28 November 2007

Too Much!

Whew, apparently one cat, two children, and three dogs is my absolute limit. I can hardly find enough free time to check out new blog entries, much less post my own. Things are going good though. Surprisingly! Athena is adjusting to our household, although we are having some issues on the potty training bit. She has never had free roam of a house before and I think it has thrown her for a loop. We were told to expect some problems with it, and we've had some. It doesn't help that the weather has been in the single digits with below zero wind chills. No dog wants to go outside in that. I think I have to toughen myself up a bit and make her stay outside until she does her business, rather than feel bad and let her in after thirty seconds. (She does whine and let you know she needs to go, she just doesn't act like she has to go once she is out there.) Aside from the potty issue, the only other thing is that I think she really misses her big pack. Her breeder has quite a few dogs around, not to mention three of Athena's litter mates, and here we have Achilles who doesn't like to cuddle dogs and Artemis who sleeps in her crate. Athena will trot around whining, obviously looking for something, and I think that its her dog family. Poor thing. She'll get used to it though. And hopefully Achilles will learn to snuggle!

Lochlan is doing good. We had his two week well baby appointment yesterday, which I went to by myself with Lochlan AND Sully... (Caayn has gone to every single one of Sully's appointments, so this was a first for me.) The weather was bad, 2 degrees, and at least -15 with wind chill. Getting Lochlan in the Moby (which I had totally put on wrong, lol) and then Sully into the stroller, plus the diaper bag, was an adventure. I've never even gone somewhere with Sully by myself! Luckily, it all went well. Lochlan weighed in at 8lbs 6 oz. He checked out of the hospital at 7lbs 9oz, so he has gained. He was supposedly 20", but I thought he was 20 1/2 at birth... so... yeah. The percentiles are my favorite--90% for height and 50% for weight. Which means I again have a boy who is long and skinny. Yay!

Oh and apparently Lochlan had something wrong with his boys, that no one cared to inform me of. Something called a bilateral something or other. Basically we just have to keep an eye on them and make sure the swelling is always going down and not back up, and make sure he doesn't get any sort of bumps in his groin.

I also made the decision that we will just be having Athena spayed. Sully and Lochlan are too young for me to get involved in something as active as the dog stuff can be. Since we live in North Dakota, all events will be out of state (Bismarck only just had their very first dog show in August). Which means traveling away from the family. We also don't have loads of money to spare for said events and travel. I'm young, there is still lots of time for me to get involved with that once they are older.

25 November 2007


This is Athena!! Isn't she just the most gorgeous thing you've ever laid eyes on? I'd like to get a shot of her standing, to show off her beautiful lines, but that will come later when she is a little more adjusted. So far she is coming a little more out of her shell, likes to be near us some, but then when she has had enough so goes and lays down in her crate. She is such a little dainty girl--half the time when she is laying there, she'll cross her front paws. It's adorable.

24 November 2007

Athena The Amazing Whippet

Just a quick update... we left at 3am for Minnesota. Caayn managed probably 2 hours of sleep, maybe 3, and I had about 45 minutes. A large amount of red bull and cat naps revived us. We made it to Whippet Woman's house around noon. Her house was so darling--tons of statues of whippets, artwork with whippets, and photographs of her dogs and from the many shows she's been to. She was really quite enjoyable to meet and had lots of good stories to share. She seems like the type of woman who you could just sit with for hours and you'd never ever get bored, just full of interesting stories and knowledge.

Oh My GOSH... Athena is absolutely gorgeous. Just wonderful. Sully asked about her the WHOLE trip out there, and once he saw her, he was in love. He thinks she is just about the coolest thing since ketchup. He pronounces her name Uh-snee-na and was calling her Snee for short, which was pretty funny.

We are also at an interesting point. Whippet Woman was talking about showing and dogs with me, and she was saying how our girl has a really good front as well as the right arch in her back and really great stifles. So it's the decision of do we spay her or do we maybe try some showing. And she said she was willing to let us do one litter with her, which would be really interesting. Not sure how I feel on that one--I know I would keep one of her puppies and we can't do that right now. And having spent so much time learning about whippets while waiting to get her, I've really got interested in the stuff they can do. The show world seems like a really fun place, and there is so much you can do. Plus there is lure coursing, which looks like fun too. Apparently she has really good bloodlines...

Boy, it sucks living in the middle of nowhere. I'd love to be able to spend more time with Whippet Woman and learn more about all of this. She did say that if we do want to check out the dog shows in the area, we are welcome to stay at her place while we're in town.

In other words, I think I have maybe found an interest in something. I always feel so boring because I don't have "fun" hobbies, like scrapbooking or quilting or whatever it is other ladies do... But me and dogs go hand in hand, and to have something I could do would be really fun. I plan on poking around and seeing if it is something I could consider now or if I should wait to really get involved.

Anyway, we are all exhausted and are going to bed. Here's to the first night with whippet snuggles!

(By the way, I see why people end up with tonsof whippets--they are SO SO SO awesome.)

And one last bit--in the few short hours we've had her, we are already seeing her open up and blossom. She was really reserved when we met her, kept her tail tucked and sort of just stayed still... now she is happily jogging around, tail curled out and wagging. She has the best little smile...

Pictures coming forthwith! Just not tonight.

20 November 2007

The Story of Lochlan

So I finally wrote it. The birth story. It's not eloquent. It's pretty much exactly what happened, lol. This blog is so helpful, in that I have finally found a place where I can write down things like this and not worry about it getting lost. And it is really really long.

I woke up at 2:30 needing to pee, as usual. While awake I had a contraction that wasn't quite like any I'd had yet. Painful, long, letting me know it was there. It happened again while I was peeing. I went back to bed thinking a few things. I'm more comfortable there, can deal with contractions better there, and maybe I could go back to sleep.

Nope! I was denied on all three points. These were really too much to be able to sleep through, and laying in bed was starting to make me antsy. I headed downstairs to walk around but they were too much to walk through so I hung out with my birthing ball. After only two more contractions, I thought maybe I ought to time them or something. Usually when I was having all those braxton hicks, as soon as I would start timing them, they'd fizzle out. So the ball and I rolled up to the comp desk and I found the website I was looking for. I think it is called contraction master or something like that, and all you had to do was hit the space bar at the beginning and end of the contractions. The worst part was I absolutely couldn't focus on anything else so I was just sitting here feeling a bit like a dork hitting the space bar. And the contractions were consistantly coming two minutes apart and lasting roughly a minute long. Oh yeah, did I mention it hurt?

