pooped that I'd conk out on the couch. And I am definitely NOT a napper - unless I'm sick (or apparently pregnant, lol). And come bedtime, I could hardly outlast the boys ... I was fading fast by 8 p.m.

I could tell Crackerjack, my worrier, was aware of these subtle changes. And I knew he was tuning in to the quiet conversations Bill and I were having about how I was feeling. The morning I went in to the lab for bloodwork he was definitely on high alert:

"Mom, is your stomach queasy again?"

I could see the wheels spinning, the anxiety building ...

(Meanwhile Earlybird and Bookworm remained blissfully unaware.)

After the bloodwork confirmed the (incredible) news, and with me feeling less and less like myself, we knew it was time to tell the boys. I didn't want CJ to worry needlessly, and I needed the boys to understand the situation and pitch in to help as they could.

So one morning before Bill left for work, we approached the older two boys and said:

"Boys, we have something we want to tell you."

CJ, quickly responds, "Why? What's wrong?"

(See what I mean?)

So Bill and I hem and haw, trying to find the words, and I can see the boys starting to freak out a little obviously thinking it's going to be bad news, so I just blurt out:

"I'm going to have a baby."

*cue pregnant pause*

And then Bookworm - oh, how I wish I'd had a camera - just broke out in this enormous, ear-to-ear grin. Absolutely beaming, I tell you. And he says,

"You know I almost said, jokingly, 'What are you pregnant?'"

Ha ha!

But Bookworm was SO pleased, and I cant tell you how much this pleased me. His reaction was so honest and just full of joy. My heart swelled with love and pride.

Whereas Crackerjack ... well, he took a little convincing.

You see, our 13-year old middle child is a boy who does not like change. He likes his happy little "bubble" just the way it is, thank you very much. (For example, I think Bookworm starting college will be hardest on CJ out of all of us.)

So CJ got rather quiet (and a bit pale) as he absorbed our news. I could see, even, that he was tearing up. And when he finallly spoke up, it was to confess his most pressing concern:

"So we're not going to Disney, then?"


(We had plans to go to Disney again next May with my folks - a trip which, for obvious reasons, will have to be postponed.)

We did our best to reassure CJ: 

"Oh, we'll definitely be going to Disney again ... but probably not in May."


Crackerjack has since warmed up to the whole "baby" idea, asking questions and making comments now and again ...

"So will your belly get big?"

(I told him yes, but assured him it would go back to normal again once the baby was born. He doesn't need to worry about post-baby weight and things like that, lol.)

"That's the baby talking, isn't it?"

(After I let out a rather indelicate burp.)

"Where will the baby sleep?"

(Which is a great question and something we're working on.)


As for Earlybird ... we have not yet told him that I'm pregnant. Nine months is a looong time for an autistic child to wait for something. I figure he'll start to ask questions once he keys into the conversations around him and/or when I start to show. Funnily enough, I was looking at a pregnancy website online the other day and EB pointed to the very visibly pregnant woman on the screen and said, "She's having a baby!' And I said, "Yes, she is, there's a baby in her tummy." And EB said, "Oh, that's so nice."

So that's a good start!

Well, I'm sorry this post got a little long-winded, but it was fun for me to recount the ways we're coming to grips with this new family "development." Also, I can feel mommy-brain ramping up and I know I'll be forgetting these early weeks before long. So naturally, I blog to capture what I can, when I can, because every moment is precious. Which is the whole reason I blog of course - preserving all those big and little moments - and things just got a whole lot more precious, not to mention interesting!

So thank you once again for all your support and prayers. I cannot express how much this means to me and my family. I have truly felt my anxiety lessen over the last couple of days ... feeling some peace wash over me, just accepting this gift and trusting that all will be well. I was very fortunate to have three easy and wonderful pregnancies before, so I'm hoping things go similarly this time around. I may be many years older this time but I am, thankfully, healthy, and I feel really good, inside and out.

Thank you for adding to my peace. 


Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends ... I'll see you here again very soon!

So, I have a little news to share ...

Well, actually it's quite big news.

Completely unexpected, rather overwhelming, somewhat shocking, to be perfectly honest ...

But absolutely wonderful news.

Ok, here goes.

Are you all sitting down?


{I can't believe I'm about to type these words!}

I'm pregnant.

I know. I know!

I can't quite believe it either!

