Thursday, December 6, 2012

Celebrating St. Nicholas

It's finally here! I have been waiting for St. Nicholas day since summer! Every year I bake 1st. Initial cookies. The kids put out there shoes. I fill them with candy and put the cookies on top.

My family has a traditional sugar cookie recipe used for St. Nicholas day. This year I made cookies, filled their shoes with (chocolate) gold coins and gave them candy canes, and I made traditional Speculatius.

St. Nicholas was bishop of Myra in the 4th century. Story has it that a poor widow was with out food and money and St. Nicholas at night filled her shoe with gold coins. The candy canes recall the shepherds staff, which the bishop uses to lead Christ's "sheep". 

I'm not sure that the initial cookies have any religious associations, they are a tradition in my family. My Mormor, Swedish for grandma, made the cookies for her 13 kids, each with a different color frosting. My mom made them for me and my 6 siblings. I make them for my four little ones. I made a small cookie for the baby.

I am so happy to have a small respite from Advent, even though we are only a few days in.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent: The Journey to Christmas

A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (John 16:21)

During Advent, I and many of my brothers and sisters in Christ, will be giving something up. This is a tradition that goes back a long ways. I'm not sure how far back,. but the Church has a tradition of fasting before feasting. It is an allegory of the world. We suffer now, only to behold Christ our King later.

Israel fasted and prayed and underwent much tribulation as they waited for the Messiah. Mary and Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem as they anticipated Jesus' birth. And Jesus says to us in Luke 5:33-35, 

"And they said to him: Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees in like manner; but thine eat and drink? [Luke 5:33] To whom he said: Can you make the children of the bridegroom fast, whilst the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast in those days."

We are remembering the time before Christ, and we are anticipating his second Coming, so now we fast, preparing our souls for heaven. We fast to strengthen our spirits and teach them that we do not need things like coffee (what I'm giving up), but we need Christ.

The fasting can be from anything we enjoy. We can abstain from tv, or candy, anything really. Just to remind ourselves, it is not yet the time for rejoicing, but the time for preparations.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God Gives The Greatest Good

I was talking to my son last night. I was trying to explain to him about how God loves him. Earlier that day he had asked me what a miracle was, and I thought this moment was the time to explain.

"God loves us so much that sometimes He shows us with a demonstrative sign, a sign that we can see or feel or touch, called a miracle. Like when someone is very sick and doctors have tried everything, but they can't cure the illness and then suddenly that person is well. That would be a miracle."
John responded,
"If God loved me so much, why did he give me three sisters?" John loves his sisters. He just doesn't understand why he has sisters and not brothers, which would be much more like his vision of a perfect life.

After some thought, I tried to explain to him something that most likely some church doctor has explained, and I'm just a little slow on the uptake. God gave him sisters because that is the greatest good for John.

I don't know why I never thought of the will of God like this before. We make choices, we make good choices and bad ones and even a-moral ones, and God takes those choices and gives us the greatest good from them. And we can choose how we perceive what God has given us.

I will never forget a story from a book I read in High School. I don't remember the title, but the true story happened in a concentration camp during world war two. Two sisters were suffering with bed bugs in one of the bunkers of the concentration camps. One sister insisted that they both thank God for everything, even the bed bugs, every night. They found out later that those bed bugs kept the guards from coming into the bunker and discovering their bibles. Those bed bugs were the greatest good.

But more than that, sometimes we can't even perceive what great good God has in store for us, because ultimately every thing that God gives us in life, brings us to heaven. If one chooses to take everything that is given him and loves God for it, imagine how easy his path to heaven, because that is the ultimate good. That is all God wants. He wants us to live forever with Him in heaven, and He gives us constant opportunity regardless of how many times we reject His will.

The mind of God is a mystery, but know that He only desires you, and this life is your path to heaven.

My friend Jess reminded me the book was The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pain in Child Birth and Original Sin

I want to make clear that this post is not an attack on anyone. I firmly believe that people have the right and responsibility to make their own choices regarding medical care. I writing this to spark thoughts about these issues and understandings

It seems to me that women in America want very much to have painless childbirth. I can't say I blame them. It hurts... a lot. Women that are not part of my weird little tiny circle of homebirthers, say they want the drugs, there is no way they would go through that, without drugs. Obviously drugs are available and sometimes necessary, so fine. However there is a definite child birth culture that seems to demand painless child birth, and I'm a little puzzled as to why.