At this point I decided that this was it and the baby was coming. Yipee! It was also at this point that I realized how short of a time period two minutes is. I made it back upstairs where Caayn promptly woke up (more like shot up out of bed) and asked what was the situation. I wanted to try taking a shower, both to try and help with the pain and to smell all nice and pretty. I think I lasted about 3 contractions in there before I had to get out. There was a fair amount of pressure going on down there and I was worried that he might be right there or something. I sent Caayn to get Sully ready and then got ready myself.

The drive was quick. I called my mom, but she was asleep (uh, it was 2am her time, 3 ours)... We timed our walk across the street so I wouldn't get stuck halfway across when a contraction hit, lol. (Remember how I said 2 minutes seems like a short time?) We made it to the maternity floor pretty quick, and got checked into a room. It's such a strange feeling to have people swarm at you with various bits of equipment, like a pack of lions on their prey. It was decided that I was 3cm, which isn't enough to keep you at the hospital, except for the contractions I was having and the distance of our drive. They checked back in an hour, I was 4cm. I think I dilated about a centimeter an hour, since I was in labor for 8 hours and had started at a 2.

The pain was pretty bad. It was all back labor again and I hardly even felt the tightening in front. Back labor is such a strange pain. It's not sharp. It's like lightning coursing through a small area. Like licking a battery. Dull but very bright at the same time. Breath taking.

I took a shower there, if you could call it that. The stall was seriously like 2 feet by 2 feet with a small stool taking up half the area. I couldn't get the water hitting the right area or the stool in the right spot and every time I got up to adjust one or the other, I'd get a contraction. Eventually it ended up with me just having back to back contractions, not able to really do anything but cry, so I had to get out. At this point, I asked for an epidural. Yes, I really did want to do a natural childbirth, but that goal was secondary to my desire for a VBAC... and while I knew the risks that an epidural can pose to vaginal births, the benefits outweighed them.

There was a hidden plus side to me asking for the epidural. I didn't get it for a really long time. I think I should mention that I was making really awful sounds. Originally I had started out toning through contractions, which is where you make a low tone with your voice. After the shower, I was making much higher pitched sounds. Uhh, think almost screamy. And it was really silly too, because the whole time I was doing this, there was a small voice in the back of my head reminding me that I needed to be lower and yada yada... My midwife was the only one who could get me through a contraction more quietly, and I swear they were even a wee bit less painful. However, she didn't stay the whole time so I was sort of shit outta luck.

They had to give me an iv for saline or whatever before the epidural. Oh wait, before even that happened, some lab tech dude came in and drew some blood. Have you ever had blood drawn while contracting? Oh my freaking gosh, it was awful. And in fact I got my worst needle bruise from that.

Oops. Baby break.

Right, the iv. The gal giving me the iv was AWFUL at it. Caayn described it as if she were sewing something--she kept digging and pulling back and digging in again... she hit the bone once... Yowzers. I was pretty much crying hysterically from that; the pain she gave me was actually worse than the contractions. And after all that, they had to have someone else redo it on my other hand. Ugh. Pure hell. It took forever to stop crying after that. I got a shot of something or other, to help with the pain while waiting for the epidural. It made me really loopy. I *think* I still felt the contractions, but was really sleepy feeling in between. Time sort of blurs at this point.

Jimmy showed up at some point with coffee for himself and Caayn. I think this was after the epidural. Let me back track. At 7 cms, the midwife announced my bag of water was bulging and that she wanted to rupture it. I refused to let them do that until after I had the epidural because I knew that things were going to go really fast and get more painful once they did that. (I also suspect that they were sort of annoyed that I refused then and was sort of being a pain in the rear, but oh well, I was the one in labor, not them!) So, because I made a big deal about it, I got the epidural. I kind of think they were going to not give me one, since everyone knew I was trying for a natural childbirth... Guy came in, it took two tries to get it just right. It was difficult to not move (or scream) during the contractions but at the same time focusing so hard on not doing that almost made it hurt less. My midwife was on hand directly after the epidural was in to break my water. There was meconium in it, just like with Sully.

The iv drug was still in effect so I was kind of goofy feeling. Caayn and Sully and Jimmy hung around. I can't remember what we all talked about, but there was laughter which was good. There was no laughter during my labor with Sully. A nurse came in to check me and as she goes to do that she says, "Oh! The baby is right there!" I thought that was really funny. We're all chitchatting and whatnot and here the baby is getting ready to come out. Jimmy hung out with Sully in the other room so that Caayn could be with me (thank goodness too, because if he hadn't shown up, Caayn would have had to wait in the other room with Sully!).

So I've got the midwife and two nurses (I think, maybe 3) and Caayn all around the bed. I was getting really giddy feeling, knowing it was time, knowing I was GOING TO DO IT! It really was all capitals in my head. It took a few pushes to figure out how to push the right way, since I was seriously numbed up. They did the mirror thing so I could see him, although the nurse holding the mirror (I think she was the Evil IV Nurse) was really bad at it and I barely got a glimpse. Caayn remembered my complaint from the last labor, when they would tell me to push and no one would count... he did a fantastic job of counting it out and reminding me that I could do it. I got to see when his head was out--totally mind boggling because I didn't even know his head had been pushed out! And while they were suctioning him, his one shoulder popped out, and then whoop, he slid right out. It was SO strange to feel and see my belly go from rounded with child, to a glob of jelly. The feeling was such a relief too. I got to see him right there, and while Caayn had intended on cutting the cord, with the meconium present, they had to move things too quickly to allow for that. Caayn said I was a little creepy during the whole pushing phase, because I was grinning... But ya know what? I was totally allowed to grin. I was DOING IT. I was pushing my baby out just like I knew I could. And you want to know the best part? Lochlan was facing crooked too. He wasn't complete brow presentation like Sully was, but he wasn't facing the right way. And I DID IT. HA! HAHAHA! That was so darn satisifying to know.

