Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's A Gummy Bear.

I've already kind of blown the protocol of announcing a pregnancy early and announcing it on my blog for heaven's sake, so why not an ultrasound picture for good measure.

Also so I could brag about how my bladder holds an inordinate amount of liquid I guess. I was instructed to drink 32 ounces of water one hour prior to the appointment and hold it.
I'm a pretty compliant patient, so I did as I was told, though it was torture and I was so bloated I looked about 5 months instead of just over 2. Honestly, it was grotesque.

The technician sent me to the bathroom twice to offload because all that pee was obscuring the view.

But we eventually saw the little heartbeat flutter. So far, so good.

In other news, Mark got a phone call from the nurse today, not for Lily's signature stomachache, but because Aggie had a gym class collision and may be sporting a shiner. More on that as the situation develops.

Lator Gators!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Horse Dirt And Wood Smoke And Birthday Cake

Spring sprung this weekend. In between hormonal fits of spontaneous napping (and fretting,) I joined the fam outside in the prettiness.

The go cart came out of hibernation.
When the cows weren't smoking themselves in the fire, they were skipping and bucking after the go cart. I don't know why they kept standing in that smoke? Weird.But I guess Lily was smoking herself in a burn pile of her own. Of course we roasted hot dogs after the sun went down.
Potatoes were planted. Onions and Swiss chard, too.
Garlic is coming up.
And if you look really, really closely to those tiny dots on the ceiling and wall, the blasted, brackafrackin' Asian beetle ladybug things are still polluting the house. Warm weather means they'll only be more infestatious (yup, "infestatious".) They are everywhere. Plopping into your beverage. Sharing the shower. Filling all the light fixtures.

Mark has the vacuum running about 12 hours a day, sucking them up with the hose. He thinks they know the sound of the sweeper and run for cover when he switches it on.

Don't mind this not so cute picture of me. Point being, the super top secret ear massage that Nikki loves so well. You have to get down in there with your thumbs. Gross, but she reeeeeeealllly loves it. The picture doesn't fully capture her rapture.

And since I'm totally not pouting because everyone says I shouldn't ride when I'm knocked up, and I haven't ridden in months and now I won't get to ride for more months, so many more months...I'm just going to try to enjoy the opportunity to groom and pet them, though the weather simply could not be more perfect for riding. Did I mention riding? sniff.

Really not a cute picture!.....

But check out this cute picture. Aggie's science project t shirt. She got an A+, yes, she did.
Mark & Sam built and painted these nucleus hive bodies last week. We thought it would be fun to do something other than white. Pretty crazy blue. But I think multi-colored hives look pretty, all mismatched out in the field.
Sam's hair had a perfect haze of blue after using the sprayer.

And finally, today is Mah Baby's 8th. Her dad made her pancakes before school for breakfast, and she fully expected today to be "the best day of her life" because: it is her 8th birthday, she has gym class, everyone in class will sing 'Happy Birthday' to her, and she will be getting a pencil from her teacher.
Pretty much sounds like a great day to me! Wait 'til she sees the new socks I got her. Talk about best day of your life!

Kind of disjointed post, but my brain has been trapped in the old well and Lassie has yet to return with help.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

GiveItAway GiveItAway GiveItAway Now.

Hey, All. I didn't forget, I swear!

So a big ol' Thank You for the awesome website name suggestions! You guys really come through, I tell you what.

When I mentioned the giveaway to Mark, he said it was a great idea because all of you are quite witty. But we all knew that already, didn't we?

Michele R., so many fantabulous ideas! Mark's eyes lit up over Bedillion's Gold, as he is forever announcing during honey extractions and bottlings, "It's liquid gold!"

Veronica, I so enjoy A Million Bedillion Bees. It makes me smile. Surely kids' books are a perfectly excellent source of inspiration?

Hi, Ange! Thanks for the happy thoughts. No worries on the names. Exactly why I'm asking for help out here: chicken fried brains.

Becky, your naming skills are undeniable. Bedillion's Bees: classic, refined, positioning us to take over the world of cool bee stuff. Coming to the lip gloss section of a Target near you soon.

Sara, In Your Beeswax, indeed!

Well, Amy Down Under,(and maybe you too HoneyPieHorse?) didn't I just feel like the lame hostess of the giveaway party when I realized I can't give you a dang thing? ...What is the opposite of 'down under?' Is it 'up over?' Because next time you're that, I will gladly ship you some honey. And I do like Bedillion's Of Bees.

