Friday, January 30, 2009

Our Ark

In 2005, we decided to sell our house and move to a small college town so my husband could attend Pharmacy School. Because he did not have any previous college credit, we knew we would be students (plural, because even though I am not going to class everyday, our whole family is working together for his degree) for as many as eight years. With four babies and aspirations for more, we knew the only option for our family was for me to be home with them. Part of our fiscal plan for this adventure meant owning our own home.

People raised their eyebrows at us, warned us about going crazy in a small house with a tiny yard, worried aloud about lead paint and low income neighborhoods and exclaimed that, "A $500 monthly mortgage payment wouldn't be too hard." I was even told, "You wouldn't be the first wife to put your husband through school." And it's true, I wouldn't have been, but eight years is a long time in the lives of children and I wouldn't consider missing it.

We bought our humble home with cash. Over the past several years it has been Our Ark, our safe place amidst the storm. No matter what financial problems we are having, we know we have a place to live; shelter for our family.
I wish I had a before picture of our house, but I lost my hard drive a while ago that had those pictures on it. Suffice it to say, it needed a lot of work. We have improved our little home and I love it. There is still work to do. We are stacked on top of each other and old homes come with a plethora of problems. However, the sacrifices we have made are completely overshadowed by the blessings we have received as a result of purchasing what we could afford.
Just think how different your life would be if you didn't have to put any of your paycheck toward your mortgage! Wow, huh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Clothing Construction

In my first semester of college, a class I was taking was cancelled at the last minute. Because it was a four credit class, it put me under the required credit hours to maintain my financial aid. A friend told me she was taking a class called Clothing Construction; it, too, was a four credit class and would fit into my schedule. Being a much more timid person, then, I just enrolled.

Oh, man, did I hate that class. They put a fancy name on it, but, it was really just sewing. My mom had taught me the basics. I had made a few dresses and skirts before I left home. I thought I would be okay, but I was wrong. The women who taught the class were kind, but strict about sewing detail. Every day, I was frustrated and discouraged. I learned, but begrudgedly. Somewhere along the way, things got easier. By the end of the semester, no longer screamed at the machines and enjoyed looking at my pile of completed projects.

Though I still do not love sewing, I can do it fairly well. I have learned to make outfits without a pattern, so, with a little ingenuity, I can make clothes for nearly nothing. My husband bought me a $200 machine for my birthday the first year we were married. He wondered if it would pay for itself and I assured him it would. It makes it possible for me to be incredibly thrifty. Here are a few examples:
  • I mended clothing for a consignment shop

  • I've never purchased curtains

  • Once, my sister-in-law gave me two old bridesmaid dresses and I made my girls' Easter Dresses out of them.

  • The next year I made three sailor dresses and a skirt for me with one navy blue twin size sheet. Including trimming, they cost a total of $11.

  • Lots and lots of Pajamas. In fact, I am wearing a homemade nightgown right now. My daughter's flannel sheets got a big tear in them, so I cut around it and made myself the warmest, softest flannel nightgown.

  • Costumes galore.

  • I made the cutest skirt from an embroidered pillowcase, once.

  • Endless mending and alterations make clothes last longer and fit better.

  • An on, and on, and on.

Long story short, never has any purchase or class paid better dividends. I have fun coming up with new uses for old materials--tablecloths, sheets, retiring or outdated clothes, and extra buttons.

I'm going to make ivory-colored gauzy dresses for Easter this year. I'll take pictures.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Couple of Things

There are a few things I'd like you to know:
  1. Even though I never possessed the skill when I wanted it as a child on recess, all of my children can make that ear-piercing, high-pitched scream. It makes my ears bleed.

  2. This is a great article from the Rocks in My Dryer lady; if the title applies to you: If You're Sitting There With Spit-Up On Your Shirt, This One's For You

  3. My mom bought me these for my birthday last year. Even though they are marketed as slippers, I wear them everywhere--even church.

