Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Do you know what those crazy kids did? They decided to honeymoon on the nearest beach to us. And not tell us they were doing that so they could surprise us one we were home and they were down here. And surprise us they did. We just got back from having dinner with them (late), and put the pooped little ones down for the night. And now I'm going down for the night too, so no update.
In case I haven't been clear so far, it was a good trip. And this was a nice extension of it. I almost felt like I was on vacation again myself. Ahhhhhhh.
Congrats again, you lovebirds, you!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So, I had wanted to do something touristy in nature while we were in Wisconsin. Truth be told I DESPERATELY wanted to go to Chicago for a half day, specifically to go to American Girl Place. Yes, I'm an addict and no, I don't want a cure.
I realized pretty quickly after the time we'd had getting to Wisconsin in the first place, that a road trip wasn't going to be a good idea, but I did hug the idea pretty passionately before I let it go and soothed my sorrowful soul with a trip to the Milwaukee Zoo. It was all really for the girls of course. Really.
What? You want to hear about our miserable plane trip first? Well ok then. I'll give you the brief version. Our flight was due to leave at 10:45am. Like good citizens we were at the airport at 8:45 (ok, 9). Our gate changed, our plane was delayed. When it finally arrived it had an oil leak. Our new connection was supposed to be at 3:55. Our gate was changed, then our flight was delayed. And delayed. Finally on the plane and ready to go they discovered that the hydraulic system was leaking. After that was fixed we were 17th in line for takeoff. We finally headed into the sky at 5:30pm. When we finally picked up our rental car and checked into our hotel we were done. Done, done, completely slow roasted, done for the day.
So the zoo was more our speed. Less sitting more walking. Plus its an award winning zoo, and you know how I love those.
I always fight the urge to load up every single picture. Having successfully fought, here are some highlights:
Now that I live in Florida, seeing Flamingos anywhere else amuses me. Especially when they're just hanging out beside a lake with Canadian Geese like these guys were. Also, they were just on the other side of a fence. I really felt like we should have tried to cuddle one. I don't think they would have appreciated it. I'm not sure if it was just me, but I didn't think they looked as pink as the ones I'm used to. And I don't even mean the ones on the lawns.
Since I'm always looking for photo ops, of course I made the girls pose here. This picture illustrates a key difference in my girls. 99% of the time Lilli has perfect posture. It started when she was a dinky little thing and was holding her head steady and trying to stand freakishly early. Elizabeth, who was a bobbly baby for as long as she could get away with, is still a sack of potatoes, and while she stands very tall and graceful when she walks or dances, she slouches at every possible opportunity.
I, on the other hand, was ready to find a playground with a bench. It was a big zoo!
Other things the girls enjoyed were the sharks, the meerkats, the giraffes, the elephants, the freely wandering peacocks, the tiger, the lions, the baby Orangutan, the monkeys and apes in general, and the jaguar. Lilli especially enjoyed the snakes. She hissed so happily and vigorously at a cage of rattlers that one of them took major offense and almost rattled his tail off before striking at the glass. Poor little guys.
Things the girls were not impressed by were the leopard (Elizabeth wanted to see a yellow one, not a white one), and the bats, since the room they were in was dark.
It was cool, the air smelled like fallen leaves (I had no idea how much I miss that smell), and it was fun to explore a new (to us) zoo.
If they'd just had ONE food place open it would have been perfect.
Monday, September 28, 2009
So let's talk about her.
Tonight she walked into my bathroom and was playing with some of her bath toys that are on the side of the tub, and suddenly said "Mama! There's an ant on the bathtub!" I said, "It's ok, it's just getting a drink of water." That's because I was feeling a little lazy and not in a squishing mood. And THAT is because when I got home from work my dad told me that as I was rushing out the door this morning, one of our many lizards had rushed IN, and I had apparently stepped on it and squashed it near to flat. Or at least that's what he presumes happened since he discovered the still twitching remains by the front door, guts a-splattered. Feel sick? Yeah. Me too. So no wonder I was not in a squishing mood. Heck, it pretty much got me out of an EATING mood tonight. One thing about my father, he's descriptive.
