Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Midwife Appointment - Week 34

Weight: 217 up 3 lbs from 2 weeks ago and +11 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight

BP: 104/80

Sione's HR: 140's

Measurements: I forgot to ask but she didn't say anything so i will assume it was perfect.

Head Position: Sione' is definitely head down. Not only did we find his heartbeat right in the middle of my lower belly but she felt his head already down in my pelvis.

It was a short appointment today. We had to take the boys with us which was an adventure in patients. I signed my consent forms for the birthing center. We talked about how i am feeling and that everything is pretty normal at this point.

Low energy, back pain, swollen feet, pain in my left hip, pain from a baby constantly kicking my ribs and punching/head butting my pelvis. It all goes in the "check here if pregnant" box.

We talked a little about how i am feeling about natural labor and she reassured me that a little apprehension is normal. She told me as long as i trust my body to do what it knows how to then all will be fine. In the coming weeks Hubby and I will start practicing breathing and other comfort and relaxation measures.

I go back in 2 more weeks and then ever week after that. The end is nearing and it is a little scary as i don't feel very prepared. It is a weird feeling since i have been here done this twice before and never really had this "I'm not ready" feeling. Maybe it is just because having a newborn and 2 other kids seems to be a little overwhelming to think about. The how's of this whole mommy to 3 thing is always on my mind.

On another completely unrelated note. The school called yesterday and MJ will start school on Tuesday with his brother!!!! We went after my appointment today and finished signing papers. I can not tell you how much of a relief this is for me.

For a whole month (barring a early delivery) i will get to enjoy my mornings all to myself. I can get stuff done, or choose to come back home and sleep if i want to. Woohoo!!!! Then after Sione' arrives i will be able to take the kids to school and then have the mornings to sleep/nurse/play with/admire Sione' just me and him! This came at just the right time and is such a relief!

To end on and cute note here is a pic of my belly last night after my kids decorated me with smiley face stickers. They had fun and i got a good laugh out of it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birth Plans And Other Randomness

I have very specific birth plans.

I decided before we conceived Sione' exactly what i wanted my birth experience to be like.

I knew i wanted an all natural birth at the birth center. I would have choosen a home birth but my pregnancy insurance will not cover it which is a whole other post.

I also knew i wanted the least amount of intervention i could possibly have. This means i dont want my water broken, i dont want any drug intervention (other than antibiotics for GBS if i should have it or need it or any life saving measures), and i dont want the baby stripped away from me as soon as he is out as they tend to do in the hospital.

I have all these plans but they all depend on one thing...Sione'! Will he participate with my plans? Will he be head down (they will not allow breech births which once again is another post), will my labor progress natrually without the aid of pitocin, will he be too big to come out, will he come out too soon? All things that i have no control over.

It is very very scary to not know that what i want so bad will happen. I at this point am not so much stressed about it as i am just hoping and wishing.

I know all things happen for a reason and if he is not meant to come via my birth plan than God had a plan laid out before mine was ever decided. I just want this experience so bad and i hope Sione' and God are both on the same track with me.

In other news i know i have not posted a picture in awhile. I honestly have not even picked up my camera in over a week. Weird for me but i have just been busy running around like a chicken with a cut off head trying to get things in order.

I promise i will have a midwife update and some 34 week belly shots tomorrow.

I really need to get the baby's clothes washed. My dryer has been eating stuff lately and it leaves horrible rust stains and rips in clothes so i have been washing things here and drying them at my MIL's house (she lives right around the cornor).

I have got the play yard/bassinet set up now. The organizer is filled with diapers and wipes. We still need to buy some of the basics like rash creme, shampoo, lotion, and such. We have a plethra of diapers thanks to al the wonderful people at my shower but will probably end up buying some more newborn as my kids are "usually" small lol.

I am feeling odd today. Not really sick or well just that in between where i am functioning. With 6 weeks left to go my body is dragging and tired. I think Sione' (crossing my fingers and assuming he stays this way) is head down. I have been feeling a lot of pressure the last few days and I am thinking of having my Midwife check me tomorrow just incase.

I dont want to take any risks. With MJ i was dilated 5 cm with no contractions and no idea (started dilating at 36 weeks). My worst fear is Sione' making a far too early apperence. Although dilating with no contrations might seem a blessing to some it is a worry for me as it leave me with no idea how far a long i am.

So i guess this is enough rambling and random thoughts for today. I just needed to clear my head!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall, Autumn, Harvest, Autumnal Equinox...

What ever you call it, it means the same thing. I personally like the word Autumn just because it makes me feel all warm inside! It tis my favorite season!

When i think of Fall a lot of memories pop out in my head from my childhood.

One of my favorite parts of Autumn is the food. It is all centered around keeping us full and warm. It provides us with comfort when days can become drawn out and dreary.

I have distinct memories of my Mom filling our house with the smell of yummy, stomach stretching meals. Usually followed by some sort of warm dessert.

