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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday New Year Eve Edition 2009

We are all saying it "New Year Eve already? Where did the year go?!?" I am right there with you, this year has gone so fast. So many things have happened here at the Nut House, and while we have had some tough times, the good times are always here to hold us up and get us through the day.

We made it through another year without finishing our addition. We set goal after goal, deadline after deadline, and very few of them were met. I am Thankful for what we did get done and while we didn't move in by Christmas, which was our ultimate goal, we did get one room finished enough for my parents to camp out in since last week. We got one room primed,  patched a couple of carpet remnants down on the floor and hung a blanket on the door. With an air mattress and a space heater, The Nut House is now a 4 Star Family Resort. My brother spend a few days in the The House Family Resort as well. Since the addition still has several more months worth of work and did not get completed by our final deadline of Christmas, we have decided to start the New Year, with no more deadlines, it will get done when it gets done.

My parents have been here for just over a week, my brother got a few days off from work for a quick visit and we have had a great time. My family lives about 8 hours away, so we only get to visit a few times throughout the year, Christmas is our big family vacation, even though we don't go anywhere these days. Hanging out with the family watching movies, playing video games and lounging on the couch is the perfect vacation for us!

We have made it through another year of no surgery for my Wee Nut, my Heart Baby is turning into a toddler and will soon be a Heart Child. I am so Thankful for his strength and for his wonderful team of pediatric cardiologists.

My Wing Nut became a Homeschooler this year and is doing so much better in so many ways than when he was going to public school. With ADHD, there are always struggles and issues to deal with and life can get pretty dramatic at times, but we are working with him and are seeing great improvements.

My E Nut joined Cub Scouts this year and is as happy as he could be. He is getting to that point where his little kidness is slowly fading and he is maturing very quickly. He is my biggest helper around here with the babies. I think we are going to be seeing the biggest changes in him in the New Year, he is breaking free from his big brothers shadow and his personality is starting to shine through.

Little Nut Nut started preschool this year and for him, this is the biggest thing since learning to walk. He beams with pride every time I drop him off and has endless stories to tell when I pick him up. In his mind, he is now a big brother and the world is his playground. Everything he does, he does to catch up with his brothers and if they can do it, he is convinced that he can do it too. At 3 years old, I think he is going to be the youngest kid ever to solve the old school style Mega Man Anniversary Collection and can totally kick my butt any day!

After 4 boys, we welcomed our first and only little girl this past summer. She Nut is as spoiled as any Baby Girl could be. I never thought I would have a girlie girl, but my sweet little one wears pink every day. She has the best smile I have ever seen and can melt my heart with a smile and a baby girl squeak. She is both the easiest and the most difficult baby we have ever had. When she wants something she is as demanding as I have ever seen a baby be, but she can sit in her bouncy saucer or lay in her bassinet for hours playing with her hands or babbling to who ever is closest to her. She is well loved by her brothers and will have team of boys to protect her when she gets older.

This month we had the best snow storm we have ever had in the Shenandoah Valley, giving us a White Christmas, and that is one of the best and simplest gifts my children have ever had. They will remember this Christmas forever and it will be something we talk about for the rest of our lives.

I have met so many great people in the bloggy world and am Thankful for the new friendships I have made. I love reading your blogs and hanging out with you on The BlogFrog and Twitter.

I have been able to connect with many great Heart Families and CHD organizations and am honored to work with you all to raise awareness about Congenital Heart Defects. I have many ideas for 2010 and can't wait to get them in motion.

As always, I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy, I am Thankful that my husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads and for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tree and Change of Plans

We normally go out and get out tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We drive to the top of the mountain to the tree farm and the kids run around while we pick our tree and cut it down. At home we drink Hot Spiced Cider and snack on popcorn and other yummy treats. We spend the rest of the weekend decorating the tree and the house.

This year was completely different from what we planned. We tried several times, but tradition was eluding us at ever corner. The weekend after Thanksgiving a stomach bug hit our house, and even though it didn't get everyone we couldn't risk it appearing in the van at the top of the mountain or at the tree farm. So we postponed getting the Christmas Tree until the following weekend.

The next weekend met us with a snow storm. We got several inches, and around here, there is no driving to the top of the mountain with any amounts of snow falling. I posted pictures of that storm here in this post.

The following weekend, we were having much better luck. The weather was good and all little Nuts were healthy. We were in the process of packing up the kids for the afternoon out and our neighbor knocked on our door. She noticed that we still didn't have our tree up yet, and as they just bought a new artificial tree she was tossing her old tree and wondered if we wanted it. With as busy as our lives have been lately, Mr Nut and I looked at each other and decided we would go with the artificial tree. Not very traditional, not nearly as much fun, but somehow it seemed to fit into our schedule and we jumped at the chance to save a bit of time.