But two home pregnancy tests and one blood test by my doctor tell me it's true.


You know how I've been really dragging lately?

Well, here I thought it was just a super-busy fall schedule and maybe even a little stomach bug passing through, but in reality I've been feeling this way because my body's working on something pretty big. Well, teeny-tiny at the moment, but you know what I mean.



So it's fairly early in the scheme of things - I think I'm around 8 or 9 weeks - but I'm announcing this now because, well - I'm rather eager for your prayers. To be honest, I'm more just than a little bit nervous to be pregnant at 43!

(Let me remind you of our sons' ages ... 17, 13 and 10!)

I never imagined I'd be pregnant at this age, how different this will be I am sure. I would LOVE to hear from moms who had babies over 40. Is it extra challenging? Very different from a younger pregnancy? I'll appreciate every bit of wisdom and encouragement.

(And oh yes, prayers. Ever so grateful for prayers.)

Everyone here is excited - I think Bill is still in shock, lol - but we're all so happy that another precious child is on his or her way to us. To our family.

How God has blessed us ... his generosity and trust is so great. Now I have to trust Him that all will be well. 


Next spring will be quite a time for us - just as our oldest child graduates high school, we'll have ourselves a new little baby! In the meantime, I'm sure there will be changes - in our household, and here at my blog - over the next several months. I do plan to keep blogging as time and energy allows. (Though there hasn't been much of either lately.) But I will certainly keep you all posted ... and in amongst the usual posts about tea, crafts, food, family, books and planners, etc. ...

There will be baby news now and again.


(Can you tell I can't stop smiling?)


I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, my friends. Thanks so much for reading ... and as corny as it sounds, thank you for sharing and caring. I feel honored to have so many kind and supportive readers here. I'm glad you enjoy my words - please know I cherish yours as well.

See you here again very soon ...


Masterpiece Monday: Call the Midwife (ep. 2)

Call the midwife

Good morning, everyone!

It's super early here, but I wanted to get this chat post up as soon as I could, because oh, MY, what a fantastic show this is! Are you all just loving this as much as I am??

I'll jump into the comments a bit later when I can, but let me just start with this ...

I just ADORE Chummy!

Oh my goodness I have not loved a character this much in a while. She is just wonderful ... her upper crust accent and boldness ... her kind demeanor ... the bike, LOL! ... the way she soothed that frightened woman (and impressed the doctor) ... and of course, the beautiful "breech" scene at the end. She's fantastic, and I can't wait to see what else this character has in store for us.

I hope you'll pop in and tell me how you liked last night's episode. I'm getting the feeling this is going to be a very special show - and I might just have to go out and get the book. Sounds like the show's following it pretty closely?

Have a great Monday my friends ... I'll see you here again very soon!

Bookworm's Confirmation!

It was on Saturday and it was a wonderful day!

Confirmation 1

Bookworm is pictured above with his Papa (my dad, his sponsor) and Aux. Bishop Peter Uglietto of Boston. What a nice man ... the Mass was beautiful.

Arriving at the college ...

Confirmation 6

(Our church did not have enough room to hold all the candidates, their sponsors and families, so the Mass was held at a local Catholic college.)

The altar looked beautiful ...

Confirmation 12

Confirmation 8

Such a proud moment, watching Bookworm process in with all the candidates.

Confirmation 13

We were not allowed to take photos during Mass, but here we all are, outside about an hour and a half later ...

Confirmation 2

(My brother Matt stayed home with Earlybird who was very sick last week and is still recuperating.)

Bill and I could hardly believe this young man was our little boy!

Confirmation 9

But he'll always be our little boy, right? And in a few years it will be Crackerjack's turn!

Confirmation 4

By the way, Bookworm took "Thomas" as his Confirmation name. It's a family name, and St. Thomas Aquinas has always been special to him.

Here is the cake ...

Confirmation 11

(It read, "God Love Bookworm," only with his real name, of course, lol. Oh, I had such grand plans for this Confirmation cake ... but a series of events this past week conspired to keep me from spending much time and energy on the project. Still, it tasted good and looked very "boyish!")

And here is Bookworm with his Confirmation Punch ...

Confirmation 5

"Per Request."


So it was a very lovely day - a milestone for Bookworm as a young man and a Catholic, and a wonderful memory for our family.

Well my friends, thanks so much for stopping by today ... I hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

See you here again very soon ...