One of my favorites has to be beef roast (always done in the oven cause that is how my Mama rolled {and it kept the lower level of our house warm lol}) with potatoes, carrots, onions, and a thick brown gravy always made from the drippings. Usually by the end of summer/beginning of fall there was some kind of cobbler to be made and served to already stuffed tummies. My favorite will always and forever be my Mom's peach cobbler.

I would have walked (and still would) a mile in knee high snow for this meal. There was something about it that just made me feel at home and comforted. Of all the things my mom cooked, these dishes are ones i wish i would have paid more attention to, and learned how to cook them for myself.

Autumn to me also means family. One of the biggest and most family oriented holidays fall in the Autumn. That's right people i speak of Turkey Day/Thanksgiving!

Although when most people think of this specific holiday they think mostly about food I always loved the family aspect of it. I love that the food is just what brings us all together. I could go into why we celebrate this holiday and why we gather together for it but i wont. I am sure we all went to school at some point and time and remember the story of the Pilgrims and the Indians. I am sure we all recognize the the Autumn season is the season of harvests. Hence the food and the gathering together to be thankful for a crop.

As i have said before i married into a large family. Holidays are always crazy for us. Thanksgiving is especially crazy. Usually i cook a small meal for the kids, Marcus, and I in the early afternoon because we don't eat with his family till evening. It is a day where we are well fed and much loved.

There is always a football game on that needs to be watched as well as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (that i think only stands to remind us that Christmas is now just around the corner). There is usually a mid day nap taken because you must digest all this food before pigging out again. Then comes the big family gathering. Thirty plus people usually shoved into a small house or building chowing down and filling themselves with warm food and good fellowship.

This Fall brings a new joy for us. This Autumn will not be like any other Autumn. This year we will be adding a new member to our family. We will have one more thing to warm our hearts and fill our souls with joy.

Little Sione' is due to arrive 15 days before Thanksgiving, 3 days before our 5th wedding anniversary. Although i know that he may not attend his first large family gathering, and i know i will miss being there for it, i also know that nothing could be more joyful and make me more thankful than adding this beautiful baby boy to our family.

Yes Fall is my favorite season for many, many reasons. Food, Football, Friends, Fellowship, and most of all Family! The 5 F's of Fall!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Who's Up For A Picnik?

No not the kind with the yummy food and cute blankets and baskets! The one you use to edit your pictures.

If you have never used Picnik i advise you hurry over now and try it out. No skills; no worry! Picnik is so easy anyone can use it. The basic is free and you can upgrade to premium for great prices.

Nell at Casual Friday Everyday is giving away a 6 month subscription for Picnik! I am soooooo excited! Hurry over and enter now! And if you choose not to cross you fingers that i win.

I use it on all my pictures and would love love love a subscription!

Birthing Center Tour

So i had my tour of the Birthing Center on Wednesday and it went wonderfully. She took about an hour to show us around and talk to us about all our concerns and questions.

The center itself is not what it sounds like. It is really (seriously) a house. When you walk onto the front porch and enter the front door you are in a very nice living room. They have a full size couch, 2 recliners, a love seat, a book shelf and a TV equipped with a DVD/VHS player. She also informed hubby that he can bring his Xbox or Wii and hook it up (as a side note i told her she should have never told him that because now he will get punched while i am in labor and he is busy playing football lol). Beside the living room there is a computer room which is open for us to use if we need to/want to. There is a full sized kitchen and dining room if we want to fix a meal or what ever we need (there is also a gazillion fast food places near by). There is a back porch where we are free to go outside and rock in the rocking chair and labor if we want to, right off the dining room.

There are 2 birthing rooms. The main room look much like anyones regular bedroom. It has a full sized bed, a very beautiful wooden rocking cradle, a rocking chair, a full sized mirror, and a large bathroom. In the bathroom (which is of comfortable size) there is a full size, very deep, jacuzzi tub which we are aloud to use for either laboring and comfort or to have a desired water birth. It is also fully equipped with all the regular bathroom stuff.

The second bedroom is pretty much the same except a little smaller. It is mostly used in case there should be 2 births at one time (which she said in all their time has never happened) or for family and friends who want to nap during the labor process. There is also another bedroom with a twin size bed for friends and family. There is 2 other bathrooms that are a little smaller and contain only showers, toilets, and sinks mainly for family and friends or in case you don't want to be in the tub and would prefer a shower while laboring.

They do have office space in the house (which is why the second birth room is smaller) where they do check ups and such for women who come there for their prenatal care. No one besides friends, family, and med staff are aloud in the building during a labor/birth.

They have all the medical stuff needed and do have a RN on staff. The main birth room is equipped with oxygen for both mother and baby if needed, a scale, and other medical supplies that might be needed in case of an emergency. They also have all the normal (birthing center) stuff like birthing balls, squatting bars, and such.

The hospital is literally right across the road if an serious emergency should arise but she said it is very very rare that they have to call in any medical interventions. They usually call ahead of time as soon as they know a birth is coming to inform the hospital so they can be ready with an ambulance just in case.