Lilli though, was unaware of the Lizard Incident, and said "No ant get water, ant on bathtub! I get it!" I said "You're going to get it?" She said, "Yes! I get it!" I said "Okaaaay, do you want some toilet paper?" She said "Yes pease!". So I handed her a piece of toilet paper and she wadded it up in a very business-like fashion. As far as I am aware she has engaged in bug stomping previously, but I am not aware of any bug squishing experience. She wadded up the paper like she knew what she was doing though. Then she started moving bath toys. "Where ant go? I no can find him!", she said. Suddenly, there was the ant. "What are you going to do?", I asked. Her little hand darted out sure as lightning strikes. "I get him!", she said triumphantly. Sure enough, she got him.
Yep, she's a corker. And I know who's going to be killing spiders for me in a few years.
P.S. Here's bit of Milwaukee for you. The dresses. I loved the dressssssssssssses.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This week's Spin Cycle is featuring the meme of our choice, so I'm doing a variant of what I've heard of as "6 on Sixth" or "First/First" or "Last/Last". You pick a number and display that number picture from the same number photo file on your computer and then explain it. Get it? I'm sure I could have said that more cleverly if I'd given it some thought, but it's late and I'm tired. So take me as I am tonight.
So, that being said, here's the first picture from the first photo file on my computer. This is Elizabeth from December of 2006. It appears that she is picking her nose, but she wasn't a nose picker at the time, so who knows what was really going on here:
3 from 3. August 2007. Elizabeth looking a little rough. It's not her fault that mama was too distracted with baby Lilli to brush her hair. I was on maternity leave and Grandma was over that day to play with Elizabeth. Lots of pictures were taken, most of similarly poor quality.
4 from 4. September 2007. Action shot of the play area at a local mall.
Since I have an oodle of picture files, here's where I start skipping ahead. Here's 8 from 8, January 2008. Poor Lilli. The first shot of her on this post and it's not very attractive. That's ok, she's still my little honeybun.
12 from 12. may 2008. This sandbox has seen several years of solid use now and it's still holding up great. It's not even faded even though it gets the afternoon sun every day. Thanks Little Tykes, I'm amazed!
16 from 16. September 2008. Visiting "Gweat Gwandpa" in Pennsylvania. Intense concentration on something or another.
20 from 20. January 2009. Riding in a "surrey" at the park.
24 from 24. May 2009. Lilli, all business, at the park. A different park than the last one. Less wildlife at this one. More mulch.
And finally, 28 from 28. September 2009. Elizabeth's birthday cupcake tower.
There. Nobody can say I'm not very thorough with these memes, right? You can be thorough too, just head on over to Sprite's Keeper and check out all the Meme Spins and maybe snag some ideas. I, for one, am off to do exactly that!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I wasn’t sure what direction to take this spin. I thought about doing one called “10 things I hate about…a certain big box store that is not, and never will be Target”, but, well, with the quantity of cereal my husband eats, it's not like I'm never going to shop there. So that seemed kind of silly.
Back in 4th and 5th grade my friends and I used to make lists of things we loved and hated on pages and pages of wide ruled notepaper. I’m pleased to report that the lists of things we loved were a lot longer than the list of things we hated, and the things we hated were very innocent, and kind of sweet. Things like squash and a certain kid in our class who liked to try to strangle people. Tests. The days the cafeteria ran out of cheese rectangle pizza and only had pepperoni. Someone giving you a red Sunkist Fruit Gem instead of a white one. That sort of thing.
And I could make lists of the things the girls hate .
Being told no.
Having to go to bed when she is. not. tired.
The thought of peanut butter.
When her sister takes her toys.
Not being able to fall asleep in a minute and a half.
Being told no
Having to go to bed when she is. not. tired.
