Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ruth birth story

I can't believe I've waited this long to write this. She's 2 months and a week old, and I've forgotten the details already!

In the weeks preceding Ruth's birth, my blood pressure was up and down - mostly up. So at my 38 week check-up my doctor and I decided to induce labor.

Bob and I took the family to church Wednesday night, came home and tucked them into bed, and once Daniel was asleep, headed to the hospital. I checked in at 11:30, and though they expected me earlier, my room wasn't quite ready. Since I'd tested positive for Group B Strep, they wanted me to have a full course of antibiotics before starting the pitocin. So they hooked up the IV, on my right wrist (I should have spoken up, but didn't - my left arm works better, and I hate it on my wrist), and started the drip. I was also given a sleeping pill that almost helped. Bob spread a sheet on the couch and pretended to sleep.

Four hours later they put on the second bag of antibiotics and started pitocin. Nothing exciting happened for a couple of hours, and then the Doc came in and broke my water. There was an immediate change, but she left right away and I *knew* one simply doesn't go from 4-10 in 20 minutes, so asked for pain meds. They gave me a shot of something and I settled in to relax with it and wait. Except, it made not an iota of difference in my pain level. I called for something different, and after the nurse called the doctor she reported that I had to wait an hour. 

At the end of the hour I knew my time was about up, but really wanted a quiet minute to relax before delivery. I felt the tension in my body and knew I wasn't open mentally, even if I was physically. The nurse wanted to check me before she'd give me anything, but I didn't want to be bothered. I argued and pleaded with her, and she just kept badgering me about getting "checked." She had to know where I was before giving meds - I told her I was 9.5. She said meds before delivery make baby sleepy. Well, newborns tend to sleep anyway, so I said "I don't care!" After a good 20 minutes of back and forth she finally got the doctor back in (doc works a family practice in a clinic adjoining the hospital).

I had a clear moment and explained that I knew I was close, but couldn't relax and open up. She then explained that baby has difficulty breathing if born on meds, so HAD to verify my status - crossed her arms and said "there's nothing I can do." Of course I was ready, so she got all business-like and said, "Let's have a baby!" She informed me that my pain was on account of Ruth pressing against my pelvis, and the only way to get relief was to get her out.

I was laying on my right side, and amidst my cries and groans the doc and nurses (half-dozen at least, seemed like) pestered me with questions, and finally decided I could deliver on my side. (I did with Elijah, after all.) So they supported me and I gave a push, but it just didn't feel right. So I said, "I need to move" and rolled over. Then the pestering again about did I want the stirrups or not, so I went ahead and pushed her out. They all oohed about how pretty she was, but I had my eyes closed (crying). Finally got a peek as Ruth was laid on my stomach, but the cord was pulled tight and caused some irritation. I tried to let the doc know so she could pull up some slack, but she apologized and did nothing. Bob got some pictures, and cut the cord while I was (partially) cleaned up. Doc said I could have more meds now, to which I laughed. Adrenaline finally kicked in and I felt no pain, but they said it would make me happy or sleepy, so they gave me some anyway (I agreed to it. I must say, looking back, that they were careful throughout to keep my wishes in mind and to not do anything without asking first). I never felt the effects of the second dose, either.
After the excitement slowed down I started begging to have the IV removed, but they had to wait for this and then that, and wanted me to keep it 24 hours, but I did finally get it taken out that afternoon. The nurses were kind and considerate during my stay, coming in together to check on us so interruptions were minimum, and only taking Ruth for a couple of minutes when necessary, explaining why and for how long. But I didn't rest well for all that, the bed being uncomfortable, Ruth awake, and my mind unsettled. I kept calling her Daniel! So, while I wanted to stay longer when Daniel was born, I was ready to go home by morning this time. There was the usual delay about getting the paperwork and the wheelchair, etc, but we were finally on our way. We stopped on the way home to buy stuff for Riah's upcoming birthday.