  4. I always let my husband go to bed first so he'll warm up those crisp sheets that feel so good in the summer

  5. My seven month old baby effectively cruises along our furniture. (Notice, please, the bruising has begun.)

  6. I am really good at typing with one hand.
  7. Today, I purchased Beyonce's new CD.
  8. Housework is so fun when set to Beyonce
  9. I have been pregnant or nursing for all but 18 months of the last eleven plus years.
  10. My couch has a cinder block under it to keep it from crashing to the ground.
  11. I received two pieces of mis-directed mail in today's delivery.
  12. I still struggle with spelling. I spelled "said" wrong until the 8th grade when I wrote "siad" on the board and was ridiculed by my classmates.
  13. I never misspell "said."
  14. The best feature in my old house is the laundry chute.
  15. I would like to be a Grammar Snob, but since I continually find myself making mistakes, I cannot.
  16. Sometimes I say "acrost" instead of "across."
  17. The heat in our house turns off if the outside temperature drops too low. It is infuriating.
  18. This makes me laugh every time.

Happy Monday.

Yours Truly,

The Mothership

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Musing Over My Decisions

I went to college in Hawaii, Jerusalem and Illinois--none of which were near my home. I never graduated. My dad used to bug me about "getting on track" in a specific program, but I couldn't decide what area (in all of the areas) I would most like to focus. My one argument for not entering a specific program was that I was earning an education, not a piece of paper. And, for the most part, that was true. I was a good student and enjoyed the classes I took. My classes varied widely in difficulty and scholastic scope and I learned a great deal.

Fast forward twelve years: I wish I had a college degree. I wish I had graduate degrees. There is something about that piece of paper. It legitimizes you amongst your peers and raises your own sense of accomplishment.

Having said that, because I did not, in fact, earn a degree, I have striven harder than most to educate myself. I want to be taken seriously; I want to understand the world around me. Also, without a degree, you can never say, "I'm done." I will continue to study and wonder and learn. This continued learning is healthy for me, I think.

I hope to go back to school, one day, probably not until my children are grown, and that's okay with me. I find hope in the stories of people who graduate in their old age. As long as my children ask questions I can't answer (and then go and find the answer), I will be prepared when the time comes.

By the way, if I could go into a degree program today, it would either be linguistics or ancient history.

What would your major be, now that you have a little bit of life under your wing?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mod


I am usually a capable multi-tasker. As the Mothership to my Fleet, I have to be able to answer the phone and nurse the baby and check the math page. I'm not sure what went wrong in my wiring this morning, however.


This is my under-eye concealer. It helps to disguise those nasty black smudges that persist in being a part of my face, these days.It looks kinda' like lipstick. Don't you think?

I was looking in the mirror the whole time. I swear. Yet, this was not on purpose.
I took a picture because, hey, who doesn't need another poor picture of themselves?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

RISKs

My husband is loving that I called him the Ultimate Man in a recent post, but the fact that he will play RISK with several 10 year old boys is proof in the pudding. Have you ever played that game?
I come from a long line of game lovers. I learned to play Pinochle before I learned to read . . . practically. My great grandmother, with her gnarly, arthritic hands would shuffle the cards as fast as lightening as she taught us how to play Rummy and Seven-up. As we got older, our nights would be filled with Pictionary and The Farming Game. My most intimate memories of my uncles are set around a card table. We learned to love each other during those nights of laughter and competition and team work. No one was allowed to be a poor sport so we encouraged everyone and only called each other mild names like "meany" or "stinker." The learned were patient with the ignorant, knowing the ignorant might be on your team for the next hand and you wanted them to learn quickly. We never gambled and cheating was only allowed if you were WAY behind, the cheat was blatantly obvious (like saying, in a mock tone of thinking out loud, "I could sure use a 10 of clubs."), and everyone at the table was game.
My husband and I have several games that we like to play. When the children were small, we would get Land Before Time XIII for the kids so we could play a game together. Now that our Pods are getting older, they can play most games with us. As Mom, I notice other great attributes of games: math, geography, memory stimulation, strategy, observational skills, vocabulary, etc. The rules established for me as a child, apply to our game table. The only game I am not allowed to play is Checkers; my temper will not abide that ridiculous game.
Having laid the groundwork that I am a game-lover, playing RISK with a bunch of kids is more than I can bare. It takes FOREVER to set up, there are a lot of tiny pieces and each play takes time and thought and action. Rather than allowing me to go freakin' bananas, my dear husband plays. If I put in Barbie XIII for the girls, I can read my book in peace--until someone needs a drink refill or they are out of popcorn--but, hey, I'll take it. And my son can locate Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Two Sides of Facebook

I joined Facebook not too long ago. It has been so fun, finding people I haven't seen in *gasp* 15 years, 20 years. People who were not responsible enough to remember to bring pencils to class now post pictures of tender moments with a beloved babe, or their sweet families in pumpkin patches. It is interesting to see the professions friends have chosen and, more often than not, I am not surprised at their choice. We rode the bus together for 13 years, after all. Even though so many years have passed and, hopefully, we have all grown up a bit, we are the same people we were then. I still can't spell or catch a ball and will talk to anyone who will listen. Also, I was voted Most Likely to Have Ten Children in my high school yearbook. I am halfway there! (And who ever heard of that as a category??)