She reassured me that the baby will be placed (if i don't catch the baby myself) directly in my arms after delivery and they will not take the baby to clean him up until i am ready to rest and feel comfortable handing him over. This is a big relief to me as in the hospital i was always the 3 or 4 person to hold my own child.

We have decided, after seeing the house, that we want to take the kids with us (as long as i don't go into labor in the middle of the night). My MIL will be going with us to keep an eye on the kids (i am so excited because she has never been present for the birth of any of our kids before). Susan (the RN and the woman who does the tour) gave us some great ideas for keeping the kids entertained. She said a lot of people choose to use the kitchen and make it into a sleepover/birthday party for the baby. We can bring sleeping bags and movies, pop popcorn, and maybe even bake a cake. The kids can do crafts and make cards for the baby all in attempts to keep them entertained and also help them get excited and feel apart of the baby's arrival. i also feel like having the kids there would keep me from panicking (because of the pain lol) and calm me more. No one likes to show pain and fear in front of their kids so i think it will be of great comfort to me to have them there. Also i want them to be amongst the first to see the baby after he is born rather than waiting on us to bring him home.

You are required to stay at least 4 hours after the birth and are ask to leave no more than 12 hours after the birth. If i have GBS (Group B Strep) as i did with Phabian i am required to stay at least 12 hours so they can monitor the baby. She said since i had GBS with Phabian they will probably give me antibiotics just as precaution (even though i did not have it with MJ). Since it is such a very serious thing they want to take every precaution to make sure mama and baby will be ok.

I think i covered just about everything. I am still very nervous just because there is no asking for an epidural if the pain gets to bad and i do have a tendency to panic at times lol. I am also very excited to finally have the chance to get the birth i have desired all along. Things have changed so much from my feelings during the birth of Phabian and now. I want things to be natural and easy (that is not the word i am looking for but can not describe it at the moment). I have planned and prepared so much more and thought about things this time around that i never thought about with Phabian and MJ. It is almost like i realize now all the options and choices i have that i did not know about then.

Now we are just playing the waiting game. 33 weeks in with 6 1/2 weeks to go and not much to do now other than wash baby clothes and hope Sione' participates with our plans. I guess that is the kicker. We can plan as much as we want but it is all up to Sione' as to what happens in the end.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oldie But Goodie

This is one of my favorite pictures ever. I didnt have anything new to share today (i know right) and so i thought why not give you an oldie but goodie. The boys love there daddy sooooooo much and it was such a cute snipet of a moment that i cherish from about 2 years ago.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where Did You Get Those Eyes???

Ever wonder how genetics really work? Have you ever looked at one of your children and wondered where they got those big blue eyes or that hair from?

Genetics have always amazed me. How can two people have multiple children together that look completely different? I don't have to look far for DNA to just confuse me all to heck. All i need is a picture of my Mom and her sisters to really make me go how did that happen. Or even to look at my own children.

Example A of my utter confusion with genetics in my Mom and Aunts. They are all about 2 years apart. They have the same parents but yet all 3 of them look nothing alike.

My Mom, the eldest, was of average height at about 5'4''. She had hair much like mine (or mine much like hers) with multiple colors weaved together that naturally turn in the sun (i know lucky us). She didn't have fair skin but it was not dark or olive toned either. She, as do I, tanned easily and hardly ever burned. Her eyes were green for the most part but often turned with either mood or clothing (as do mine, yet i am told i look nothing like her). My Mom it seems was a perfect mix of both her mother and father.
(Sorry no adult picture of my Aunt Linda)
The second born, my Aunt Linda, took solely after her father (my Grandpa) who was 75% Native American Indian. She is on the taller end of average at about 5'7''. Her hair is like black silk. I always envied her hair and wished i would have gotten that gene. She has dark brown eyes that are both mysterious and demanding. Linda has dark olive toned skin. She gets even darker when out in the sun.

The baby of the family, my Aunt Kay, took after her mother (my Grandma). She is the shortest of all the kids barley reaching 5 foot tall. Her hair is and always has been golden blond and even white as the summer sun bleaches it out even more. Her eyes are baby blue and it always made me sooooo jealous. Kay's skin has always been very fair. She does not burn easily (thanks to the large amount of Indian blood we contain) but never much cared for the sun as an adult.

When you put these 3 together they looked more of best friends than sisters. Just 3 little girls who might have bonded over ice cream at a sleep over instead of being raised in the same house hold at the same table.

My next example would be my own children! Yea i know you didn't have to go far for that one did you.

Phabian looks much like me as a child. He is tall and slender. He has green eyes that change daily and brown thick hair. His skin is much darker than mine but alas his father is black (brown, African American, whatever you wanna call it). He has my head shape and a lot of my personality.

MJ, well he is kind of a mystery to us. He looks, by all facial and stature structures, like his father. He is short and stocky. He has a very round head shape with dark brown eyes. Yet somehow he has managed to gain blond hair (which i had as a child til age 4) and "white" skin. He is also personality wise much like his father.