When I wrote this on my computer (duh! - I mean in Word, not online), I had a nice, mushy, introspective closing paragraph. But since that's not my style, I won't include it here. :P 


We hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year, with our family (including Zach), MIL and her husband, and next door aunt and uncle.

In the week preceding, Bob finished hanging drywall in the living room, and put shelves up in the game closets. We also caught up on laundry (like 5 loads per day) and cleaned the whole house. I was very proud of us that we actually sorted things out and put them away instead of just shoving it all in the closet. We also did some food prep ahead.

We provided a ham, stuffing/dressing, hot rolls, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry fluff, peanut butter cookies, a chocolate pudding pie, and 3 kinds of pickle. And tea, coffee, mulled cider, and water. MIL brought a turkey, dressing, gravy, pumpkin roll, pecan pies, and carrot cake. Aunt (who is recovering from surgery) brought a blueberry pie. 

Everything was set out on pretty dishes (mostly Polish pottery) and arranged in the kitchen.
We ate on Fall-themed paper plates with sturdy plasticware, and had Fall-colored plastic cups. This had its drawbacks, but clean-up took 5 minutes. The girls set a beautiful table with neutral table cloths and a runner of red and green sheer with pilgrims, pumpkins, preserved leaves, pinecones and acorns down the middle, and fresh flowers in the center.

This picture of the boys crafting after dinner gives a glimpse of the table setting.

After dinner we compared phone company stories and looked at the sale ads. About 3, the guests went home or shopping. We had leftovers for supper and played games. It was a nice, quiet day all together.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

oh, yeah

I remembered that I have a blog, and a faulty memory, so I should write things down.

Example of faulty memory:
Yesterday at lunch (Bob was off work because of Veteran's Day - oh, you didn't know he has a job? He's driving for a contractor for Medicaid, to take people to doctor appointments. Except today's his last day because he simply couldn't stand their lack of organization) Bob started ripping up his shirt, because it had a big tear in one arm (he had a T shirt under it, and it was at least 14 years old - two unrelated yet relevant facts), and when he got the sleeve ripped off but still had the cuff buttoned around his wrist (which, by the way, is a sign of why he had the shirt so long - most long sleeved shirts don't fit to his wrists) I had a visual memory flash of a tv character who wore cuffs, but not on the end of sleeves.
(How's that for a sentence?)
I assumed this person wore a short sleeved shirt, but really couldn't place the memory at all. I searched a few terms but came up empty. Then out of the blue, Bob remembered Snagglepuss (but not the name), and there it was! Mystery solved.

So anyway... what was I gonna say?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


I don't think I'[ll actually get anywhere, but wanted to mention that I REALLY want to write up Ruth's birth story.

Maybe a bit about my thoughts and emotions since then.

Maybe a piece on William's birthday.

But Ruth is getting hungry again. She's a sweetie.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

more fun

Today I had a checkup at 9:20, which meant we left the house at 8:30. This was great fun, considering we don't normally get up until 8. But it went pretty smoothly.

I had decided to ask for another sonogram, as my doctor told me to, to try to determine the sex of the child. She was eager to have a look, so that's what we did. However, once again, we couldn't make out any details.

Meanwhile, Bob took the children shopping. He forgot about Krispy Kreme (we usually try to stop by if we're in the area in the morning, and get a free hot doughnut) and went to Target. Sent me a text, asking what we needed. So I sent him a short list, and asked about the doughnuts. So they went to KK, but the light was out so they didn't even stop. Went looking for other food and ended up at McDonald's. By then I was about done, and sent a text indicating so. 5 minutes later he texted, asking if I was with the doctor; I replied that I was finished. 5 minutes later he sent, saying they were at Sam's. So I said to go ahead while I waited, and sent a short list in two messages. 30 minutes later I was bored and said hi. He replied they were on their way out.

When they picked me up, Bob explained what they'd been up to, and that they didn't get my "I'm done" messages until they were leaving Sam's, and only got one of the two-part list. So we decided for urgent communication we should use voice calls.

