Thursday, July 26, 2012

thursday morning at home

My favorite part of going away is coming home again!

Oh and funny thing. When we arrived back home last night I sorted mail and caught up on my newspaper reading {Dear Abby, anyone?}. And then I read our local Family Living magazine. One of the articles highlighted some fun summer activities. Number one on their list was this:

Well, all be. Turns out our kid’s stellar idea got published. Copycats.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cousin Time

While at Jami’s: Brooke and Brynlee attended an “exploring the great outdoors” camp, we slept in the camp trailer, took 4-wheeler rides with grandpa, cooked Dutch Oven in the rain, ate dinner on the patio, snuggled baby Marlee and laughed at baby Chloe’s vocals. We ate rice krispie treats with a bowl and spoon, rode bikes, played in the little swimming pool, stayed up way to late and so much more. I love my family!
{And we miss you Spencer. Today we will be driving east on I86. Homeward bound. Can’t wait to see you.}
**pa and baby marlee**

**cousins//the boys**

**homemade water pinatas//another of the kid's stellar ideas**

**baby blue**

**babysitting by aunt marie**

**the office//the girls//the computer**

**sharing a soda**

**smiling with grandma**

**i spy//zayne//do you?**

And then we did laundry.

Sometimes the kids and I load up the car and vacation at our cousin’s house for a few days.

And sometimes when the kids are entertaining themselves, Jami, mom and I lose ourselves in a subpar Netflix movie and pretend that we have nothing in the world that needs doing.

And sometimes when watching a movie we get junk food craving so we charge Marie with making us chocolate chip cookies.

And then sometimes the house gets quiet and the movie gets entertaining and we eat chocolate chip cookies and share glasses of milk.

And then sometimes the kids {who are busy being kids} get stellar ideas.

And sometimes those stellar ideas involve a garden house and an unplanted flower bed.

And then when we pause said movie to check on why the house is so quiet we see this out the window:

And sometimes when we see kids causing mayhem it’s easier {and more enjoyable} to just close the curtains, pretend we didn’t notice and return to our show. And eat more cookies.

And then, sometimes, when the movie is over we peek out the window and realize the mud bath is still in process, so we close back up the curtains, turn off the lights and take a cat nap.

And then – eventually – we hear children at the back door announcing that they accidently got a tiny bit dirty. {uhhhh, ya think!} So we spray them down with a garden hose, strip them naked on the patio, and toss all four of them in the tub.

Because sometimes making memories gets messy.

And sometimes a chick flick and a nap are oh so worth the mess!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

12 on the 12th [06.12.12]

I have exactly 25 minutes before I am supposed to go help my sister paint ceilings in her new house. In that time I am going to get my June 12 on the 12th posted. Because it is now July 18th and Marlee is five weeks old.