Any meat other than chicken. Except when she's trying to mess with me.
Getting water in her eyes.
Their lists of things they love are also way longer than the things they hate, and that hasn't changed for me either. And I even hesitate to make a short list of things I don't like because the one thing I remember the best from my elementary school experiences with negativity? After writing one of those lists my friends and I were cranky for the rest of the day.
I think I'll throw caution to the wind though. It's almost the weekend. And I like to play fast and loose on the weekend. I guess.
Current things I hate:
Needing to get up at the crack of Dawn
That David is always still fast asleep when I'm going out the door.
When I'm running late, and stop for breakfast at McDonald's and they forget to give me a straw, which causes me to hate
Having to drink a fast food drink out of side of the paper or Styrofoam cup.
Paper or Styrofoam cups. I like plastic. No funky taste for me, please.
An egg and cheese biscuit that has a crunchy biscuit. Blech!
Getting almost to work and realizing I have forgotten something important.
When the air conditioner is not working at my office.
The fact that it is economically impossible for me at this moment to hang out with my girls during the day, even though I like my job (whoops! I let a little positivity sneak in there!).
Having my lunch stolen. Interestingly, that hasn't happened since we had some layoffs several months ago.
Going out on my lunch hour, only to find out that everyone, their mother, and the rest of their extended family have all decided to go to Panera at noon and there is no parking to be found and a line out the door. For PANERA!
When my car decides to act up.
Specifically the heat from a searing hot steering wheel that would make it very possible for me to engage in a life of crime since my fingerprints have to be pretty melty by now.
Most kinds of heat actually.
Also most kinds of cold.
The nights when I just want to lay on the couch, but I still have to make dinner and be a decent mom.
Being approached by salespeople at stores when I'm just browsing, and not being approached when I actually need help.
Being talked to by people I don't know online. I don't care if its Yoville or WoW, I always say to David, "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, make them stop talking to me!"
The fact that there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week for everything I want or need to do, even with me barely sleeping. And obviously that doesn't help me be more functional.
One thing I don't hate though? The Spin Cycle. Head on over to Sprite's Keeper, read some posts and maybe work up a good cleansing rage.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We'll start with my version because I naturally have the better memory and will be able to give more details. Heh heh heh.
I remember that I was convinced, as all pregnant women are, for weeks before Elizabeth’s birth that I was about to go into labor immediately. This was encouraged by my OB who kept saying that she was certain that there was no way I was going to make it to term (and also, during her very uncomfortable pelvic examinations, that if I couldn’t handle an exam there was no way I was going to handle labor well, and I might as well schedule my c-section. Yes, she was lacking a certain sensitivity that I would have preferred.). Despite feeling that I might go into labor at the office at any moment, I had planned to work right up until I gave birth, so I had no plans for rest scheduled. About a week before my due date my hands and face started to swell, and my friend C convinced me to go to the doctor who determined that rest was definitely in order and I went down to half days at work.
My due date (9/9/05) came and went, even though I was dilated 2 centimeters at that point, with no more action than the violent Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been experiencing for months. I went in for my normal weekly appointment on 9/14 and spent some time hooked up to the monitors because I was Braxton-Hicks-ing so hard they thought maybe I was in labor. Those contractions didn’t hurt, but they were very uncomfortable and made my belly rock hard. The monitoring showed no productive contractions, the exam showed no progress other than a little more effacement, but since I was almost a week overdue they threw in an ultrasound, and that’s when things started to get exciting. My amniotic fluid was getting problematically low. I was sent to the OB assistant’s office to schedule an immediate induction so fast that I don’t remember the part where I presumably got back into my clothes. This was around 10 in the morning, and they wanted me to start my induction around 2. But there was a snag in the fact that the hospital I had pre-registered at was full of laboring women and couldn’t take me. They were able to schedule me at the next closest hospital, but not until 8pm at night.