Side by side you might not guess that they have the same parents. This leads me to wonder and think a lot about what Sione' will look like.

Will he be darker than Phabian? Will he be "white" like MJ? Will he have black hair or take after one of his brothers? Will his eyes be blue like Phabian's were when he was born or will he have a more honey/hazel color?

This all swirls around in my mind. I think it is the hardest yet most exciting part of pregnancy. You want to envision what your baby will look like but there is just no telling how the genetics will mix. Some people have kids that all look the same or take after one parent. Others have multiple kids that look absolutely nothing alike.

I know one thing though...I can hardly wait to see Sione' and welcome him into his mixed up, crazy looking, very different family!

Monday, September 21, 2009

In Which I Say Nothing

I really wish i could come to you today with a cute story about what the kids have done today or a inspiring tale of some deep learning or knowledge, but today is not going to be that day.

Today has just been one of those days where i feel lost. Not only when it comes to what to blog about, but just about everything.

I thought i was getting over my sickness/Bronchitis from last week but in all actuality it just went from Bronchitis to a Sinus Infection.

I don't know about you but i can deal with a cough much better than i can deal with a clogged up head. Everything is foggy and it is like i am trying to think and instead i just sit here with this blank look on my face.

Prime example of my groggy, foggy head.

Earlier around 2:30:

Phabian: Mama! Mama can i have something to drink?

Me: Sure honey. What do you want to drink water or milk?

Phabian: Can I have chocolate milk?

Me: Yea just give me a minute.

An hour later:

Phabian: Mama! MAMA! I thought you were gunna get me some chocolate milk.

Me: I am honey i ask you to hold a minute.

Phabian: I been holdin forever!

I finally realized my few minutes had turned into almost an hour. I felt horrible. I really did not realize that an hour had passed.

I wish i had some great excuse for my neglect but no. I was just sitting at the desk staring at a half empty email box.

This is how it has been all day.

My head is hurting. I can not bend over because it makes my whole head throb (which is going to make bath time fun). My nose can not or will not stop running/stuffing/being raw from blowing.


Dear God,
Please let 8 hurry up and get here so i can put my dear, sweet, forgiving children to bed. And if you can find the time could you please make the echo in my ear drums stop.
With All The Appreciation I Can Muster,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sione's Baby Shower

So yesterday was my baby shower. It was a long day but i had so much fun.
First i really want to thank my beautiful sister. She put so much work into it and i just can not thank her enough. She made it a beautiful evening and i love her sooo sooo much!

I recieved a lot of stuff so i think the best thing i can do is post a few pictures here and then send you to view the rest if you feel like it.

Am i not just sooooooo sexy (by sexy i mean a whale)! Those cupcakes were sooooooo good!

I hope you take the time to go look at all the pictures. I prosmise there isnt like 1000 (not even 100) lol.

Thank you to all the friends and family who came. It was a great day and lots of fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Midwife Appointment - Week 32

Weight: 214 down another pound from 2 weeks ago. I have gained only 8lbs total for this pregnancy so far.
BP: 102/70 very good according to my midwife.
Sione's HR: In the 150's but that is after she got done messing with him and pressing on him.
Measurements: 33cm, still measuring about a week ahead.
Head Position: We are pretty sure he is head down as his heartbeat is always found really low on my belly. His butt is up by my left rib cage and feet on my right side.

We talked today about the H1N1(Swine Flu) Vaccine and whether or not i should get it. We also talked a lot about what to expect at the Birthing Center and how they share the information with the other midwives.

As far as how i am feeling...well....I'm 32 weeks pregnant! Not much else to really say.
My cold/Bronchitis is coming to a halt. I am left with nothing but allergies now which can sometimes be just as annoying. No one likes to feel like their head is going to explode lol.

I had a small bout of contractions last night due to dehydration so i drank a lot of water and laid down which halted them.

My feet are swollen and as Sione' runs out of room to move around his movements are becoming a little more painful for me. For the last 3 days he has woken me up from a dead sleep at about 5am moving and kicking.

I am in the last leg and just cannot believe that i only have 8 weeks to go. We will be taking a tour of the Birthing Center next Wednesday so i will let you know how it goes and then back to the midwife on the 30th for my 34 weeks check in.

My baby shower is this Friday and i am sure i will have lots of pictures to share and lots to tell you about. I am excited to get it done and over with so i can at least say i have some baby stuff. Up until now we have not bought anything for Sione' and have nothing left from the boys years ago.

So lots of stuff coming up for me in the next few weeks and other than that just holding Sione' warm and comfy in my womb til he is ready to come out and meet us all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Dying...

Or at least that is what it feels like!

I have bronchitis. Anyone who has ever had this probably knows what i am talking about.

My chest feels like there is a thousand pound weight on it and to add to that a tiger has taken its claws and shredded my lungs.

My whole body hurts and i have a mild fever.

My head feels like it just might fall off my shoulders.