It is not what we are used to, but it turned out beautiful, in spite of the all the road blocks we encountered along the way. It is missing a few branches, and is a little lopsided, but that just adds to its charm.

I couldn't get the Star to stay on top of the tree. It kept falling over
like the star on the movie A Christmas Story, when the father insisted
that the crooked star was straight. The kids thought it was hilarious lol!
Oh, and see how the bottom of the tree has very few ornaments?
Ah, life with toddlers, everything is up, up and away.


The dining room is the only room big enough for a Christmas Tree, so we move everything around to set up the tree, and then push everything to the back of the room Christmas morning. You can see what this room normally looks like in our Pumpkin carving post here.

I finally finished decorating the tree yesterday. It only took a month of trying to get the tree up, but it is up and everyone is happy.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holy Ton of Snow Batman!! This is a Snow Storm the Kids will Never Forget!

We got hit with the biggest snow storm in over a decade and I am pretty sure that this is the most amount of snow on record for the month of December Evah!

I have been complaining about the lack of snow in the Shenandoah Valley for the past 7 years...and my husband has just informed me that it is more like Whining...whatever, I miss the NY snow lol.

At first I was excited to hear that we would be getting 6-12 inches of snow, and then we heard that it could be up to 14-16 inches of snow. I took these pictures yesterday around 1pm and it snowed for another good 8-10 hours after that. I haven't been out to do the final measurements yet today, but you know I will :)

It looks like we will be having a White Christmas in the South and I couldn't be happier!

Our front stoop is covered and was shoveled Friday night
after several inches of snow already fell.

Around 1pm on Saturday, we had 22 inches of snow.
It continued to snow for about 8-10 hours after this.

You can see a little strip of the retaining wall. You can see
a picture of what it looks like with no snow

A few weeks ago I was wicked excited to get a few inches of snow
you can see the difference in this post here.

Here is my fairly tall Rosemary plant. I took a picture of it and
it can be seen same in that same post that I linked up to in the
photo up above this one.

The two bushes in the just below the front window are pruned to
be below the window. And there is Mr Nut waving from the warmth
of the house. He is hanging out with the babies so I can take pictures.
What a sweet guy!

Friday evening we were driving around in the storm getting ready to be
snowed in, so our van has a bit less snow than the other vehicles. That
strange car in front of my van should have never parked in my spot.
Public parking around here is not really for all the public to use. Just sayin'.

The path down to the road is actually stairs.
 The across the street neighbor's car is even more buried today.

I am so happy I could burst! I am above my knees in snow and I can't
even get to the ground because the snow was getting packed under my feet.

E Nut is trying to get to the Cozy Coupe. He was actually thinking
that he could get in it and drive around. It made a nice little
fort though.

This is E Nut's "I am so excited I don't know what to do with
myself" face.

Wing Nut contains his excitement a little better.

The snow is up to the bottom of the swings and almost to the
top of the little slide.

Little Nut Nut is in awe of the snow and is so light he mostly crawled around
on top of the snow. He was jumping up and down to try to reach the ground.

This is a good view of the back of our house. The back of our house
with the addition is two stories, the rest of the house is a single
story home.

Mr Nut started building a fort yesterday with the 3 oldest Nuts after I went back into the house. They are going to go out this afternoon and finish it today. We forgot to hang the winter clothes to dry yesterday, and are waiting for them to finish drying so they can go back out again. Right now, we have more snow than my parents do in New York!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am very Thankful for my very silly 19 month old Wee Nut who is starting to come out of his shell and really show off his personality. He loves to play at the dinner table, and since he is always the first one done, we have to keep him busy while the rest of the family eats. He is such a funny little guy. I am so Thankful he is here with us today.

As always, I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy, I am Thankful that my husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads and for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

We Sent in our Yoplait Yogurt Lids Today

You may have noticed that we were saving yogurt lids for the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives campaign to help fight breast cancer. I had the button on my right side bar. I figured that since the campaign was over and the deadline to turn them in was approaching, we might as well get it done. Plus we needed room for Christmas decorations. We ended up with 69 yogurt lids and have sent them off to Yoplait this morning. We helped to raise $6.90 to help fight breast cancer. Wing Nut helped me make them into a Heart, because that is how we roll around here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This is how Wee Nut spend last Christmas - Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BlogFrog Holiday Challenge - BlogFrog is Donating to The Children's Hosptial

BlogFrog holiday challenge

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the BlogFrog and my community that I have there in this post. I love the BlogFrog and have found so many great bloggers there and have learned so much. Now they are having a "Give the Gift of Community" Holiday Challenge to benefit The Children's Hospital Foundation. 

For every community that adds 20 new participants (someone who starts a discussion or replies to a discussion) between now and the end of the year, BlogFrog will donate $10 to The Children's Hospital, one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for kids and teens. That means, if you join My Community and start or reply to a community discussion, you will help The Nut House reach this goal. 

