Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All I Want for Christmas is a.....

Is it a Bad Thing the baby is getting a wafflemaker for Christmas?

What? The Damn Dog (formerly known as Gunnar) managed to knock ours off the kitchen counter and break it into more pieces than even my masterful superglue abilities can repair.

And we need our waffles.

And I need gifts for the baby under the tree. She was getting rice cereal in her stocking but we had to break that out last night after I got tired of her staring at me while I consumed 12 lbs of rock-hard fudge. (Last week's to-do list included purchasing a new candy thermometer...overcooked fudge is chalky.) So we ripped the bow off the rice cereal and let her slurp some. She actually seemed to enjoy it.

I would write it in her baby book if she had one. Oh, that would be a great Christmas present IF I COULD FIND ONE. Yes, I live in a God-forsaken hick town but I can't even find a decent one on hallmark.com. WTF?

So I told my sister-in-law... only half-joking.... about getting the baby a wafflemaker for Christmas and she found me a deluxe Oster version on sale for about $50. What? No. We will be purchasing the $12 Target special.... the dog won't mind.

Hot Stuff's family is horrified by the gifts we're getting Darling Girl. We got Sweet Boy a new carseat for his first Christmas and various other things a new baby really needed. Darling Girl is getting some new sippy cups, pacis, a very cute storybook from her brother, a giant box of hand-me-down Little People stuff (from the amazing Elle), and a baby book... if I can find one. Am I making a mistake? Would a bit of additional retail therapy now prevent years of on-the-couch therapy later?

Oh, wait. Or is it that I'm feeling a wee bit envious of my well-off sister-in-law? The people who bought their daughter a $100 lego knight set and gave it to her in early December "just because." I don't have a problem with the way we give to our kids (1. They don't need all that commercial stuff and, 2. We can't stand the clutter.) EXCEPT when this little demon starts comparing what we give them to what their cousins get. My aunt used to talk about this kind of thing when her kids were little and had the same problem with their cousins. Maybe I should call her.

I shopped with the sis-in-law the weekend after Turkey day and she bought her kids a lot of stuff and she pushed me to buy for my kids. I didn't. For one thing.... if I'm going to spend money on things like books I will do it at the local Montana Book & Toy Company rather than Barnes & Noble. Prices are the same so why not shop locally if possible? Sis-in-law bought lots of toys for her kids.....I actually returned the Little People Garage I got for Sweet Boy when Elle offered me 1000 pieces of Little for the cost of postage. He is also getting a race car launcher thingy and the movie "Cars" from Santa, a box with some much-needed long underwear and some coloring/activity books in his stocking. Daddy got him a model Caterpillar tractor. Santa generally tends to be very into oral hygiene at our house..... stockings typically have new toothbrushes/paste and maybe something mama wouldn't normally splurge on... like Batman tattoo bandaids. Santa is a practical man.

But enough of me listing what I'm buying my kids to try to justify spending too much and/or not enough on them. Back to the original question.... is it bad that Darling Girl is getting a wafflemaker for Christmas??

Popsicle weather....

I have pictures but I can't get them to load....

Yesterday was about 25-30 degrees F and sunny. I bundled the kids and we walked to the mailbox. Then we played with the sled on the ice in the yard. Darling Girl sat in her bouncy seat on the porch for a bit, then went in the dining room (just inside the door) while I sat in the sunshine with a big box of baby clothes from the shed and sorted them. Sweet Boy was playing in the yard and with his toys in the barn. We finally went inside because we were all getting hungry.

We were outside for over an hour.

I had on canvas pants and a fleece pull-over, a hat & gloves. Sweet Boy was wearing snowpants & a ski coat, stocking cap & mittens. Darling Girl had on her fleece snowsuit & a hat. Both kids had vaseline on their cheeks (frost nip is my biggest fear....).

Are we crazy or just climatized? I remember the first weekend it was below freezing and I thought I would DIE before spring. Now I'm out in below-freezing weather in a glorified sweatshirt? I've heard stories of guys at the South Pole cutting ice with no shirts on in 10 degree F weather..... and I love to think my kids are tough little buggers but playing trucks (you should see him try to push a toy wheel barrow over ice....) in freezing temps seems just a bit shy of insane to me....

Where's the Kid?

Ok, this is pretty bad but my very first thought was, "Oh, I'm so glad that wasn't me....."

A Lunch Date

I know you think I'm just ignoring you but I'm not.....