Anyway, ready, GO…

01.   Awoken. A 4:00am contraction wake-up call confirmed it was baby day.
02.   Refresher. As not to make my hospital arrival during the transition stage again {like I had done with Jace} I googled a refresher on how to time contraction.
03.  Monitoring. 6:30 am we arrived at the hospital. I love the repetitive sound of a tiny beating heart.
04.  Good Luck Charm. I proudly wore the handcrafted good luck bracelet that Brynlee had made for me.
05.  Safe Arrival. Our sweet baby Marlee arrived at 10:08 am, safe and sound. And screaming.
06.  Exhaustion. Hot dang. I look like a rockstar. A swollen, exhausted, just returned from a miserable trip to Hades kinda rockstar. Oh, and my hair…Spence did it for me. Not bad, huh.
07.  Perfection. Spence went to the nursery and gave Marlee her first bath. When they returned we unwrapped the swaddled little darling and examined her miniature-ness. Toes, hands, ears, little bum…everything is so much cuter when it’s pint size.
08. Visitors. And then big sister, Brynlee, and big brother, Jace, arrived. Along with cousins Brooke and Zayne and Aunt Jami and Katie. Thanks girls for watching my kiddos – aren’t sisters the best. {I just realized that I cut Brookie out of that picture, but I don’t have time to fix it {25 minutes, remember}. Just image she is standing by Brynlee in all her Brookie glory with a paper constructed nurse’s hat and a pink bow attached to her head.} {Also take note of Brynlee’s shirt. Brynlee and Brooke were a tad bit worried about getting their matchy matchy cheer camp shirts mixed up so they wrote their names across the front of their shirts with ORANGE SHARPIE MARKER. Awesome.}
09.  Bearing Gifts. The gang brought some pink balloons for our new little princess and a pink and white orchid for me.  
10.   Meeting Marlee. I was so excited to finally have Marlee here because, well, pregnancy sucks. Duh! But also because I couldn’t wait for Brynlee and Jace to meet her - to make everything we had been talking about and preparing for a reality. The whole experience hasn’t disappointed at all. Without hesitation they both accepted her into our little family. They are such proud siblings.
11.    Big Brother. Jace walked into my hospital room with arms extended ready to hold his new sister. Kinda like, hand over the baby, big brother’s here. I still smile just thinking about it. So.Dang.Cute!
12.   Our Sweet Angel.  How could something so tiny make a group of people so happy? And to think we didn’t even know we were missing her before she arrived. Funny how that works, isn’t it.
And that pretty much wrapped up my hospital stay. We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am, Marlee was born at 10:00 am and exactly 24 hours later at 10:00 am our new little family of five was homeward bound. And for the last five weeks we have invested the majority of our time staring at her itty bitty perfection. I truly could sit and smell her all day long. That smell! It’s the aroma of heaven, I suppose. So refreshing, so intoxicating. I’m so glad she joined our family.

Well, for now. Ask me again in two years.

{Kidding. I hope!}

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Baby, My Love

Photos by my super talented sister-in-law, Sarah.
Thanks Sarah, you are the best!.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Birth: The Rest

This is the second half of Marlee’s birth story.
To read the first half click here.
I almost didn’t make it to the hospital when I delivered Jace. Truly, I didn’t. I labored at home soaking in our bathtub a bit too long. So long that he was this close to being one of those babies that got delivered by their dad in the back seat of the family car. I had promised myself that this time around I was going to be a better judge of contractions. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but I was also more aware that my labor was capable of moving very quickly. I told myself I could soak in the tub just until contractions made me want to swear and then it was time to wake up Spencer and head in the hospitals direction.

I kept my commitment and as soon as my contractions got to the hurts like the dickens level {which is a couple notches above the I hate being a women level and slightly below the I wish I were dead level} I climbed out of the bathtub, woke Spencer, and dressed for the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital it was 6:30 am and I was at a 6 and 75% effaced.  My advanced laboring state angered the nursing staff.  I’m not even kidding. The hospital was packed {remember how they canceled my induction} and they were overwhelmed with the thought of yet another labor and delivery. “Why does every mother in [our town] have to choose today to have a baby,” one nurse said to another while standing by my bed. Spencer and I rolled our eyes and I breathed my way through another contraction. Excuse me! And sorry for the inconvenience, but like it or not, this baby’s coming!!

The contractions kept getting longer, more intense and less manageable. I knew it wasn’t going to be long.

After some blood work, an IV and a debate over which type of antibiotics I would be given {I was strep B positive, but also allergic to amoxicillin} they asked me if I wanted an epidural. I declined. Because I’m borderline crazy!

I had an epidural when I delivered Brynlee. I think mainly because that was what I thought you were supposed to do. Everybody I knew delivered their babies with epidurals. I mean - why not - it hurts like hell without one. And then with Jace I didn’t have an epidural {because, again, I almost had him in the car…there just wasn’t time for it}. After everything was said and done I decided that I actually liked the epidural free experience better. I wasn’t as tired afterwards, Jace was more alert, I could walk around during and right after labor, I felt like a superhero, and – the best part - I didn’t have to have a huge ole’ needle stuck in my spinal cord {{shudder}}.  I mean, there are definite benefits to an epidural – like, you know, PAIN RELIEF, but I was determined to deliver without one. I had done it before, I could do it again.

So anyways, I declined the epidural.