So I ended up with some time to go back to work, tell them my leave was starting immediately, pack up my stuff, and head home, make sure I had everything I wanted in the suitcase I had been carrying around with me for a couple weeks, and go have dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack with my in-laws, who were in town for the birth. I had the Dungeness. It was amazing. During dinner, I started to feel a little unwell, and started to feel more unwell the closer we got to the hospital. Not in a contracty sort of way, but not like myself either. We arrived and I went to check in, only to discover that this hospital, too, was full of laboring women. And they couldn’t take me. Even with an appointment. Not that they’d bothered to call me and tell me this. They told me to call in the morning and they “would see” what they could do. Well, due the urgency of the situation as it had been relayed to me, and my advanced state of pregnancy, I got a little hysterical. Still, they cold-heartedly told me they were sorry and to call in the morning. Instead I called my doctor’s office and spoke to someone who spoke to the doctor, and they were able to arrange for me to go to a third hospital. One that was even farther away from my house, but I wasn’t picky at that point.
We went there, the check in process was smooth, I did all my paperwork, got into a gown and hooked up to monitors and settled in for the night. Originally they had planned to start the induction process that afternoon-evening, but by the time I was settled into the hospital it was 9:30 at night and it wasn’t going to happen. So the next morning, at 6:30, after spending a surprisingly comfortable night in the room, with David nearby on the fold out bed, they put in an IV and started me right on Pitocin since I had dilated to 3 centimeters over night, but wasn’t feeling any contractions.
For the next couple of hours I just hung out. My friend C had lent me the latest Harry Potter book (I think it was Half Blood Prince at that time), so I read for a while and David watched TV. There was nothing more than the occasional mild cramp, and it was lovely. Around 8:30 they came to check me, saw no progression, and broke my water. That’s when things started to pick up. It didn’t get bad for a while though. I walked around the halls of the maternity ward (with my IV pole and mother and sometimes husband accompanying me) and sat on a birthing ball, and (my favorite) rocked in the room’s glider. My in-laws came to the hospital at some point and would periodically pop in to see how I was doing. I had a wonderful nurse named Peggy, and she encouraged me to move around, and would show David where to put counter-pressure on my back. I started to transition around noon (I was progressing quite nicely), and that’s when I started to get unhappy.
I was one of those first time moms who wants to do everything as natural as possible (and was also deathly afraid of the thought of an epidural needle), so I was trying to hold out on the epidural (yes, I was a fool). But all the rocking and techniques I was using were not making a dent any more. They gave me a shot of Nubain or some kind of narcotic, and that didn’t help with the pain at all, but made me pass out between contractions. So it would be like PAIN, blissful dream, sudden waking into PAIN! I believe it was at that point that I was done with trying to make it through any further. Dr. Mike, beautiful Dr. Mike, came in to give me the epidural. There had been some concern that with my scoliosis I wouldn’t be able to have an epidural if I wanted one because there might not be enough space at the right point in my spine. It turned out there was plenty of space, and I was so determined to have the misery END that I did not move (and barely breathed) for three solid contractions so he could get me settled. You really don’t notice any pain from the needle after having experienced transitional contractions. Almost immediately I started to feel more human. I may have told Dr. Mike that I loved him.
I stopped feeling the excruciating pain, and started feeling excruciating pressure like I needed to push. The only thing I can compare the sensations to is like your lower half is trying to throw up. Still though, that was a lot more pleasant than the pain, so I laid there as requested and concentrated on relaxing and not pushing. In another hour (sometime after 1pm) I was ready to go. My nurse had me do practice pushes with her for a while and then called the doctor on duty that day, and my in-laws came in. Pushing was hard work. Really hard work, but not physically painful. In the hindsight of having experienced pushing without pain-relief with Lilli, an epidural is a beautiful thing. David held one of my legs, my mother held the other. David did a better job, because my mother, who has not given birth herself, was so fascinated with what was going on down there that she kept wandering away with my leg. Everyone (David, my mom, my in-laws, 3 nurses and the doctor) kept yelling for me to push. I didn’t appreciate that much. In all, I pushed for an hour (I believe that at one point the doctor told me to “push harder”, and I yelled “I AM pushing harder!”, but that was the only unpleasant thing I said to anyone the whole day), and then, at 2:38 pm, out came my Elizabeth Rose. It was the strangest feeling I have ever had. She was 6 pounds 8 ounces and 18.5 inches long.