Although I did have to make THREE (double) batches of fudge and buy a new candy thermometer (read: rock-hard, over-cooked fudge... but my sister will eat it) before I had rewards I deemed acceptable for the mail lady. Now maybe the crazy bitch will deliver our mail to our house instead of my in-laws....

And it isn't that I'm so terribly busy attending elegant affairs (I really wanted to say "soirees" but I'm not sure how to spell it...) this holiday season.... I'm not that popular.

It's just that we got a new COSTCO in Helena and I've been spending (and spending my free time) there.....

(Kidding, only kidding.... but I have gotten a lot of milk there and I'm fully stocked for toilet paper through 2010.....)

PS. For you comparison shoppers.... the only thing I've found so far that is significantly "cheaper elsewhere" is nicorette gum. The Target brand is $30-ish for 110 pieces and the Nicorette brand at CostCo is $62-ish for 190 pieces. And, so far, the gas has been consistently a nickel or more cheaper per gallon.... not sure that justifies the $50 membership but we've compromised by calling it a "mama date" and we shop then share a slice of cheesy pizza. (Imagine my surprise and delight to see $1.99/slice pizza after the nightmare of buying pizza in the airport with my dad.... at least now I know where to take him for lunch next time he is in town....)

Friday, December 08, 2006

True Blogger Disappointment

I'm so bummed. I had a perfect photo op and my hubby ERASED it.

It was in the shower. (Oh, you're getting excited now.)

Well, to be specific, it was written on the wall with dry-erase marker. (What, you don't keep a dry-erase in the shower??)

It started with an endearing note to my hubby before I left for a short trip. (As opposed to the usual half-finished grocery list scribbled on the wall....)

Then my brother wrote a note, "Please don't write things like this in the shower when I might be present and read it."

Then my sister wrote, "Yeah, seriously, ew."

Then someone who shall remain anonymous wrote, "Sex. Sex. Sex. Loud."

So what's the writing on your wall?

End of the Story.

Nadine Update

From Nadine's parents.....

To let you all know Nadine had her first post-chemo checkup today and Dr gave her the thumbs up !!!!!!! He did mention that this first year is the most critical and most heavily watched year. This means that Nadine will have regular check ups every other month for the next two years. Please keep her lifted up in your prayers. We have only begun the next part of this journey but with great friends giving us great support we will make it to the end. We would like to thank each and everyone of you for everything that you have done thus far. We would not be this far without you. God bless.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Boobs on Parade....

Apparently there has been a flurry of discussion regarding breastfeeding in public. Blogging Baby has some links and stuff for the more intellectual of you out there....

All I can think when I see this particular photo (and I thought it when Abby whipped out her breast pump on ER a few weeks ago too) is.... don't you know it is easier to go up from the bottom when wearing a button-down shirt? Duh. Wear a bottom-snap maternity bra and go up from the bottom....

I nursed my babe in the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas this week.... the man sitting next to me (in the big cowboy hat & pink shirt) didn't have a CLUE what I was doing.

In the last week I've also nursed in the following places: United, Delta, Ted, SkyWest & Big Sky airlines, Salt Lake City airport, Denver airport, Billings airport, Helena airport, Las Vegas airport, Tony Roma's, Don Miguel's, The Sands Convention Center, several theaters & expo centers.... frankly, I was thrilled to be in a hotel room and finally home so we could NOT be so amazingly subtle in our nursing..... it's nice to just let it all hang out once in a while.

So, for your amusement, here is Homestead's Handy-Dandy guide to public breastfeeding.

Rule #1. If it is my house, it will be your problem. I don't go in another room to feed the babe when I'm in my own house. You don't want to see my boobie? Don't look. Generally speaking I will cover up with a blanket but let's face it... that's because I'm more concerned about my fat roll than the boob.

Rule #2. Plan for the event. I prefer bottom-snap bras. Motherhood no longer carries them but I think Target does. I hate fishing around my shoulder to hook a bra. For this weekend's trip I wore a lot of stretchy-knit t-shirts with vests over them. Easy to sneak a baby under a t-shirt and the vest covers the fat roll and also hides if you leak through a bra pad or if the bra pad gets squinched up or you don't have time to hook you bra.

Rule #3. Be as subtle as needed. I don't go for the dramatic blanket over the shoulder thing..... I just drape it over the baby's head and kinda tuck it under my arm. With SB I would often tuck it up and under my bra strap because he liked to grab the blanket and yank it off while eating.