Went to Target, where I wore myself out walking in giant circles, trying to find the laundry soap. They have "all" jeans on sale this week, and we got a pair for Elijah and William, but when we entered the toddler section it became apparent that they only have GIRL'S toddler jeans, not BOY'S. So poor Daniel will have to keep on with what he has. So I was frustrated by the time we went to checkout, and there was a line, but it was moving. Then a lady opened a register in front of the one at which I was in line, and called me over, but the guy in front of me pulled his cart up beside his wife, so I couldn't get past. So I tried to go around the side, but then he moved up to load in their bags so I couldn't get through there either! I just gave up and walked away, letting Bob (newly returned from the bathroom) handle it. Kudos to the employee, who moved registers to make it easier for us to get to her.

Then we went to Harbor Freight where Bob found some guy stuff. Then we ate lunch at Applebee's, where the food was very tasty in reasonably-sized portions (looked very small, but was about the right amount), but the poor waitress couldn't get anything to the right place.

We headed to Fayetteville for Taryn's allergy shot, remembered the diaper bag so looped back to Applebee's, got the shot, then over to Hobby Lobby. Got some photo mats there, but decided to wait on the chair cushion fabric.

To Lowe's for mini-blinds, then Aldi for tortillas and produce and ice cream. We'd now been out for 9 hours, so I also got some frozen food for dinner, and we headed home.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


 Our dining hall today.

 The ceiling tiles as they fell.

 The temp repair job.

The new sheetrock (waiting to be tapes, mudded, and textured).

Saturday, 9 August 2014

One of those days

Sorry it's been so long. Perhaps I'll quit Facebook and start blogging again. hmm.

Those of you who are on Facebook know that a couple of weeks ago (maybe not that long) Bob was sitting in his chair at midnight, watching tv on the internet, when the ceiling fell down. Well, part of it; we'd already braced up half the room when it was noticeably sagging. He made a lot of noise and woke me up, and we pulled down the defunct paper tiles and taped up a tarp and garbage bags to hold it together until we could get to it.

We thought it through and decided that we needed to make the addition - the living room - open to the house to facilitate the ceiling rebuild. So we (by which I mean Bob) put in a window A/C unit that we already had, cut up a couple of 2x4s and OSB sheets to make the back wall of the game closet and close of the living room (former carport) from the future library (former garage). We also put in the door between those rooms, which was quite trying, as every possible angle showed level, but the door wouldn't shut (he finally got it). Then we took down the temporary wall we'd put up when we stopped work 2 months ago between the living room and the dining room (former living room), and built steps going up from one to the other. Cleaned the living room of the dirt and construction materials, and moved Bob's chair and computer down there.

We got one full and two partial sheets of drywall/sheetrock up yesterday, and leads to today.

The children's toilet stopped up and Bob discovered that we only had a cheap, ineffectual plunger. So I was to go to Walmart for a good plunger, rabbit food, and a few other items while Bob pulled down more ceiling tiles and the boys pulled out staples. Except the van door was left open all night and the battery was dead. So Bob pulled his pickup around for a jump start, and after a minute of charging, his truck went dead. Out of gas! We had a gallon or two in a can (for the lawnmower), and that was enough to get things started again.

I made it to town and got the necessaries, but on my way to checkout I stepped on a frog! Ewwww.
Came home and Bob started plunging. Daniel was very interested in proceedings, until Bob got frustrated with him and shouted "get out!" Daniel replied, "Oh, MY!" and took off running. The plunger didn't do it anyway, so we had to use a snake, which finally did the trick.

We did get the rest of the ceiling put up, finding two dead mice in the process, and discovering that the room isn't square (no surprise there).  Got the ceiling fan back up (only dropped it twice), and even put in a new light and power outlet (only electrocuted Bob 3 times).  4 red wasps killed in the house; one fall off the steps onto the concrete; 28 instances of an outside door left open (at 90* and 200% humidity).

So not a bad day in all, just lots of little bits that added up to interesting.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

busy work

Hello, friends and neighbors!