The afterbirth wasn't bad, barely even a wee push. Oh, somewhere in the pushing, I had an episiotomy. Here's where I give a lot of details that I wasn't really aware of in the 30 minutes of pushing. Lochlan's heart was dropping a lot during each contraction, badly enough that if I hadn't pushed him out when I had, they were going to do an emergency c-section. Hence the episiotomy. Apparently what had caused the fuss was the umbilical cord was very short. Like seriously short. So each time I pushed him further out, he was pulling more and more on the placenta. I got to see the placenta, which was kind of cool. It was gross looking though--the meconium had been in there long enough to make the placenta get funky on one part.

He didn't get to cry because of the meconium. (Oh, and if anyone has been wondering what the heck that is, it is stool that has been gathering in the baby for awhile and is their first poop. It's pretty yucky stuff. They usually do this outside the womb. When in happens inside, there is a risk of them aspirating it, which can cause bad respiratory problems.) They had to spend a bit of time suctioning and pumping to make sure everything was out first. His first sounds were these super cute little mewling sounds... I, of course, thought it sounded an awful lot like a little puppy. His apgar scores were very low, 3 at one minute after birth, 5 at five minutes and 8 at ten minutes. (Apgar goes up to 10, though I think most babies get 9s.) Apgar scores are based on several things, can't remember all of them (think there are 5) but I know some are skin color, crying, movement...

I had to stay in that bed forever though, which was annoying. The epidural took a long time to wear off, even though they pulled it out after the birth. I remember being annoyed that my one leg was sticking out and wanted to move it but absolutely couldn't. My toes would move a bit, but that was it. I tried picking it up with both arms and moving it... even that didn't work. It gave me the giggles though.

So that is the long winded story of Lochlan's coming into the world. 8 hours of labor exactly, from 2:30 am to 10:30 am. 30 minutes of pushing. Absolutely perfect.
I still can't believe it. And the most amazing part is how much I loved him when I saw him. I didn't have that with Sully. Everything about his birth shocked and jarred me. I couldn't grasp it. When they tried to show him to me for the first time, I turned my head away. I had to work at bonding with him and coming to know him. The first time I held him was awkward, I didn't feel that connection. But this time was so different. I was THERE. In the moment. I DID IT, and there he was. It's only been a week, but I still can't get enough of him. I try to see Sully in there, because everyone says they look alike... and I try to remember what Sully looked like... but its like grasping at mist. Lochlan is his own person and thats who I see. He is really darn cute. And he is so much different than Sully was. From what I remember.

Lochlan isn't much of a noise maker, unless there is something wrong. He likes to sleep, he likes to have his soft blanket against his cheek. He does NOT like a dirty diaper. He likes to sleep in bed with us rather than swaddled and in his pack n play. He can fart in the most amazing variety of sounds, time lengths, and stinks. Oh, and he has the softest hair ever. Achilles doesn't feel so silky now that I have something even softer to feel!

That's about it. We're working our way into a schedule... one part of the schedule calls for a 4 hour period of wakefulness in the night, either from midnight to 4am or 3am to 7am. Why, I don't know.

And I'm confused about the breastfeeding thing. It seems to be all wonky or something. In the day time, it satisfies his hunger. But then at night time, he will eat for like 2 hours and just get so mad and frustrated, which leads to caving into a bottle of formula. I almost gave up breastfeeding out of frustration--I couldn't get him to latch correctly and didn't have the slightest idea how to contact a lactation consultant... I was SO raw and bleeding that it was very miserable... I think the formula might have messed with my supply or something. So I don't know. I'm trying as hard as I can to keep up on it though, it's something I'd really like to do. It's going to be a struggle for me, I can tell. Already I am going back to my normal style of eating. In that I don't. Typically for me I will eat some sort of snacky-meal thing (pop-tarts or a bowl of cereal or a sandwich, etc) once or twice in the day time, and then dinner. And thats it. So I'm trying harder to eat so that my milk keeps up.

Oh!! We go to pick up Athena on Saturday. I am so so so excited. It's going to be a sort of icky trip, I think. We have to leave our house either at 4 or 5am to make it to her house by noon or 1pm. We can spend up to two hours there before it starts pushing us back to god-awful hours of home arrival. The smart thing to do would be to rent a hotel room, but I have no clue if we'll be doing that or not. Probably not. We're known more for our pushing straight through road trips, lol. I suspect there will be a LOT of coffee and other caffeine beverages.

Thats about it. I'm going to go read the sleepy time books for Sully so he can take a nap. This is when I get to cuddle up close with him and feel his big kid body, big and solid and warm while we read. I can't believe how big he has grown in just 2 years. From Lochlan's size to where he is now. What a boy!

I didn't send this when I was done, so its now many hours later than that previous paragraph. I remembered stuff to add.

Later in the day after Lochlan was born, a nurse came in and warned me that he was "very jittery" and that when she tested his blood sugar level, it was a bit low. I warned her that I was also on an antidepressant, and the information for the drug warns that if taken during the third trimester it can cause withdrawals in the baby... and jitters is a symptom of that. (This was one of the situations where the benefit of me being on it was better than me being off of it.) We never did see any of the jitters she was talking about. Just thought that was an interesting bit that I didn't want to forget.

14 November 2007

Life With Two

I'm not up to writing out the birth story yet, but thought I'd give a little update.

Caayn was not allowed to quit his class, and my mom ended up not being able to come out either. So guess what? I've been rocking the mom of two thing by myself for, well, today is teh second day. Kind of scary, kind of fun. I think I'll enjoy this more when moving is easier and my jelly belly stops robbing me of my breath.

Lochlan is AWESOME. Except that he sleeps so long feeding is difficult. Like, he prefers to wait 5 hours between feedings rather than 2 or 3 that a normal baby might go. I try to let him lead, because trying to feed a baby who would rather sleep is nigh on impossible. (Seriously, he doesn't even wake up when I change his diaper.) But the moments when he IS awake are pure heaven. Gracious, I don't think there is a cuter baby in the world. I'm totally in love.

Sully is rocking too! He likes Lochlan, rubs his head, gives him kisses, lets me know if he is drooling or crying... And he seems to be keeping his tantrums to a minimum, which is lovely. :) We are watching a lot more tv than usual, but oh well. When he crawls up on the couch to snuggle with me, and I've got Lochlan in my other arm, oh man... My boys! I got my boys and it is perfection.

Caayn is understandably pissed off about having to do the class still. He was looking forward to spending time with all of us, getting to hang out with Lochlan and everything. Luckily next week is a 3 day week so he can spend a little extra time around the house.