The only great news of the day is that i have the best MIL in the world. She came and got the kids so i could rest. Because i picked today (when my dear sweet husband has to work a double shift and wont be home til probably 10) of all day to be on my death bed.

Thank you Brenda you are the best woman in the whole world and I love you!

So the point of this whiny mess? Just to let you know that if i go MIA i am most certainly not dead, and Sione' is still safely inside. I am just hacking up a lung and trying to keep breathing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Of ERs, Exhaustion, and Sleep

First i want to say that i had every intention of doing a 9/11 post yesterday. It is always an emotional day for me and needs to be remembered. To all the families of victims who lost their lives that day, survivors who will forever be changed, and military personnel who have fought for out rights since that horrible day 8 years ago...Thank you! You will forever be in my heart and i will be forever grateful for the heroes that day.

So late Thursday night my sister called me. I had just taken a shower and was about to go to bed at about 11. She was freaking out and ask me if i would look up the ingredients in Excedrin. I agreed and started looking them up.

(Just as a back note my sister is allergic to Sulfa which is an ingredient in some medications.)

As i browsed through all the Internet pages she told me what was going on.

At 5:30 she had taken 2 Excedrin at work for a headache (which my sister never gets headaches lucky biotch). At about 6:30 she began to have some chest pains but didn't think too much about them. As time passed the pain got worse and worse. By the time she made it home at 10:30 her left arm was starting to tingle and go numb. Her hands were also experiencing some numbness. The pain in her chest was making it hard for her to breathe and it felt as though her throat was starting to swell.

She was having suspicions that something in the Excedrin had caused an allergic reaction. She wanted me to check if there was any Sulfa contained in Excedrin. When i confirmed to her that there was not any in the product but that it highly warned of allergic reaction to aspirin we decided she needed to go to the ER and be checked out.

She had never taken aspirin before so she had no clue if it was possible that she was allergic to it. She ask me if i would go with her to the ER and i obliged as i did not feel she needed to go by herself (her boyfriend needed to stay at home with the kids).

We arrived at the hospital at 11:30pm and filled out the little paper explaining all of her symptoms and waited. About 30 minutes later they called her back into triage and she explained in detail what was going on.

This is where are adventure sort of starts. The triage nurse was anything but hospitable. The whole time my sister and I are trying to explain to her the situation she pretty much ignored anything we said and replaced it with her explanation for things. Then in the middle of explaining to her the timeline of things she answers the phone and begins to talk to someone on the other end. After she hung up (about 3 minutes later) she said,"Ok now what were you saying?"!!!

Finally she escorted us back to a little curtain contained room and instructed my sister to strip completely down to nothing and put on the gown (why she needed to have no underwear on for chest pain we still have no clue). Then handed her a cup and told her they needed a urine sample (oh the fun of the ER).

After my sister did the above she laid down in bed and covered up since they had the AC set on 55 and it felt like a freezer in that place. The nurse (who would be our friend and comedic relief for the night) came in and hooked her up to some oxygen and ask her to go through what was going on one more time. At least this time the person who ask was listening and not answering phones in the middle of a explanation.

Then a doctor came in and explained what they wanted to do. Following her by about 20 minutes was a vampire (aka phlebotomist) who drew some labs. All the while my sister is sitting there holding her chest making me promise i wont let her die.

They came in and did an EKG followed an hour later by a chest x-ray. Then more labs (why they did not just put in a IV boggles my mind).

The whole time we are getting a good laugh out of our nurse who is by all means nuts (in a good way) and keeps us laughing.

By about 3am we had not talked to anyone besides our nurse in hours. We finally had opened our curtain so we could view what all was happening around us. We were lucky enough to have the best view in the whole hospital, right beside the nurse's station.

Now as another side note i don't care what anyone else says nurses are what keeps a hospital moving and patients happy. Our nurse was nothing less than the best ER nurse i have ever had. She joked with us, kept us laughing, and tried her best to keep my sister calm.

We watched as one of the other nurses (who had been on shift since 7pm and remember it is now almost 4am) tripped not once, not twice, but 3 times over what we all then began to refer to as the invisible cord. We laughed so hard that if my sister's chest wasn't already hurting i am sure it would have been.

By 4am we informed our hilarious nurse that we really needed to leave because out kids had to be at school in a few hours. Finally the doctor came in with the diagnosis!

Apparently this who thing had been either A) caused by stress, or B) caused by the caffeine in the Excedrin. Yes i know a very in depth diagnosis right! 6 hours of laying naked in a bed with nothing but a thin gown and blanket to be told you are either stressed out (which any mother of 3 would have rolled her eyes at) or you had too much caffeine (once again insert eye roll here).

Now as we were on our way home at 4:30 in the morning my sister and I began to laugh about all of this. Her chest was still hurting and we had no explanation. The amount of caffeine in Excedrin is no more than that of the caffeine in a bottle of soda (Excedrin 65mg, Pepsi 63mg) and since my sister is a soda and tea drinker i would assume her body has some sort of tolerance for caffeine.