You have been reading what I have to say, now I would love to hear what you have to say, so hop on over to My Community and meet your fellow readers! Join in a conversation or start a new one.  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Cha Cha Cha!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little Nut Nut Is Done With Dinner and Fast Asleep at the Table

This weeks Photo of the Week is
Sleeping Children

In keeping with family tradition, all 3 year olds must
start to boycott dinner by having a few bites and then
fall fast asleep at the table.

To share, go find a picture not yet posted to your blog, of your Sleeping Children, post them on your blog and hop on over to My Community and share the link in this discussion.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

She Nut and I Wore Pink Today for Angel Baby Cora

Baby Cora passed away this past week after only a few beautiful days with her family. She scored high on her Apgars and looked to be perfectly healthy. She spend her lasts moments breastfeeding with her loving mother before passing suddenly and unexpectedly from and undiagnosed Heart Defect. Kristine had a normal and healthy pregnancy and baby Cora looked great and healthy on the ultrasounds.

Kristine requested that others wear pink in honor of Cora as she said goodbye to her precious angel baby today. Wing Nut used his budding photography skills today at Wee Nut's peds cardiology appointment today to get me and She Nut's picture wearing pink. I had an anxious week leading up to Wee Nut's appointment today, but after learning of Cora's passing I found it hard to be upset for our situation when there are so many who are not as lucky to receive the miracle that we did with Owee.

You can find others who wore pink for Cora here on Once Upon a Cline.

Thankful Thursday

Well, for once this week has been dragging on. I feel like the weekend will never come. We still haven't gotten our tree, first The Sickness hit our house during Thanksgiving weekend and then last weekend we got a snow storm which put the kibosh on driving to the top of the mountain to get the tree. We will be trying one last time for this weekend and then we have to either find a new tree farm or Gasp buy a pre-cut tree. I am sure there are plenty of beautiful pre-cut trees out there...but they don't include the fun trip to the top of the mountain with the beautiful wintery view of the valley or the running around of children between all of the trees to find that perfect tree. I hope the weather holds out for us so we can get this Christmas tree show on the road.

We have had one whole week with no new sicknesses entering our home...and the old sicknesses are finally on their way out. Lots of Thankfulness for this!

My Wing Nut is making great strides in getting caught up with his homeschool lessons. I am Thankful for that...I am not really so Thankful for his attitude about it this week.

Even though we couldn't go get the Christmas tree this past weekend, we had a beautiful snowy weekend and I am Thankful for that. We don't get much snow around here and it is always so special for the Little Nuts when there are those white flakes floating around our home. In case you missed the pictures of our now all melted snow they are here in this post.

Today Wee Nut has an appointment with Peds Cardiology. I have a love/hate relationship with days like today. We don't have a pulse oximeter any more to check out his O2 sats, they took that away after his Glenn Procedure last October, so I get nervous when he turns blue and starts to pant and I can't pull it out to check is oxygen levels. I always get anxious on the days leading up to his appointments, because this could be the appointment where they say "It is time to schedule the next surgery." But there is peace of mind sitting in the appointment watching the EKG and hearing the blip of the pulse oximeter and seeing his O2 sats. He will fight and claw his way through the Echo and tear at the leads for the EKG. He will scream his way through the blood pressure machine and try to rip the pulse oximeter off of his toe. But in the end as he is clinging to me shooting dirty looks at every one else in the room, I will have the answers I need to continue on our journey. I may or may not like what I hear at the end of this appointment, but I am always so Thankful when they are over. I am Thankful to know exactly what is going on with my Wee Nut's Heart and where we stand at the moment.

I am Thankful that She Nut loves to eat her rice cereal as seen here in this post and that when I mix some bananas up with it, she can't get enough of it. This baby girl is going to give her big brothers a run for their money...she is already doing everything she can to grow strong, get moving and chase them down. She is eager to join the ranks of the loud and busy Brother Nuts. And I am Thankful that those big meals help her to sleep just a little bit longer through the night these days.

I am Thankful that even though the school nurse called yesterday to let me know that E Nut had been smashed in the eye (it was a total accident!) that he only has a small cut and a little bit of swelling as of this morning. Nothing like a few weeks ago when the Wii remote went flying out of Wing Nut's hand and directly on to E Nut's eye, which left him bloody, swollen and with a black eye. This is why we use the wrist band, children.

I am both Thankful and exhausted by the amount of energy that Little Nut Nut has as he jumps around the house singing all sorts of random songs and telling stories about his little life.

I am Thankful for things like hot tea on a cold morning, bit sized chocolates from our still big bowl of Halloween candy and kids sipping hot chocolate on a cold day.