The differences between these two births keep astounding me, as well as some of the similarities. Literally everyone has asked me what I think of this recovery vs last time. It's funny to think that I've been home for two nights already, when last time I was still in the hospital. The one strange thing is that they still gave me a 10lb carrying limit... I would have thought I could lift anything, but whatever. And surprisingly I'm not too exhausted. Well, I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, but I don't feel tired when it happens. I blame it on Lochlan and his wonderful snuggly warmth that soothes the soul and lets you drift on a cloud of pure bliss. Plus, like I said earlier, he freaking sleeps forever, so it's not like I have been up all night. (Although oddly enough, I laid awake several times last night, unable to fall asleep. Ugh!)

Now that I should be doing some laundry, I'm going to go snuggle with Lochlan some more and read Mama Pajama Tells A Story... I'm almost finished with it. If you love dogs, it is a MUST-READ. If you love Whippets, it's even better! Patience is a wonderful author, she's on my blog roll if you haven't checked her out yet. I was lucky enough to win this copy via a contest she held on her blog, and received it along with martingale set for Athena (when she gets here). I have to send the collar back, it's too small, but its really awesome. I've never held one in my hands before, and I see the brilliance in them now. One of these days, when we recover from the loss of money that comes with having a baby (oops, forgot we need this, oops, we really need that, umm food?), I'm going to buy one for Achilles too.

Birth story sometime soon, I promise.

11 November 2007

Mr. L is Here!!

I'm writing this ahead of time so that Caayn can come home and fill in the details. As soon as I can, I will be sharing the details... I love a good birth story!

Lochlan Emery
Born on November 11th at 10:30 am
He is 20 1/2" long and weighs 7lbs and 12 ozs.

Caayn's version of the story:

Everything went really well...except the waking up at 2 am because labor always chooses the most inconvenient times to start. At about 3 am, the contractions were coming at 2 minutes apart so we packed up and headed down the road. Phoenix labored until about 9 am without any medication (to 8 cm) then opted for an epidural because her back labor was so intense. She completed and started pushing around 10 am, did wonderfully, and Lochlan made his appearance sometime around 10:30 (not 100% sure on the time...horrible I know!). Baby and Momma are doing just fine and enjoying some much deserved relaxation time at the hospital.

Sully thinks "Love YOU, Lochlan!"

Here's a picture of the dude!: Erm...not a technical wizard here. Phoenix will post it later. Or, for now, check out her Flickr page!

See ya all when I can!

Is This It?

Okay guys... this may be it.

Fairly painful (umm, very painful) contractions.... roughly two minutes apart lasting a minute. And to top that fun off, lots of pressure.

Gonna go take a shower and hope that helps some. If not, I may be going to the hospital sooner than I thought. 2 minutes apart is not very much fun.

*I've stopped three times just writing this little post for a contraction*

10 November 2007

Help Some Pets?

Just got this in an email from one of the dog groups I've joined, and thought I'd pass it along to any folks who pop on here.

"Hi, all you animal lovers. This is pretty simple.. Please tell ten friends
to tell ten today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough
people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food
donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on the purple box
"fund food for animals" for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their
corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate
food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising."

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

If you were wondering: says this is legitimate!

Generally I am not a fan of ANY kind of chain mail thing and I usually delete them even before opening if the subject has FWD: FWD: RE: FWD: at the beginning... but Snopes actually did give it a green light. So add it to your bookmarks and hit it when you think about it.


The sky is blue this morning. That's always a nice thing to wake up to. So often in winter out here the sky stays a blah shade of whitish grey. Our window faces the sunrise, and the light slowly hits our tan curtains. The other morning I saw our curtains turn a lovely shade of pink as the sun came up.

Sully woke up wanting to go outside. I had to say no. Too many things to do first: diaper change, clothes, breakfast... There was a lot of shouting on his end. I was too tired to speak above a normal voice. When I convinced him to come upstairs and see Daddy, I opened the door to see Achilles curled into a tiny ball between my and Caayn's pillows (I forget the proper way to say that). Poor dog. He is really sensitive to raised voices, loud noises, Sully. I, of course, had to get in there and cuddle him to bits. Finding new ways to curl up with him is very nice. His fur is so soft and warm, and the way it lays over his muscle and bones is a delight to the touch. In his intense need for comfort, he ended up with a head on my pillow, nose completely squished sideways into my arm. When I tried to move it, he firmly pressed down with his muzzle, saying, "No thanks, Momma, this is just right."

Sully did calm down, although there were a few moments of near catastrophe where he had feet in my belly-OW- and when he attempted to kick Achilles a couple of times. Grrr. He gets in trouble for that. I don't tolerate bad behavior towards dogs. Even if he repeats me. (As in, I'll tell Achilles to go on, which means quit begging, and then Sully will repeat it... I don't like him saying it because I'm not sure that he understands WHY I say it.)

Still cold out, the houses all have frost on the roofs. I like when the cold seems to sharpen everything outside. Everything looks crystal clear, more defined.

Housing cut down a tree from our neighbor's yard. They cut it into firewood and left it in our backyard. A guy came over when they were done saying that he wants that firewood and that we are to chase off anyone we see near it because he'd be back on Tuesday to pick it up. Seriously? He should have told our neighbors this. With our giant white 'privacy' thingy, we can't even see the pile, whereas they can look out their back door and see it. Not to mention this scary new pile of who-knows-what scares the heck out of Achilles. He spends a good deal of time barking at it. Caayn took him over to see it, and he did the stiff-legged dog stretch and stuttering walk... silly ol' dog. Still doesn't like it though.

Still no baby. Apparently he is going to attempt to hold out for the induction. (Boo.)

Oh and I put the Grinch Who Stole Christmas on our Netflix queue (its here now but we always forget to check the mail for days at a time)... Sully LOVES that book, so I can't wait to see what he thinks of the movie, lol. I wonder if The Lorax ever made it to DVD.