As a mother, student, and employee stress is her middle name and has been for years, but if this was just stress why had she never experience this before? The solution of going home and relaxing was obviously not as simple as the doctor would have liked us to believe (she obviously did not have kids).

So we parted ways just in time to get a few hours of sleep before our lovely kids awakened. We did not end up taking the kids to school (it was there last day for the next 3 weeks since our kids attend year round school). My kids were up bright and early at 7:15 and i called and woke my sister up around 9 since she had to be at work at 11.

I laid my kids back down at 11:30 for a nap and we all slept til 3:30. Then my wonderful hubby who got home at about 5 took the kids to the park so i could get a hot bath and relax. I was in bed last night at 8:45 and woke up at 5:30 this morning.

The moral of this story you are wondering?!?

If you must go to the ER go late at night for several reasons.

1)The night shift nurses are nuts and will keep you highly entertained even if in the end you get no solid diagnosis.

2)You have an excellent reason to A) make you kids take a nap and B) go to bed really early.

3) Your husband just might feel sorry for you and give you a few hours of uninterrupted relaxation time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Pickle Jar

Some of you may have read this story before through email or a friend. I find this story so emotional and raw and it hold a special place in my heart. As a kid my Dad always had a jar that he put his coins in. As my kids have gotten older we have started the same thing. They get so much joy from dropping the coins in the jar and they don't even realize the lesson they are learning.

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They ended with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank. Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck. Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. “Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son.

You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.” Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly.

“These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.” We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. “When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.”

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. “You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,” he said. “But you’ll get there. I’ll see to that.”

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser

Where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and
faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make away out for me. “When you finish college, Son,” he told me, his eyes glistening, “You’ll never have to eat beans again…unless you want to.”

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. “She probably needs to be changed,” she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room.
“Look,” she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins.

With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt.

Neither one of us could speak.

From author unknown.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Football Is In Our Future

I have boys! Glorious, rambunctious, rough and tumble, boys!

With our third boy on the way, I cannot deny that I have wondered from time to time what it must feel like for others to finally be having (or have) a little girl. The pink and frilly stuff. The Mom and Daughter bonding activities. The sweetness that is sugar and spice instead of snails and puppy tails.

Then I stop and think how happy I am to be a Mommy to 3 boys! The moments I sometimes catch on film are priceless and not to say I would have never caught my little girl doing these things, but to watch my boys with their Daddy is more than warming to my heart.

Friday evening before football practice Phabian had put all his cars into a circle, and announced when ask by his Dad what he was doing, that, "They are having a football huddle"!

That is all it took for my husband to be in the floor with him lining up the cars and telling Phabian which car was playing what position. They spent 30 minutes talking about the cars and the different positions. It was a moment I couldn't let pass me by.

Later Marcus told me he use to spend hours as a kid in his room practicing his football line ups with his cars. He didn't need a play book; all he needed was what little he knew and a bunch of cars to start a game of Matchbox Football.

It was a moment i am sure I will always remember between my totally boyish little boys and there football enthused Daddy.

Yes I am a Mommy to 3 boys and I would not have it any other way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why Are We So Angry?

I have been reading a lot the last few days through blogs, tweets, and news organizations about the speech President Obama is going to give today.

To be honest i didn't understand the big uproar in the first place and now after reading the speech myself i understand it even less.

I am not going to make this very long i just wanted to kinda vent my frustration about the whole situation.

Here is a little fact for for you:

"In October 2008, 56.8 percent of the nation's 16- to 24-year-olds,or 21.3 million young people, were either enrolled in high school (9.7million) or in college (11.7 million)." (Source)

Now this may seem like a normal statistic to some but to me what i see is a very disappointing number. 56.8 percent out of 100%, people!!!!

Should we not be striving to do all we can to get all of our kids in school and college? Why is it ok with us that only 57% of our youth is enrolled in school? That means 43% are NOT! WHY?????

I say the kids need someone speaking to them! They need an influential person (despite his political affiliations) speaking to them about why it is important to stay in school. Would we have bitched years ago if Reagan wanted to speak to kids? Or would it be better if we had a sports figure who uses steroids, or a musician who beats his girlfriend give the speech!

There use to be a time when we respected the Presidency whether we agreed with him or not. We listened to what they had to say even if it meant sitting through long, mind numbing hours of stuff we didn't care about!

Frankly i think Obama is a great person to speak to our youth and not because he is "young and hip and right all the time" but because he came from a difficult background. He by all means and statistics should have fallen into that 43% of kids who didn't make it through High School or attend College!

All i am saying is this man is not Hitler! If he was then i could understand why people were so angry!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Beautiful Little Lady

I can not believe that this beautiful little girl will be 1 in a little over a month. How time has flown by watching her grow. She is walking now but still prefers to crawl because it gets her there faster.

She is giggly and happy but also can show you her temper if she does not get her way.