Rule #4. Leave the paci in as long as possible. I like to have her sucking away on the paci while I get her in place, then just yank the paci and let her grab onto the boobie.... keeps her quiet and she's ready to suck.

Rule #5. The SLC airport has several private rooms (off the women's bathrooms) for nursing. It is nice when you are tired of being covert with the nursing thing.

Rule #6. The Billings airport has the nicest nursing lounge.

Rule #7. If your mother tries to be "helpful" and arrange the receiving blanket while you are getting ready to nurse I promise you will flash the world your tit at least once.

Rule #8. Be wary those little ladies who want to pull back the blanket and "take a peak at that sleeping angel"... you will either flash them or you have to say something like, "Angel on Boob. Warning. Angel on Boob."

Rule #9. No matter what, something you do will totally ook-out your brother.

Rule #10. All of these rules apply to babies who know what they are doing. I have a whole 'nother set of rules for just starting out with nursing.

So what do you think? Am I crazy to spend so much time posting about this tiny little microcosm of society? (Dude, how do you spell microcosm?) We, the nursing mamas.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More Mom Advice....

File this under Really Good Motherhood Advice....

Don't set the "horns" to the breastpump on the windowsill at work when it is -10 degrees F. It just ain't comfortable.

Don't ever leave the house without a spare outfit for EVERYONE if the baby hasn't pooped in 4 days....

Don't lick your finger immediately after using hand sanitizer.... don't let anyone else do it either.

Teach your son not to stick his tongue on frozen metal. (Do this by explanation... not demonstration.)

Don't teach your son how to open the door if you don't want him to go outside.

Empty the potty chair BEFORE you start throwing the football.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Rodeo Queen Update

Cassidy arrived in Vegas (with mom) on Thursday and got all settled in. Her little Chevy Colorado was packed pretty tight but, compared to the other girls, she seems to have packed light. She only brought 16 pairs of boots and three hats.... She was feeling a little tense and stressed-out when she arrived in Vegas so on Friday she went sky-diving to blow off a little steam. Yup, that's our girl.

Thank you to everyone who sent cards & notes to Jody (Montana's national director) before the pageant. You can follow the pageant progress on the official website: http://www.missrodeoamerica.blogs.com/ AND you can send email support to her via missrodeopageant@yahoo.com with "Cassidy Han, Miss Rodeo Montana" in the subject line. She can receive email until Friday at noon so please drop her a line if you have a moment.

Thanks to you all!

PS. The above photo is NOT her skydiving..... it is her at work..... hence the sooty face.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So I was wondering.....

Can you think of a slang term for nipples?

Nope, me neither.

Wish Bucky read my blog..... she'd have one.

*** UPDATED ***

One Crue Girl wins. Tune in Tokyo. Every time I bare a breast to nourish the child I'm going to think of that phrase and start to giggle.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Darling Girl and her namesake Auntie.

Same nose. Same cheeks (although you can't see it here). Same deep-set eyes. These two are roughly the same age. That scares the fuck out of me. Maybe naming her after her Auntie Niki wasn't such a wise idea....

She's at her fighting weight and training hard...

4 month shots yesterday..... she was a champ.

The stats
Head: 50th percentile 16"
Height: 75th percentile 25"
Weight: 90th percentile 13#7oz

I've never really gotten into the "percentile" race.... except this time because it is so funny.... and, of course, it makes me feel superior regarding my milk production.

And my doctor gave me a stroller. What? A very nice double-jogger. Obviously I'm his best patient. I think I deserve it. I think he owes me.... he must feel guilty for the 4.3 minutes it took me to deliver Darling Girl.... and he didn't really do anything except suction the ook out of her nose..... so I got a stroller. Bonus.

Don't question these things. Just know I lead a charmed life.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

She isn't just a Blob anymore....

Darling Girl has been doing that I'm-going-to-make-a-comma-shape-by-arching-my-back thing a lot lately.... usually trying to chase her paci into her gummy little face.

Last night.... yes, on Erection Night.... while Hot Stuff and I avoided the last of the political mumbo-jumbo by watching Deadwood on dvd (What Sweet Boy was in bed and Darling Girl won't be TOO warped by the violence & language.... will she??).... she ROLLED OVER.

Back to front over her left arm.

I didn't believe it so I put her on her back and SHE DID IT AGAIN.

And then she grabbed the dog by the ear and he licked her full on the face (much to her delight and my horror), then he looked at me and said, "What? She came to me."


Car seats.

Oh car seats.

What to do about car seats.