Just wanted to say a few words about my new hobby - reading! Now, before all my relatives start laughing, let me say that while I USED to read all the time, I got out of the habit for quite a while. But in the last few months, I have rediscovered the joy of reading, thanks in large part to my "new" phone (got it in December) and Kindle for Android, by Amazon. In case you don't know, Amazon sells Kindles as a stand-alone tablet-type device, but they also provide free Kindle programs for computers and all types of smart phones. Beyond this, they offer a multitude of books for free on the Kindle platform.  Many of the free books are titles that are aged out of the copyright system and are public domain - you can also get these on a few other platforms both online and by "apps." But many other books are offered on Amazon for free for a single day/days/week in order to boost "sales" of said book and make it more noticeable to the general public. I do feel obliged to mention that Kindle works great on my phone, but often hangs up on my PC.

So anyway, I wanted to write a review of several of the books individually, but realizing that won't happen, I thought it would be nice to at least mention some of them.

Just finished The Memoirs of a Prague Executioner by Josef Svatek. Maybe I should have said that my tastes have become more eclectic of late. :) This is "A historical novel based on actual events" set in the mid 1500s to early 1600s and gives a bit of history and insight into how society worked in that place and time. It was a little gruesome in places, but not gratuitously so, and I enjoyed the overall idea of the book (dignity and justice were strong themes).

Veggies NOT Included by Christine Lee. A story/guide to losing weight by counting calories rather than sticking to any particular format. Ms. Lee lost 130 lbs while eating fast food and ice cream nearly every day.

The Man at the Door by Elizabeth Carr. This was an engaging but unbelievable story supposedly set in Europe at the time of Napoleon, but coming across as fantasy rather than historical fiction. There was a strong theme of overcoming abuse, and choosing what to believe about yourself rather than accepting what others say about you.

Prism by Rachel Moschell. The story left a few gaps, and went from fiction to fantastic at the end, but I enjoyed it for a light read and wouldn't mind seeing the sequel.  About a group of missionaries in Bolivia and a group of "We're not terrorists" guys-who-blow-things-up-to-restore-justice-in-the-world based in Pakistan, and how their lives crossed and were changed forever by a miracle and intervention from a secretive peaceful organization. 

The Planner by Alexandria Swann. A modern-day dystopian novel. This one agitated me a bit because all these terrible things were happening, and the main characters just took it all in stride. Towards the end of the book the lights started coming on for them, and the stage was set for the next book.

Foreclosed by Traci Hilton. This was supposed to be a mystery in the guise of "If Legally Blond had been about a realtor." Not so much. The plot wasn't near as mysterious as the behavior of the characters (not like real people at all).

City of God by R.S. Ingermanson. Some guys build a time machine and send an unsuspecting girl back to Jerusalem, A.D. 57. They both follow, and one of them is a bad guy! shrug. I really don't have a feeling about this one way or the other.

Prophet by R. J. Larson. Fantasy, Old Testamentish, about a girl called to represent God to her people. I liked it mostly, as the story was engaging and the characters interesting, if not entirely believable. The horse was cute and would make for a good movie. 

Asylum Harbor by Traci Hohenstein. A detective is called to investigate a girl gone missing from a cruise ship and uncovers a drug ring. Not a lot to it - fairly light and predictable. 

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. This was interesting. Written 1864-66, parts were very dull and parts were quite insightful. The author died before finishing it, and it still came to 800 pages. A quote I shared on Facebook, because it puts well my own opinion on arguments: "I like everybody to have an opinion of their own; only when my opinions are based on thought and experience, which few people have had equal opportunities of acquiring, I think it is but proper deference in others to allow themselves to be convinced." :) I did find it rather hard to believe that a formerly healthy young woman would become so upset by a friend's death that she would be sent to her sick bed for most of a year, and everyone around her would be accepting if not supportive. 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs. Wow. Eye-opening for anybody who tries to think that slavery was somehow an acceptable way of life. 