She loves to climb on anything that will hold still long enough and i must say she had a great time last night playing with my camera (which believe it or not she hates having her picture taken, but after exploring the camera for herself i managed to get some good smiles out of her).

She is spoiled rotten and the apple of her Mommy and Big Sisters eyes'.

She is one of the most entertaining babies i have ever known. She always loves to play a game of catch me if you can and usually wins because your are laughing too hard.

She knows no food that she will not try and her rolls make me wanna melt.

I can not wait for her to meet her little cousin Sione' and for her to teach him all her mischievous ways. I am sure they will be just as close (after she warms up to him) as her older sister and Phabian are.

As fast as it has flown by i can not wait to continue to watch her grow and learn. I am sure the next year will be full of milestones for us all and i hope i can be able to capture a few here and there.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

MJ's Birth Story Pt 2

Ok where was I?

Oh yea i had just ate some fattening, grease filled Mickey D's and was headed back to the hospital.

On the way we called the plethora of people that we needed to inform of my impending pain. Including my cousin and my sister who both were to be present at the birth.

We got back to the hospital and checked in at about 2:45. I was still not having any contractions and was rather happy with how things were going thus far. Although i did not really want to be induced I felt like i didn't have much of a choice. My doctor said that is what needed to be done so that is what we did.
As soon as they got me in the room here comes the nice nurse with all the paper work to be signed. Emergency c-section paper...check! Circumcision paper...check! Release forms, acknowledgement papers, will (ok not a will but you get the point)...check!

Next came all the fun stuff. The immediately put in an IV with fluids and antibiotics. When i ask why the antibiotics were needed, I was told because i tested positive for Group B Strep with my first child (but i did not with MJ) so it was just a precaution. I was not very happy about the unneeded antibiotics but once again the doctor said so and i would do anything for my baby's health.

Then they took my blood and hooked up the pitocin. All of this was done and the pitocin drip was started on a low dose at about 4pm. I was still really comfortable and managed to take a small nap before friends and family started to show up. At around 7pm my sister and cousin both got there and hung out as most everyone else had gone home (its not fun to just hang around with a woman in labor).

I was having mild contractions but still not really feeling them. The doctor decided to check me and i was about 6 cm so they broke my water at 8pm and cranked up my pitocin. Every 15 mins after that my nurse came in and ask me if i was feeling the contractions yet.

Dumb, dumb, dumb me always replyed not really (which was not a lie but i should have just shut up) and she would crank it up again. Finally at about 9pm they had the drip set on 400+ml per hour and i was beginning to feel it bad.

By 9:20 i was screaming for an epidural. No back labor this time just too much pitocin too fast and it felt like my uterus was being ripped out of my body. She checked me and said i was still at 6.5 cm and then called the anesthesiologist. By 9:40 they had finished my epidural.

But wait what is this! I feel the sudden urge to push. My epidural hasn't even fully kicked in yet!

I tell my sweet nurse (and i am not being sarcastic she was young and very nice) that i need to push and this was her response.
"You cant be ready. Your just feeling pressure. Here have some more meds in your spine."
She reaches over me and presses the button about 5 times and my whole lower half goes warm!

I look at her and laugh. I still need to push i said in a not so polite way. So she checks me again and is floored. I mean literally her jaw dropped to the floor and bounced back up.
In the 20 mins between when she checked me and they finished my epidural i had went from 6.5 to 10 and ready to push.

We called in my cousin and sister so we could get this baby out.
Just for the sake of mentioning, this was the first live birth my sister had seen and i am pretty sure it will be her last.
At 9:50 i began to push. Since we all know i am a pro-pusher from Phabian's birth story, you can guess it didn't take long.

At 10:01 pm Marcus Eugene Jr made his way into this world.

In attendance was myself, my husband, my cousin, my sister, 4 residents, 2 nurses, and 1 doctor!

I was happy that they didn't have to cut me this time around and I managed by with just a micro tear.
They of course swept him away as soon as he was out and over to the warming table where he was not at all happy being cleaned up.

My poor sister looked like a streaky faced ghost! My husband once again was a proud Papa of a healthy 6lb 2 oz, 18 3/4 in long baby boy.

When i finally got him in my arms he took straight to the breast.

I was so overjoyed that i didn't even notice the fact that my epidural had really kicked in now and i could not feel anything from under my boobs down.

The nurse politely escorted everyone out and after MJ has nuzzled at my breast for about an hour she took him to the nursery and me to my post partum room so i could rest for a bit before his next feeding time.

MJ's birth was a lot less stressful than Phabian's mainly because i was not a new mom but a more experienced one. I knew what to expect and i was not as easily panicked. My nurse was a doll up until the end and i wasn't starving the whole time.

