Archive - September 2007

Where I’ve Been Lately
Looking in the Linen Closet
Induction by Peanut Butter Cups
I’m Going Back to Bed
B&O Railroad Museum’s Kids Fest
Mama Needs a New Hobby
Our Lady Understands
Pumpkin Girl, in her own words
September 11
Pumpkin Girl Takes the Cake

Where I’ve Been Lately

Where I’ve Been Lately, instead of sitting at the computer blogging:

  1. Watching Boo’s soccer practice
  2. Driving Boo to Cub Scouts
  3. Sitting in the  lobby during Pumpkin’s  ballet class
  4.  Watching another soccer practice
  5. Enjoying a fun discussion at a Catholic Women of the Chapel meeting
  6. Co-leading Pumpkin’s Brownie troop
  7. Working on the next 9 weeks of our school plans
  8. Cleaning out the laundry room
  9. Helping Phil sort out our public storage unit
  10. Finishing the vest I’m knitting for Boo

Sorry I’ve been missing around here.  I’m almost done with the laundry room and Boo’s vest and I’ll have pictures of both soon.

Looking in the Linen Closet

I haven’t delighted you all with a Corners of My Home transformation in a while.  The last few weeks have been busy as Cub Scouts, Brownies, soccer, ballet and Mexican folkdancing (I still haven’t told you about that?) all started up.  Plus my parents are arriving for a visit today and I’ve been consumed with turning the storage room back into a guest room.  But in the process of doing that, I found a large moving box marked “linen closet” which was filled with, shockingly enough…linens.  Including the guest sheets and towels I’ve been missing.  But when I went to shove them into my linen closet, there wasn’t any room to spare.  So I took about an hour to reorganize it and here’s the results.

Our linen closet is pretty large, with attractive metal folding doors.  These are the top two shelves.  Try not to get hit in the head with a sheet when you open the door.

Here are the same shelves now.
Not a huge difference, but now every extra set of bed linens that we own is there on the top shelf.  We need to get rid of some.  I think all but 3 sets up there are flannel sheets.  My mom gets cold a lot, so she buys us flannel sheet sets.

Here’s the middle shelf.  Nice drawers.  Too bad they are half empty.  Or are they half full?

Behold!  Through the magic of the internet, here are the same drawers, now filled! They’ve got towels, swim diapers, seasonal garden flags, washcloths and extra pillow cases.

Finally the lower shelves.  No comment.

And now…
You can actually use the drawers on this shelf without having to move a ton of stuff out of the way.

What you can’t see in any of these pictures is the way that the lovely metal folding doors block off six to ten inches of space on either side of the shelves.  Design technology at it’s finest.  Not to mention that the shelves themselves are metal and that bottom shelf is covered in linoleum.

Here’s a look from the side, into the left space hiding behind the open doors.

And after:
It’s hard to tell the difference in the two pictures, except that I used a flash in the “after” one.  But the bottom shelf does show how there’s not just a ton of stuff waiting to fall out.  Those are “refrigerator gears” on the door.  Cute concept, cheap toy.  Don’t bother wasting your money.

The right side of the closet:


Not the most dramatic of before and afters, but at least my linen closet is functional.  No more opening the doors and shoving things in just to avoid the mess.  I’ve really got to go through all those sheet sets and get rid of the ones we don’t use.  If I could whittle that pile down, I might be able to keep the sheets in the room in which they belong.  Clearing out that top shelf would really be helpful as I look to store other things around the house.

So there is this week’s corner.

While my parents are here I plan to attack our laundry room next.  I’ll keep you posted.

Induction by Peanut Butter Cups

1217.jpgI’ve created a bit of a sensation over at the Sonlight Forums. It all started innocently enough. Sarah was reaching the end of her pregnancy and she was just done. If you’ve ever given birth, you know exactly how she felt. Tired, big, achy, uncomfortable and big. She wanted that baby out. I casually mentioned that she could try an induction technique that worked for me: Reese Peanut Butter Cups.


When I was pregnant with Rebecca and due December 28, I was worried that I would have her before Christmas and she and I wouldn’t make it home to celebrate with the rest of the family. On the other hand, I was anxious for her to arrive. Someone on another online forum recommended eating peanut butter cups to bring on labor. I thought it was a bit odd, but I stored it in the back of my mind. I not-so-patiently waited for labor to begin and finally started eating mini peanut butter cups.

I ate a few handfuls at a time, over the course of a couple of days, with the last round being in the evening before going to bed. The next morning my water broke and Rebecca arrived on December 22, with just enough time for us both to come home on Christmas Eve.

A coincidence? Perhaps.