As always, I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy, I am Thankful that my husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads and for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Love Me Some Fresh and Clean Baby -Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby Mamas (Put a Sling On 'Em) Video by Leigh

This is the funniest things I have seen in a long time! Leigh over at Marvelous Kiddo made this video and it is so fun and creative. I laughed a lot watching these girls dance while wearing their babies. It is sung to the tune of Beyonce's Single Ladies. I think I have watched this video at least 3 7 times and it has become an amusing time waster lol. And it is so very fitting that I found this video the same day I entered to win a Hotsling and posted about it hahahaa. Enjoy!

Hotslings Baby Carrier Giveaway.

I love my Maya Wrap, but I have been wanting to try out a Hotslings Baby Carrier for a while. My She Nut has been riding around in a dark BLUE sling for the past 4 1/2 months as seen in this post and this one, and that just isn't right for a baby girl. So I entered to win a girlie Hotsling, I hope I win!

11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven is giving away THIS Hotslings baby carrier!

To enter click HERE.

I guess if you enter, I will wish you luck and all, but really I want to win, so I am not wishing too much luck.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Winter Wonderland

We don't get a lot of snow around here. Many times we wake up in the morning and the temperature has dropped down into the teens overnight, but still, not a lot of snow. It usually takes us longer to find and put together clothes warm enough to play outside in, than the Little Nuts actually spend outside. I managed to get a few pictures out in front of our house, the kids were not outside for long enough for me to go out and get pictures of them. In the time that it took me to change a few diapers and feed the baby, they were done outside. I think it is funny that of the 3 kids who went outside to play, the oldest came in first and the youngest came in last. They had a good time, and this may be 1 of only 1-3 times they will get to play in the snow all winter long. I guess it really doesn't matter how long they were out there, as long as they had a good time while they were playing.

 My rosemary plant is the last of my herbs and seems
to be holding up pretty well.

A couple of Dogwood trees and a tiny boxwood bush.

We think this crazy little bush looking thing is
a weeping cherry tree. Every year I cut it back
and every year it grows out of control.
I think it is cool anyways.

Did you get any good Winter Wonderland photos yet this year? Head on over to my community and leave a link to your blog post of The Photo of the Week and Show Me Your Latest Winter Wonderland Photos.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

She Nut's First Meal of Rice Cereal

I have been trying to find a good time to feed She Nut rice cereal for the first time for the past couple of weeks. When we were all sick, the day would get away from me before I ever got the chance. She has started to wake up again for middle of the night feedings, so I figured it was definitely time to start feeding her cereal. It was so hard to get pictures of her, she is such a little piglet she would get upset as soon as she swallowed her cereal and was screaming for more. When she wants to eat there is no stopping her. For the past month or so, if I feed her with a bottle, she will reach up and grab it out of my hands if I don't give it to her quick enough.

I gave her a couple of tablespoons of cereal mixed with some formula and she finished if off in a quick couple of minutes. I had to make her more and she scarfed it down and still wasn't done. She could have kept going, but I was worried about her tummy, so I made her a bottle. This baby girl loves to eat! It looks like I will be making carrots, sweet potatoes and squash for her and tossing them in the freezer this week.

She Nut is sitting in her highchair for the first time.
Up until last night this highchair used to belong to Little Nut Nut.
Looks like it is time to pull out the bench for the dinning room table
since E Nut has been kicked out of his booster seat so Little Nut Nut
has a place to sit at the table now.

She Nut got so excited with her first couple of bites
she started babbling about it.

After a few bites, she grabbed the spoon out of my hand
and fed herself. I had to pry it out of her hands to give her more.

She had her first day in the bouncy saucer the other day and last night she started eating solids. Oh how quickly time passes us by. Before I know it, she will be self feeding everything.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Friday Photos

Moments before he dumped all of the crayons out of the box, Wee Nut was actually putting them all away. I guess he needed to experience both the filling of the box and then the emptying of it. I can already see the artwork on the walls he will create in the future...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I know I have said this before, but Wow, where did this week go?! The holidays are coming up fast and everyone is trying to get their homes decorated and their shopping done. We went from Thanksgiving dinner and family gatherings right to jumping into planning for Christmas dinner and an even bigger family gathering.

It seems like most of us are scaling down Christmas this year. Broadening the circle of friends and family who don't make the Christmas Gift list this year. We are telling our children that Christmas is going to be smaller this year than last year...which is exactly what we told them last year. We are now looking into more gifts that can be handmade for both adults and children. We are trying to figure out the limits and the etiquette of regifting, trying to figure out how to make everyone happy without insulting them at the same time.

Every once in a while, I turn on the news and I hear that the recession is coming to an end, profits are up and companies are recovering. Somebody might want to tell that to the factory in my town that just laid off another 110 workers as of the first of the New Year. Our little town is struggling and I run into acquaintances who I thought had secure jobs only to hear them say that they are looking for work.