I had a new red haired, brown eyed, daddy-looking, baby boy. He made and still makes me smile everyday. I could not and would not give him up for anything in the whole world. He is so unique and so special.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I need some advice. Today while we were at McDonald's waiting in line there was a very heavy man (probably about 400+) sitting at a table beside us. Phabian started staring and tugging at my shirt. I had no clue what he was talking about til i looked up and he was pointing at this man. I tried to play it cool and told him it was not nice to point at people. Then he did what i dreaded. He announced loud enough for anyone within ear shot to hear, "Mommy that man is really big". Besides dying of embarrassment and wanting to take them and run from the restaurant i told him that it was not nice to talk about people and i made him apologize to the man. The man didn't seemed fazed about it and even laughed. I however wanted to crawl under a table and cry.

I needed time to process so we could talk about it more so i really didn't say much else about it to him (other than pointing out that his dad is also big and so his his favorite aunt). Tonight when i had finished dinner and sat it on the table he yelled at his dad to,"Get your lazy butt off the couch". When i told him that he was not aloud to talk to his dad like that or any other adult he told me, "well daddy is fat too". I know it really hurt Marcus' feelings and it hurt me as well to hear my 4 year old talking like this.

Somewhere he has learned to associate fat people with being lazy. So we talked about it after we said prayer. I ask him where he learned that fat people were lazy and at first he told me his teacher told him (which is his answer for anything anytime i ask him where he "learned" something). So i reworded it and ask him where he heard that. He never did really tell us. Then we ask him if he thought daddy was lazy. He said yes and we explained all that daddy does and how that makes him far from lazy. We talked about how anyone can be lazy, not just heavy people. We also talked about how everyone is different and how the world would be boring if we were all the same.

I am just stunned and a little hurt that he has somehow picked this up. It is not something we ever talk about so i know it had to have come from either TV (but i can not imagine where since they usually only watch educational shows) or somewhere outside the house (school, playground,etc...). I am just not sure if we are handling this the right way. Please help me out here. If this was your child how would you go about handling it? Have you ever had a situation like this? Am i going about this all wrong? I am just so upset!

I come from an obese family and it just breaks my heart that my son would think that they are all lazy. I don't really know what to do here.


MJ's Birth Story Pt 1

I have been putting off writing this for awhile now and not because it is a complicated story but because i just could not find a way to word it.
MJ's birth story does not have a big lead up like Phabian's did so i am instead trying to remember what we did in the days leading up to his birth.

I guess it really starts about a month before his birth...

Just as a back story so you can get a real understanding i will start when i was about 5 month pregnant.

We moved from my Dad's house where we had been living since we got married and finally got our own apartment. It was in a little town and tucked away back in the mountains about a 15 to 20 minute drive from all my friends and most of my family.

I made friends with my neighbor who had a little girl 13 months older than Phabian (which is ironic since MJ and Phabian are 13 months apart), but still i felt isolated from the world.

I was a good 1/2 mile walk to the nearest little shop and since i didn't drive that was too far for a pregnant woman of my out of shapeness. Marcus was still working security so he spent many late nights and evenings at work and i was stranded in the middle of nowhere literally!

I rarely got visits from friends since no one wanted to make the drive to see me and i just felt alone most of the time. So i told Marcus that we had to move before MJ was born. I was terrified of being stuck there in that small town dealing with Post Partum Depression as i did with Phabian.

About 1 month prior to his birth we got a call from the apartment complex we had been on a waiting list for and happily took the new place. Needless to say moving right before the birth of a brand new baby is stressful and tiring.

So here we are in this new apartment and i am trying to get things all settled in and arranged. I was having lots of little Braxton Hicks Contractions but nothing serious or major. It was just a waiting game and walking seemed to be my only cure.

I walked a lot. Up and down the stairs to the laundry room, up and down to the playground, up and down to the store. This became a daily pattern. Labor never bored its ugly head.

So imagine my surprise when i went to my 38 week appointment and the doctor announced to me and my husband that i was 5cm dilated!

5 CM DILATED???? But i have not had any real contractions! My water hasn't broke! Are you sure you are feeling correctly down there???

He informed me that it is hospital policy that i must be induced since i am so far along (dilation wise). I asked him if there was any way we could avoid it and he said no that i could go home and arrange a sitter for my other child but to return immediately and they would be ready for me.

So learning from my previous mistake with Phabian, I left and went to the nearest McDonald's and ordered a Big Mac, Biggie Fry, and Large Coke so i would not starve in the process of birth. Phabian was already with his Granny so that was taken care of. I grabbed my things and off to the hospital we went making many calls on the way there to inform everyone of the shocking news.

Part 2 tomorrow, but for now here is the last preggo pic i have of me and MJ.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

10 Weeks To Go

I had my 30 Week check up today! I can not believe i am almost done. Only 10 more weeks (or less given my history) and i will be holding my brand new baby boy! I know 10 weeks sounds like a long time but i am sure it will fly by! There is so much to do and so little time to get it all where i want it. Anyways here are my stats for this week:

Weight: 215 down a pound from 3 weeks ago, so i am holding steady below a 10lb gain
BP: 108/74
Sione's HR: In the 130's
Measurements: Still measuring about a week ahead but that is no biggie.

So all is good and I have my next appointment in 2 weeks! Woohoo!!!