Beth

About our blogger: Beth

I've been married to Chris since April of 2004. We have 3 young children and another on the way; Anthony Nathaniel who was born August 2004, Anastasia Fae who was born August 2006, David Cillian who was born July 2008, and Baby Charlie Vincent who is due May 2010. Chris is currently serving the United States Air Force and I'm a stay at home mom. Eventually I plan to go back to school and become an IBCLC. In October 2008 I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, and have been battling that since. Every day is a struggle but with my family by my side, and my friends to lean on I make it through.

Visit Beth @ http://adayinthelifeofafreg.blogspot.com/

Posts by Beth:

July 9th, 2011

Baby is a little troublemaker!

The reason I haven’t posted is I didn’t want to relay bad news.

On July 4th, I went to the ER after three days of light pink bleeding. On the 4th, it picked up a bit and became clots, but was still light pink in color or brown – no bright red, thank goodness! But I was scared enough, especially since EDS can raise your risk of many things during pregnancy – such as a placental abruption and miscarriage. The ER was very nice, which is much different from my experience when I miscarried back in 2007. Even though I was early, roughly 5 weeks 2 days, nobody made me feel ridiculous for being worried I was miscarrying.
They ran a few tests, a urine analysis, and HCG blood draw, and two ultrasounds (abdominal and transvaginal). The HCG came back great at 1418, which was a relief. However, one of the ultrasounds showed a moderate to large bleed under the placenta (which would increase my risk of miscarriage, and in later pregnancy would be akin to a placental abruption). I was told to have hope, but that I would most likely lose the baby. I was devastated.
I’ve spent the last few days guzzling water and resting as much as I can. I went back to the OB yesterday to have another HCG draw. I’m still awaiting results.
The good news is the bleeding has completely stopped. Morning sickness set in yesterday and hasn’t let up. A lot of things I’ve read online and from my friends have said that there is a good possibility I WON’T lose this baby. I also read that it can be hard to diagnose a subchorionic hematoma so early in pregnancy, because it may resemble that of a gestational sac. So I have hope. And hopefully next week I’ll have great news!
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July 2nd, 2011

Exhausted

It’s amazing how quickly this pregnancy is taking the life out of me. I’ve never been tired this early before. I guess your body reacts quicker when you’ve had so many kids. I know I promised a blog post about the desk, and I will deliver sometime this week/weekend.

Today the clinic confirmed the pregnancy. It feels so great to have it confirmed. The kids are super excited too. I am due between March 4th and March 9th and will deliver between February 11th and February 16th.

June 27th, 2011

And Baby Makes 5!

Thats right! We are pregnant again! I’m due between March 3rd and March 7th, making me 3 weeks 4 days to 4 weeks 1 day pregnant – so still very early. I am very excited but also quite calm this time around. We let Anthony read the test to the kids, and he was so excited, as was Anastasia. David doesn’t really care, and Charlie has no clue what is going on. One of my best friends just found out she is pregnant and is due March 6th, so we are literally due within days of each other!

I’m preparing myself for the comments that always seem to come with pregnancy. So….
1) Yes, we know what causes this. It’s hand holding, right? We quit holding hands years ago, and yet we still keep finding ourselves knocked up. It’s strange. Perhaps it’s because we keep sleeping in the same bed.
This pregnancy was planned, and we are quite happy.
2) No, we are not trying to beat any records. Five kids is hardly a record. The record for most children is 69 (you can find the link here). I highly doubt that 5 is anywhere near enough to constitute a record. When I give birth to my 60th child (which at this rate will happen when I’m 140 years old), then feel free to ask me if I am trying to set a record.

3) Yes, we can afford them. Why is it that whenever a woman gets pregnant, people feel as if all social politeness no longer applies? Read the rest of this entry »

June 25th, 2011

On my wall

Tomorrow, I shall reveal my nearly complete office space. I love it, it’s a place all my own. It still needs paint, but that won’t happen for a while, so it is what it is until then. I have this poem hanging on the wall, and I love it. I need it to remind me that sometimes the dishes can wait, and even if I’ve read that book a billion times, I should read it again. For some people, the bible is their source for comfort and inspiration. For me, it’s my quote book, and this was one of the quotes I copied in it when I was pregnant with Anthony.