I am no longer boy-crazy, having found the Ultimate Man. That legacy is haunting me once again, however, on the pages of Facebook. That's okay. It's embarrassing, but whatever. I can laugh at myself (mostly).

Many of my "friends" on Facebook I have wondered about at different times and even tried to contact a few. I still exchange Christmas cards with some. Most I thought I would never see again, figuring that time was past.

The other side of Facebook, though, is the not-so-great lives I am seeing. It is heartbreaking to see some divorced, lonely-looking, life-has-been-rough-to-me people. I had one person reveal his character by telling me, in the first line of a hello, that he is "making a killing" at his job. Who cares? I just want to know if you Like what you do and if you have Integrity in it's doing.

Today, though, I found a friend who played principle cello our orchestra. We sat next to each for years. (Yes, I played cello for many, many years. Have I ever told you that?) She is now a Doctor and teaching cello at University. She looks happy and satisfied, she is funny and sarcastic, and she is doing what she has worked for her whole life.

Why does she, and so many other found friends, bring me joy?

I can't analyze it properly because my baby had shots today and needs me. I'm sure there is something there that I need to decipher, but I'm not getting anything. My psycho-analysis has failed and my wrapped-up post ending is frayed and bleeding.

Maybe you can answer this question for me so I can go nurse my baby for the fourteenth time in thirty-nine minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just a Few Times in History


Today was the inauguration of our 44th President of the United States. Although I disagree with 90% of Barak Obama's platform, he is now my president and I will pray for him. I believe in voicing opinions, in talking over the many sides of current issues, of engaging in healthy debates to come to the most correct decision for a family, community or nation. I have no problem with people who may think differently than me, as long as they are informed and have reasons for their stance. Nothing grates at me more than a person who is super passionate about an issue, but is only spouting rhetoric they recently heard a favorite actor/singer declare (with obvious authority). I also think it is good to "mix it up" every once in a while to maintain a healthy balance in government policy.

While I think there is a lot wrong with our government and it's leadership, there is also a lot of good. Inauguration day is one example. The fact that people cheered President Bush and President Obama, the fact that President Bush and President Obama shook hands and had coffee together, the fact that the Bushes will walk quietly and humbly out the back door while the Obamas walk triumphantly in the front, is a fruit of some of the good in our government system.

I am intensely patriotic and am so grateful for the freedom and opportunities this great land offers. Tears come easily at parades, when singing the National Anthem, when a flag passes by or at any other expression of freedom. Just try to get through this with dry eyes:



Inspiring. Also inspiring was the quartet who played--I love Itzhak Pearlman. His violin cries.

Anyway, an important day, today. As my children and I stood in the living room to watch the swearing in, I told them to remember this day. They will be able to tell their children about it someday.

God Bless America.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gingerly Reaching Out to Fashion

So, here's the thing. I am 32 years old and I have five children. I want to dress attractively and modern, however, lines can sometimes be confusing for me. Though I want to be vibrant and fresh, I do not want to look like I am trying to be 22 or that I raided my daughter's closet. On the other hand, I have to be careful that I don't slip in to frump-town unawares or find myself in a dress I wore in high school--in 1995.

I have never been great at dressing myself. (Not the actual putting on of the jeans, but the choosing of the jeans.) Because I am unwilling to buy anything that is not 75% off, I do not buy clothes that work well together. I end up forcing the pants to go with the top that, combined, cost $8.50. I appreciate good fashion (love Project Runway and the very talented and inspiring contestants), but I am too cheap to buy it and not talented enough to create it.

A while back on The Office, there was a character named Holly. She seemed to be at least my age and--in my lame-o view--didn't cross either the too young or the frumpy lines. And she had dark, dark fingernails.

Ooh, I thought. Aren't those fun?! She made them look sophisticated, not like a thirty-something woman who missed her goth phase and decided to rewind. That's the only picture I could find that showed the fingernails. Here is a better picture of Holly.

