New Jen's Horde

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Taking some time off.

This whole blogging thing has started to feel like more of a chore than a hobby to me. I'm going to give myself a break, for the first time in over two years of doing this.

I'll check in on you all from time to time, and I'll let you all know when I'm back!



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Even the Chief Executive of Jones Soda Co. thinks this is nasty!

The Jones Soda Holiday Pack is out again. Hurl. We tried it last year, and I haven't fully recovered yet.

It's not surprising to see that their Chief Exectuve thinks this is gross, because it *IS* gross. I'm a little surprised he's telling everyone how he feels about it, though.

Peter van Stolk, chief executive of Jones Soda, said on Monday the collection of strange-flavored sodas usually sells out quickly, even though he can not stomach the drinks. Past flavors included broccoli casserole, corn on the cob and Brussel sprout.

"Why people buy it is beyond me. I can't drink a bottle of this stuff," said van Stolk.
The honesty is refreshing, even if the beverage isn't...

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thanks, Guys!

With your encouragement, I got a lot done yesterday. So much that today I think I'll make these turkey wishbone earrings to wear on Thursday!

Actually, I don't really think that I will, I just thought it was too freaky not to pass on, though. If you make them, will you let me know? I think they would go great with a necklace made from the vertebrae!

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Motivation to spare?

I have company coming, I'm nowhere near ready for Thanksgiving, my house is a mess and I'm way behind on the crafts I'm making as Christmas gifts. Will someone please give me a verbal kick in the butt and tell me to get to work?


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Who is Jolene?

And what does it say on his upper lip? At first I thought it was "purebreed" but it isn't.

I'm all for personal expression, but in some cases less is definitely more.



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This kind of bums me out...

Anne Frank's tree to be cut down

The ancient chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank while she was in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland must be cut down, the Amsterdam city council said Tuesday.
I haven't read her diary in a few years, I should get it out again. I bet at least my 11 year old is old enough to read it, too...

I remember reading this in junior high, and becoming very caught up in the drama of Anne's life, and her teenage struggles with the other people in the Annex. Then, I read it as an adult, and I thought all of the teenage angst seemed superfluous, because of the backdrop of the story, which seemed much more important to me. Do you have any books that you've looked at totally differently as you got older?

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Monday, November 13, 2006


I've been knitting a lot, trying to make dishcloths to give as Christmas gifts. I've found a few patterns here and there, and now I'm just trying to get them done.

Do you have any home made gift ideas?

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank you, Veterans!




Friday, November 10, 2006

Today is the Birthday of the Beloved Corps!

Yes, a grand 231 years today!

I can't share my favorite Marine with you, my dad, because he doesn't keep a blog or anything. (Hi, Dad! I love you!) So I will share my distant second favorite with you. Here's a soundboard of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, from Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Completely inappropriate language here, but I can't help but get the giggles every time I hear it.

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all of your years of service to our country.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

I voted....barely!



1. It all turned out OK in the end, but for a while there it looked like I wouldn't be able to vote at all.

2. Davin went down alone to vote when the polls opened at 7am. Because this was so early, and he was running out to try to do it before work, he inadvertently grabbed MY signature card instead of his own.

3. No one at the polling place realized he had the wrong signature card until after they'd put him in the computer. You'd think that the guy who checked his signature card against his ID would have noticed something was amiss, but perhaps they were looking at the IDs to try to gather some other kind of information? Maybe the guy was just scoping out everyone's weight (ha! the joke's on him. I haven't weighed what my license says since I first got one at 16!)

4. Everyone had a good laugh, except the ID checking guy who had a good scolding, and they made Davin fill out a blank signature card. They started his process over and he was able to vote and get back to his day.

5. Then, I went down around 10:30 am and got into the, by now, tremendously long line. Of course, I had all four kids with me. We snaked up and down the hallway, stood in line going down a stairwell, and then waited all along the hallway leading to the Sunday School rooms. Then, finally, BLESSEDLY, after a quarter mile of church hallways and 6 billion questions from the children about every painting, office, piece of furniture, nook and cranny that we passed, we got to the room where the actual voting was taking place! I was extremely relieved to get there, because the kids had been being good for a very long time by now, and I knew they couldn't hold out much longer. The poking had started, and the complaints (you know the ones, "He's touching me/standing too close to me/looking at me," and so on.) It was only a matter of time before a full scale, grand mal tantrum erupted in our midst.

6. The next step of the process involved filling out a blank signature card, since mine had been ruined earlier in the day by a well-meaning but very tired husband. They pulled up my name in the system and informed me that there was no ballot for me, that I had already voted.

7. Oh, crap.

8. I'm sure you can all figure out what had happened. When all was said and done, they had given Davin a ballot under my name. They gave my vote away! Apparently, given how slack they'd been at checking IDs, just about anyone could have shown up and taken anyone's ballot...