First, the scene:

Child One: approx 30 months (2.5 years), 35 lbs, tallish.
Child Two: approx 4 months, 16 lbs or so, tallish.

The situation:

Child Two is in a bucket seat and, based on my current predictions, will be in it until March-April or so. AT THAT TIME.... we need to decide our next car seat configuration. Child One currently has THREE car seats. A Britax Roundabout (Because we are nothing if not gullible yuppie wanna-bes.... and it was low-profile and on sale.), an Evenflo something-or-other (it looks like a papasan chair.. maybe this) & an Eddie Bauer over-the-head bar seat that I can't find a picture of but it doesn't really matter....

So can Child One graduate to some sort of booster seat soon? Any suggestions? I want, of course, safety first but I also really want low-profile (think two car seats & a dog in the back seat of a Toyota). And I want.... cheap.

There I admit it. I want cheap. And I want convenient. And I'm looking for the best compromise of safe, cheap & convenient. (I say this because I felt a lot of guilt over turning Child One's car seat forward facing at 13 months when I learned my sister-in-law was horrified and couldn't believe it.... she is ALL ABOUT safety. So the next time she visited we let Sweet Boy drive home from Nana & Papa's.... we're rural like that.)

So advice, criticism, website referrals and honest opinions would be welcome.

Hey, hey family and friends.....

My baby sister is going to Vegas. She leaves the day before Thanksgiving for an eight day competition for Miss Rodeo America.

Here's the request. Please send cards & e-mail in support.

To assure delivery to Cassidy, please send them BY NOVEMBER 23rd to the following:

c/o Jody Rempel
National Director
1405 US Hwy 89
Fort Shaw MT 59443

You can email her any time at missrodeomontana2006@yahoo.com

This is going to be an exhausting week for her and she will really appreciate a little love.... and while you're at it... if you aren't from Montana and your state has a queen.... send her a little love too. These girls really do work hard.... It ain't all about lookin' good in your wranglers..... they're smart too.
OK people.... the elections are OVER.
Take down the damn yard signs.

On and Off Again

This weekend Hot Stuff learned what many people who regularly wear jewelry or are married already know…. Rings go on easier than they come off.

Poetic, isn’t it, that he discovered he couldn’t get his wedding ring off? I mean, hey, I don’t ever want him to WANT to take his wedding ring off, right? But….. His job makes it dangerous for him to wear his ring so he usually has it on a chain around his neck. Last week he went to a conference and decided to wear his ring on his finger. Well, apparently, that little “jam” he suffered this summer…. The one that was so insignificant he didn’t even tell me about it….. yeah… I’m pretty sure he broke his finger. I palpated it. (Lord, I love saying that.) Yes, I palpated and, while I’m no expert, I can feel a lumpy spot. (Hey, that was fun to say too.)

So we tried lube. (hee-hee) And ice. (hoo-hoo) And lubed ice tugging with a terrycloth towel. All the while I was taunting him for having TWO broken bones and cataract surgery (again) in the last six months….. words like fragile, precious, dainty and delicate. As you can see, I am one to enjoy my man’s suffering.

So we went to our favorite local jeweler…. The ones who have our credit card number on speed dial….. and they used a little tiny can open (er… circular saw) to cut his finger off…. I mean…. His ring off. Miracle of miracles they didn’t cut through the inscription. (It says “Hey, put this back on” Ok, no not really….) They measured him and figured out a plan to repair the ring (I missed that part….. small son said, “Mom, I gotta PEE.” And we were off on a mad-dashed race to find a bathroom…. Successfully.)

And all ends well….. Hot Stuff feels just horrible about having the ring cut off but, hey, in the greater scheme of things I’m still the big loser…. I LOST his great-grandmother’s wedding band…. He just got a little over-zealous about showing those conference sluts he was a married man.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pondering Milk

I noticed the other little one at my daycarista’s was using a medela bottle too. You know…. Those clear plastic ones with the yellow tops that you consider, in a bleary-eyed pre-coffee state, using as creamer out of the fridge at work. So I asked if I needed to do anything special to mark my bottles. She said my standard pen-n-tape marking was fine and she also noted she could usually tell our milk apart because of the color. The other mom’s was white-blue-white and mine was creamy. I, of course, took “creamy” as code for “yellowish-and-possibly-substandard” so I did an internet search and found this and then emailed my source-for-all-things-baby (and, interestingly, the source of many of my medela bottles) and asked if it was normal to have milk that looks like vanilla slim-fast.