At the end of my pregnancy with Bip, I was feeling much like Sarah. It was August in Virginia, need I say more? This time I wasn’t dragging things out. I ate half a bag of miniature peanut butter cups in one sitting after the older children went to bed. I finished the bag sometime after lunch the next day, then took a nap.

Philip arrived home around 5:45. He asked me what I’d been doing and I told him that I finished up the peanut butter cups. He said, “uh-oh!” While we were talking, my water broke and Bip arrived an hour later.

Another coincidence?

I told all of this to Sarah, whose interest was peaked at my suggestion. She didn’t believe it any more than I did at first. But she tried the peanut butter cups and her baby arrived within 24 hours. Since then, she and I have been encouraging other end of pregnancy moms on the SL Forums to give it a try. I think we are up to 3 success stories now. As it turns out, at least two other moms have piped in with their positive experiences with peanut butter cup induced labor. We’ve got several others who say they’ll give it a try when they approach their due date.

Some skeptics on the board claim that all that chocolate clears out your digestive tract, thus triggering labor. Personally, I didn’t have any ill effects, bowel or otherwise, from eating all those peanut butter cups. Either way, castor oil is often recommended to jump start labor, with the warning not to stray too far from the potty. All things considered, I’ll take the peanut butter cups, thank you.

From the anecdotal evidence on the SL Forums, it does seem like the peanut butter cup minis work best. You should try to eat as many as you can in one sitting. Like all “natural” induction methods this works best if you are close to full term anyway and are looking for a jump start.

So have you ever heard of the magic of peanut butter cups?

I’m Going Back to Bed

crying.gifFirst, Bip did not sleep well last night. Well, he’s not a baby anymore and the boy needs to sleep. MAMA needs to sleep. Argh with that kid already.

Next, we’re all out of wipes. So first thing this morning of course, the above mentioned non-sleeping toddler has a giant, green, gross poop. The only good thing about having to use toilet paper for clean up is that it went right down the toilet. I’m wondering if the green poop is related to him being up all night, like maybe his belly hurt?

Then, as I’m in the middle of this diaper change, the phone rings. On my way to the bathroom, I check the caller ID and it’s an 800 number. It’s also 8:30 in the morning. So I didn’t answer it and I start thinking bad thoughts about companies who call before 9 am.

So, toddler all fresh smelling and clean again, I go down to finally eat my breakfast. The mystery 800 caller has left a message. It’s my credit card company and they want me to call them back.

So I do, and lo and behold, my credit card has been compromised. Two charges at were made this morning, before I even got up. So my oatmeal’s getting colder as I go through each charge I’ve made in the last 2 weeks. Sigh. Now I’m getting a new card and I’ve got to try to remember where my card is used for automatic payments. The cc person seemed to think that my number was stolen at

And why, why does Bip need to crush his goldfish crackers before dumping them on to the newly vacuumed carpet?

I can’t imagine what else the Lord has in store for me today. Guess I’m not going shopping. I think I’m going back to bed.

B&O Railroad Museum’s Kids Fest

The theme for Cub Scouts this month is railroads, and wouldn’t you know it, the B&O Railroad Museum was having a Kids Fest this weekend! So we loaded up the kiddos and away we went.

Our day included a free train ride and jump tents that were so much fun that Pumpkin and Boo went in them 7 times in a row! Bip was more than happy to run around, pointing to choo-choos. Any day he gets to see trains is a good day. He and I particularly enjoyed the miniature train set-up that was outside. I loved the detail of the landscape!




Back in the roundhouse, some of the trains were available to climb aboard and explore. I let the others do that while I took way too many pictures of the Lego train display. Apparently, there is a Washington DC Metro Area Lego Train Club and they were more than happy to share their talents. Wow! Legos and trains, what an amazingly fun combination. Pumpkin Girl said, “I wish this could be our hobby!” LOL, me too! Here are just a few of the highlights:

Isn’t this a cool diner? Do you see R2D2 in the door?  How about Hagrid and Spiderman?  Click on the picture to enlarge.

Pumpkin Girl figured out that this cornfield next to the farm house was actually a maze.  See the skeleton of a guy that couldn’t find his way out?  The guy helping with the exhibit really enjoyed watching us discovering that.

The detail in these Lego-scapes was astounding.  Surprises were everywhere. Make sure you click on the pictures to enlarge them.cimg2433.JPG



Working Lego trains were running around the whole thing.  I tried to catch a picture of Thomas, but he was too fast.

We could have stayed at the Kids Fest for longer, but we needed to get Bip home for a nap and the other two off to their Mexican folk dance class.  What, I didn’t tell you about that?  Some other time, perhaps.  For now, we’re thinking about heading back to the B&O Railroad Museum another day to see all the regular displays that we missed.  A great time was had by all.