09 November 2007

My Aunt

Today is my aunt's birthday. She's turning 29. Not really, but that is what we always say about her and my uncle. Her name is Vicky, and when asked who the most beautiful woman in the world is, I would choose her. I used to call her Aunt Mom, because that was sort of our relationship. She was my aunt, but also my mom. Absolutely full of wisdom, a very talented artist. I'm not sure how many hours have been spent sitting around her kitchen table, or the fire pit out back, talking. Beyond count. A lot of the interests I have in things are similar to hers and my uncles. I always joked that I should have been their child, because neither of their daughters share any interests. My uncle, Bob, taught me to love heavy metal music, old cars, the proper way to wash off a kitchen table (hehe)... All the hot wheels cars I have were from him. My aunt showed me kindness, how to have boundaries, the joy of a good book paired with a cup of good coffee and a cigarette, and how a really great conversation can soothe the mind, body and soul.

One of these days, I might post a picture or two of her. Maybe not. I'm not sure how she would feel about that.

And a funny thing about us. We have birthdays exactly a week apart. We were born one hour apart. (1:24 and 2:24 am, and I still don't know which is me!) And our charts are almost exactly mirrored. I'm not very good with astrology (I can come up with a chart, but I haven't figured out how to interpret it into something that is useful), but I would have thought that would make us different... but we're not. I miss her.

When I think of Vicky, I think of long black hair, silver jewelery, patchouli, flowing fabrics, strength, the mingled smells of coffee and cigarettes, books, funny socks...

08 November 2007


YAY!!!!!!!!!!! We are having our first snow!!! FINALLY! It's not much, none has stuck to the ground yet, but I don't care. I'm excited. I love the snow (when I don't have to go out in it for long periods of time)! And I still can't believe how long it took to get here. Seriously global warming, how about no messing with the snow patterns...

And I have good news! It is very possible that my mom will be coming out soon. Apparently her boyfriend-guy-thing took out some home equity or whatever it is, and is willing to buy her a plane ticket out here and back. This could solve a lot of problems. Like, Caayn not having to drop out of ALS because she could be here long enough to help me get into the rhythm of life with two babies. Also she could be here when we go get our whippet. We could leave Sully here (oh thank goodness, I've been wondering what that will be like, since he will be having irregular naps that day and being up late AND bringing home a dog)... And the dogs wouldn't have to go to the kennel...

So that is freaking awesome. I'm not sure when to have her come out though. I've been thinking the 15th might be a good time. If Mr. L comes before then, I can hold out the two days it would take where Caayn might have to be in ALS, until she gets here. And if he comes after, she could watch Sully. The possible daycare lady called me last night saying that her dr isn't allowing her to walk for another 2 weeks. She had an appt yesterday to assess her recovery from surgery. So that does put us in a situation of needing to figure something out. But yeah, I'm really glad that we might have a good way to work it out. :)

So lots of yays today! That always bodes well!

07 November 2007

Fences and Whippets

Gloria called yesterday morning with the date for my induction. November 16th. My due date. Boo! She said the hospital was booked until then. So while there is still an end in sight, it has not moved any closer. And I've pretty much stopped having contractions. Don't know what that means, but it is a little depressing!

Caayn talked with the Housing office today about our fence situation. Let me give a little background details. Our house is on the "main" street, and a little ways up there is a side street. Our one neighboring house has it's back to us, because they are facing that side street. All the houses around here are duplexes. The second apartment of the house is empty. It was completely flooded, the floors are ruined, etc. Basically, it is unusable. But they do have a good sized backyard free of electrical boxes and trees. So Caayn went in to talk with them, since they denied us a military fence, but we could supposedly use a contracter's fencing. He asked if we could use the backyard of that one house, since it would be ideal for us--its the opposite direction of the boxes and would actually allow us to have a nice yard. The guy couldn't authorize our use of it, but his boss will be in on Friday and Caayn is supposed to go in and talk to him about it. (Keep your fingers crossed--I would LOVE for us to be able to use their yard. Downside--Caayn would have to maintain both our yard and that yard.)

When we initally asked about using an outside fencing company, we were told we could have a kennel sized run. This was further clarified during the meeting today. Apparently we can have any size "kennel" we want, as long as it didn't include those boxes. Good news for the most part, except one big portion of our yard is "fenced" off with a privacy fence thingy... it's a big white fence around our patio, with a door sized opening into the yard. If that fence thing could go, the dogs would have even more running room--otherwise they would have a flat bottomed U shape they could run in. And it wouldn't be more than like 6 feet wide. :P Boo.

So hopefully we'll get this all squared up on Friday and can get our butts in gear putting that fence up. Caayn has not really been interested in this, because it is an awful lot of running around and talking and not getting anywhere, but I keep pushing him. There is no way I am going to bring a 7 month old whippet into my household with a 2 year old and soon to be newborn just in time for winter. No freaking way. It would be like having triplets. No thanks!!

And regarding Ms. Whippet, I called to confirm the 24th again. And to let her know that the date of the dog show she had mentioned last time was wrong (its on the 17th), and to see if there were any other dog events that had been scheduled for the 24th. Apparently there is a lure coursing event somewhere, but she won't be attending--I think she might have dogs entered though. She is such a nice woman. She invited us to come down for Thanksgiving, which I had to decline. Caayn mentioned that Jimmy had invited us, and that would be infinitely more fun than being with a bunch of people I don't know (I'm shy!). So it's still on for the 24th. I like having a solid date. Crap, I need to call the kennel and see if they have an opening for our dogs. We'll be gone possibly up to 20 hours (16 hour round trip, but not sure how long we'll be there, and I'm including stops for diaper changes and breastfeeding), and that is too long to leave our dogs unattended in our house. Plus it will provide an excellent opportunity to have the dogs meet. Our kennel is right by the dog park. So we can have the whippet meet Achilles there, and I forgot the rest of the plan, but somehow we are going to get everyone home and have Artemis meet her here. (Artemis doesn't meet dogs well in public and does much better in our house.)

Pictures were promised again, she said she'd be mailing them to me. Not sure if that is mail mail or email, but sometime soon I'll have some photos of our girl. Yipee!

Oh, and for the record--I don't WANT to give birth on the 16th. That's like a week long recovery before a road trip. Seriously, not enough. So keep sending birthing vibes, hehe, we're hoping he comes sometime soon. My mom said he CAN'T be born on Friday, which is my aunt's birthday, so I'm hoping that is enough to jinx it... Lol.

05 November 2007

Midwife Update

Here's the dirt on my midwife appointment today.

I weighed 170 (I *think* I'm now 25 lbs over my top weight of Sully's pregnancy!), my blood pressure was 120/80 and Mr. L's heart rate was in the 140s. Yes, I keep track of this stuff on the calender, and did so with Sully too! It's kind of fun to see how things go. Hmm, I'm apparently at 41 lbs gained. Oi.