Seems like a bit of a downer..but the thing is, even while we are down, we still have a smile on our faces. Sure we are stressed, but we are getting by. We support each other through friendship and we work to stay positive. We have a meltdown every now and then, but we have learned to scale down, be creative and to get by and not let it ruin us. I don't think some of the Wall Street types can say the same after loosing their jobs and their high end comfort zone.

The thing about being an average American is that we don't let the big things get us down and we turn the little things in to nothing. We get by and we are Thankful for what we have. We still continue to dream the big dreams, but still embrace the little dreams we create in our own homes. Even when we are struggling, we understand that others are struggling too. Even when we cut back and go without, when someone we know needs help, we offer what we can, even if it means going without even more.

I am Thankful to be an average American with big dreams and a strong resilience. To know that I can keep pushing on and that things will get better.

I am also Thankful that while our house has been the breeding place for several sicknesses in the past several weeks, that we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am ever so Thankful for caffeine and the fact that we still have bite sized Halloween candy. Those quick little chocolaty treats really make a girl feel good!

As always, I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy, I am Thankful that my husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads and for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She Nut's First Day in the Bouncy Saucer - Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The BlogFrog and My Community There

A few months ago I joined the BlogFrog. You may have noticed that there are pictures of some of my visitors towards the bottom of my left sidebar. All of those people are members of the BlogFrog community. If you want your picture to show there, all you have to do is sign up and fill in your profile information. You don't even need a blog to join. Then when you visit other blogs that have the same BlogFrog widget on their site, you will show up there too. It is kind of like signing a guest book. Cool huh?

There are thousands of BlogFrog members and hundreds of communities to check out. I started a community of my own. I just added a link to take you to My Community under the BlogFrog visitors widget. You can click on that link to visit and join my community. I have discussions started that you can join in on, or you can start your own discussion. You can ask me questions about my blog or any of my posts, or you can ask general questions for anyone to participate it. Fun huh?

I don't get paid if you sign up, this is not a referral program or anything like that. It is just for fun.

So follow the link to my community and join in the conversation. See you there!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Slugs in my Dryer and Between my Toes

I can't think of many things more disgusting than slugs. Some might not consider the Shenandoah Valley to be "The South" but this Damn Yankee sure does! There are very few days when slugs are not sliming around my yard. Winter, spring, summer and fall, slugs can be found. I hate slugs. Hate is not a word I toss around lightly. Hate is not a word I like to hear my kids say. But I hate slugs.

I have to warn you a head of time, if slugs cause you great amounts of discomfort, you may want to stop reading now and just know that I have suffered greatly because of the existence of slugs and you may continue on your merry way.

I have learned that on those perfect mornings in the spring, when I grab a hot cup of tea and head out to wander around my yard, looking for blooming flowers, budding trees and to watch the sunrise, that it is not a good idea to go barefoot. On some mornings it is not even a good idea to wear flip-flops. Nothing ruins a good sunrise more than slugs between my toes. It sets the mood for a pretty horrific day as well. On many occasions, I start my walk around the yard, sleepily sipping on my tea, enjoying the quietness of a sleeping house and sleeping neighborhood...only to be disrupted by a slimy slug with its exploding guts oozing out between my toes.

If the picture of this is too much for you, you may want to stop now, because oozing slugs between my toes is nothing compared to the day I found a dried crusty slug in my dryer!

This actually happened to me about a year ago or so, but I was out doing yard work the other day, and because of all of the slugs that I encountered, I have been reliving the Dried Crusty Slug in my Dryer Nightmare.

I do a lot of laundry. Laundry is quickly becoming the bane of my existence and I am in the process of getting rid of most of my Little Nuts extra random clothes that they don't really wear very often because I just can't handle the amount of clothing that the 7 people in this house have. I complained about it recently in this post. Anyways, I think this day I did something like 3 loads of laundry. At one point, I noticed a splotch, like a long dark smear at the bottom of the dryer door, close to where it seals. I thought it was kind of strange, but it didn't seem to be getting on the clothes, so I thought it was a sticker or something. Then when I looked closer, I though it was candy or a crayon because it was thick and when I touch it, it was hard. I peeled it off and looked at it. Then, realizing what it was I threw it and screamed so loud the kids came running in to see what happened. I was freaked out beyond belief that I just peeled a nasty dried slug off the inside of my dryer door!

How did a slug get into my dryer, onto the door and squished, exploding all over three loads of clean clothes, you ask? Well, I didn't do laundry for several days, because I was doing the change of season clothes swap for a few days and was waiting until I was done. This is a project that takes me way too long and I think I have complained about it before. Hence me getting rid of several garbage bags of clothes this fall. Anyways, my reasoning is that the nasty foul beast from the darkest recesses of all things dark and evil found its way into my dryer vent. The dryer vent outside did not close all the way because it had dryer lint build up around it.

