Saturday, May 14, 2011

She's Here!

So it turns out I got to "plan my own wedding" and "open my presents Christmas morning" after all. Because the night before I was supposed to be induced, I went into labor, all on my own!

I started having pains, not even contractions per se, Thursday morning, and by the afternoon, they were quite painful pains. But they weren't really like any of the contractions I'd felt up to that point, so I was still hesitant to believe it was labor. By 5pm I started timing them, though, because they were quite painful and beginning to come fairly regularly. They were 8-12 minutes apart and 1/2- 1 1/2 minutes long. I still figured they'd fizzle out, but by the time the kids went to bed, I was running out of cuss words to scream through each contraction, so I thought it might be real labor. Finally, by 10, I couldn't take the pain much longer, so even though the average time between contractions was still 6-7 minutes, I called the doc and he gave me the go ahead to go to the hospital! By the time I got there about 11:30pm, I was dilated to 5 cm and 90% effaced, so it WAS real labor! Halleluia!

I got my wonderful epidurdual, which left me still able to move and feel pressure, but no pain, and by 5am was nearly ready to push. The doctor got there and at 5:30 we went at it. At 6:02 my sweet baby girl was born. Please meet:


7 LBS 10 OZ, 19" Long

And 100% sweetness

So happy you are here, sweet girl. Hopefully God won't hold all those swears against me and your daddy will forgive me for telling him he drives like a grandma on the way to the hospital. (But seriously, though, stopping at a yellow light??).

Welcome to the family!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Scheduling an Induction, Analogously

Imagine it's the day before your wedding. You've been planning this event, in one way or another, your whole life. Ever since you knew what a wedding was, you've dreamed about how yours would be. You've sketched out countless dresses, chosen bridesmaids (who have summarily been dismissed and reassigned through the years), mentally arranged bouquets, planned the food, and even practiced writing your name with the last name of various beaux. This is one of the biggest events of your life and you know just how you want it to go. Of course, as the REAL event approaches, you have to acknowledge that you haven't been able to afford everything the way you envisioned it. You've had to cut a few corners and give up a few fantasies for the sake of the budget. But still, everything left is going to happen to your taste and specifications.

But then, the day before everything is to take place, your wealthy aunt, the one who likes to have a say in everything, announces that she has a surprise for you. Without you knowing, she has rearranged everything. With her vast sums of money, she has gotten rid of your small center pieces and substituted them with large, garish ones. The cake is now covered in bright blue butter cream flowers, just like hers were. Your tight bouquet of daisies has now become a streaming bouquet of ivy and lilies. And the location you chose for its sentimentality has now been moved to a large ballroom across town. All of it is the best of the best, the most expensive available. But it's not what YOU chose. It's not what you envisioned. Sure, you'll still be marrying the man you love, but all the imagining and excitement and anticipation is muted by the fact that this is not what you had planned.

Oh, so you're not the plan-your-wedding-since-you-were-four type? Or you're a man? Here, try this analogy:

It's Christmas Eve. You've been watching presents appear under the tree for weeks now. You love to look at them, pick them up and shake them, imagine what's inside. You can't wait for Christmas morning. And then, as you stand there the night before Christmas, someone comes in and tells you what's inside every single present. You know that Christmas morning will not be the same. Yeah, you were going to get those same gifts, either way, but without the excitement and anticipation of not knowing, opening them just isn't going to be the same.

Well, that's how I feel about the possibility of having to be induced. I know there is a baby. I know she's coming either way. But from the time I was little and knew where babies came from, I've imagined what it would be like for me. I never anticipated all the trouble and heartache that infertility issues would cause. I pictured deciding to have a baby and then, bada bing, being pregnant. It did NOT work out that way for me. Not when I wanted to, not how I wanted to. So to also anticipate going into labor, my body deciding how it would go--my water breaking, or labor slowly starting during the night, or suddenly getting hard contractions one afternoon, or whatever--and then not getting to experience any of that either, but just setting an appointment, going in and getting an IV, and having them pretty much force the baby out, well, it's just not the way I wanted it to go. And considering this is most likely my last child, I just had really hoped my body would figure things out on its own. The anticipation and excitement of seeing how things would go is what has gotten me through the last 9 months. It's my very favorite thing about being pregnant, just those last few hours once you know THIS IS IT! The baby is coming!