Gloria said she was surprised to see me, that Wendy (second midwife) expected me to go over the weekend. I am still 2 cms dilated, boo, and am now 80% effaced. She attempted to strip my membranes again, but she said that Wendy did a really good job because there was nothing to strip.

Now, because I am going for a VBAC, there's a game we have to play. It's the delicate balance between medical interventions that will either help me achieve this or push me towards a c-section. I'm sort of wary, because I'd prefer NO interventions. (I'm also hoping to have a natural child birth, no pain meds, but this is more of a secondary goal.) She and Wendy are going to meet tomorrow and come up with a decision. Neither of them want me going to date, since Mr. L will just keep growing and possibly diminish my VBAC chance. So they're going to look and see which date would be best for an induction. Boo. Now I'll be waiting for a phone call on that, with an appointment scheduled for Tuesday next week, in case nothing has happened by then.

I'm looking at my options, and there aren't many. I've looked into all the natural induction methods, and most haven't seemed to have much of an effect. GRR. So I'm trying castor oil for the third time, today's dose being much higher than the first two. If this doesn't work, tomorrow I am hitting the gym after Caayn comes home from his first day of ALS. I'll walk on a stupid treadmill until my poor bones won't go any further. (Too cold outside--today it was 32 with a windchill that made the air feel like 17 degrees.)

Baby clothes have been washed and sorted. Funny thing I noticed--apparently I saved a bunch of 0-3 months clothes and also some 6-12 months, but not a single piece of clothing from 3-6 months! Pure silliness. Oh, and we have a total overload of blankets. As in, I think there are about 12 or 13? And I'm sure there will be some more in the mail, hehe! That's okay. I love baby blankets. They're so soft and warm.

Carseat is in the car... how weird is that? Caayn put the washed cover back on and adjusted the shoulder straps down to newborn size... and it looks SO teeny tiny. Like, how can a baby possibly be so small to fit in there? I worry just a bit that I'm going to think Sully is of monstrous proportions and that the baby will seem too small, lol.

Anyway, here's to hoping you don't hear from me for a few days because I'm busy popping a baby out... :D

04 November 2007

New Blog Look!

The other Phoenix updated her blog's look and it gave me the itch to get mine changed... it's been the same for almost a year now. Took me FOREVER to choose one, I had like 8 that I really liked. I settled on this one. :)

Now, if Mr. L would just appear so I can change my profile info... hehehe! Oh, and midwife appt tomorrow, so I'll have an update on that whole thing then.

A Long Winded Story About My Mom

I discovered something on Friday that has been sort of rattling in my brain, needing to get put on paper (or, well, a computer screen) so that I can think through it and see it in front of me. This is how I think best.

My mom and I are pretty close. I've said this before, I'm pretty sure. We talk on the phone at least once a week, for an hour or more each call, and we often email very long emails to each other. (Sort of like how my blog entries are forever long? Yeah, I got that from her; Caayn calls us the wordy bastards, lol.) I don't like to spend a lot of time with her in person though, which is strange. I think this has to do with a lot of things from my past, part of which would have to do with the fact I've really been the one to take care of myself since I was young. Where I lived, who I lived with, the rules of each house... those were never constant, there was usually just me.

Now, my mom is the black sheep in the family. Basically, it's like she doesn't exist to them. None of them want to talk to her, or want anything to do with her, despite her efforts to reconnect every now and then. I understand this better than she does, because I've lived with the other family members and I know where they stand. I've tried explaining to her, but it's both hard to say and hard to hear.

Because I'm close to her, it is a little difficult talking to other family members. My aunt and uncle are probably my most favorite people in the world. They came close to adopting me once, something I've really regretted, since it didn't happen. They open their arms and it is like home. We don't talk on the phone much, it's too hard for me. My aunt prefers to be the one on the phone, so I don't get to talk to my uncle (or if I do, it's like a 3 minute conversation). And they've done so much to try and separate me from my mom. I know they are coming from a place of love, because my mom truly is a different kind of person, and its hard for them to understand why I invite her chaos into my life. And while I can handle hearing criticism about her, because she has indeed made many mistakes just like everyone else, they sometimes go too far or hit a nerve with me. So we don't talk too often..

My mom moved to Arizona last summer. It was a VERY monumental decision. She was leaving her 12 year relationship with a bad man. An abusive man. (He was about 10% of why my family was upset with her.) I dreamed about killing him, and that is not said lightly. I have honestly hated, truly hated, very few people in my life, but him I will probably carry hate for, for the rest of my life. So when she left him, oh it was a fine day.

She had met a guy online. This didn't mean much, since she had used the 2 visits out here as excuses to meet guys she'd found online on the way back home. (Gee, thanks Mom, make me the alibi in some crazy scheme...) He was going to move her out to live with him. My brother rented a u-haul for her, since she doesn't have a driver's license (back owes on child support from when I lived with my grandma), and he helped her move out there. She left the bad man while he was at work, sort of a daylight sneaking out; smart too, since if he had known, he probably would have killed her.

There was more to the story than she told either me and my brother, and that hurt. She lied to us. She doesn't always tell the truth about things, and thats to be expected, but in this situation, we both deserved to know the whole truth. The guy was married. For 35 years. She was moving into a trailer. My brother was extraordinarily pissed, and he had the right to be. He had helped her move there, to destroy a marriage. Uncool!

But there is more to this story as well. His marriage was already on the rocks. They just didn't have any reason to get divorced. The lady has met my mom, read all their emails to each other, and with a hug, told my mom that she was what he needed. Over the following year, Mom has bounced from place to place, job to job. She's not a good worker, mostly because she never picks the right kind of job for her.

I talked to my brother on Friday. He is... I don't know the word for it. To explain it a little, he is your typical Leo, as well as a typical example of a boy who grows up without a dad (or, well, a dad like we have, who causes far more strife than anything else). Sometimes, often, he is not on the good side of the family as well, but that is really a whole different story. (Oh, and for the record, I'm pretty much a typical Scorpio and your classic example of a girl with daddy issues, so I totally can say that about my bro!)