The nurse came back in a little while later to check me - I was at an eight – and she told me that she was going to call Doctor Cox in to break my water. I agreed, but asked if I could have some sort of pain medication to take the edge off before he did. I knew that after my water was broke the already dreadful contractions would only intensify. Up to this point I had had no pain relief (unless you count the two Tylenol that I had taken at 4:00 in the morning for the pounding headache) and I was now at the I wish I were dead level and wanted some kind of something to dull the pain a bit.

Her response – are you ready for this - they didn’t have anything! NO FOOLIN’! The HOSPITAL didn’t have ANYTHING!?  Say what?  No narcotics. Are you kidding me? Then call in a local drug dealer, exchange all my belongings for a dosage of Demerol, sell my soul for some Nubain…I didn’t care how I got it, I just wanted SOMETHING.

She mumbled on about some sort of drug shortage something or another and how they had used their limited supply and didn’t have anything available {I’m not making this stuff up you guys} and then she called in Dr. Cox to break my water and left the room.

Spencer tried to comfort me.

Just as I expected, my contractions continued to intensify. I went from an I wish I were dead level to a please, kill me level quickly. It hurt. A lot! I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t scream and most definitely couldn’t control the pain enough to have a baby! And then shortly after I reached that dark place where I was certain I was going to die Marlee Danielle was born.

After nine months of misery, I’d found the cure. She was beautiful, healthy, and came out screaming. And suddenly was totally worth it. The puking, the nausea, the maternity clothes, the puking, the downiness, the cravings, the weight gain, the puking, the delivering a baby on Tylenol alone! All of it, worth it.  

And life with baby Marlee at our house is just as sweet as can be.

*Marlee was born two days before her due date, on June 12, 2012 at 10:08 am.
*She shares a birthday with her Great Grandpa Jess.
*She was delivered by Dr. Cox. The same doctor that delivered Brynlee and Jace.
*She is named after her daddy: Daniel Spencer.
*Her Birth Stats: 7 pounds 8 ounces // 21 inches.

12 on the 12th [07.12.12]

On July 12th Marlee turned one month old. I cannot believe how fast time is going. There is no way it has already been a whole month.

Also on the 12th, Spencer and I celebrated our anniversary. Except for, we didn’t!! Because we didn’t have a babysitter so we had to celebrate on the 13th instead. {I just didn’t want you to think that we celebrated our ninth anniversary with Easy Bake Oven cookies and a movie with Kali and her kids [sans Spencer]}.

In hindsight I should have at least taken a picture of us on our actual anniversary. But oh well, I will do it next year. You will still be around won't ya Spencer?

01.   Nine Years Old. July 12, 2003 I became [The Mrs.] and I haven’t stopped bossing him around since. He’s so lucky to have me.  
02.   In the big bed. Why is it that babies wake every hour all.theflippin.night.long but as soon as morning comes they can sleep for hours. And why is it that the minute you lay them in the crib they wake, but laying them on your bed doesn’t have the same effect.
03.  Bob Book. Spencer made a deal with the kids. Prizes are involved. As is reading {for the six year old} and going to sleep alone {for the three year old}. Prizes motivate my children.
04.  I spy. A little girl decorating her face with her mama’s make-up.
05.  Proud Brother.  Someday I am going to count how many times Jace kisses Marlee in a 24 hour period. It’s some ridiculous amount close to a billion million trillion, I kid you not. 72% of the kisses take place while I’m trying to nurse her. Which, isn’t awkward at all! {P.S. to Megan: I just realized that she is wearing the cute little outfit you sent her. Its adorable. Thanks again for being a rockstar.}
06.  Lunch. Grilled chicken sandwich with sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and yellow peppers {in case you were wondering}. And a handful of cherries. {Wanna know something weird? I hate tomatoes. Always have! But when I was pregnant with Marlee I started craving them. Random right? I wanted them on everything! I ate them constantly and couldn’t get enough of them. The pregnancy is over, but it left behind a tomato lover. Pregnancy is so dang weird.}
07.  A few of the movie crew. We spent the afternoon at the air-conditioned theater with friends: Kali Jo and her kids and Mandy’s little girl, Zayley. I love hanging out with Kali Jo. She’s the tiniest bit Mary Poppins-ish. I mean not like spoon full of sugar and well begun is half-done sorta thing. Okay, I take that back, she is absolutely nothing like Mary Poppins. But she stole her bag! When we dine out she pulls a pocket knife out of it to cut the kids straws in half, and at the theater she pulled out plastic bins so we could easily share the popcorn among the kids. She’s just practically perfect like that!
08. Sign. My side of town is decorated with much deserved firefighter shout-outs.  Most of them are made with neon poster board and black sharpie markers. It adds a splash of color in a world of black ruins.
09.  Baker. We came home from the movie and made sugar cookie dough so Brynlee and Jace could make cookies in the Easy Bake Oven. Brynlee rolled the dough, cut the cookies, baked them, then frosted and sprinkled them. Jace ate them. And they were both as happy as could be with their easy baking responsibilities.
10.   Polish. Painted 30 toes: mine, Brynlee’s and per Bryn’s request, Baby Marlee’s. Nothing is cuter than little tiny newborn toes painted a shade of plumberry playdate. That's not really the name of the polish, I just made that up. But there should be a polish named that. Or at  very least some lip smakers chapstick.
11.    The girls. While I made dinner Brynlee babysat. Both Brynlee and Jace have been so much help with Marlee. Jace is even brave enough to throw her dirty diapers in the garbage {Brynlee WILL NOT touch them!}
12.  Big Bang. When we were evacuated Jake lent us Season 1 of The Big Bang Theory for something to do at the hotel. We never got to it while evacuated, but started it a few days ago. I laugh occasionally while watching the show. But Spencer – he never stops laughing! I think he understands all the jokes better than I do. I spell it capital N-E-R-D.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{nine years}