My sister sent me a batch of really dark nail polish for my birthday. I tried out the dark brown first. I have to say, I am feeling a little sassy and, dare I say, sexy.
The problem with the New Me? Dishes. They don't like painted nails and do everything in their power to destroy them. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.
Maybe I'll paint them again the next time the stars align and the children don't need me to touch them or their stuff for thirty minutes together.

I hope you all find a way to be sassy today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friends

I sat down tonight with a black Charlie Brown cloud over my head. I was ready to write my first really grumpy post about how I quit this job!! Tonight, I was ready to send the kids to public school just so I could read a book and exercise and have my house clean for at least four hours a day. Tonight, I wept on the couch as I told my husband that I needed a support group because my job is hard and my responsibilities feel so heavy.


Then, I logged on and read your recent comments. You put a smile on my stubborn face. You reminded me that I have a great support group. You let me know that because I let my son make fake snot for his birthday, I am doing okay at this Mom thing. I'm not sure that I believe you, but at least the big black cloud is gone.


This fifth baby has thrown me for a loop. I think I've had some depression and I was impatient with that thought because I love being a Mom. My baby is an absolute joy and I love her with a Mother's Love, but she is not an easy baby. A demanding baby, plus home school, plus home-keeping, plus, plus, plus=pity party for Emily!


Thank you for reminding me of my blessings. . . you included.


I wish I could offer some fabulous give-away at this point in the post. You deserve it.


Love,

The Mothership

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Observation




Five year old pod, today, while driving:



(Exasperated) Geez, people!! What is the matter with you? Take down your lights! It's not even Christmas, anymore.



Rolls her eyes and shakes her head.


'Cause she's got her stuff all together.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Great to be Gross

I'm not a big Birthday Party Mom. Birthdays are always a big deal, but the children really only get friend parties two or three times per life. This year has become the friend party year.

I was searching for 10 year old boy party ideas--too old for Superman or Dinosaurs, too young for loud music and junk food. It is the middle of January, so swimming was out and we're students, so we couldn't afford go-carts or laser tag. What do 10 year old boys like? Ahhh. I know. Anything gross; so that's what we had: A Gross Party.

And, it was a total hit.

The house was decorated with toilet paper instead of streamers, and his cake? Yes, his cake was a toilet. I know what you're thinking, but, remember, 10 year old boys.

Dinner was Sloppy Joe's with foaming bug juice to drink.

After dinner, we had a garbage scavenger hunt. I put newspaper, wet toilet paper, cooked noodles, syrup, frosting and other slippery, slimy things in a kitchen sized garbage bag. I then added objects they had to scavenge. Plunging their hands into the sticky mass, they had to find buttons, paperclips, screws and other small items. Then, we made snot.


They are kind of hard to read, but, but I think they liked that.

They ate chocolate bars with a fork and knife while wearing ski gloves. . . not gross, but funny.One invited guest couldn't come, so the sister played along to even out the teams. I think they had fun . . .

I am sorry about this picture.
If I ever hear him say, You never let me do anything!!! I'll just show him these pictures.

Monday, January 12, 2009

He's Ten

Everyone said, Oh, You'll know when it's labor. Oh, really.

We had had my brother, sister and brother-in-law over for dinner and a game of Balderdash. That game always promises laughter--the crying kind--and each new peal of laughter brought on progressively stronger contractions. Pretty soon, they hurt in my back and felt different than Braxton-Hicks. My family went home, I cleaned up and got my bag ready. I knew this was it. Then, nothing. I went to bed. The next morning, my husband woke up ready for work. He looked at me and asked, What's going on?

I don't know!

He went to work. I had a some shopping to do before the baby came, so I hurried to the store to get it done. In the second store, I couldn't walk through the contractions so I thought I should head home and lay down for a while. At the check-out, the cashier asked when I was due. Any minute, I told her and she got an alarmed look on her face as she hurried through my order.

At home, I called my mom to talk about these new pains. She was pretty sure it was labor because I couldn't talk through contractions any more. Now that I've had five children, I realize that I was in active labor, but that day, ten years ago, I could not tell.

I called my husband home and he quickly showered while I ate some lunch. I knew that they wouldn't let me eat at the hospital and I knew that first-time mothers had long labor. I didn't want to be hungry for hours and hours.