So Rob and I were talking, and it came up that my mom is going to stop in Colorado with her new boyfriend-guy-thing on the way back home after she comes out here in March. And he was joking about how she shouldn't show up without his money. (She owes him the money for renting the u-haul.) Ever since the move, he hasn't been close to her anymore. She really strained their relationship by omitting info like she did. That sort of just steamrolled into how Mom is a lazy woman who just wants to sit on her ass and do nothing, and how he'd TOLD the guy she was like that and on and on.

It was then that I realized I am the only one on my mom's side. And it sort of hurts. I am so proud of her. She has never done something on her own. Ever. She moved from her parents house directly into her husband's house. He left her, she got on welfare and stayed home to raise us. She met bad man #1 who wrecked her relationship with her family and caused me and my brother a lot of pain and suffering. He left. She met bad man#2 and moved in with him, where he promptly started beating on her. For her to strike on her own like this is huge. Yes, she was moving to be with a different man, but he is smart. He asked that they not live together for a period of time, for him to adjust to not being married, etc. Smart. She has had to live BY HERSELF and support herself. It's amazing. I am so very proud of her because for the first time in her life, she is happy. She is loved. She is wanted and needed by someone.

I know she went about the situation a little uinderhanded, but to me, it was worth it in the long run. This guy is so good for her. But no one in my whole family can see that. Anytime a phone call takes place, they are berating her for ruining a house, destroying a marriage... no one wants the facts behind it. No one can be happy for her. I am. I'll be her one person cheering squad.

Boy, do I have a twisted family, lol.

03 November 2007

Crazy Women

I post on a baby forum, a site called BabyCenter... have for a long time. It's kind of nice talking with other women whose babies are the same age as yours (even though I don't visit my March board very often anymore). Several of the bloggers I read are other March mommies. So I went there today and posted a question. Will stress prevent me from labor stuff? (Details: I was contracting really good last night, slowly getting closer together, more intense too, when Sully came and got in bed with us. Then he started messing around and getting louder and then started shrieking about I don't know what. All contractions stopped. I didn't get them again until this afternoon, when again a meltdown by him caused them to stop.) And I also vented on how worried I am about the whole labor thing and hospital thing since we have no one to watch Sully. And I got some nasty responses. I had to take several deep breaths after I read this one.

" You're beyond 38 weeks and you haven't made arrangements for your older child yet?!?!shocked

I hit my third trimester and immediately lined up 5 people to watch my daughter until my MIL could get here from her home, 3 hours west of here.

You need to start calling EVERYONE you know, starting with the ones who already have child rearing experience. Knock on the doors of your nice neighbors and ask them. Explain that you're in a bind and need their help. Go to sitter and FIND ONE. You might have to pay through the nose, but poor planning will do that to you.

Seriously, not to scold you like a little kid, but why the heck didn't you and DH figure this out months, or at least, weeks ago? You've been pregnant a while, so it's not like this is a total out of the blue surprise. And this is not something you should be winging. If all else fails, or maybe to relieve some stress that it might, call your L&D department and FIND OUT POLICY.

If no one can watch your eldest, then DH is gonna have to miss the birth. Your bad and his. Consequences happen, but you can't just leave your kid in the waiting room on his own. The nurses would have CPS on the phone in 2 minutes flat.

If this seems harsh, it's because I have NO patience for people who procrastinate. And yes, I am this blunt with everyone."

(Oh, MIL is mother-in-law, DH is dear husband, L&D is Labor & Delivery)...

Seriously, how offense is that? Aside from being a little ticked that she ignored my main question, I was really upset that she jumped on this whole thing as if I were a dumbass and was totally just going to wing this whole birth thing. It's not like we planned ALL the crazy things that have come pouring down the past few months. Life happens, and sometimes you just have to roll with it. Like for instance, I have been preparing myself mentally for Caayn NOT to be there for the birth. That way, if he is, it's a happy surprise, but if not, I don't freak out and have a meltdown myself. And we have plans to entertain Sully. We bought loads of new art supplies, we'd going to bring Caayn's laptop with some dvds... In general, he should be okay.

But ugh. I swear, pregnant women and sometimes just moms in general, can turn on each other quicker than you can say boo. It's sad. For the most part, thats why I avoid friendships with girls to begin with. I just always expect this kind of crap to go down. Geez.

02 November 2007

All Sorts

Beware, I may be about to discuss one of the grosser things about pregnancy. And when I say "may", I mean I will be.

Hmm. Okay, I'm done waiting for any of those with sensitive eyes to casually scroll down.

So I definitely lost my whole mucus plug today. Yep. That was pretty darn gross. I didn't lose it with Sully, so I wasn't really too sure what to expect. Umm, yeah, it's basically what you'd think upon hearing that phrase, but still. Gross.

I know this doesn't really mean a whole awful lot in relation to labor and all that, but I can't help but get a little more excited. After all, I am 38 weeks today. And I'm finally getting more contractions again. So yay! Hopefully there will be a nice result here soon!

Went to the driver's license place today. Stood in line for like an hour. That is just miserable to do to a very pregnant woman. Standing absolutely still makes my lower back muscles get all squished and pinchy feeling. Not to mention my swollen feet. I think the most amusing part was when I unwound the strap for my bag off one hand to switch over, and discovered that the one hand was -super- swollen and splotchy and white... Apparently it wasn't good to cut off circulation. I kept sneaking glances around to make sure no one saw that, I'm sure someone would have thought I was diseased, lol. The new picture on my id isn't bad, surprisingly, but I will definitely miss the old one.

Sully got his first "real" hair cut today. Took him to get a cut with Caayn. He was so amazingly good. Not a single squeal out of him. And the lady did REALLY good on Caayn's hair, so I told him he has to make sure he gets her again next time. (I'm always so picky about his hair, since he doesn't really care one way or the other. Kinda silly, but hey, its what I do.)

AND my-inlaws sent birthday cards. :) My family doesn't do the card thing, not sure why. I do, not as much as I used to though. For a couple of years I was sending $32 worth of cards out for every holiday. So it's always really special to me to get cards from them. And I was able to get a boppy and some hangers for Mr. L. YIPEE! Caayn was boggled about the boppy--a $34 dollar pillow that was sewn into a half circle. Eh, what can I say? I'm hoping to prevent those sore shoulders and neck that I got last time trying to nurse.