happy anniversary spencer.
you are pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me in all of my whole entire history of ever.

lovebirds in 2001

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Birth: The Beginning

When my doctor told me at my 35 week appointment that I was dilated to a 3 and 25% effaced I just assumed that baby #3 would make her appearance by my 37th week of pregnancy. I mean, why wouldn’t she? Brynlee came during the 37th week, and Jace too. But then my 37th week came and went. And so did the 38th. By the start of my 39th week I started to think that I just might spend the rest of my life in this pregnant state of being. It was a scary thought.

It was three days before my due date. June 11, 2012. Jami and her kids had come to stay for a day or two so our girls could attend cheer camp.

That Monday the girls spent the afternoon at the camp, the rest of us went to lunch, ran errands and then Jami watched the kids while I hit up my doctor’s appointment. My doctor checked me - I was still at a 3 and 25% effaced; four and a half weeks and no real change. At the appointment the doctor ordered a stress test due to decreased fetal movement and then it was decided that due to less movement I would be induced later that same evening.
I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to comfort myself. I didn’t want to be induced; I’ve always felt that that sort of thing should just happen naturally. But maybe an induction is for the best I would tell myself. Jami’s here to watch the kids. The baby’s movement has decreased. I am already at a 3 and 25 it’s not like labor hasn’t already started. Plus, what if she never comes out of there otherwise. Now that would suck.
I went home and did last minute preparations for a hospital stay. Spencer took the week off work. And we planned for a baby.
At five o’clock that evening I called the hospital just as I was supposed to. Don’t come in yet they told me and they promised that they would call me back shortly. So I waited.  About an hour later they called back. The hospital was overloaded with laboring mamas and there wasn’t room for another induction. They rescheduled for two days later and I hung up the phone relieved, yet disappointed. It wasn’t baby day after all.

That night we walked to the park. Spencer, Brooke and Brynlee rode their bikes, Jami pushed Zayne and Jace in the stroller, and I curb walked because my sister-in-law told me it induced labor. I had been having contractions all day, but nothing major, and nothing different than the last few weeks. Jami told me that she thought the baby had dropped even lower than she was earlier that day and then she massaged my pregnant belly telling the baby to get the crap out of there {because that’s how Jami talks}. We ate dinner, tucked in our kiddos, Spence feel asleep while snuggling Jace, and Jami and I decided that we too would call it a night.
I woke up at 1:30 with contractions. I think I’m having a baby, I told myself, but the contractions were manageable so I successfully convinced myself to go back to sleep.
At 4:00 I woke up again. The contractions were more painful now and my head was pounding so hard that I was seeing stars. I felt nauseous and ran to the bathroom. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep through the contractions any longer so I took two Tylenol to try to control the headache; Google searched a refresher on how to time contractions and climbed into the bathtub.
Turns out it was baby day after all.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Photos of the fire + Renewing my blogging vows

