So much for getting back to the blog on Thursday.
So... William turned 1. He is my "best" baby so far. :-P He is very good-natured, likes Bob and I equally, isn't overly clingy, hasn't been sick much at all (even with Chicken Pox he did very well). He is also the only one to NOT be walking by this age, and as he immediately followed our earliest walker, it stands out a little. He doesn't talk yet, either, but he's working on that, too. William was a "good" nurser (as was Riah) - he didn't bite or scratch - and he weaned easily. Now he is almost entirely self-fed (he likes that better than me feeding him with a fork). He shows left-handed tendancies. I figured it was bound to happen, with left-handed ancestors on both sides of the family. So even with 5 older siblings, he is one of a kind.
William's birth was interesting, too. We'd been told we were having a girl, and just accepted that as fact. Baby boy clothes were packed away in anticipation of our coming move to England. After Ella's 1 hour labor we weren't taking any chances, so when I woke up at 2:30 the morning before the due date, with a contraction, we headed on to the hospital. I knew it wasn't urgent, but we wanted to be prepared. We thought about just hanging out in the waiting room until it was time, but met a nurse in the hallway who said they were pretty busy and we'd better go get a room. So we checked in and I got the initial exam, and then my nurse came back with the I V. I looked at Bob, looked at that needle, and said, "Is there anything I can say to convince you not to do that?" She gave the expected answer about hospital policy, and we said something about signing a waiver, so she asked her supervisor. They came back and tried to talk me into it, but in the end said I could do without it. YAY!!! I had Bob take a picture of the full bag hanging there in the corner, as a symbol of victory.
Then I got comfy and - I suppose some would call it self-hypnosis - but I calmed my mind by singing "How great is our God" over and over and over to myself. It started to wear out, so I did change things up a little with Jesus Loves Me. After an hour or so (how one loses track of time!) the nurse came back to check my dilation. I knew it wasn't time yet, and I knew I'd be able to give fair warning. So in the fog I saw her putting on her gloves, and I tried to turn over, but it wasn't happening. So I said, "Why don't I let you know when I'm ready?" And she snapped off her gloves and said, "I guess you can do whatever you want," and left the room. Hehehe. I didn't see her again until it was time, but I know she came in to check the machines.
I let people know when it was time to deliver, and with a couple of pushes and a shout, there was a baby. Bob's famous first words were, "Somebody fibbed to us." AHHH! What? "It's a boy." A nurse turned around and asked the Dr to confirm, and he mumbled something. Bob told me later that he'd said, "I don't know, I haven't looked yet." Sure enough, a boy. We had no name, no clothes, no plan. We settled on William (after my father) pretty quickly, but still didn't have a middle name picked out when the birth certificate lady came by. So he is officially just William. We added Arthur a couple of days later (Bob's maternal great-grandfather).
This Thursday Bob worked long and hard, so he wasn't even here for dinner, but we saved the cupcakes and the singing until Bob was home. We didn't get any presents, as we didn't think William would notice.
Friday William had a checkup at the base doctor, and had to get a finger stick for an iron count. After that Bob was off work (a little early), so we met at the playground where the children were enjoying the sunshine, and then went to Mildenhall together. He was supposed to meet someone about a blender, but couldn't remember at which building, so that fell through. We went through the BXtra and got a bouncy ball "for William." Then we had dinner at the club there (hadn't been there before). The food was okay, but the waiter was kind of rude. He never spoke to us, never offered anything. He was slow. He picked up Ella's coloring paper that she'd dropped and (instead of handing it to her) threw it away. grrr. He didn't get a big tip, and probably thought he was justified in not wasting a lot of time at our table. Oh, well.
Saturday our friend Chloe turned 1, and she had a birthday party at the bowling alley. So we went, and bowled two games, ate, had presents, and watched the first quater of the OU-TX game. I wanted to stay and see it through, but Bob couldn't think of anything to take the children to do while I did, so we came home. I watched the scores online (not quite real-time, but close) and TX won, so I guess it's just as well I didn't see the whole thing. On the way we stopped in Moulton and walked around and saw the Fall colors, and picked blackberries beside the path. Ella fell while running down the Packhorse Bridge and cut her hand on the gravel. The blackberries were very good, all the more as we expected them to be finished for the year.
Sunday, being unhappy with the base chapel, we decided to go with the weather. If it was nice, we'd go out, and if it wasn't, we'd try some other church. It was nice. So we went to Castle Rising Castle again. Bob wasn't happy with his pictures the last time we'd visited, and it isn't too far away. We got picnic fixings, a preaching tape, and the usual gear and headed out. We had a picnic on the grounds, then toured the castle, and bought a few things at the gift shop. Then we went on north a little bit and found a beach with a parking lot. The tide was out, but there wan't much sand - a big stretch of mud, then gravel and shells. We collected a lot of shells, scooped up sand, and generally ran around and had a good time. Bob's knee was hurt from the bowling, so I drove home. We went into Newmarket for dinner, settling on fried chicken. We got a meal deal at KFC which included chicken, fries, sides, soda, and ice cream. They don't have biscuits.
Monday was Columbus Day, so Bob was off work. I'd heard about a "Warehouse Clearance" store in Bury St Edmunds, so we looked it up and decided to go see. We took winding back roads over, and at one point Bob pulled over and he and I got out and picked blackberries on the side of the road. They were so thick! And so sweet, there was almost no flavor other than sugar. We dug out an empty doughnut box from the back of the van and quickly filled it for a cobbler/pie. On to the store. They had Christmas cards for 1GBP per box, and knitting yarn (they call it wool, even when it's polyester) 4 balls for 1 GBP. As a GBP is only $1.70 now, it was a good price. I got some yarn for a hat and scarf for Riah, and some cards, and YAY! - lettuce seeds. For the price of one salad, I can eat it all year. After that we decided to suck it up and get some groceries, so we went to Lakenheath, had dinner at Burger King (which cost more than the one at KFC in town, and no ice cream), and then to the commissary. Even so, we got home before dark.
And that's what I've been up to lately. Today it's catch up on laundry and school, dishes and dinner, knitting and blogging. Tomorrow we have a WIC appointment (for more free milk), and Thursday I have a Dr checkup. I'm not sure when I'm supposed to catch my breath.
Bob's not much better at work, as his supervisor has been away all week taking care of the affairs of an airman who died in a car crash. Another airman in the shop was court-marshalled for drunk driving, and Bob had to see him through the court proceedings, and now has to visit him in jail. Not to mention Bob wanted to see about getting his pasport, and check in with the housing office. (After a week of cold weather, we figured it would be nice to have free heat, after all, so we're going to see about updating our housing preferences. Not sure if it'll do any good, but it's worth a try.)
So now that you've read this far, congratulations. I'll quit now.