Friday, December 18, 2009

A Scary Event

Wednesday evening seemed to be an evening like many others. The kids and I had run errands that afternoon before we went to their choir practice at our church (it's a homeschool choir, ages 4-6). Dan met us there after work so I could go to confession before the early evening Mass. When we got home we heated up and ate leftovers. After dinner, the kids all got cleaned off and then I went back to our bedroom for something before I finished cleaning up the kitchen. The kids were all excited because Dan had told them he had a surprise for them, and they all went down to the basement to wait.

Without warning, I suddenly felt an excruciating pain in my abdomen and I could barely make it over to our bed. I lay there, thinking this is a weird spasm, but then it did not go away! It felt like the worst part of the worst contraction I have ever had, except continuous. My belly was as hard as a rock, I couldn't move, and could hardly talk or even breathe. I was sweating like crazy. The minutes slowly ticked by without any relief and finally I told Dan he'd better call 911. I was terrified that something awful was happening, like a placental abruption (where it tears away from the uterine wall) or a uterine rupture.

Then, everything went into kind of a slow motion. All the local first responders showed up and then the ambulance and it seemed to take forever to get into the ambulance. It was the longest, bumpiest ride ever (30 min.)! The pain started to ease a little on the way and my belly got softer, but every time we hit a bump, ouch! I did not feel the baby move the whole way there and I was praying like mad. I knew if something catastrophic had happened in my uterus, it would be too late for the baby by the time we got there. Dan, who rode in the front of the ambulance, said all he could do was say one Hail Mary after another because he was worried that something would happen to both of us since I had just gone to confession!

Finally we got to the hospital and up to the OB floor. By this point I was able to walk the few steps from the stretcher to the bed. Then, the nurse hooked me up to the monitor. And oh, what a glorious sound! We heard the baby's heartbeat and it was strong and steady and normal! You cannot imagine how relieved and thankful we were. Then the baby proceeded to put on a show of wonderful, non-stop movement.

Then, it was a thousand questions, and this test and that test, and a sono and much monitoring. I was having contractions every 7-10 minutes, but the pain kept getting better. And every test came back normal! Even the sonogram did not show anything amiss. Eventually I was able to go home. Dan's brother picked us up and drove us home. Meanwhile his wife had taken wonderful care of the kids, put them to bed, and cleaned up the kitchen better than I would have! Were the kids freaked out? Not really, because they had no idea what was going on. Catherine told me later that they thought all those people were bringing in their surprise (the surprise was actually a Charlie Brown movie).

So what happened? The doctors couldn't say and I have no idea, but what I do know is that it was a scary event. It was the first time either of us had ever called 911. I was tired yesterday and my uterus was a little sore, but nothing further happened. I took it easy and enjoyed every movement the baby made. And I hope that never happens again!

Thank you, God!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Does It Count?

So, does it count as homeschooling when your kids watch cartoons in Spanish on Saturday morning?

Okay, so what if I tell you that we don't have cable and some of the basic channels we can't get, so the only channel showing cartoons is the Spanish channel? They don't seem to mind, though, because they love to watch Dora and Diego, no matter what the language.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Daddy Has A Tractor!

Dan has wanted a tractor since we moved here, but we couldn't justify buying one. Until his brother-in-law out in Hays told him he was selling one of his and offered Dan the first chance at it. As you can see it is a small tractor, a 1957 International. It is in good shape and runs well. Evidently machinery was better made back then.

The tricky part was figuring out how to get the tractor here. After all, you can't just drive a tractor from Hays to east of Wichita! After a few choices were discarded, we finally just hired a towing company to haul it here on a flatbed truck. The crazy part was that they didn't deliver it until 1:00 in the morning! So, needless to say, Dan is the only one who saw it arrive.

However, the next day, there was much excitement in the Brungardt household. Each child got a ride with Daddy around the place, while Mommy anxiously watched from the deck to make sure no one else ran out there.

Joseph was in boy heaven in this picture. He has been obsessed for quite a while with tractors and trucks. Anytime he has been outside lately and the shed is open, guess where he goes? Don't worry, all keys stay in the house or with Daddy.

Dominic is right there with Joseph. Since he can run faster than Joseph, he'll get there first, unless he gets distracted by something else. Joseph, though, has a one-track tractor mind!

Dan has already put the tractor to use tilling the large garden and expanding it. And he has starting tilling back in the big pasture along the fence by the road, where we hope to plant some trees for a wind/dust break and for more privacy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mice Capades!

Yes, we have been having some "adventures" with mice. Yes, that is plural. As in 5 dead and counting. Where did we catch them, you ask? Well, let me tell you the story.

A couple weeks ago, when we had a large delivery come very late at night(more on that at another time), Dan saw a mouse in the garage scurry along the wall and disappear into a crack. I don't know why, but I didn't think much about it. Then, about a week ago, one morning I was making Dan's lunch and the kids were around the island standing on chairs, when I thought I saw a small shadow darting next to the dishwasher. I kept watching the rest of the day, but nothing. Maybe it was my imagination.