My hands were busy through the day

I didn’t have much time to play

The little game you asked me to,

I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook

But when you’d bring your picture book

And ask me please to share your fun,

I’d say, “A little later, son.”

But life is short, the years rush past,

A little boy grows up so fast!

Now the picture books are put away,

There aren’t any games to play.

No good night kiss, no prayers to hear;

That all belongs to yester-year.

My hands once busy, now lie still,

The days are long and hard to fill.

I wish I might go back and do

The little things you asked me to!

-Alice Chase

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June 20th, 2011

Laying it all out

I am the mother of a child with Aspergers and a Mood Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS).
I have hesitated to post anything about this. Thus far, I have only shared this with family (so they can have medical history for their children) and close close friends. I have this rule where I don’t post anything negative about my kids or my husband, even in frustration. I didn’t want to post this because I was afraid it was painting my child in a negative light. Then I realized – I am treating this just like I fear so many others will treat him once they learn that he is different. It’s not negative, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I need to stop treating him as if something is “wrong” and accept that this is who he is.

I always knew Anthony was different. From the time he was born, something was just abnormal. He never cried. I’m not saying he hardly cried. He literally didn’t cry for the first time until he was three weeks old. We weren’t sure he COULD cry until then. Even as a newborn, he wasn’t a fan of being held or cuddled. He was much more content being by himself. I remember wishing so hard when I was pregnant with Anastasia for a child who enjoyed being cuddled (and I surely got that with her!).

Around his first birthday, we started noticing other things. He would bang his head as hard as he could anytime he got upset. If we restrained him, he’d bang his head on US until we let him go, and then he’d find the hardest surface and bang his head over and over until he felt better. His forehead was constantly bruised, and I would tell his pediatrician, who at one point recommended he be tested for Autism. The psychologist only sat with him once, declared he was too high functioning, and dismissed us.

Around this time, my other friends’ children began side playing. Playing along side another toddler, not necessarily playing with them – but they would happily play with the same toy or in the same area. Read the rest of this entry »

June 9th, 2011

Vacation!

The reason I haven’t been posting on here is we went on a week long vacation trip to the Black Hills! It was our first family vacation, the first time I’ve been camping and the second time I’ve been to the Black Hills. The first time I was only 8 so I have very vague memories of it.
The night before we left, Sunday, we were up until about Midnight packing the car, prepping the food for the trip, and making sure everything was ready. We only got a few hours of sleep before waking up at 2:30 in the morning to get the kids up and ready to go. The goal was to be on the road by 3 so that the kids could sleep the first half of the trip and we wouldn’t need to stop as much. We ended up pulling out of the driveway at 3:15 so we weren’t very far behind. I drove the first part of the trip, it was quite peaceful as no one was really on the road and the kids were asleep. They stayed asleep until 6:30 and we stopped an hour later for a bathroom break and to switch drivers. I had made the kids breakfast trailmix (various cereal and dried fruit) so we didn’t need to stop and eat. The scenery was absolutely beautiful. Hills and lakes, greenery, trees… It was so beautiful. There were tons of Beaver homes in the lakes we passed, which I found to be amazing.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 31st, 2011

Tortillas

For years, I’ve been trying over and over to make homemade tortillas with very little success. They always turned out like a big cracker. It was quite depressing, as tortillas are my all time favorite comfort food. I remember eating my nana’s homemade tortillas as a young child. So delicious. Then my friend Elaine sent me this link that described in detail how to make tortillas. From what I understand, though, the link isn’t working :( I did print it out and will scan and upload it when I return from camping. As long as I give them credit, I’m not violating any copyright laws, right? The basic recipe goes something like this:
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of lard
2/3 cup of water.

Mix flour and salt together. Melt lard in water and slowly pour into flour mixture. Knead a few times. Dough should not be wet, but should not be dry. If wet, add more flour; if dry, add more water. Allow to rest for 1 hour. Separate into balls, cover with a damp cloth, and allow to rest for 10 to 30 minutes. Very simple. In fact, this was written up by memory, because it’s very easy to remember!

I wanted to make 4 batches of this to take with us camping. The kids love homemade tortillas, and it’s a very clean snack. At first, I just quadrupled the recipe and had Chris pour the lard water for me since my arms can’t really pour such a heavy amount. I instructed him to pour slowly, but he didn’t listen. The dough turned out awful. It had the consistency of gooey mashed potatoes. I added more flour, but it was beyond saving. I fired Chris and decided to just make 4 small batches. It’s very quick to make, so it wasn’t a big deal. But take note – pour the lard water SLOWLY. I made this in Betsy using just my dough hook, and it turned out perfect.