First of all you most likely will not get drugs up until you are almost done anyway, which means you will still have to go through hours of pain building up to that point. In my mind the contractions that are too painful to talk through are still pretty easy compared to the ones that come after the ones that are too painful to talk through, but I would never know that if I didn't go through them. That almost has nothing to do with my point.

Women have been having painful child birth since man was created. So now suddenly we have a choice to have painless vaginal childbirth, or almost painless, I think it's a case by case basis, or be totally knocked out and have a C-sec. I am only discussing these in elective cases. But are these choices truly painless, or even dramatically less painful?

The other thing is that from a Judeo-Christian stand point the pain of child birth was a specific punishment for original sin. World wide suffering and a tendency to sin are also consequences, but pain in child birth was pretty specific. In high school a girl in my religion class asked, it was more of a statement, "Because now we have epidurals, does that mean we have over come the punishment for original sin?" Though no, we haven't, it is interesting that she would make that jump. Don't you think?

Please, don't misunderstand. I am absolutely not saying that having an epidural or a C-sec or interventions for pain relief are some how sinful, or that they are a violation of the natural law. No. I am only pointing out some realities, some which may not be relevant to everyone. Just things to think about.

Because child birth is such a very personal thing. I really want to mention one more time. This is not a criticism of any person's choice in how she delivers. I just thought it was an interesting collection of thoughts.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smart Mouth

When I was 16 I was a babysitter. At night sometimes a child would complain about monsters. I would reply monsters aren't real. Of course children are much smarter than older people and they know this just isn't true, so as a way of distracting the children who were stuck in a nightmare of where monsters lived and what they believed them to look like, I tried to convince them their imaginations where wrong and that monsters where actually afraid of children and afraid of the dark, because they were scared they couldn't see the children trying to get them. This was somewhat effective. Usually the kids started to talk about something else and then fell asleep.

Now when my eldest suddenly discovered a fear of monsters and the dark I elaborated on the myth. I told him that not only where monsters afraid of the dark and children, but they are made out of chocolate and they are afraid that children will eat them, because children love chocolate. Oh and they only eat chocolate which is why they are made out of chocolate. This wasn't as effective as it was with children who were not my own, but it was better than trying to convince him that there where no monsters.

Last night my 2 year old and 4 year old girls where telling me that they are afraid of the dark and monsters. I replied to them  that monsters are made of chocolate, and they are afraid that children will eat them. My now six year old son replies, 
"Oh yes, and they are made of chocolate, and they have razor sharp candy corn teeth," And I looked at him, as he was ruining the harmlessness of my creation. I replied,
"No, John, they don't need razor sharp teeth all they eat is chocolate. You know they eat chocolate and they are chocolate. You are what you eat." He looked at me in disbelief and with a snarky tone said, 
"Oh yeah, Mama? I'm made of Broccoli?"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Going "No 'Poo"

After searching the web for a natural solution to my new overly oily scalp problem, I stumbled upon a Crunchy Betty post about going shampoo less. considering the years of trouble over my scalp, and recalling a friend of mine who went no 'poo and has fabulous hair, I have decided to take the plunge.

First I would like to mention that my husband was far less excited about my new journey into the realm of 'pooless hair. I'm sure he's thinking, "I didn't know I married a hippy." But he is supporting me, as he sees I am desperate for a long term solution.

So I have gone 6 days with out shampoo. The first day I used Coconut butter wash on my hair. It's just coconut butter and castile soap. That relieved the itching and the flaking. The next night I used a baking soda was, one table spoon baking soda 3 cups water, Which left my hair beautiful and unitchy. Then I didn't wash it for 3 days. That was difficult. I kept telling myself my hair didn't look gross. I really hope it didn't. If it did, I'm sorry to all the people I encountered. Then my head was itchy again, so I sort of over did it. I first did a baking soda wash, the greasiness was killing me, and then a coconut butter wash, then rinsed with Apple cider vinegar, 1 tbl spoon acv and 2 cups water. I am back to a moderately tolerable look, but my scalp feels great.

I'm giving my scalp three weeks to get used to this. If it works, I will never go back.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How to Breastfeed

When I had my first child I did not know how to nurse. I am a very independent person, and I think that I can just figure things out as I go, but somethings are difficult to do if you were never taught. My mother breastfed 7 kids, most until 2 or 3 years old. My sisters breastfed their kids, and my sister-in-law breastfed hers, so I thought breastfeeding would be easy and come naturally. It didn't. I had no idea what I was doing, and to make it worse, I didn't seek out help from my sisters until a terrible latching habit was already formed.