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Another long one, also with bits of insight and bits that I just skimmed over. I could have done without Anna herself, but enjoyed some of the other characters. I enjoyed the glimpses of Russian life and the looks at human nature that were offered.   

A few others were started, but either the Kindle conversion was too poor or they failed to hold my interest. And I've read a few books in real life, but I'm tired of typing now.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Daniel grows up

At times I wish I were as good as Wil about keeping records, but I'm not. So here's a little catch-up on Daniel.
He talks quite a bit now, and has learned most of our names. Riah has been perfect for a long time, but Naysha evolved. It was Nana for several months, then went to See-saw, to Shesha, to Haysha. At long last he has called Taryn (he did just refuse to say anything for her) Taytan (which is the same way Naysha used to pronounce it). Ella is sometimes correct but usually Lella (yes, he has his ls down). Cedwryck took him a while to attempt, but he says something like Geh-gick. Elijah is Juh-juh. The funny one is William, whom he persists in calling "Johnny" that sounds like nonny. We are told that one time - ONE time - the children were playing some make-believe and William's character was called Johnny.

He now says Gam as well as Papa when he thinks of them.

He often says two words together, and the boys work at getting whole sentences out of him (one word at a time). Some words are usually repeated, like "sideside" for outside and "bitebite" when he wants to eat.

He has begun asking "why." This isn't so much a want-to-know as it is another way to disagree with a command, which he does frequently. His frequent disagreements seem to stem from his complete disconnect of actions and consequences.

He still doesn't like to eat much. He'll eat a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings, but only if I feed it to him. He'll sneak a fruit every chance he gets, and asks for (graham) crackers a lot. Mostly he enjoys sugar and simple carbs, with just a touch of peanut butter and cheese. No meat, and very few veges. He now asks for "geek" instead of ee-eee when he wants a drink (or a trip into the kitchen to look in the snack cabinet for graham crackers).

Daniel loves to go outside where he drives the riding lawnmower or pushes Tonka trucks around. He enjoys the trampoline when someone will watch him. Of course, he's not worried about safety, but he wants people to appreciate his moves and will call someone by name and say "look!"

He will occasionally look at books, but prefers the iPad. He will play with his toys if someone sits on the floor with him, and likes to ride "horsey" by climbing on someone's back, or just back up and run and jump into my arms.

He has noticed that when I want Bob's attention, I will call "Bob," and so he does this sometimes, too, though in most situations he says "Daddy." He is a good mimicker and several of his ways are simply that - he says "Fine!" when he doesn't want to agree, wipes his hands and face on a napkin, and blows his nose.

Recently he has correctly answered the query "Are you sure?"  Every other child will repeat the negative they have been declaring, but Daniel will say "yes" he is sure that he doesn't want something.

Today he went swimming for the first time. We were at the river where there is a large flat area with an inch of water, and then it quickly drops down to my waist depth. He gladly splashed around in the shallow spot for a long time, but would occasionally inch closer to the deep water. At one point he thought Elijah was having too much fun in his floaty, and asked about it. So I talked Elijah into letting Daniel try, and when he got into the floaty I just walked him out into the water. He really enjoyed it! We went over to the other children, and he showed them how he could stick his toes up out of the water, and repeatedly said a word that sounded like "raining" but I guess was "swimming." It didn't take long to wear him out, though, and he would just float there very still and quiet until it was time to go.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Day 6

After breakfast and packing out of the hotel we let the children run at a park for a few minutes before heading out to my cousin-in-law's parents' house. The cousin and wife weren't there, but their two girls were waiting for us. Their grandma was baking a coffee cake, and kindly entertained Bob and I while the children went exploring outside. After we all had cake and lemonade we took the girls into town.

We went out to Mansfield to the Laura Ingalls Wilder house, which was nice, but not as "magical" as I had once imagined it would be. The children enjoyed seeing items that were mentioned in the books (which the older ones have read), and playing outside with their cousins.