The foul creature known as The Slug, slimmed its way up my dryer vent into my dryer and was hanging out on the door by the very edge and when I opened the door to put clothes in, it moved just enough to be squished when I closed the door, and have its guts splattered all over my dryer & clean clothes.

Um, Eeewww! Um, Gross! A year later I am still suffering nightmares and may never be the same again.

This is the main reason why we don't hire contractors to often to work on our house. Yes, the dried slug in my dryer is caused by a contractor that we hired 4 years ago to do things that we couldn't do...or things that we thought they could do quicker than us. We hired a guy to change out our windows and do the siding on our house and he did such a lousy job, we have been cleaning up after him and fixing his mistakes for the past 4 years. (I could also talk about the foulness that is this man all day and you still wouldn't know the 1/2 of I will just leave it at that)

When he did the siding around the dryer vent, he screwed it up pretty bad. The siding around the entire thing is at least an inch away from the vent and the old siding can still be seen around the vent. Mr. Gross Contractor Man just gobbed in huge amounts of caulk around and underneith of it. So there were huge gobs of caulk just under the little door that opens and closes that stuck out enough to catch little pieces of lint. Eventually quite a lot of lint built up and kept the door from closing...hence a slug climbed into my dryer vent.

So I got a knife and cut the caulk off around the dryer vent, cursing the contracter the whole time. I would not want to be that man as much as I curse his name. Then I dragged the vacuum cleaner outside and vacuumed tons of lint that got caught on the inside of the vent. I finished off The Slug in the dryer clean up by scrubbing the entire dryer, every last bit of it was scrubbed and sanitized. And then scrubbed and sanitized again. Oh, and did I mention that I scrubbed and sanitized it? Yeah, I did that too. Then I threw the rag away. After that I  rewashed three loads of laundry. Fun.

So after grabbing on to many slimy slugs the other day...with gloves on of course, I was suddenly swept back in time to the day of The Slug in the dryer. I dropped my rake and ran over to my dryer vent to make sure it was still closed, that no lint was building up and that there was no way a slug could get into my dryer vent ever again.

I was pleased to find out and happy to report that there is no lint building up around the dryer vent and there is no way that any slug can get into my dryer again. I will continue to check my dryer vent for lint and slugs for the rest of my life. You might want to think about checking yours out too, just to make sure.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh The Things I Do

For the majority of the past month, our house has been a sick one, and I don't think it is going to end anytime soon. I think it actually started just over a month ago when Wee Nut got croup again and E Nut was home sick. E Nut ended up with strep a couple weeks later and missed a week of school. Over a week ago I got sick and spend several days on the couch while William took care of the family and worked on our addition. I am still sick with the same cold. Little Nut Nut missed his preschool Thanksgiving celebration because he was sick. The day after Thanksgiving the stomach flu hit our house, and so far has only mildly hit Little Nut Nut and myself. Typically, I do not feel safe and out of the woods for at least a week from the end of the last attack. For now though, we only have colds passing around the house. That does not mean that some one else wont come down with the stomach flu, and I quarantined the 3 oldest Nuts to the bedroom.

The other day I started getting ready for the Christmas tree. Our dinning room also doubles as the craft room for the kids and they have their leapster games, pac-man and xbox in there too. The Christmas tree goes in the corner of the dinning room, so at Christmas time the TV and video games go into the kids bedroom. We count that as a Christmas present to the kids. The kids love it and it is a great deal for a Christmas present. Call it a freebie, call it tradition, either way the kids get a month of getting spoiled with a TV in their room.

Traditionally, we go out the Saturday after Thanksgiving, drive to the top of the mountain to a tree farm and cut down our tree. The day is full of running around and excitement. We drink spiced cider and snack on left over turkey dinner, popcorn, pie, whatever yummy goodness we have. We nibble all day while we decorate the tree and listen to Christmas music. Unfortunately, this year we are all too sick and have postponed it until next weekend. I am still going to try to get outside and set the lights up along the stairs up to the house though.

We are still trying to have a special Thanksgiving vacation, so this afternoon, I set up the portable DVD player in the kids bedroom and put on Indiana Jone and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. They were having such a good time in there, I did the unthinkable. For the first time in days I have some peace and quiet, the kids are chilling out watching a movie...but now it is lunch time. I couldn't bare to loose that peace and quiet, so I threw together some turkey sandwiches, tossed them on some TV trays and sat the 3 kids down, in their bedroom, with their lunch. They are so quiet in there. They are giddy with excitement, but fearful of moving to the dinning room table, they are just. so. quiet.

Oh The Things I Do for peace and quiet.