Mama Needs a New Hobby


Pumpkin Girl to Boo: “Hold on a minute. I’m getting my ring tones set up and I’m almost done.”

Um, I guess I got a little obsessed with my new cell phone.

Just a bit.

Our Lady Understands

Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also. Luke 2:35



Rebecca Maria

December 22, 2003-September 15, 2004
Winter Solstice to the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows


She was good as she was fair
None, none on earth above her!
As pure in thoughts as angels are:
To know her was to love her
-Samuel Rogers


Pumpkin Girl, in her own words

Pumpkin Girl, while praying:

“…and thank you for homeschooling, so we don’t have to get up early and go off to school.”

While wearing a t-shirt with the web address of her new dance studio:

“I’m a walking dot com!”

September 11

September 11th means something different to me than it does to everyone else.

It’s still a sad day and one I would like to forget. A day where if I could turn back time and with full knowledge of the events to follow, make one single change, I would.

Frankly, I would like to forget this day, but I can’t. Because of the significance of 9-11 to the rest of the world, I am fully aware that this day is coming. I am painfully aware all day.

Three years ago, it was a day like today. Cloudy, warm, humid and threatening to rain. Our 8 month old baby, Rebecca was sick and had been for over a week. We decided to take her in to the ER rather than trying to wait out the rest of the weekend. Who wants to go to the ER on a Saturday morning, in the rain? I just knew I’d be given the ol’ “it’s just a virus” brush off. But I wanted to make sure she wasn’t dehydrated, so the two of us went.

I was right, I was told it was a “virus”, or that maybe she’d developed an allergy to breastmilk, which is why she’d been vomiting for 10 days. Um, right. We were in and out of that ER in one hour.

If I could go back and relive just one hour of my life, it would be that hour. I would leave the older children with a neighbor and have Philip come with us. I would insist that my baby was sick and that maybe they should at least do some basic tests. Bloodwork, for a start and a urinalysis.

It would have changed everything.

But I can’t go back. I can only try to go forward. I can only try to forget that on September 11, 2004, Rebecca and I left the ER with a fact sheet and a bottle of Tylenol. She should have been admitted to the hospital that night. It might have saved her life. Instead, today marks the beginning of the end.

I think Green Day actually said it best…wake me up when September ends.

The innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

here comes the rain again

falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests

but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when september ends

summer has come and passed

the innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

ring out the bells again

like we did when spring began
wake me up when september ends

here comes the rain again

falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests

but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when september ends

Summer has come and passed

The innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

Pumpkin Girl Takes the Cake

Today’s post has an optional musical accompaniment. Click “play” below to listen while you read.

Pumpkin Girl takes the cake, she really does. Somehow she always manages to win a prize. Not necessarily for feats of skill or academic excellence, but in contests that have to do with luck.Today was our church’s annual Mass in the Grass and parish picnic. I think it’s a military thing. At our base here, mass was held along the banks of the Potomac river. Even though the forecast was for another hot and humid day, it was pleasantly warm and breezy. After mass we enjoyed a veritable cornucopia of culinary delights otherwise known as everyone’s best potluck dishes. Yum!

We stuck around for the children’s activities, including a jump tent, dunk tank, beading necklaces and face painting. We were sitting around watching the action at the dunk tank and getting ready to leave when they announced the cake walk. Now, I know what a cake walk is, musically speaking, having once learned to play “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” on the piano, which is what you’re listening to. But I didn’t know what sort of game it was going to be today. But I asked Boo and Pumpkin Girl if they wanted to do the cakewalk, and only Pumpkin wanted to. Off she went and I followed to watch.

Today, the cakewalk amounted to a game of hot potato, using a paper “cake” plate. The children were a little confused about the instructions and there were some 2 year olds who really didn’t understand what to do. But they gave it a shot and by the time the plate came around the second time, everyone knew how to play. And then the music stopped and would you believe it, Pumpkin was holding the plate.

Woohoo, she won and she was taken out of the circle and led to a table full of cakes. She was told she could pick one, then the organizer went back to get the next round started. Pumpkin picked the prettiest cake she could find, of course, then we stood there for a moment, wondering if she won a piece of cake or the whole cake. For all the other games, every participant got a tiny prize, like candy or a noise maker. But the organizer came back, asked Pumpkin which cake she wanted, then handed us the whole thing!

We couldn’t believe her luck! In the past, she has won a $25 gift certificate to the commissary and a pre-made Easter basket containing a stuffed Tweety Bird wearing a pink hat. But this time, she really did take the cake.


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