The first thing I thought when I saw her was “Oh there you are!” It was like we’d known each other forever and had just been apart for a while. The big shock of her delivery was that she had come out face up (posterior), instead of face down (anterior) like she was supposed to, which explained why I had to work so hard to get her to come out, and also explains my back labor. I remember two other things about the moments right after her birth. The first thing was that all the attention suddenly shifted from me to my baby, so that when I asked for water, several times, loudly, the only person who heard me was the doctor. And he only heard me because I had torn during her exit, and he was busy sewing me back up. Without lidocaine, since he apparently didn’t realize that my epidural had already worn off, and I was too distracted by the baby to tell him. That’s the other thing I remember. Eeeeeeeeeeeee. Not a good time.
There’s not much I remember, it’s all largely a blur. However, there are 2 distinct events I do remember.
The first is the fact that Rachel was coping with the pain, but at some point she decided she had done enough coping. The narcotic took the edge off, but it was still pretty painful. Then I remember the anesthesiologist administering that big does of painkiller to her spine, whatever that’s called.
When the doctor asked how she was feeling she said: “my toes feel tingly. Tingly, tingly tingly.” I admit I laughed.
The second, much more vivid memory, was the moment of Elizabeth’s birth. I was on one side, holding a leg, and Rachel’s mother was on the other side, holding her other leg. I remember Rachel pushing and pushing. I remember seeing what I thought was Elizabeth’s head in the…..open area down there….
I admit I was suddenly concerned. That thing was only (I thought) the size of a small apple. I was thinking “oh geez, she’s really underdeveloped!” And then Rachel gave another push and GLOMPH out erupts this massive head from this tiny opening! (Apparently I had only been viewing the top of a small part of her head) It was very disconcerting, to say the least.
But it was also an incredibly emotional moment for me and dihydrogen oxide ran freely from my eyes. I also think I was locking my knees up till then because the whole moment combined with that new smell…..I felt very nauseated and had to lie down briefly. I realize this makes it sounds like I was somehow doing all the work, but this is just from my vantage point, remember.
Now, some of the things she mentions about me on her blog….let’s just say she embellishes some of the stories about me. I’d tell my side of the story, but she’d probably just censor it out. >.>
HAH! I embellish nothing. He just doesn't like the truth!
This is what I actually wrote about her birth that evening. It’s not long or particularly detailed, but I was confined to the limits of the baby books. Yes books. I had one for the pregnancy and one for the new baby for both girls. I am indeed one of those annoying mothers who fills them out. It's part of my love of journaling.
Anyway, from the pregnancy journal:
What my labor was like: Amazingly painful, but relatively quick. When they started the Pitocin it wasn't too bad at first, but after Dr. F. broke my water things started to get painful. I tolerated it well for a while, but then started begging for meds. I got an IV narcotic (which apparently made me act funny), and I guess it slightly took the edge off, or at least allowed me to rest between contractions. It barely held me over until Dr. Mike came in to evaluate me for an epidural. Despite my Scoliosis, he was able to start an epidural which took the pain away. It didn't take the extreme pressure (apparently that was back labor), and Elizabeth was facing up when she arrived after a good hour of pushing. Not a big baby, but OWWWWW!
What I said when I saw my baby: Something along the lines of "She's out?"
What my partner said when the baby was born: "There she is!" And then got all teary.
No one ever told me that: it would feel like it did. I really had no concept.
How I'm handling the responsibility of caring for this tiny person: Pretty well. She is good natured and quite portable.