I thought of a positive bit on Caayn going to ALS. He's gonna wear his blues (not sure if he wears them the whole time though)... and you know what? He is damn hot in those things. I have this weird thing about young guys wearing old style sort of stuff, like I dunno, white boxers and black socks, suspenders, etc. Well, the blue shirt they wear makes me think of that sort of thing. It's nice. :D Not that he doesn't look delicious in his regular BDUs. I'll be sad when they switch over to the new style--they look so yucky. Hahaha, it's nice to be a military wife! I imagine it's pretty similar to being a fireman's wife. *cough* Okay, now that I've gone all nutso on my husband...

Oops! Caayn is leveling a new character on WoW, a blood elf mage, and I was watching him (blood elves are my favorite to level up, and I already have a mage)... apparently I was also holding down the space bar. Hehe, thought I lost my post.

Anyway, this momma is worn out, and itchy. I nearly forgot about that, since I started getting the itchy belly a lot sooner with Sully, but it caught up with me. More water and lotion... hopefully that will help. So now I'm gonna go find my greyhound and see if I can't coax him to come lay on the couch with me (assuming, of course, that he isn't there already, hogging my spot on the back pillow thingy). It is really nice to do that when you're this pregnant and aren't capable of much else. My poor legs and back are all messed up--if I move too fast my legs shake so hard I feel like I might fall over. Yuck! Yes, I think cozying up with a dog will cure that right up. (And I can't help but picture Athena get cozied up too! I hope her and Achilles get along well!)

01 November 2007

Whippet Update!

YIPEE! Just got off the phone with Whippet Woman and November 24th is indeed the day where I get to pick up my whippet girl! I am so darn thrilled, I can't wait. The one tiny downside is that she said the boy pup, who she said was really crazy wild, has now calmed down a LOT and has become a really good, sweet dog. And that our girl is sort of stand-offish and more of a loner. There were unknown number of pups in that litter, she kept two and then there are these last two who need to go to new homes. Apparently she spends more time with "her" dogs than our girl and her brother, so they don't get as much time spent on them. She said she'd really start spending some time with her, so that she is a little better. Also that she feels the girl just needs to go to her forever home, where she can get the love and attention she needs and deserves.

So boo, I could have gotten my whippet boy, which was my original desire. If I could afford it, I'd offer to take them both. It's good for whippets to have more whippets around and siblings are always good to have! That said though, I still intend on getting my girl. Hopefully her brother will find a good home soon.

Whippet Woman said that she discovered her camera was broken, so she's going to try and get it fixed. And that if she has to, she will just buy a disposable camera so we can get some photos. Cross your fingers, I'm excited to see what she looks like. I can picture her in my mind, but real proof is always better. :)

Anyway, just had to update with that happy bit of news. Now, if Mr. L would just arrive, so that our family can be all completed!!

The No Point Entry

We stayed up until 2am last night, watching the Ghost Hunters Live show in Waverly. That was pretty fun. We love to watch that show, and it was a lot of fun seeing stuff that they would normally cut out. Although, there certainly were a ridiculous amount of commercials. Like over and beyond normal tv. But whatever, still fun.

We had three trick or treaters... This whole daylight savings time being pushed back thing sort of threw me for a loop. We didn't buy any candy (short on funds this month), plus with the noise Artemis sets up each time the door bell is rang, we try to avoid doing it. I felt bad saying we didn't have any candy--with the daylight out, its not like you could rely on the age-old front porch light on or off code.

No baby either, so he is officially a November baby now. The new joke thing is that he will be born tomorrow. Sully was born two days after his month's holiday, I was born 2 days after Halloween, and Caayn's birthday is a Solstice. However, the joke isn't so funny, since tomorrow is my birthday. Ugh. I hate my birthday. It's never been something I enjoyed, and I have trouble adjusting to a new number. Some day I will catch up to whatever age it is I feel in my head. Maybe then I'll start enjoying my day.

I am so tired! We haven't stayed up that late on purpose in a very long time. Sometimes we'll be up until midnight, but that is usually us going to bed at 11pm and me talking to Caayn until midnight. :D Poor guy, it doesn't matter how much conversation we have during the day--as soon as we hit the bed, I end up with like 100 things I remembered that I wanted to tell him. He's a good sport and manages to not fall asleep too often. Hehe!

Mr. L's curtains are up. His room actually looks complete now. Well, it could use some wall art, but I don't feel like busting out the paints and thinking of what to paint. It's not like he's going to notice anyway. I washed a couple outfits, but I'm starting to think I might need to just wash them all, since the weather is decidedly cold now (it did hit like 60 a few times recently). We need to install the carseat base in the van. That's going to be SO weird!! And the back row of seats will have to come out so the stroller can go back there without taking up all the storage space. (Oh and when I say we in this instance, I fully mean Caayn.) Camera battery is charged... here's to hoping that we get more photos than we did last time. I think we had like 3 or 4 pictures, and like 5 of my incision and belly. Freaky looking pictures, but I like to look at them; it's weird to know that they dug around in my guts and that I can only remember bits and pieces of it all. Besides, how often do you get to see a huge incision in your own body with staples stuck in it?!

I also need to call Whippet Woman and arrange a date. I was supposed to call yesterday but forgot and I don't want the week to get away from me without getting a date set to bring the last family member home.

We had the oil changed and tires rotated on the van... apparently our brakes are close to shot. He said we have about 5000 miles left on them, but now I'm all twitchy and want to get them fixed ASAP. I don't like anything being wrong with the car or knowing something might be. Plus that just seems like something that ought to be repaired before we make a long road trip in who knows what kind of weather conditions.

According to Caayn, the Steelers are going to be playing on Monday (we've seen only 2 games this season, and one of those was a pre-season game)... and Monday is one night that we actually watch the prime time shows. Chuck, Heroes and Journeyman (although, I have NO clue whether I like that show or not--the guy sounds too much like Ray Ramano for me to take him seriously)... So that really sucks. I'd rather watch Chuck and then the game, but Caayn likes Heroes a super amount, so we'll probably just watch the shows instead. I like Heroes, but I'm not as hooked as I was last year.

Anyway, enough pointless drivel... I didn't really have anything of importance to say today, I don't think anyway. I can't remember what was at the beginning of this post. (Did I say I had a bad memory?)

Outside smells so good--it's the smell of autumn. Like spices and cookies and pumpkins and leaves and something like wood smoke... Caayn says it's probably the smell of the dropped leaves starting to decay, which is probably true, but I still love it. It's even better than the smell after rain.