9. So, at the point where I knew the kids were about to start behavior that would shame our family for generations to come, we were pulled out of line. They had to call the election center in the county seat and try to figure out what to do with me. Fortunately, everyone there remembered the whole situation with Davin earlier, so they could vouch for me. Which they did, over and over until they were able to persuade the right people to clear out my name and allow me to vote. It took about 40 minutes, but they did it! Hallelujah! And the kids had been pretty good that whole time that we waited. Double Hallelujah! Surely, that was a miracle in itself. They're good kids, but some of the adults were getting pretty testy after the wait, so I had fully expected the salad to hit the shooter by now.

10. Yay, we were back in line, with the appropriate documentation to do my patriotic duty, rah rah rah! And then, the line ground to a halt. There were 20 voting machines, but only one or two were in use. We waited for news, and finally word passed from person to person to those of us at the back of the line. The printers were broken. Without the printers, no one could be issued their codes that would allow the them to begin the ballot program on the machines. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more.

11. There was a woman in front of us, whose two girls were absolutely finished. They were probably 3 and 4, and were rolling around on the floor and refusing to come when she asked. And she wasn't asking nicely, she was using that gutteral Mommy's-going-to-crack-if-you-don't-come-here-right-now voice, The one that just gets quieter and quieter, yet more menacing as the demand goes forth. No one ignores that voice for long, unless they've gone completely around the bend. It was bad.

12. I thank that woman, applaud her even! Just remember, that the next time your kids are acting up in a situation like that, that people aren't judging you. Or, at least not all of them. Most likely at least one other mom is watching your kids doing this and thinking, "At least it wasn't my kids this time! There but for the grace of God goes the behavior of my children."

13. When the line finally began to move, it went pretty quickly. I'd made out a cheat sheet so that I could at least get the actual voting out of the way in a speedy fashion. Then we grabbed some "I Voted" stickers and headed out the door. (Davin wonders why they don't dye our thumbs purple, like in Iraq, that would totally rock! And, it would be obvious that I hadn't already voted.) In all, it had taken nearly two hours. Two hours with four kids, that should count like at least eight hours, don't you think?

The moral of the story, as I told my children in the car in the aforementioned gutteral crazed mama voice, was this: "Did you guys see how much that sucked, and how long it took to do that? When you all are grown up, I don't want to hear you telling me you don't have time to vote. Because if you do I'll remind you of the day that I had to stand in line for nearly two hours with you four kids just to be able to cast a ballot in a lousy mid-term election!!!!!"

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Doing my Patriotic Duty!

I'm taking the horde to the polls today. Pray for short lines and no meltdowns, if you feel moved to do so, I can use all the help I can get today!

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Happy Monday!

The sun is shining, no one's throwing up, there's gas in the tank, food in the fridge, and we haven't overdrawn anything. I'd say this is a GOOD Monday!

How are you doing?



Friday, November 03, 2006

Zombie Self-Defense

Do you ever surf around the internet and then end up somewhere and not know how you got there? Me too!

Today, I learned what to do in the event of a zombie attack. Check it out at The Zombie Guide (tagline: "Where you're what's for lunch.")

There's a ton of good information there. For instance:

If it's dead and laying still, kill it again. One can never be too sure about these things, and zombies are notorious ankle biters.
Seems easy enough to do, and 1000 zombie movies have shown that this is a prudent course of action.

Still no word yet on my earlier question about why zombies don't overwhelm their food supply, but I'm going to poke around a little longer and see if they have an answer for me.

In the meantime, did you know that the classic film Night of the Living Dead is in the public domain, and you can watch it online? I found that out at the How Zombies Work article at How Stuff Works. Enjoy!



Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen: The birth of Maya and Sage


Thirteen Things about The Birth of Maya and Sage

1. If you aren't familiar with our family, I should start by telling you that Maya and Sage are my 8 year old identical twin girls.

2. Our first child, Anya, had been a micropreemie, so when we were going through the infertility process again we elected not to use injectable medications, opting for the less effective Clomid treatment. We figured we'd rather take longer getting pregnant than risk the higher incidence of multiples with the injectables.

3. Ha! The joke was on us, we got pregnant with twins anyway! We were very happy, but worried because at the time we still didn't fully know what had caused Anya to be so early, and the doctors were concerned it could happen again. Since Anya was born right on the edge of viability, we worried that the twins might come too early and there'd be no saving them.

4. It was a difficult pregnancy, made worse by the worry and the early dilation of my cervix. I was put on bedrest at 19 weeks, and spent some time in the hospital trying to slow the process. I was OK with that, anything to avoid doing time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) again. I'd do anything to get the babies to full term.

5. 24 weeks came and went. Then 28 weeks. Then 32 weeks. By then, I was totally ready to get the babies out. I know that sounds weird, since that's still 8 weeks from full term, but I was HUGE, I'd been laying on my couch for weeks, and there was just no end in sight! I figured if our 24 weeker had made it, surely 32 week twins would be a piece of cake! Yeah, I was a little crazy by then...