On Saturday night, Dan set a mousetrap out in the garage and went out to the big shed to work on a project after the kids went to bed. Well, you know how a pregnant woman needs to eat a little more often. I went to the pantry at 9:30(yeah, that time is forever burned into my brain) to find a snack, and when I opened the door I saw a giant gray mouse jump out of sight in the corner. Okay, it was the typical little house mouse, except that I have never had to deal with a mouse in the house before and it was really creepy. And Dan was out in the shed! So I figured out how to set a mousetrap and put it in there and shut the door. Needless to say, that was quite the appetite suppressant! Then I sat in the living room and listened for any sounds. After a long while, I thought, oh, I'll do a little research about mice. So I got on the internet and read: they can jump, they are excellent climbers, they can have babies every 3 weeks, they can squeeze through 6mm openings, etc. Ick! Don't read that stuff right before you go to bed or you won't be able to sleep. Especially when you occasionally heard little mice feet pitter-patting somewhere in your kitchen, while you were reading about them.

Sunday morning we found a dead mouse in the garage and another one in the pantry! Thankfully, Dan took care of those. The kids were fascinated. Dan demonstrated with an empty mousetrap so they would stay away from them. When he set one off with a pen, the trap broke the pen, so they were suitably impressed.

Sunday night two traps set. Monday morning, one dead mouse in the garage, none in the pantry. I thought, great, they are out of the pantry, I can clean it out. Monday afternoon, I was resting on the couch after putting the 3 little ones to bed, and then it started. Pitter-patter! Scurry, scurry. I could hear the sounds through the wall right where the pantry was. Well, that was it for the cleaning. I hate to admit it, but I am a wimp when it comes to little critters, especially when they are in the house. I would not have made a good pioneer woman.

So, I asked Dan to help me with the pantry. He suggested we could just wait until they were all dead, then clean it out. And I said what if there is a nest of babies in there? So we cleaned out the whole bottom section of the pantry (which is really a closet with a bi-fold door). Meaning, Dan took everything out and I wiped anything not chewed on with a clorox wipe. Thank goodness for husbands who will do the worst part of the job. Well, as he got closer and closer to the suspicious corner, he got more cautious and we started to see evidence of the mice. Quite a few things got tossed. A big bag of beans chewed open, half a large sack of rice, two bags of M&Ms, some bags of chocolate chips, and more. Sigh. Who knew mice liked chocolate. Then, Dan jumped and there was a mouse scurrying out of sight down into some crevice. Oh, creepy! Boy, was I glad I was a few feet behind him. All temptation was removed and put away into unchewable containers and all mousetraps remained untouched in the pantry.

Tuesday morning there was another dead mouse in the garage. I hoped that was the last one. But, wait, there is more. Yesterday evening I had just put a tray of leftover homemade pizza into the oven to reheat. I went to the computer to check something and shortly I heard the little pitter-patter. I turned my head in time to see a little gray mouse scurry along my kitchen floor and disappear under the stove. I gasped and jumped back(even though I was about 6 feet away). Great, my dinner is in the oven. And to top it off I needed to get a cookie sheet out of the drawer underneath. No, I didn't ask Dan to do it. I managed to finish getting things ready for dinner, though I did bang the oven door a lot to try to keep it away.

I think there was another dead mouse in the garage this morning, but I'll have to ask Dan for sure. If so that makes 5! Nobody will want to come visit us now. Next on the list of things to get is a cat.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not To Make You Jealous...

...but I have been inhaling the scent of slowly simmering apple butter all day long (making it in the crockpot), and I am about to go eat a piece of toast with fresh apple butter on it. Mmmm!

Recap of Catherine's Birthday

Catherine had a lovely birthday last Friday, starting with an after-breakfast tea party, using her new, real tea set! We've all had lots of tea ever since.

Catherine shows off her new Spelling/Phonics Wipe-Off book. They have all "played" with this one. Hey, maybe Joseph will just teach himself to read!

During naptime, Catherine watched Mommy decorate her birthday cake. It's a flower (no, not a fried egg!) and she picked out the colors.

And what do you have for your birthday dinner the day after Thanksgiving? You guessed it: a turkey dinner! Followed by the birthday cake and song, complete with sparkler candles, which is why she is leaning away from the cake.

And finally, the gift that outdid the others: A Crafty Kit! She has been doing creative, crafty things with it non-stop.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I'm not sure why but for some reason I can't write at the top of the first picture anymore. So I guess I'll switch to talking about the picture under the picture now. I suppose I could figure it out, but that might take up too many brain cells, and I don't have any spare ones right now. :) Anyway, in the above picture, we are having a mid-morning wine and cheese party on Thanksgiving Day. Well, the kids are drinking sparkling grape juice, which they called "kid wine."

This year we tried cooking the turkey using the high heat method. We had an 18 pounder and cooked it at 450 degrees for about 3 hours or so. It was delicious, by the way. Well, the only problem was, we didn't want to cook the stuffing at that high of temperature, so we cooked the bird first, then the stuffing, which worked out okay. I put the kids to work ripping up 2 loaves of bread, which they thought was pretty neat. Of course, the side benefit was it kept them out of trouble for a while!

Eventually Joseph figured out that hey, he could eat the bread, so from there on out, it was one for Joseph, one for the bowl.

And what was Daddy doing? Why, peeling lots and lots of potatoes! In fact, we just ate the last of them at lunch today.

We are ready to eat!

One final funny story: At breakfast Thanksgiving morning, we were talking about what we were thankful for and taking turns saying things. Family, friends, a nice, warm house, etc. Then Dan asked Joseph what he was thankful for and he piped up in a little sing-song voice, "I'm a dirty rascal!" What? Where did that come from? We eventually figured out it was from some Bob the Builder tape, but why did he think of it at that moment, when he had never said that before? Oh, the workings of a 2 year old's mind!