Em, Mark was dead serious when he said, "Someone probably already used Bees 'n'at." (For those of 'yinz' who don't speak Pittsburghese...well, maybe be thankful that doesn't make sense to you...'n'at.)

Thanks, Patti! Becky is right; the whiskey loosens it right up. I mean the microwave. The microwave loosens it up. Just be careful not to cook it or scald it or something. You can also do a hot water bath or leave it in your hot car in the Summer. Really! If I'm using it for tea, the crystallized honey is actually what I prefer. Much less messy. But not so good for your biscuits. And that's important, too.

Rock on, Amy!! Those are great! (I always miss the dang deadlines. Heck, look at me, 2 days after it ended finally getting my butt back online....) And I can't wait to hear what your brother and his band finally come up with.

So, pretty much, you guys are awesome. Thank you, thank you.

Have we decided on a name yet? Hecks no! But all of these great ideas are in the mix and we're that much closer. And if we use one of your suggestions, there's liquid gold headed your way.


Forgetting what? I'm forgetting something?

Oh, ya!!! The winner!

So without further ado, the winnah is:
Michele R.!!

We'll be sending some sweetness your way. And some waxiness. Everybody loves waxiness.

Now, if anybody's really got a hankerin' for some beeswax and Bedillion's honey, giveaway or no, just give me a holler and I think we arrange that. You all are my sweet bloggy friends and I'm happy to spread some love. And honey. And wax. So don't be shy. ;-)

Thanks again, you guys! xoxo

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Party Time. Excellent. And Help A Sister Out Giveaway!

As you may know, Becky and I hosted dueling (wink wink) birthday party sleepovers for our daughters last Friday. I have to agree with her that Friday nights are the way to go. The 11am pickup worked well for us, too.

Also nice? Mark taking charge of so much of it.

He picked up Aggie and 3 friends from Whiz Kids, the after school math club/social hour. Then he was flying solo to greet the remainder of the guests while I was still at work. He said only one mom seemed a little weirded out by it, but he was the one back in the days of church preschool who had the other preschool moms over for tea after morning drop off, so I'd say he takes it all in stride.

When I arrived home it was oddly quiet. I think they were just saving up all the noise for 1 AM.

Supper time, Mark was the coordinator of personal pizza assemblage. All the girls gathered around the island table in the kitchen, smearing sauce, sprinkling cheese, and bursting into spontaneous song. Really, they did! Pretty good harmony going, too.

Oh! Almost forgot. Mark also made 2 kinds of cupcakes earlier in the day! No! Make that 4 kinds, because there were big and little cupcakes of both chocolate and white. Thank goodness he made so many, too. My! Can they eat.

Mega-Triple-pack of CapriSun: Sucked down.
Mozzarella cheese sticks: Chomped on cold, straight out of the refrigerator.
Bacon-wrapped jalapenos (not for the party, I was just trying to use them up before they went bad.) : The perfect dare food for Truth or Dare.
Cans of whipped cream: applied to cupcakes or just squirted directly in the mouth.

They were whirling dervishes of crumbs and spent drink sacks.

Around 9:30pm we had a boredom issue with 2 of the girls in spite of their nail polish, makeup, and wigs. Though the group did their best to re-engage them and I bribed them with a a roll of paper for pictionary, they weren't having it.

Mark had retired to our bedroom, Lily was having fits because she didn't have a friend over for herself, and I had visions of bickering and tears into the wee hours of the morning. Possibly with my own tears mingled in for good measure.

But! Saved by the pay-per-view, though the selections weren't so hot. There were tons of horror movies. That's a big fat NO, though I remember many a grade school sleepover with Friday the 13th or Halloween. (It was somewhere around this time that I emailed Becky in my desperation. What does she reply? Neener neener, mine are all asleep like angels, and they rubbed my feet and made me tea before they went to bed. Or something like that. I can't remember exactly.)

We managed to come to an agreement about The Box. Now we just had to make it 20 more minutes until it started. They all gathered in the living room peaceably enough. They even invited Lily to join them. Popcorn was popped. And I wish I'd taken a photo of all the girls together in the living room, every single one on some sort of device: cell phone, iPod, whatever, all at the same time, faces quite serious. I have no idea what they were doing but it was funny and thankfully only lasted a brief time before they went back to normal 11 year old noisiness.