When we arrived at the hospital, they told me I was probably in early labor and should go to my doctor's office to be checked. We walked the 1/2 mile to the office where the doctor told me that I was in early labor and would probably have the baby that night. It was about 2:30 PM. We walked back to the hospital and checked in. The walking had done some good work because my pains were close and hard. I could hardly stand anymore and leaned heavily on my husband until each pain passed. I changed into my gown and the nurse began her litany of questions. In the middle of her inquisition, my water burst--I mean burst. Water doused my bedding clear down to my feet and then a contraction. After that one, the nurse said the baby's heart rate went dangerously low so she was going to put a monitor in his scalp. As she lifted the sheets, she suddenly dropped everything and went running from the room. I was completely clueless. My sister, who had been waiting in the hall, came in and said, You are having this baby. I was thinking, Duh! That's why I'm in the hospital, but I said, I know. She replied, No, you are having this baby right now.

What? I am in early labor! It's my first baby! I have a lot of pain, yet.

Later, I learned that the nurse had run into the hallway shouting orders like Call the doctor NOW and Get in there!! and the like.

We had been good students at our childbirth classes and I knew what my breathing should be like in early labor. I was studiously breathing correctly. My nurse was making all kinds of frantic moves with the bed and the equipment in the room. My doctor rushed in and the nurse said, No, like this, then she skipped all other phases and went right to the final breathing technique. What? I asked. We're there?

The pain, of course, had progressed, but the next moment, I felt my body rendering itself into two pieces. Holy Crap. This hurts.

I began pushing and it took a little while to figure out how to do it. The childbirth class didn't cover that action. My husband, who had been studiously doing his practiced role, lost all sense of decorum and started hollering, Oh, my Gosh! Emily, this is amazing. Whoa! Look at that! You are doing great. Oh, Man!!! What in the world? Your pelvis is freaking splitting open. Then he made some hand signals that looked like he was peeling a coconut. You are Awesome! I can see the baby's head. NO WAY! It is my favorite memory of him.

Meanwhile, I had figured out the pushing action, and out came our baby. We had opted to not find out the baby's sex, so that was the first priority. It was a boy.

I was a mother.

I had always wanted to be a mother.

As I held my slippery new baby in my arms, his father stood behind his head. The new daddy spoke softly, Hello, baby. That moments-old boy craned his head backward and gazed up at the speaker. He knew his dad. I gasped at the responsibility that was now ours; this was no ordinary child.

He still takes my breath away. Happy Birthday, my boy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Comedies and Marriage

I don't drink alcohol. It's against my religion--no, it really is. So, at our house, beer would be on par with cigarettes for things I hope the children will try someday.

Meanwhile--

This is one of my husband's favorite movies.


The fact that we own this movie PROVES that you cannot change your spouse no matter how right (you think) you are. To describe the quality of this movie, let me quote Billy Madison's principal, Mr. Madison, what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

My pods are currently playing some imaginary game. I have overheard the following, Get me another beer, eh? and I need another beer, eh? and etc. There goes at least a week of effective home learning.

This could cause a rift in our marriage, but for the fact that our senses of humor jive in most other areas. For example:




When we were first married, he had fond memories of many "comedies" from the 80's. He would get all excited at the video store Oh, Oh . . . This movie is soooo funny!! He would then don an obvious mimicking voice and say, Frahnch dressing, Frahnch fries, Frahnch bread.


What the heck are you talking about???


We watched every "funny" movie from his childhood before he admitted that maybe they weren't as funny as he remembered. Um, yes.


I love being married. It never gets old.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

100th Post, New Computer

This is my 100th post and I am writing on this with my new computer. I was supposed to get a new computer last summer, but couldn't.


Being grateful for what you have makes it harder to be constantly wishing for more. My old computer was loved--by all of us. Because it was so loved, many keys were missing. There were no arrow keys, only one shift key and other AWOL keys, but the most missed was the B. Try typing without a B. I could make it work if I angled my finger into the space and pressed just so. Now, I just have to push B and a B pops up on the screen. It makes me want to type blueberries and britches and babbler and blubbering and cabbage and obbligato. 'Cause those are words I use all the time. Who knew a B could mean so much?