This is about halfway through cooking. My balls waiting for me. If you make them too big, they are difficult to keep round and to transfer to the skillet. I made mine big this time. Next time, I’ll probably go smaller.


Read the rest of this entry »

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May 29th, 2011

Gratitude

I have found myself being more negative than I like lately. We have a small (large?) family crisis situation that we are dealing with that is too personal to put out there on the internet, and it’s wearing me down. I have this rule where I will never speak ill of my husband or my children on the internet, even to vent. Once something is out there, it’s out there, and I don’t want to sour anyone’s perceptions of my family because of the way *I* see things. The crisis wouldn’t require me to say anything negative, but it does involve one of my children and would speak about them in a manner that is too personal and sensitive to put into cyberspace. I hope you’ll forgive me for being vague. Perhaps, when we are through to the other side, I may tell his or her story. It may give hope or validation to someone else, but right now, it would merely come off as negative or hopeless. So… through all this rambling, I DO have a point.
It’s time for me to remind myself of all the great things I have, and to focus on that for a while.

I have an amazing husband. He isn’t perfect, no one is, but he is perfect for me. He gets my quirks, he makes me laugh, he handles my explosive emotional outbursts with little anger or frustration. He tries very hard to understand my limitations and not to throw them in my face or make me feel bad for them. He’s a great father to our children. He changes diapers a lot! He plays with the kids constantly, whether it’s giving them piggy back rides or stacking blocks with Charlie. He tries very hard to provide for us, which allows me to be a stay at home mom, and he tries to give us the things we WANT in addition to the things we NEED. I could go on for days, but the point is… I am very lucky. After 8 years together, I am still very much in love.

I have amazing kids. They play well together; they are smart, thoughtful, polite, and oh so well behaved for the most part. We get complimented nearly every time we go out on how well they walk with us, sit still, have table manners, etc. You can see the waitress and manager at a restaurant cringe when we walk in, Read the rest of this entry »

May 26th, 2011

Kitchen switch-a-roo

Today I completely switched around my kitchen, also known as “driving my husband completely banana’s”. Chris HATES change and complains about it incessantly. However, the next time I change it around he’ll complain that he wants it back the way before – which he also complained about.

My kitchen appears to have a bit of cabinet space, but it’s an illusion. The cabinets are shaped funky, there are weird dividers that make it difficult to store things effectively, and we just seem to have never enough space. I hate things on my counter, so even the toaster is stored in a cabinet (this habit I picked up from my mother-in-law!). The only thing allowed on my counter is Betsy, my new mixer. Ain’t she beautiful!

Anyway, Chris was flying late tonight and most of the time this means Read the rest of this entry »

May 23rd, 2011

I got my Mixer!

For years, I have been lusting after a KitchenAid Mixer. I tried, for a long time, to be as self sufficient as possible. Then I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and I had to stop doing a lot of self reliant activities – such as bread making. I loved making bread, and I was really darn good at it too! I loved making something from scratch, kneading life into it, and feeding it to my family. My arms are useless for kneading dough now, but I refused to buy a bread maker. It felt like cheating to me.

My friend Elaine brought over her KitchenAid a while back and made pizza dough in it. It was so similar to hand making it, except the KitchenAid kneaded for her. I lusted after it even harder than before. With a family as large as mine, though, a 4.5 qt Mixer was not going to suffice. I needed at least a 6 qt, and a 7 qt would be even nicer. The 7 qts are so hard to come by, so I settled for a 6 qt, and today my lovely husband went out with the two younger kids and returned with this:
Ain’t she beautiful? I’ve named her Betsy. All the best tools in my house have names. He bought me a few extra attachments too, and right now if you buy a mixer, you can get the Ice Cream maker attachment for free! So that should be coming to me in a few weeks time!
I am so excited to make bread again and am already planning on making me tortillas tomorrow. I shall update with pictures, recipes, and results! I’m so excited!
And since he left with the two younger ones, I managed to have a few hours to clean uninterrupted. My room is well on it’s way to being complete!
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