Thursday, November 29, 2007


We spent the whole day in the big city at the doctor's office. We saw a triumvirate of prenatal diagnosticians, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist, the geneticist, and the ultrasound tech who did the NT. At twelve weeks, the ultrasound photos all look frighteningly like little grey My Little Ponys. The NT scan was good, and the baby seems to be growing normally, and has a good heartbeat.

hello, hello, the trash can is ringing

Three out of four of us are still hacking and coughing. Yesterday was just one of those days. I couldn't find my cell phone (in the house) so I had to go out to pick up John in his locked building. The one remaining pay phone in town wasn't working, so yes, I was the redneck honking my horn in front of an office building last night. Miss six was fascinated with the concept of a pay phone. She had never seen one.

The phone was in trash. The trash that I had already taken out.

Needless to say, I went to bed at eight.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

cascade falls pembroke, virginia

cascade falls pembroke, virginia, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We hiked to this waterfall this afternoon with the children and my mother. It is four miles and rocky, but the payoff at the waterfall always makes it seem worthwhile.


ham, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, November 23, 2007

thanksgiving 2007

thanksgiving 2007, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We made our usual daytrip to Farmville, Virginia for Thanksgiving. My brother starts cooking the turkey out in the yard at five thirty in the morning in a smoker that he built a few years ago. The turkey skin turns absolutely black, but the inside is not even related to the ho-hum roast turkey that comes out of most ovens.

John and Ella are both afraid and entranced by the pack of hound dogs that have the run of my brother's house and yard. Ella needs her own little hound to follow her around.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

vintage daddy

Pilgrim and Native American John, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We are headed over the river and through the woods. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


sing, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

simple gifts

Simple Gifts was written by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848. It was first published in The Gift to be Simple: Shaker Rituals and Songs. Simple Gifts was a work song sung by the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (more commonly called the Shakers, an offshoot of the Quakers).

Ella's class sung this song today as part of her school's Thanksgiving celebration and feast. It was perfect. The whole school had a potluck this morning at the community center. The younger grades sang and the older kids played their recorders. Ella's class signed this song as they sang, and I thought the song really reflects what the school is all about. I'm sure that is why they chose it.

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,'
Til by turning, turning we come round right
'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,

'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The narcolepsy is slowing down my posting frequency, but for now I just have to go to bed early. Toddler early. It makes my busy days possible and positive. John has been weaned for seventy two hours, and he has only asked one time. He has spent three whole nights in his crib, and I've gotten the best sleep I've had in years. Well, I have had a hacking six year old coughing in my face, but tonight she is going back to her room too. I let her stay with me in case he might keep her up, but he didn't cry at all last night.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

12 hours in a crib

He was in bed at seven. He woke up at eleven thirty and went right back to sleep. At two thirty he screamed for daddy for ten minutes and then went to sleep. At five thirty seven he screamed for mama for ten minutes and then slept until seven.


Saturday, November 17, 2007


Two years and four months. It has been a good run, but now I'm starting to feel like I've been nursing a den full of wolf puppies. I don't know if there is less milk or if pregnancy is making me more sensitive. Tonight I made John a cup of warm milk at bedtime. He rejected that, so I made him a cup of chamomile tea and put him to bed. No complaints. I told Ella that if John cries at night she can come into my room, but he is staying in his crib until six am. Of course I'll go in and give him a cuddle and put on the Mister Roger's CD.

Hopefully we can finally achieve the elusive sleeping through the night, and mama can get some much needed rest.

live from the futon stage

live from the futon stage, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We had a late night and an early morning around here. The P family camped with us for the night as they travelled from Florida back to Northern Virginia. Ella loved having kids here for a sleepover. The last time we saw the Ps John was in my belly, so they had a new family member to meet. Ella and Krystyna both just started kindergarten. This morning there was a puppet show and several nearly ear splitting musical numbers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


In case you were wondering...the nausea is SPECTACULAR! I can smell your armpits from here.

Next week I have a NT scan in the big city and another ultrasound at the doctor's office. Advanced maternal age gets you lot of peeks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

to do list

The replacement needle for Ella's Fisher Price record player is here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

sunday hike

sunday hike, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

life of ease

life of ease, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


ella::overlook, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

i went for a hike

i went for a hike, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

season's tree

season's tree, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella and I sat under a tree and stitched these felt leaves for our season's tree.

to market to market

mister, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I hadn't taken any pictures in a week, so I decided to jump right back on this morning. Granny took care of these little people all last week while I moped in coffee shops and worked at Ella's school. Apparently she lost almost five pounds in the process, so you know they stayed busy. There was cooking, bike riding, shopping, and movie going. Running about with these little people is active business.

I think of myself as being the mellow lazybones, but when I think about it I usually do a lot in a week. The entire family is up at six in the morning. We are all out the door by seven thirty. I pack everyone's lunch because little John and I stay in town several days a week. We have a regular routine at the library and a regular playdate for baby John. I work on the playground at Ella's school every morning. I do all the shopping, and cook a real homemade meal six nights a week, so maybe I'm not really a sloth.

I do need some serious plans to get our lives organized by the time we have another baby. We also need to have our small house much more organized. Hopefully we can redo the kitchen in the new year, and I can finally organize all my craft and sewing supplies, and make our bedroom look like a bedroom again.


ella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


surprise, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I went in for a follow up ultrasound on wednesday which revealed an embryo with arms, legs, a head, and a healthy heartbeat. The doctor says to be optimistic. That pint of blood? He says he just isn't sure. A twin. Early in this little investigation he said that perhaps what he was seeing in the earlier ultrasound was just a younger embryo than we thought, two weeks younger. The ultrasound measured in at eight weeks on wednesday.

Of course I know that you aren't supposed to announce an eight week pregancy, but I announced a miscarriage, and I can't let the world think that I'm still crushed.

I'm forty one, everything stinks, and I'm very optimistic.

Friday, November 02, 2007

nine weeks, one day

So, I'm still here with my blighted ovum waiting for the inevitable miscarriage. Yes, I thought that was over too, but here I am. Still exhausted and things still smell bad. I've had a cold for a few days. There is nothing like being kicked while you are down. So, I still get to experience the downward spiral of if it could get any worse. I'm just in a quitting mood. I want to quit everything. I did quit the preschool. I hope I don't come across too many delete buttons in my life. The littles keep me going, though. Even laughing.

If you don't know what to say there are resources.

My husband is headed off for a week at a conference in Portland, Oregon, and I am already lonely. His mother is coming for the week to help me with the kids, and I am grateful.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

get this nose off my face

no nose, originally uploaded by ellajohn.
Halloween. It was easy. Ella refused to wear her beak or her feet, so she was a mystery bird, fairy, ballerina. We trick or treated early and hit the local vegetarian dive's Halloween buffet. The little people were in bed asleep by seven thirty.