SHE said my milk was perfect and the buttery color (buttery…. I love that term… it sounds so much better than smoker’s-cough yellow) was from high fat content and my chestages were producing a superior product. Her own milkage (which nursed three chubby wee ones and countless others when she donated a freezer full of frozen milk to la leche) was the color of hazelnut creamer. So I got the thumbs up for being a vanilla creamer kinda girl.

I also learned drinking green gatorade can tint the milk. How cool will that be for St. Patrick’s Day???

Friday, November 03, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Thinking of the Future.....

If I were a celebrity I would have children to wear as an excessory to my latest fabulous outfit.

But I'm not.

I'm a Redneck.

So I have children in hopes their wrestling moves will make them big stars on Friday Night Smackdown and they will buy mama a new trailer.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

I was wondering.....

Nursing is a surge that sustains my baby and energizes me..... pumping is a drain the makes me tired and gives me a dry mouth. Why IS that??

Friday, October 20, 2006

This is for anyone who wonders where my kids get that look......


*Photo by Hot Stuff

Big Boy Pants

Subtitled: Has that chair been water-sealed??


"My son understood the concept of potty training instantly."

"Oh, that stuff about boys being harder to train than girls is hooey."

"I got him a toy he really wanted and then don't let him have it until he was trained.... it only took two days."

"I bought the singing potty. My son was trained and showing off his new "skills" in half a day."

"I just let him pee off the porch like daddy."

"Pull-Ups worked really well for me."

"Plain undies worked really well for me."

"Once he learned that being wet is uncomfortable he stopped peeing himself."

"I got him cute undies with Super Heroes on them."

These are all quotes by mothers-in-potty-training (MIPT's). Not THIS mother. But mothers. What I want to know is WHO is actually being TRAINED here.....

Potty Training Hazmat Status Day 8: Safe around the house and on short trips.... but don't plan a marathon project without first installing a Pull-Up..... and if he's playing hard or napping all bets are off.....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Baby Notes.....

Ok, so if you are struggling for a baby gift and don't mind forking over a bit of cash, check out these books. Sweet Boy has one and he loves to see his name in it.

I'm also a big fan of the chambray sheets from Pottery Barn. I think the link is here.... I have a crib sheet and I LOVE it..... although the baby doesn't appreciate me crawling into bed with her.... maybe I should add that to my Christmas list....

Christmas is coming......

I'm ready to be done Christmas shopping.

In our little corner of the world lists are a NECESSITY. Seriously. If you don't give me a list, you won't get a present.... unless you are my brother..... then you are getting new Wranglers and a University of Montana Grizzlies sweatshirt.... (Don't worry.... I'm still patiently waiting for my 2005 Christmas present AND my 2004, 2005 & 2006 Birthday presents.....)

Dear Santa-

I'm asking for a popcorn popper, smartwool socks & a new pair of jeans. Hot Stuff wants a gun safe, pickup seat covers, reloading equipment & UnderArmor clothing..... no, what he really wants is Capital Sports gift certificates. Darling Girl wants long-sleeved onsies for under her overalls, a new daycare diaper bag, pampers & a helmet (life with a brother is rough.) Sweet Boy wants Bambi II, Lilo & Stitch, long underwear & lumber for the swingset. (Will a 2x4 fit in a stocking?? Stay tuned to find out....) We could also use an automatic starter for the pellet stove. Hot stuff gets lint roller refills every year from the cat..... clever little thing, and the dog, for some reason, gets him new dishrags every year.... a 3-pack. I can't explain it. Our pets know us so well.

Friday, October 13, 2006

12 Weeks.....

Damn. The Darling One is 12 weeks old. I've been working quite a few hours a week in the past few weeks so I can "ease" into this whole back-to-work thing. I will be up to 3 days in the office next week.

It's also part of my not-so-secret plan to cut my hours to 30 (or less). Call it a test-run if you will. Can I get enough work done in 3 days in the office and working from home the other 6 hours or so??

Paychecks-be-damned, I like hanging out with my kids.

So, internet, I challenge YOU to come up with some serious money-saver ideas for the KEEP THE HOME IN HOMESTEAD campaign. What's the single most important thing you've done that saves you cash??