From her baby book:
How we welcomed you into the world: Grandma B and Daddy were the labor coaches, the breathed with Mommy and held her legs while she pushed. Nana A helped as needed and Grandpa A observed. All the nurses, the relatives and the doctor got very excited when you came out.
Cute things you did: They tell me you pooped right away. You were blue when you came out but you pinked up quickly.
Thoughts on the day of your birth: I can't believe you came out of me! It hurt a lot, but it was worth it. You are amazingly pretty. You aren't funny looking at all. You have such soft skin and hair. I'm hoping your hair will be curly like your daddy's. I also hope you get his eyelashes. So far you don't have many, but there's time. You have very strong looking thigh muscles. I think you have your Daddy's legs. I'm glad you look like me though, I don't know any other blood relatives. Your daddy cried after you were born. He also got light headed and had to sit down. We love you! 9/15/05.
In 2009, that hasn't changed. Plus I got the curly hair and eyelashes I wanted.
Happy 4th birthday Elizabeth!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Elizabeth gave me a scare by developing a sore throat, a headache, and a fever, but her doctor's office kindly got us in today, and didn't keep us waiting when we arrived for our appointment. Turns out she's just got one heck of a cold. Elizabeth is pretty pleased with the way things turned out though, since she's now the proud owner of several tongue depressors, a dinosaur sticker, and a pink rock she picked up, AND got taken out for ice cream. I will have to make up the work I missed, but peace of mind is worth a lot.
"My Little Pony: Princess Promenade" arrived from Netflix this afternoon, leading to an atmosphere of utter bliss in my living room this evening.
I'm thoroughly addicted to Sobe Lifewater's Black and Blue Berry flavor. I've never been a fan of zero calorie beverages, but this one has Purevia instead of one of the chemical fake sugars, and it is DELICIOUS. I need to stop telling people about it though or I won't be able to find it. But I can't help it. I LOVE IT. I like their Fuji Apple and Pear flavor too. But I don't want to marry it like I do the Black and Blue Berry flavor. And yes, I think drinking it today made me a more pleasant person.
My home re-organization project continues to progress, so who wouldn't be feeling more upbeat with that going on? I'm going to go organize my photo albums now.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I had to go on stupid birth control (yes, it's my first time, we successfully do NFP, which I'm sure you wish you didn't now know), to get a handle on my wild and crazy hormones. In theory this will help me not want to rip any one's head off at certain times. Oh, and it will help me not be even more exhausted then just staying up till all hours of the night should cause, and a whole host of other issues I've been developing over the last 2 years. Apparently I never got in balance again after I gave birth to Lilli. So everyone around me should be grateful that this will potentially solve my problems. If I'm still feeling like a mess in a couple of months, I'll go back to the doctor and we'll explore other options. BUT I'm peeved because I'm not the kind of girl who remembers to take a pill at X o'clock every day (and yes, the doctor suggested starting with the pill instead of the ring, patch, or shots), AND even though I wasn't using all these perfectly good eggs that go to waste every month, what with the economy and all, I resent the fact that now there will be a chemical removing the option of a surprise (ok, 99% of the chance of a surprise). So I'm cranky and disgruntled, and, as I'm sure has become very obvious, in need of hormone therapy of some sort. *grumble*
On a more cheerful note (the moods are swinging like crazy tonight), two cute Lilli things:
1) She said her very own bedtime prayer without any help, and it was ADORABLE. "Heavenly Father, We're thankful for this day, please bless it, please bless my bed and my doggie, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It was very sweet. Sorry to go all religious on you.
2) I must think how to clean this next one up for print and Google searches. She was cuddling me before laying down tonight and had her face buried in my...chest...and was inhaling and exhaling deeply. I said "Lilli, what are you doing?" She said "Smelling you!" I said, "Why are you smelling my...chests?" She said "Because they smell so sweet". I'm relieved that my daughter has noticed that I shower. And she's dang cute.
There, now I have to go and do something that requires nothing from me at all mentally.