Internet access that was lost with the fire has finally been restored. I’ve spent an hour or so today checking email and reading your kind comments on my blog. Thank you for all your sweet congratulatory emails, phone calls, blog comments and texts when Marlee was born. I am sorry I haven’t gotten back with most of you yet. I will get there – hopefully soon. And thank you again for your comments and emails on my post about the fire. I’m friends {and family} with some of the sweetest people around.  Truly, I am.

I'm trying to recommit myself to writing more regularly on my blog again, hoping to get back to where I was before I got pregnant. I enjoy blogging. It's therapeutic, it’s my escape, it forces me to take more pictures, challenges me to write something interesting even if nothing interesting is happening, and I absolutely love looking back at what we were up to in days gone by.  When the fire blazed around our neighborhood I found so much comfort in the fact that I had written so many of our happenings down. And that it was all stored in a place that could not be touched by the flames of the fire. Pictures, stories, memories – all safe, no matter the state of our house.

One of the sweet 90+ year-old widows that goes to church with our family lost everything in the fire. Along with losing the place she called home since 1953 she also lost her clothes, her furniture, her food. But most heartbreaking of all is the memories and family memorabilia that the fire took away from her and her family. She lived in a time before the world was digital so none of her photos were backed up on external hard drives {are yours?} and she only had a single hand written copy of years of journals.
Everything burned.
She is not alone. I’ve noticed it to be an unvarying theme among the fire victims: They got out with the most important thing, family. Most the rest of the stuff is just that, stuff! But no matter the size of the insurance policy all the years and years of photos and journals and memorabilia cannot be replaced. Not ever.
Earlier this year Spencer backed up all our photos on Carbonite. And a few Christmas’ ago I scanned in all my parents photo albums so me and my siblings all have digital copies of our childhood photos. My goal for this year is to scan in all the rest of Spence and my photos: Spencer’s mission, our high school photos, wedding photos, our dating and newlywed years and the photo albums of miscellaneous photos that we took prior to getting digital cameras. I will also be making digital photo copies of any hand written journals/notes and turning my blog into a book {I haven’t done that yet}!
A few of the other things I will be doing: creating emergency preparedness bags, upping our food and water storage, making copies of all important documents and creating a list of things to grab in case of evacuation. Believe me, I don’t think straight when it really happens. I’m not going to remember to grab everything {or anything, in my case}. And quite honestly, time usually doesn’t allow for you to grab much.
Anyway, some photos of the fire.
Oh, but before I stop rambling I want to thank ya'll for supporting my writing habit. Really, thank you. This little blog and I have gone through a lot together. There have been times when I have gotten my feelings hurt and wonder why I journal in such a public forum, times when I've wished I had taken the time to write more, times when I have felt like stopping all together and times when I’ve leaned toward the other extreme and have debated increasing readership, possibly blogging “for real” {and I discovered that was so not for me, by the way}.  I finally came to a conclusion that I wanted my blog to stay consistent with what I intended it to be when I started, a family journal of sorts. A place where I can jot down my thoughts, store photos, and write about the things that we do.  So that is what this blog is.
Aside from my sisters and parents I’m not entirely certain who reads my blog. But if you read I want to thank you. Because honestly, it wouldn’t be near as fun without you.  And although I write for journaling purposes I wouldn’t have the drive and commitment to continue writing if it weren’t for my handful of readers that comment and keep me motivated.
Okay, I’m done rambling. Cheers to blogging. And double cheers for the firefighters that fought the fire. And one more cheer for NO MORE NAUSEA!! Oh happy day.
Most of the following photos come from our local newspaper:

This house is right before our neighborhood. Somehow it survived the flames!

I took this picture after we were evacuated as we sat and watched the smoke on my sisters front steps:

And these are photos that I took shortly after they lifted the evacuations and we were allowed to return home. They are taken of the area damaged right across the street from my neighborhood.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...