Sam and I watched the movie in my room, cracking up when we heard all the girls squeal and jump in unison during the startling parts. I nodded off towards the end (ya, it was that good) but woke to the sound of 9 girls all talking at once, discussing the movie and scavenging for food again.
It was all so enthusiastic and good-natured, I had to let them get some of it out of their system, though I wanted very much to sleep. 2AM I drew the line and they all went to bed. Phew!

Morning came and Mark the trusty fry cook was back on duty: Bacon and pancakes for our little girly army. Pretty much went off without a hitch. It came to mind that there are families where there are that many children at breakfast all the time, and then I didn't feel so overwhelmed at the thought of adding a fourth to our brood.

And that was pretty much that. The girls trickled out one-by-0ne and we counted it a success. Party accomplished. And hats off to my husband.

What else?

Roller skating birthday party that evening. Heck yes! I love me some roller skating.

My body has me on a short leash. I'm starting to figure out the routine of a queasy bedtime, 2AM restless legs attack, 5AM night sweats and then eventually up for work. The other night I went to bed around 7:30pm. Probably not a good habit to get into. But I was so refreshed the next morning. hee.

We Love It, Don't We? Giveaway?

Sounds like a plan to me, Becky! Who wants some beeswax and honey, honey?

Here's what we gonna did: You give a sister a hand in figuring out a domain name for our new website and I'll put your name in the pot for a sweet giveaway drawing. And, if we go with one of the suggestions , the suggester gets a sweet giveaway, too.

It's going to be a brand new website, never had one before, where we'll showcase our honey and have it for sale, with the future possibility of adding more bee products (pollen, wax, etc.) and beekeeping supplies (hive bodies, tools, etc.) as we get the hang of it. We'll still have the seasonal farm market here (Bedillion's Farm & Fruit Market,) and advertise it a bit, too, but I don't think we'll be doing any produce sales online. So it's mostly 'bout the bees.

The more suggestions you have, the more we'll throw you in the pot. Sound good? (Because if it doesn't, you can tell me, 'kay?)

Alrighty then, the clocks ticking. What's say we run this puppy 'til, um, Friday the 12th at 11:59pm. (I don't know why. I'm so bad at making rules.)

OK? Ready. Go! (And thanks in advance!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

(More) Beeswax and Baby Names

Couple things.

The finished beeswax ingots.Unfinished ingots in the mold.
A story.

So I was up late the night before last, watching movies. Lars And The Real Girl to be more specific. I've been trolling for sappy movies to watch in my hormone enhanced state because I can get such a good cry out of the littlest things. It's like 3-D for my nostalgia bones or something. Plus I couldn't really sleep anyway. Cute movie by the way.
So I'm wide awake in bed next to sleeping Mark, 12:30am, and there's a rapid fire knock at our back/front door. Yikes!
It was so urgent. I immediately thought of some recent family drama that could possibly be at the door, but quickly dismissed the idea.
I woke Mark. Eventually.
Someone just knocked on our door! No response.
Hon, someone just knocked on our door! Blank stare. (making progress.)
Someone just knocked on our door! (I know this routine.) snuffle snuffle Are you sure?
Yes, positive. I'm wide awake. Times ticking away.

Mark not so suddenly springs to life. Digs out his pistol. (I know, exciting, right? But we live right on a busy state route. So.) Pulls on pants. And runs outside.
I grab my car keys and hit the panic button to turn on the alarm. I can barely see Mark and don't know what's going on.

What went on was, Mark found 2 punks sitting in their out of gas car in our lot. Why they knocked and left, I don't know. But when they saw the not-so-small man with no shirt, old school tattoos, madman hair, and a pistol at his side, they threw their hands in the air.
We're out of gas! We're out of gas!

So Mark walked them out to the barn to the gas can (he said he wasn't fetching and carrying it for them after all that,) and watched as the tall skinny one shook in his boots as he tried to put gas in his tank. He told them to make sure they had enough to get to the station in town. And that was about it.
I said that I think they'll probably pay a little more attention to their gas gauge from now on.

And finally, Baby Names.

The discussion started almost immediately.

"Samuel Joseph" is all original. No namesakes, that is. Other than the bible characters, I suppose. Samuel's mother gave him to God. I always had mixed emotions about that. What mother gives away her child? Oh, the thinks that I think...But it all worked out in the end, and I still think it's a beauty of a name.