 The truth is, as much as I was exposed to breastfeeding, I never experienced it the way  that women in other cultures experience it. I never watched a baby latch on, at least not since my mother nursed my brother when I was four, and that had hindered my ability to latch a baby right. A lactation consultant can help you and tell you what to do and how to do it, but if you don't see it, I think it's pretty difficult. Unless the lactation consultant has experienced nursing herself, I think she is at a huge disadvantage.

I have 4 children. All have been, or in the case of my newbie are, nursed. From my limited experiance here are my suggestions.

1. Use a nursing pillow. This will be a lot easier if you don't have other kids. Sit up straight propped with pillows (on a bed or feet up on the couch) and sit cross legged. make sure your back has a lot of support and then snug that nursing pillow around your waist. Then have someone hand you your baby. Have some extra pillows handy you may need them.

(optional) This may seems silly but it will help with bonding, take off your shirt and your baby should be in only in a diaper with warm blankets to wrap him to you. The skin to skin contact will help you bond.

2. Cradle the baby's head in the crook of your arm, and turn his body so that his tummy is touching your tummy.

3. Lift him up to your breasts. ( At this point your baby should be cradled his tummy against your rib cage right under your breasts) The nursing pillow helps with this. Prop more pillows under him and/or under your arm, if you need to, for comfort.

4. Hold your fingers in a V, first and middle fingers. (It's common to do a C hold with finger and thumb, if that's more comfortable use that. I just found the V hold more comfortable for me) Hold your nipple.

5. Use your nipple to gently push your baby's bottom lip down to open, then pull him on to your breast getting the entire areola in his mouth. Always bring baby to breast not breast to baby, this is something I did not do with my first, which is one of the reasons I had such incredibly painful breastfeeding run. 23 months of varying degrees of painful breastfeeding.

Repeat step five until baby's latched on to complete nipple and the latch feels 'right'. I know it's hard to tell if it's right with your first. There should be a general lack of pain, though you might have initial pain if you're nipples are cracked or sore. olive oil and coconut oil are good treatments. Lactation consultants and doulas know of other things that might work even better.

Once Breastfeeding becomes more reflexive you wont need to do this in such an elaborate way. All you will have to do is sit, lift, and latch.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Who is the Perfect Mother?

You may have guessed from reading my previous posts that I am a complainer. When I think of Mother's day, I think of a mother who is kind, patient, never complains, and is always sacrificing herself for her children. I realized, after being a mother for 7 years (I count being pregnant as being a mother), that not only am I none of those things, that there is only one person who perfectly fits that description.

Today we honor mothers. They are deserving of honor, not because of what they do, but because of the unique vocation given them by God. God has glorified motherhood through Mary. He chose her as the means by which salvation was born to the world.  He could have chosen any way for Christ to enter the world, but he chose Mary. He created Mary for this particular purpose.

So not only because of Mary, but especially because of Mary, the perfect mother, we honor mothers. A mother was chosen to help redeem the world from sin, both original and actual. Mary is the New Eve. Eve brought us death and Mary brought us life, not just earthly life but life in Christ, and Christ gave us Mary as our spiritual mother.

I am hardly the mother I envision mother's day honoring, but I will accept the honors given to mothers today, not because of me, but for the sake of honoring the privilege of being a mother. This vocation is justly honored because God has honored it in a unique way.

Today I look at my children. I thank God especially for them. I thank God for the sweet baby lost to me. Without these five miracles, I would not be a mother. I would not be like the Blessed Mother. I aspire to be like her more. She is the perfect description of mother's day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Delivered on Land?

I finally had my first dry birth. It was completely unintentional.

On Wednesday, I woke up at about 5 in the morning with some strong contractions. They were painful enough that I had to concentrate on relaxing to deal with them. I knew that even if I was in labor at this point the best thing to do was to try to sleep as much as I could, for the contractions could stop, and, if they didn't, I would need as much energy as possible. I got up and took a shower at 7 to see how my body would react. My contractions kept on, somewhat erratically. I called my Certified Professional Midwife, who works with my Certified Nurse Midwife, at 7:30 to let her know what was happening. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart.