So yeah, it's my due date today. And unless this baby shows up tomorrow or the next day, I'll be induced on Friday. So please, if you're the praying time, pray for a Christmas miracle.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Putting Down Roots

When we left our beautiful old Victorian house, we arrived here at our new house with so much promise and anticipation. It has some serious improvements over our old house--like no drug dealers for neighbors, or hoarders for neighbors, the ward doesn't seem quite so needy, and we have those wonderful 20th century inventions called air conditioning, a garage, and storage rooms. Really, we have a lot to be thankful for.

BUT...this house isn't IT. This house and neighborhood brings with it its own issues. There are actually fewer kids in the neighborhood than our old neighborhood. So the drama that occurs every day after school when my kids want to find friends to play with and there are none continues (especially for poor Beck who has four boys his age nearby and they are ALL anti-social with anti-social mothers who have no desire to make play dates). Also, a good portion of the neighborhood is still very rural, so there are smells you never bargained for in a suburb, flies galore, and even the crowing of roosters and braying of goats every morning.

The problems we had at our old house with heating and cooling are just as bad here! Hard to believe it for a house built in the 1990's compared to one built in the 1890's, but it's true. Our old house pre-dated vents, so radiators were our only source of heat. And they did OK in the rooms that had them. But several rooms didn't, leaving them freezing cold and requiring space heaters all winter. Then in summer, we had a swamp cooler, but it was noisy, required the windows to be open (i.e. more noise) and didn't make it to the main floor very well. Eventually we put externally vented a/c in half the house, but the other half remained 20 degrees hotter then the rest. Well, here we have a super crappy vent system so that the 3-4 rooms closest to the furnace get all the heat and cold air. And the ones furthest away are 20 degrees colder in winter and hotter in summer. JUST LIKE OUR OLD HOUSE. It's ridiculous.

Other little things include doors that don't seal, walls and floors that have no insulation or sound proofing, and the fact that our yard isn't fenced off, so I still have to worry about my kids when they're outside. Anti-social neighbors abound. And a newly-wed/mostly dead ward mimics our old one almost exactly. So, ya. A lot of the things I thought I was leaving behind seem to have followed me here.

But this time of year, the time when everything starts shooting up out of the ground, bursting forth out of buds, turning green, and flourishing, I want to plant. I want to plant strawberries and vegetables and flowers. I want to dig in the dirt and see my handiwork blossom and produce. But (beyond the fact that I'm not physically able to do it at the moment), I feel the futility of it here. Our lease ends in a year and 3 months, we're not likely to renew it or to buy this house, and so it just seems dumb to put all that effort into a yard where I won't be here to see the results.

But tell that to my gardeners instinct. It doesn't want to listen.

It's sad knowing that we'll most likely be moving again in less than a year and a half. But it's also exciting to think of what lies ahead--maybe we'll build our dream house. Maybe we'll move out of state. Maybe we'll find a place that's just right for us where there are lots of kids, and nice neighbors, and big shade trees, and a perfect space for a garden.

I hope so. I can't wait to put down deep deep roots.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

As I've said before, and though you might not believe me after all that talk about frozen custard and stuff, I'm not much of an ice cream fan. It's not that I don't like it per se. But there are just so many other sweet treats that come first on my list of sugary delights. Mostly baked goods--cake, brownies, cookies, pie, truffles, etc.

But in the summer time, and even in the spring when the days are getting warmer and my blood starts to stir, I do appreciate a good scoop of ice cream. SCOOP is a big part of it, because soft serve is, to me, a big swirly waste of calories. So unsatisfying. But a nice, rich scoop of Baskin Robbins, for example, is just the ticket every once in a while.

When I was a kid, I went through phases of liking a certain flavor and only getting that for a very long time. My first love was Daiquiri Ice, light and refreshing. Then came Chocolate Fudge. (Ironically, this is now Daphne's favorite flavor--totally unsuggested by me--and when I tasted hers, I about died from chocolate overload. I guess some things do change.) Then came a phase where I only liked Jamocha Almond Fudge. Even as a kid, I loved the taste of chocolate and coffee together.

During my teens and early 20's, Baskin Robbins had a seasonal flavor called Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. It was TO DIE FOR. And it only came out a couple of times a year. You were very lucky if you went while it was in season. That was, and still is, my all-time favorite ice cream flavor. But, alas, I haven't seen it in years.

Now my fave is Chocolate Peanut Butter. I love how the huge wedges of peanut butter get semi-frozen and then melt in your mouth. Wonderful. I will occasionally try something new. And when I'm in the mood for something not quite as rich, I will sometimes have a scoop of Pralines 'N' Cream or my old standby, Daiquiri Ice, but I'm pretty much a Chocolate peanut butter girl for now.

What about you? Are you an ice cream fan? And what's your favorite flavor?