This was not the first time it was missing a few keys. Another obstacle was that we actually replaced the keyboard once. After a long conversation with "Kevin," (whose real name was Gujarati or Ashok), Dell sent us a new one. It was a Canadian keyboard. There is a difference between Canadian and US keyboards. The letters are in the same place, but the punctuation was wrong. As I tried to do more and more with the programming of my blog, this was getting irritating. If I needed a / or a >, I had to search by typing blindly until the right symbol appeared. **Ting** I am a ^!!


The battery was reduced to toxic waste, the memory couldn't handle any videos, and even Facebook would make the thing panic so it would just turn off. (I know that computers can't panic, but I don't know the technical words for it's lack of performance.)


I could go on and on, but I will save you from the stomach pains I have been experiencing for the last year. Let's just say, I am THANKFUL for my birthday present.


Come back often. There will be a lot of boisterous, bouncy, obstreperous blogging going on.

PS I totally know what obstreperous means.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thirty-two Years Ago, Today

***Today, for my birthday, I give you my lovely mother. I was the first baby of the new year in our small town, and was in the newspaper. Isn't my mama a perfect Madonna?***
I was due. The Dr. said he thought you would be born on Christmas… Here it was a week after New Years with lots of contractions –but no labor pains. I knew the difference. I was glad to get the date as far from Christmas as possible, but I knew that I was due. You see, my dates were not reliable for any of my kids… being a mother who nursed her babies for a long time (2
*blush* years) and with a very irregular cycle, I generally did not know when I conceived. --This was in the day before ultrasounds and all the other cool things they do now, so we made our best guess with the help of a terrific and very experienced Doctor. Dr. Dhillon was Pakistani, --during his medical training he delivered thousands of babies. He had magic fingers and could induce a contraction or ease one with a touch. I liked him because he told me he had a spiritual experience with every baby he delivered. He said I was due, and I said I was due… so where was my baby?

We got the two big kids asleep and out came the Monopoly board. We were playing in bed. (Why in the world were we playing it in bed? My big belly… what were we thinking?) Dad was whupping me big time… I kept getting the giggles and laughing. (I’m sure with my size I was shaking the bed… how did the little ‘thimble’ and the little ‘Scotty dog’ stay on the right property anyway?)
11:35 pm. I had a 15 minute long, painful labor pain. We put the game away (Dad always claimed I started ‘labor’ just so I would not lose--) got the little bag together and loaded up the kids. We lived in a small town 30 minutes driving time from the hospital, so we called my Papa (who lived there) and told him we were coming. My oldest, Joe, said “Have a girl, OK mom? Just have a girl.” He had not voiced a preference before this, but now he wanted only a girl.

The thing was, in all the bustle of getting loaded and getting to town, I had no more contractions. Well how embarrassing. We arrived at the grandparents home, tucked the kids in and sat around talking till 3 am. When it looked like I would not be producing anything remotely painful, let alone a baby, we went to bed.

Dr. Dhillon was expecting me each day for the past several weeks and upon examination my water broke. Within 20 minutes I was getting that welcome and familiar pain --so off to the hospital. —But wait! It was brilliantly beautiful out side! It was a cold winter day, 3-4 inches of snow on the ground with huge flakes falling gently, gracefully to the ground. Trees and bushes were coated with the silvery magic and we said for the first time (but not the last—)“It looks like a Christmas card!” We drove thru the town park before we went to the hospital.

Noon--We laughed and joked as we settled in to bring this new person into the world. 1:50 We went into the delivery room, with the best nurse (our own Grandma Betty) arriving just in time. A difference between my first two and this one—the room was darkened, and I did NOT take out my contacts… I wanted to see. This is when they discovered that you were posterior and face up in the birth canal. Dr. was able to turn you a bit. I could feel you right there for what felt like a good while—probably 45 seconds, but that is a looong time when you are in the peak of labor. Then, at 2:23 with the next contraction, you—face up-- slipped completely into this world.

I sat right up and started to cry as your dad told me “Honey, we have a girl!” I had not cried with the other two, but I did with you. I was relieved that we could tell Joe that I had complied with his wishes and would bring him a girl. All that dark hair and those bright alert eyes fringed with curling eyelashes made you a delight to gaze upon. I assume no parent can keep their hungry eyes off the newborn, and I was no different, I stared at you and stroked your thighs and arms and head. Then Betty wrapped you and thrust you into your father’s arms! Another first! Dad could not come in when Joe was born. He could watch but was instructed to stay ‘out of the way and don’t say a word’ when Mollie was born. Oh, our culture was learning..,

My Papa was standing at the windowed door of the delivery room, and your dad asked if he could tell him we had our girl. Betty said, “We can do better than that.” She took you out and showed him! Boy… we had come a long way!
I could see Papa and he put his right hand over his heart and moved it up and down, while mouthing “thump, thump, thump.” --It was his way of saying his heart was pounding with love. Then he clasped his hands over his head and gave them a shake in the gesture of triumph and job well done. There really is a lot one can say with only body language.