I have 2 sleeping babies and when my lunch is done, I am going to climb in to one of the kid's beds and finish watching Indiana Jones with the kids and probably take a nap.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! I was planning on doing a week long Thanksgiving edition to Thankful Thursdays but  ended up getting sick and didn't move from the couch for days unless it was urgent. I am Thankful that I am feeling well enough to make dinner tomorrow and share my Thankful Thoughts, and even more Thankful that I was lucky enough to get sick on the weekend when William was around to take care of me and the kids.

To give you a little extra time if you want to join in this week, I will keep the Thanksgiving edition of Thankful Thursdays open until midnight on Friday.

I am so Thankful to all of you who come back and read about my Nutty little life and share your stories with me. I love reading your blogs and getting to know you all. I have a special place in my heart for all of the Heart families I have found, and the connections that I have made with you, reading your blogs helps me to feel normal(ish) again. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Most importantly, I am Thankful for my husband who works so hard to support our family when I can not produce income the way I used to. You work long hard hours and come home to build our addition with your own hands, you take our boys to Cub Scouts, volunteer to serve our country in the State Defense Force and go to school part time. You work very hard and complain very little. You congratulate me on what little income I bring in with my freelance articles and you complement my blogs. Thank you so much for all you do for our family.

I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy. They drive me Crazy a little bit of everyday, but without them I would not be the mother I am today. I am Thankful for our home and a roof over our heads, even though it has been a work in progress for over 6 years. We have had many wonderful days and nights of remodeling and working together to build a home for our family. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

And I am eternally grateful and forever Thankful for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

I found a few Native American prayers and blessings I will close my Thanksgiving edition of Thankful Thursdays with.

"Give thanks for unknown blessings
already on their way."

Native American saying



We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.




The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest is all gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain.
So open wide the doorway-
Thanksgiving comes again!

Author Unknown
 This one is not Native American, that I am aware of .

So what are you Thankful for this Thanksgiving? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

She Nut Looks Way too Concerned for a Four Month Old

Last week I took She Nut in for her 4 month well baby visit. I can't believe that she is 4 months old already! Her excessive drooling makes me wonder if she is teething already and she is ready to start trying out a bit of rice cereal mixed with breast milk. Yumm! She is getting so big, I feel like her newborn days have slipped away and if I am not careful she will be crawling and walking. And then our days of little babies in the house will be gone. It is a bitter sweet feeling. In 2-3 years there will be no more diapers to haul around, no more baby gear to drag to family gatherings, no more bottles to pack or middle of the night feedings with just me and a nursing baby.

You might think that if She Nut is only 4 months old, that I may be jumping the gun a bit with these feelings that my baby girl is growing up too fast. When I look back at the past year, it seems like it just flew by! A year ago today, I send my kids off to school. Shortly after dropping them off I got a call from Wing Nut's teacher to tell me that he had a diorama due that day and that not only did he forget to bring it it...We forgot to do it. Completely forgot. We had 2 weeks to work on it. We got notes sent home in the homework folder reminding us to do it. But there I was on the phone with his teacher as she reprimands me for not getting it done. I remember thinking "Gee lady, give me a break, my baby just had open heart surgery last month, cut me some slack." I gave her all sorts of apologies, because really I felt terrible that I flaked out on Wing Nuts project.

So I was wandering around the house, kicking myself in the butt and tearing everything apart looking for anything that could be used in the diorama and the phone rings again. I saw that it was his teacher, and even though I didn't want to answer it I did, the guilt of ignoring his teacher got the best of me. Lucky thing I did answer it, the water pipes at the school burst and there was no heat in the school. I had to go pick up my kids and all I could think about was how lucky we were to have the whole afternoon to finish a diorama that all the other kids did in two weeks. Yippie, lucky day!

We also had to do some last minute Thanksgiving dinner shopping, which I was hoping to do while the kids were in school, but whatever, I love it when school it canceled! We swung by Micheal's and grabbed a few things that we needed for the diorama and headed off to Walmart. It took us awhile to get through shopping, the store was packed for a Monday afternoon, and even though Wee Nut was 6 months old, we didn't really go out too often with him, let alone all 4 kids. Getting through the store was difficult and I ended up dragging the kids back and forth across the store several times because I couldn't seem to remember everything that was on my list in front of me. This is also before I became a Master at pushing a double stroller with one hand and pulling the cart with the other. Wing Nut did a great job of helping me out in the beginning, but by the end of the shopping trip, the cart was full and pretty heavy. I was surprised at how well all of the Little Nuts were behaving, but I think they were just happy to not be in school and were still full of excitement from the broken pipes at school.