Every birth is different. This birth my contractions, even in early labor, hurt very badly, so perhaps I was already in active labor. I follow a pseudo Bradly approach to labor. I just try to relax all my muscles as I contact.

 I cleaned my kitchen. I made chocolate chip cookies. Then I decided that standing in the kitchen was just not the way to deal with contractions. and I sat down. In retrospect I would have filled the pool at this point. I had 3 wonderful water births with my other kids. For some reason I was still worried that the contractions would slow down or stop.

Contractions were still about 9 minutes apart. At that point my contractions were so painful that I was coping on my hands and knees. Karen decided to call Christina the CNM. We know at this point something is going to happen. We are thinking it will happen in the next couple hours. I had a contraction, then went to the bathroom, had a contraction in there, came out and had another contraction.

Hands and knees. My husband was trying to fill the pool, but he kept running into problems. I thought I heard him say that he was going to just start filling the pool with buckets. My contractions were so painful at this point that I started to think that I wouldn't be able to do this for another hour. I asked to get in the water, but the pool didn't have water. I was stuck almost immovable on the floor. Now the pain was so great that I felt nauseous. I asked for a bucket, in case I needed to throw up. My good friend Erin mentioned later that I was probably going through transition. It was so caotic that no one at the time thought anything of my nausea. I sure didn't.

My contractions had gone from erratic 6-9 minute intervals to 1-2 minute intervals in 2 minutes.Then, I'm still on my hands and knees and fully dressed, my water breaks. I panicked! I was not expecting my water to break even though I was in so much pain. What flashed in my mind was that usually when my water breaks I'm already pushing the baby out.

Now I had to push. I needed to. Karen tried to help me get my pants off, and I couldn't move because of the contraction. Some how we got my pants mostly off, and I pushed hard and kept pushing until the baby's head was out. Karen told me to stop pushing and to wait for another contraction. It took all my concentration to stop, and it wasn't for long. When I started pushing the shoulders out, I wasn't sure if I could take the pain, but I knew I couldn't stop. I had to finish.

Karen caught the baby. She declared the baby a girl. She passed my baby to me through my legs and had me lay down. All I could think was, thank God! I don't have to have another contraction.

What was different about delivering on land, so to speak, as opposed to the water, was that my contractions near the end were closer together and way more painful, and my transition time was so much faster than any of my waterbirths. That could have been this birth, but I know that water tends to ease contractions and lengthen birth times. Also my bottom was sore for the first time after a birth, and I never felt sore before, not even when I tore the first time I gave birth. This was a great birth. I still prefer to deliver in water.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Bradley Method (seems to be right on the nose)

I have never taken a Bradley Class. In fact, I have never even been tempted too. I bet I could benefit from it, but honestly I just don't like things like birth classes. I much prefer to do things myself, and quite honestly, that does tend to mean they are not done as properly, as they would have been if I had had the instruction.

All this being said, I do think if someone wants to have a natural birth, they should take a Bradley Class. Actually I think they should definitely take one if they are having a hospital birth. Only because the instructor will be able to guide you to having a natural birth in the hospital, which is very difficult, even in hospitals that claim to do natural births.

To a doctor natural could mean a lot of different things. It could mean delivering without an epsiotomy. It could mean delivering without pain medication. It could mean birth starts on its own, without induction. But to me and to the Bradley people, and to the community of natural birth people out there, natural child birth means birth that starts, continues and ends the way it has since before women started to use doctors for delivery. Meaning a birth that begins on it's own. The mother labors in the way she feels most comfortable, but never flat on her back (never!), standing, walking, maybe in a tub, on her hands and knees rocking back and forth. Then delivering the baby in several different positions (never with her feet in stirrups) such as: reclined 45 degrees, on her knees, on hands and knees, on her side, standing, or squatting. Then the baby comes out without assistance, in most cases but not all, and the mother then is immediately able to hold her baby, with the cord still attached. And in many cases the mother can breast feed immediately, which can facilitate the expulsion of the placenta.

Back to the Bradley Method. When I was pregnant with my first, I read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. It formed my first perceptions of childbirth. Then I had my baby and found that not everything I read happened the way the author said it would. So although I was still greatly influenced by it, I kind of let it fall to the way side of my brain. Then as I had more children, and learned more about childbirth, and talked to more people, I found something amazing. I have realized that Bradley got it right.