"Agnes Cornelia" shares a middle name with my grandmother. And Agnes means pure, but I always think of Agnus, Latin for lamb. She is my sweet, gentle lamb.

"Lily Fae" shares a middle name with Mark's grandmother. She prefers I call her Lil-ah as a pet name. Not Lie-lah. Not Lily. Not Lillith. Not Lillian. But Lila. And sometimes I do even though a few years ago she hated to be called Lila. And a few years ago she also wanted to change her name to Diamond.

So now we have this blank slate. Pitching boy names and girl names because we don't know what we're gonna get. We all have our two cents, kids included.
Sometimes we suggest a real name, sometimes something off the wall or made up.
One of us will throw something out to the group and then there's the rebuttal.

That makes me think of a fat guy.

Sounds like a gruff, middle aged woman with a heart of gold. Possibly running her own greasy spoon restaurant.

That's so-n-so's dog's name.

I've got a boy name in mind. First name only. But is it weird that I'm afraid to announce it? Like I'm going to spoil it somehow? Or I guess maybe I don't want to be talked out of it. If I wait until the birth certificate is filled out, there's no turning back, and no one can talk me out of it. Right?
Ya, that's a little crazy.

OK, I'll tell you.
It's Rooster.

I'm kidding!

And I'm open to suggestions. Did you have a formula for picking your child's name? How do you feel about Juniors? Old fashioned names? Popular names?
And who doesn't love homemade names? (But not in this deli!)

So far the ground rules I've put together:

No nouns
No cities, states, or countries

What say you?

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Beeswax Is Your Beeswax

So what have we been up to? Here's Sam helping his dad check and feed the bees.
They're getting sugar syrup right now. Here's hoping for Spring flowers to feed them soon.
Hard to believe there's anything alive in these snowed in boxes. But they're still kickin'.

Mark also cleaned some beeswax. It was the wax cappings from when he extracted honey, the top wax layer that enclosed the honey in the comb. I didn't get a photo of the first step of boiling the jumbled ball of honey covered wax bits being simmered in water to clean it. Mark boiled it in the water til it melted, then let it harden and changed the water to repeat the process. I think it was the 3rd cooking that he then poured the melted wax through this painters cloth to filter out the dead bees and junk.

Then it looked like this. But it still wasn't clean enough, so wash rinse repeat. It smelled so beautiful, like Summer, while it was cooking.

Then finally you get...what looks like a nice wheel of cheese. But it's beeswax, o' course.

So, what else? Um, homemade haircut:It actually turned out pretty well. About 6 or 8 inches of hair gone. Done in my own private barber chair, except you have to stand because it's the bathtub.

It came about because Lily was complaining about brushing her hair, something she's not all that great at. So when I told her we'd have to cut it all off if she didn't properly brush it, she became very excited. That's what I've been wanting all along! So. I figured why not. And she's been pleased about it ever since. And we also celebrated our sweet Agnes' 11th.Mawsi's homemade birthday cake, of course. Oh! And her gift? A cell phone. I know. I'm caving all over the place. But, she was one of the final few in her grade without one, and it's just how they keep in touch these days. Not like when I was her age, where you jumped off the school bus and on to (land line) telephone to talk to the friend you'd been talking to all day long. And it was free with the rebate and she wasn't whiny for it (we surprised her, so it was very unexpected,) it wasn't much more than Sam's phone on its own and....well, it was a little over the top for us, but that's not all. We got one for Lily, too. I know how ridiculous it is, believe me, but she looooooves to text. Loves it. Funny, witty little texts. Big long texts. And it is such leverage for me, you know? She loves the phone. It is her Precious. Which is probably more crappy parenting, but there it is. The phone isn't going to leave the house much and I like to think it will be great spelling and punctuation practice. And it keeps her in touch with her grandparents to boot.

And let's see, there was one other thing this weekend, hmmmmmm, what was it?

Oh ya. I'm pregnant. Two forms of birth control later and I'm knocked up. So, so not in our plans.

Three days later, some weeping, gnashing of teeth, 7 hours in the emergency room, and we've moved on to reluctant but real joy and excitement. We thought the kids would be put out, but they're having fun with it so far. Sam calls it (sorry for calling him/her "it") "Pellet" because it's only the size of a BB. Aggie is pitching real names. Lily is thrilled to be upgraded from baby of the family. And that's about all I've got so far.

Announcing pregnancy on my blog. Is it cheesy? Maybe. But 'round these parts, my beeswax is your beeswax.