So we walk out, pushing the double stroller, pulling a cart full of Thanksgiving goodness and it turned out to be a chilly rainy day. So I quickly head to the van, I started walking down the same parking isle that I always park in, because well, I always park there, so that is where my van should be. Now remember, the store was packed, so the parking lot is packed. I am walking and walking and realizing that I have no idea where my van is. Really. It is raining, I have four now tired and Little Nuts and I have no idea where the van is. I started walking off back and forth, pointing my van key clicker at every van that even remotely looks like my van. For some reason I was starting to think I had no idea what my van looked like, that some how I forgot, and that I was looking for the wrong van. My Little Nuts were little troopers though, helping me push the cart back and forth in the rain while I explain to them that I can't figure out how I lost the van or where it could be. We were soaked by this point and starting to get sad little looks from women watching my struggling confusion.

Then all of a sudden, there is was, right in front of me...not my van mind was the realization that I was pregnant! The only thing I could do was stop and in slow motion, turn to my kids and stare blankly at them. There I was, rain pouring down on my family, lost in the Walmart parking lot and I was pregnant.

That explained the forgotten diorama. Woo-hoo, it wasn't my fault, it was the baby's.

That explained the lost van. Woo-hoo, I am not crazy, I am pregnant.

Totally. Makes. Sense.

And oh wait! I parked completely on the other side of the parking lot. Like 7 rows over. Really. Very far away from where I was looking. The parking lot was so packed when I got there, I had to park on the other side of the store. Which I never do. Ever. You would have thought that we were the head of the Macy's Day Parade with all the excitement that we had while marching across the parking lot to our van. I still had to point my van key clicky at every van on the other side of the parking lot, but at least we were heading in the right direction. Of course we eventually find the van, the soaking wet kids climb in while I toss the dripping groceries in the van and we are home free.

After a few minutes of soaking in the realization of another baby, and soaking my van seats with my dripping clothes and hair, we headed home. We went home and finished up the diorama, it took pretty much all day long, but had a great time doing it.

In case you missed it, She Nut was due on Little Nut Nut's third birthday...I also realized that I was pregnant the week of Thanksgiving with him as well. When I was pregnant with Little Nut Nut, my parents were coming to visit and I had just figured it out that day or maybe the day before. We were working on remodeling our kitchen at the time and were cleaning up and getting what was done ready for my parents visit. They always call right when they get into town to give us a heads up and the kids love standing in the front window waiting for them. Right after they called, I looked at my husband and said "By the way, I am pregnant, I won't be drinking wine and I feel sick to my stomach." My husband had a few short moments to let it sink in and my parents were here. Since we didn't even have time to talk about it we kept it to ourselves and sprung it on our family for Christmas. Merry Christmas!

We spent last Thanksgiving alone as a family, relaxing and recovering from the whirlwind that our lives had become with Wee Nut. When I told my husband I was pregnant with She Nut, all I could do was laugh. I made another Thanksgiving dinner that I could hardly eat and dreamed about how this baby must be a girl!

William asked me yesterday if there was going to be a November surprise this year. Of course not. We are not pregnant and will not be having any more children. No more November surprises.

So it is not just that my baby girl is 4 months old going on 4 years old. It is a blink of an eye and a year is gone. We went through many tests when I was pregnant with She Nut, the early part of my pregnancy seemed to drag on forever. Waiting to get the tests, and then waiting for the results. Now I am looking at my baby girl as she rolls from side to side, I listen to her laugh out loud and babble non-stop, trying to be heard among her brothers. I want to swaddle her up and keep her close and smell her fresh baby smell and rub her soft baby hair. I keep having those moments where I want to stop time, where I want to grab all of my many small Little Nuts and keep them from getting any older. And many of those moments are shattered by many small Little Nuts screaming, fighting, begging for this, that and the other thing. Babies who can't feed themselves and children who flood the bathroom sink, drag everything out of the kitchen cupboards and spill all of their toys from one end of the house to the other. So while after She Nut, I will no longer be the changer of diapers or the feeder of breast milk, I will be the holder of hands, the loudest mom on the sidelines, the table at the restaurant without the highchairs and the chauffeur to many Older Nuts. No matter what, I know I will always be the giver of hugs, the wiper of tears and the band aid applier. And really that is OK with me. Kinda. Not completely. But mostly.

A year today we forgot and finished Wing Nut's Diorama

It was a forest scene with water and animals.

You may have even seen it sitting on the bar in my carving pumpkins post.
It has been sitting there for almost a year since Wing Nut brought it home from school.
I still don't have anywhere to put it.

For all of the Little Nut's well visits they take a picture of the them.
This is the picture of She Nut at her appointment last week.
She Looks Way too Concerned for a Four Month Old.
Like she knows something we don't.
She also felt the need to practically rip my shirt off.
I see that picture and feel like I just stepped out of the cast of Fame.
I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly--high!

Since I have had that song stuck in my head ever since I saw that picture last week, I had to share it with you. Good luck getting it out of your head!

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