If you read the book I read, the author goes through the physiology of child birth, how to prepare for it, and then discusses how to deal with childbirth. The physiology is scientific. I goes through everything your body does and the baby does during childbirth, things that I have only affirmed through out the years in separate research. Then I encountered the hypnobirthing fad. Hypnobirthing is not the same as the Bradley relaxation method but it's the same idea, concentrated relaxation while contracting. It works. People rave about hypnobirthing.

Finally we reach the kegal. Kegals are important for many reasons, which are explained in the Bradley book as well. If your pelvic floor muscles, also called PC muscles and kegal muscles, are properly toned, your delivery will be better, and you will be more comfortable through out pregnancy and through out your postpartum life. Also it will prevent uterine prolapse, and incontinence, things that affect women as they get older. There are people out there that don't care about the kegal muscles and there are people who are insane about kegal muscles and do kegal exercises excessively. I read a fascinating article today call Why You Should Stop Doing Kegals. It explains that the muscles need to be toned and the correct length, not super tight. doing excessive kegal exercises could cause the same problems as having flabby undertoned muscles can. The key is to have strong glutes, which for the purposes of the PC muscles, which means squatting, something the Bradley method emphasizes as an essential exercise. According to this article the best way to treat abused kegals, from bearing the weight of the pregnancy and delivering the baby, the best way is to do ten kegals when squatting so that length as well as tone are achieved.

Basically I think that the Bradley book is an essential basis for understanding and achieving natural childbirth.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stressed out kids

This week has been very stressful. I got nothing done as far as housework, and we are practically living in filth. But Monday through Wednesday we we in the car almost all day. The first day was supposed to be a day of fun, it just turned out to be two very long car drives with a  lot of waiting in the car while my husband bought some stuff for work. He didn't have fun either. The sales people just took forever to wait on him.

The next day we had a valentines party in the morning, then shopping immediately afterward. My number 2 pulled a shopping cart down on top of herself and bruised her arm pretty well. We followed that horrific trip with a trip to the grocery store. A few hours later we went to my grandpa's wake and got stuck in traffic. We were in the car for 3 hours, just on the way to the wake, making us two hours late.

Then on Wednesday was my grandpa's funeral. We had a beautiful mass and burial. At the luncheon following, my children had so much fun playing with their cousins. Too much fun, they ran around and around laughing and having fun until number 1 and number 2 threw up. The people at the banquet hall were really nice about it, and at least it happened on the dance floor and not on the carpet.

Then we went home. We decided that now was the time to relax for the first time in days, when we were welcomed by a call that my husband's grandmother had passed out, and was now fine, in the hospital having tests done. As far as we know she is ok. They are still unsure as to why she fainted.

I was expecting the get the week on track today. When I woke up I was so tired. So I didn't start my morning routine and my number 2 was complaining about feeling cold and achy. She didn't have a fever. She ate breakfast. After a little while it occurred to me that my kids might be just as spent as I was. Sometimes I forget that children have a breaking point too. They are very resilient and usually a good night's sleep fixes all the woes of yesterday, but I think this time they needed another day to release. So I decided, maybe for my own benefit as well, that today was going to be minimal. I made play dough, which was a stressful activity in an of itself, and then set the kids to play with it. They have been quietly playing for an hour and a half.

Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to get back on track. But today was a minimal day and I think it's better that way.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Birth Box

I some how didn't realize that some people may actually want to know what a birth box is. Or at least what I call a birth box. Basically it is all the stuff needed for the birth, other than emergency medical items that will be brought by the attendant. I'll tell you what is in my awesome birth box that I am so proud of.

  • Trash bags,                
  • lots of towels (i'm having a water birth so I need extra),    
  • wash cloths,
  • underpads,                 
  • plastic dish pan,                                                                       
  • depends,                              
  • plastic drop cloths,  
  • inflatable birth pool,                                                             
  • flannel sheet,                       
  • cord band,                  
  • bulb syringe,                                                                         
  • paper tape measure,            
  • peri bottle,                
  • born at home birth certificate,                                         
  • disposable foot printer,           
  • pool thermometer,     
  • water hose,

two ziplock bags: 1with pink blanket and hat the other with blue, a ziplock bag with 4 cloth diapers + a blue diaper and hopefuly a pink diaper 

birth plan, and birth supply check list.

I know what each item is used for so I better understand what my midwives will be doing when the baby comes. I'm working with them, and they are working with me. Our goal is to safely bring this little baby into the world.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

33 weeks let the birth prep begin...