Then back to Ava where we grabbed a burger at McDonald's and then went to the drugstore for ice cream. This place ought to be famous, if it's not. They sell ice cream cones at 5 cents per scoop, in a dozen flavors, with a smile. After the dessert we took the cousins back home, and headed home ourselves. It was about 2 1/2 hours from there, driving through Branson.

We pulled into Huntsville at 6pm, and my allergies immediately flared up. Supper at Pizza Hut and then home to air out the house and go to our very own beds.
 Children play at Wilder house.
 Wilder's retirement home, built by Rose after she sold her first book.
The rock house wasn't open when we got there, so I got a few pictures through the windows.

Day 5

Sorry for leaving us suspended in time and space...

This was kind of a boring day, but nice. We went to downtown Metropolis to see the giant Superman statue and the Superman museum store (we didn't pay to go into the museum). Then across a bit of Illinois and across the Ohio and Mississippi rivers into Missouri.

In Southeastern Mo we ate at a Chinese buffet for lunch, and it was good! Each dish had its own flavor! Sorry for getting excited, but the Chinese places here are all just kind of blah.

(I'm working without my notes, as they are in the other room and it hurts to walk)

 We stopped at another small town where the very first Stars and Stripes newspaper was printed (during the Civil War). They had a nice museum there with lots more stuff than I'd expected. Also in town was a city park with playground, frisbee golf, and a few re-located log cabins.

Then on to Ava, where we stayed at yet another Super 8. Those things are everywhere!
 Bridge over Ohio River.
 Girls at the park with covered bridge and log cabin.
All 8 on the playground. Daniel loved the big slide and was up and down it the whole time.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Day 4

I don't mean to lose interest or details, but I am starting another trip today (just me, Daniel, and the girls this time).

Friday we packed up, had another yucky breakfast, and went to Big Bone Lick State Park, not far from our hotel, but the stupid map on the hotel computer told us to go way around through town instead of straight over toward the park. Anyway, they have a 4G signal in town, so I was able to figure out how to get back on track with just a 15 minute detour.

The park was nice enough, and we saw the bison herd from a distance and some fossils. There were statues outside, and a ranger giving a talk to a homeschool group about hunting methods (we were told by the shop keeper that he was out calling the bison, but she was wrong). The children weren't terribly interested, Bob's knee hurt, and it was getting warm, so we didn't stay too long.

We went south toward Lexington, and then west toward Peducah. We did take a side trip to Lincoln's birthplace, but because of poor signage we missed the "boyhood home" that was on the way. Just as well though, because the main park closed at 4:45 and we just made it at 4. Got some exercise, learned a little, and back in the car.

We had supper at Hardee's, which had a $1 menu and made lots of fries for the "large" size. Quite a change from the ones around here. Made it to our hotel in Metropolis, Illinois at 8pm. I picked this one on purpose because it has an indoor pool, and the children have been wild to swim since the trip started. On unloading the van we noticed the boys had been into things we told them to leave alone, and Bob was inclined to forego the swimming, but I convinced him otherwise. We had the pool to ourselves, and stayed about 1 1/2 hours. Daniel got in for a few minutes, but then stayed out, just reaching over to splash in the water.

We had adjoining rooms, despite having just booked that morning, so that was nice. Bob and I started out in bed together, but when Daniel woke up at 1:30 I was rocking him back to sleep when Riah got up and used the bathroom. I heard him was his hands, but never saw him get back in his bed (I was in the boys' room at that time). Once I got Daniel back to sleep I used my phone as a light and went looking. Riah had climbed into my bed! So I slept in his spot next to Cedwryck. As soon as I sat down on the bed I could feel a difference. Turns out that 3 of our 4 beds were dreamy soft, and the one that Bob and I got stuck with was hard and spring-ful. Always check the beds! Anyway, I got good rest after that and Bob woke up tired and sore.

Also, the one hotel with a pool was also the one without a laundry room. Figure that. I squeezed the swim clothes out as best I could and let them drip overnight, but they were still pretty wet in the morning.