I got to keep you in the room with me --another newfangled innovation for new mothers and babies. In the middle of the night I held you and talked to you and starred at you. You looked so much like your dad that it made me laugh. After just a few days of nursing you softened and fattened and it was not so obvious, but those first few days, there was NO question who the father of this baby was.

This was a peaceful delivery. We were at a happy place in our lives. There was so much laughter and enjoyment around us each day. You were wanted and welcomed. Every baby should be so embraced, and every family should have the snuggling, happy, beautiful bundle that so blessed our lives.

Each day unfolded and it was as if you unfolded too. Each layer draped back and exposed more of the interesting person that you were. Heredity and your DNA contributed to who you are, and your family helped mold you. There have been things in your environment, and movements and changes in the world that were factors in shaping you—but all only to a point. You bring so much with you, and then it lay within your grasp, to become. You work out your destiny. It is fulfilling to me that you have chosen so well and acted upon those choices. God Bless You My Dear. ~~Mom

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

*&%* Computer

I know how I want my blog to look. I have several tabs I would like to add. There are a few features I want available to me and my seven readers. Having graduated from high school about the time the internet became accessible to the common man, I am fairly computer literate.

But, I CANNOT figure out how to program this *&%* thing! Grrrr!!

I desperately add //'s and :'s thinking at any moment the information will suddenly turn into a beautifully formatted page. Oh, crap, I say, again, Maybe there needs to be a ><

Nope, still not working.




I have heard of people who experience great emotional stress and wake up with white hair. I begin checking my hair each morning expecting to see a mass of white. When asked what happened, I will just say, *&%* computer and the questioner will nod understandingly.



Sometimes I feel like the dolt who is trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language--by yelling.

If you can't understand me, you must be deaf because I am speaking perfect English!



There is so much information out there, you'd think you could get a degree in computer programming. Geez. Every time I fill out a form, I get to check the portentous box in front of Some College so I should be able to figure this out. . . right?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Winter Fun

It is about -300 degrees Fahrenheit at our house. It is January. This is how my children choose to entertain themselves .
Hey, why have a fire if you don't roast marshmallows?

Family Fun for my Fabulous Five.

Where is their mother?!!


HaHaHaHaHaHa! Yeah, right. Many false things about this notion.

  1. I am not dainty
  2. They do not make books for my age and reading level that small
  3. My breasts are not as big as my head
  4. Like I would let my children alone with fire that near my house
  5. Like I get time to sit quietly and read (I am proud of my learned ability to read amidst chaos)
  6. Like my pods would allow their mothership to stay in the warm and cozy house instead of freezing in the wilds of the backyard
  7. Like I would want to miss out on their childhood adventures

Happy Winter, everyone!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Field Trip

Yesterday, my husband had his first day off of work since his last final of Fall semester. We took advantage of the time and went to an Air Force museum in a neighboring state. We chose this activity because of this kid.

It was quite amazing. We saw span of things from the Wright Brothers' Plane . . .

to the Atomic Bomb. (Incredible photography, huh?!)


This was the first of the computer-guided missiles. Am I the only one who had a computer like this in Elementary School? We played Oregon Trail on it. It had five-inch floppy disks that were actually floppy. It often needed to re-boot and liked to display the helpful: syntax error. They used this same computer to direct missiles. Hmmm.

Anyway, our second pod was a great sport and our boy was in heaven.


The third child, was not. She sat in the stroller the whole time. When I asked her her favorite part of the museum, she said, the leaf room. This was a corridor between hangers that had dead leaves on the glass ceiling.I am so glad I have children and that I get to educate them. I would never have learned so much about planes and rockets and space exploration if I hadn't had a child who asked questions I couldn't answer. I enjoyed seeing the objects we had studied so in-depth.

But, my favorite part of the museum? The three-year old pod begging for a souvenir.

I want a missile! I just want a little missile, Mom!