6. At 36 weeks, I'd nearly lost my mind. Christmas was coming, and I took myself off of bedrest to try to do some shopping. No contractions, nothing! I was starting to believe the babies would never come! I had done a complete 180 at 32 weeks, from praying to keep them in to praying to GET THEM OUT!!!! My skin was tearing, I couldn't sleep, and the hemmorhoids? Well, they looked more like Cthulhu than anything you'd normally find as part of human anatomy... On Christmas Eve, I cried in my perinatologist's office, begging him to do something to help me. He ordered an amniocentesis for lung maturity, to see if we could induce safely.

7. The test results were great, they were more than ready! I wanted to start right away. The perinatologist reigned in my enthusiasm by saying, "We can deliver the babies today, if you call my wife and tell her that I won't be home on Christmas Eve because I'm doing an elective induction." I considered it, but realized that was awfully selfish of me. So, we went home and came back the next Monday, the 29th.

8. I was supposed to be there at 7am, but I just wasn't moving quickly enough and we got there around 7:30. I reasoned that they weren't going to start the induction without me, so I was just going to do my best. They were all a little peeved at me, but they didn't send me home so I was happy.

9. They started the pitocin, and the contractions began pretty quickly. They weren't too bad at first, and I'd been hoping for a natural childbirth experience, so I just rode it out. At around 8 centimeters (about 14 hours later) I just didn't have any energy to deal with it anymore. Even though I'd really wanted to do without, I asked for something small to knock the edge off. The nurse scurried off to consult with the doctors, and came back saying they all agreed that I needed an epidural. What? That seemed awfully extreme, considering I was mostly tired and not in pain. She explained to me that, sometimes after the first twin was born, the other would fall sideways and the doc would need to reach in and adjust the second baby's position manually.

10. Did you ever see that veterinary show, All Creatures Great and Small that used to show on PBS when I was a kid? When the nurse was explaining to me what the doctor might need to do, all I could picture in my head was that episode where the vet had a glove on that went clear up to his shoulder, and he had to reach INSIDE a cow to help her deliver. Just the thought of Dr. Jones with a giant glove, reaching around in my guts trying to turn the baby was enough for me to beg for the medication.

11. Have you ever had an epidural? It must be sort of what heroin is like in the beginning. I went from being tired and in constant pain to feeling absolutely WONDERFUL! I had been hurting since about 30 weeks, my skin was ripping, my pelvis was sliding around. All of that GONE in seconds, and not to mention those crappy pitocin contractions were no longer anything I needed to worry about. The nurses kept telling me to get some sleep, but all I wanted to do was scratch my enormous belly. It had been itching for months, but the skin was so tender that I couldn't touch it. Now I clawed at myself with abandon! The nurse came running in, because the sound was magnified by the two monitors strapped around me, "SCRITCH! SCRITCH! SCRITCHYSCRITCHY SCRAAAAAAATCH!" and my actions were distorting their measurements of the babies' heartbeats, and my contractions. I tried to scratch less vigorously, but I couldn't stop completely.

12. Finally, after 16 hours, they rolled me to the operating room. It seemed like there were 30 people in there waiting. There were two people to man the ultrasound, watching how the girls were doing, two to catch as they came out, two to keep track of how I was doing, and two teams of folks from the NICU to care for the babies after they were born. And then there was one little old lady with a sour look on her face, standing in the corner. At the time, I thought she must be from housekeeping, because she just looked so disgusted with everything we were doing to the room. I'm sure that wasn't why she was there, but I never did find out what her duties were...

13. At about 2:30 am, Maya was born. My epidural had worn off, and I tore from here to almost there, and the whole process was pretty crummy. All 60 people in the room were yelling at me to push, and I was tired and miserable. I spent a lot of my energy cursing at them and trying to be somewhere else. Then the anesthesiologist appeared, like an angel riding a cloud of glory, and shot more medicine in to my spine. After that I was golden. Dr. Jones could have put on a wetsuit, and walked in to my womb to get Sage and I would have been OK with it. I was able to watch Sage being born, it was around 45 minutes after her sister. The cord was wrapped around her neck, and they had to sort of somersault her as she emerged, to keep her from being strangled. It was amazing to see! Then about 40 lbs of placenta came out, it was beyond huge, and I was ready to go to my room.

Tune in next week for the rest of the story!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Halloween Horde

Halloween-all kids

From left to right:
Sage as "Little Dead Riding Hood"
Maya as "Punk Rock Skeleton"
Anya as an Alien
Tiernan as a Firefighter

I totally didn't make these costumes, it's been waaaayyyyyy too busy around here for crafty stuff like that! So, this is what they call picked out in the costume aisle at Wal-Mart. I think it turned out well, but I think they're all great anyway ;-)

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