I have decided that now is the time to get in gear gathering my birth supplies and getting ready for the arrival of my 4th baby. I have been thinking about the things needed for my birth looking at my birth supply list, starting to create a birth plan, planning the things that will be needed before and after labor and birth. It has occurred to me that 'normal' women probably don't do everything that I'm going to do. They get ready for the baby and postpartum, but do normal people prep for labor?

So anyway I will have a birth ball, a birth pool, a list of acupressure points, a set of very comfortable clothes, a top to wear in the pool (most likely a sports bra), food, popsciles, and vitamin water. Also I'm going to have aroma therapy this time. I'm thinking clary sage, myrrh, and lavender.

The one issue I having been having is picking music. I cannot decide what I want to listen to. I want something that will relax me, but I don't like that new age music they use for yoga. I really don't know what to pick. The stuff I like to listen to, I just can't imagine listening to through a contraction.

Although I don't think they are a big deal, there are a couple downsides to birthing at home. The house has to be clean, the dishes have to be done, and someone will have to clean up the mess that results. The waterbirth is very easy to clean up we've discovered. We line our birthing pool with a plastic drop cloth. Then after the birth we drain the pool into the garden. Wrap up the liner and throw it away.

Any way that's what I've got for now. I'm really excited about creating a great labor experience.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The last time I took my kids to the store

It has taken me a couple days to really process what happened the other day at the store. I didn't want to go, but we needed food, and I had missed my oppurtunity to go in the morning before my husband went to work. So I tried to think of people who would watch my kids for me, but I felt to guilty to drop them on anyone with out warning.

We finally arrived at the store at 2:30. We had accomplished nothing all day, and my only hope was to get out of the house and finish this task so we could try to get some stuff done afterward. Anyway, we are now at the store and I explain to my 5yr old that when I take them to the store it takes twice as long as when I go by myself. I ask him to please control himself so we can get out of here fast. Thus our adventure begins.

I grab a cart in the parking lot so I an efficiently get into the store. However, every cart has broken straps. Well I figure speed is the key let's just risk it. I plop the tot (#3) and the three year old (#2) in the cart and we walk quickly into the store, and then I notice my pregnant bladder is full and I got to go bad. I'm not going to because bathroom at the store with the three kids is just too chaotic and takes way to long, so I ignor and move on.

Enter the cereal isle, with fruit snacks. My #2 screams because she wants a different flavor of fruit snack than the one everyone else wants, and she doesn't want the flavor of cereal I suggested. We move on and my oldest (#1) realizes that he has forgotten his cheap plastic toy story ring in the cereal isle. He goes and thankfully finds it and now we are in the canned tomato isle. My #2 insists on sitting on the edge of the cart with her feet dangling. I'm against it, but we need to keep moving, I don't think it is worthwhile fight. While I'm trying to decide on the best pasta my #1 very loudly exclaims, "She peed on the floor! She peed! I think she did, Mama. I'll check," smells the puddle on the floor. "Yes, it's pee!"

Some how, after many stops and starts involving that cheap plastic ring, we are in dairy, when the tot has had enough, and she stands in her seat and screams for down. I mean SCREAMS. She left her shoes in the car so I can't put her down except I do because while she is screaming the middle child slips off the cart and falls on the floor. A lady witnesses this and is saying, "Oh my God. Oh my God." I run to see middle child, who is fine, with a tiny scrape on her elbow, but is crying out of fear and a little pain, and thus the tot gets away and peels down the isle. How I wish I had a cart with buckles.

Ok now we are all together, reasonably calm with two walking children. I attempt to get in the check out when #2 lags behind to look at something and while this is happening a lady slides in and takes my spot. What the heck? really? I should have stayed right there and let my #3 scream and annoy her for cutting in front of me, but instead I wanted to leave. I thankfully found another line that was moving and everything is going great until I check out, and I need garbage stickers and the cashier missed things my #3 was sitting on, so I go to the service desk.

The line is long, so I decide to self check out the couple of items I missed and get cash for the stickers. While checking out, #2 decides she is bored and leaves. She disappears. The first time I have ever freaked out for a missing child, because I have no idea where she is or why she is gone. As I'm coordinating with a cashier as to how to find her, I spot her in between the doors. I get everyone together, and we still have to wait in line at the service desk. When I get home I find out I was charged $17 a pound for $1 a pound tea. Yay, I get to go back... alone.