Things I'm already doing and/or can't or won't do:

1. Groceries: Buying beef whole (cheaper AND yummier), freezing mass quantities of garden produce from my grandpa (Bumper crop of tomatoes this year....), eating a lot of egg salad (eggs are on sale a lot and make cheap meals),
2. Livestock: I will not buy a goat. Although Sweet Boy drinks enough milk to keep one in production round-the-clock. I refuse to have a child who's biggest kindergarten fascination is the fact that milk comes in cartons. (Ok, ok, I admit..... it BOGGLED me to see milk in cartons when I started school.)
3. Clothing: Not a lot of shopping going on around here. I do buy Lands End tshirts on clearance for work but that's about it. SB & DG are clothed almost 100% in hand-me-downs and Hot Stuff wears fire pants & t-shirts for work.
4. Media: Ok, our biggest expense? Probably movie late fees. Seriously. So we try not to get new releases. We don't have cable or satellite tv.... Rabbit ears. Yes. Rabbit ears. We get two channels downstairs and mmmaaaayyyyybeeeee one or two more upstairs if it is cloudy. We have a land line phone, 2 cell phones & dial-up internet and I've tried to talk myself out of internet service but I haven't been able to give it up.. although I am looking into juno.com or peoplepc.com... anyone have any experience there? We can't give up the land-line because cell phones don't work at our house. I won't give up the cell phones because I need to be able to get ahold of Hot Stuff on fires and his work is too cheap to provide him with a phone... we could get rid of the second phone but it would only save us $10/month (on a $65/month bill) so that isn't something I'm considering right now.
5. Unrealistic expectations: I just put my health club membership on permanent hold ($41/month) although we do use it enough to justify getting a couple of punch-passes ($8/visit) to use the pool.
6. Snacks: I don't drink fancy coffee or eat lunch out. We rarely go out to dinner. We only order pizza for special events. Hot Stuff does have a particular dill pickle sunflower seed addiction that eats up some funds but I'm willing to tolerate it since it replaces the Copenhagen addiction.
7. Utilities: We don't pay water or sewer. Electricity and propane are high but we try to use our pellet stove for most of our heating. We buy 2 tons (that's 100 bags) of pellets early in the fall (they are cheaper then and drier so they burn more efficiently) and that is enough for the winter.
8. Hot Stuff generally drives the Toyota car since he has the longer commute. I drive the Jeep but we are considering trading it in for a Subaru car to save gas mileage. Yes, I'd rather get another little car but, unfortunately, there are times we need 4WD to get out of our yard.... not often, but enough.
9. I'm planning to "shop" our insurance for our house and vehicles to see if I can get better rates... any suggestions??
10. I've already stopped changing the baby's diaper (kidding, geez, relax....) and Sweet Boy is aaaalllllmmmmmoooosssstttt potty trained. That will be a surprisingly big help.... (although I did drop $17 for a SINGING potty to, ahem, encourage the situation..... please don't ask......)
11. I'll add things as you guys come up with brilliant suggestions......

Friday, October 06, 2006

The well-trained spouse.

Go read this.

Then read the comments.

What do you think???

Thursday, October 05, 2006

ABC Meme

This is one of those things that goes around…..

Accent – None…. But for some reason my siblings & I slip into some sort of colloquial Rez/Canuk thing when we are together. Have you ever heard gulla? Like that.

Booze of choice – Vodka & grapefruit. Whisky & 7up. Red wine. Good beer. Red beer. Gin & tonic. The occassional margarita.

Chore I hate – Cleaning the floors.

Dog or cat – I have a dog who has a cat.

Essential electronics – ipod.

Favorite cologne – wildfires & chainsaw gas.

Gold or silver? – white gold.

Hometown – The Hi-Line, Montana.

Insomnia? – No.

Job title – Other Duties As Assigned.

Kids – two… and a very spoiled dog.

Living arrangement – House in a ‘burb….. although the insurance company defines us as a “small farm.”

Most admired trait – I think I’m freakin’ hilarious.

Number of sexual partners – at a time? Geez, just one…. But the dog likes to watch….

Overnight hospital stays – Uh, let me think…. My knee twice and my back once, and having kids…. That makes 5.

Phobias – I’m afraid I’ll jump off of high things.

Quote – “I’m going to go clorox my frontal lobe now…”

Religion – Catholic. Catholic. Catholic.

Siblings – 2. One gorgeous sister and one dorky brother…. Although we all know he’s just a half-sibling…. Talk to the UPS man about that…..

Time I wake up – 2 seconds after the baby starts snorting.

Unusual talent – I can’t talk about that… my brother reads this blog.

Vegetable I refuse to eat – I don’t really like cabbage.

Worst habit – Talking too much.

X-rays – Yes, and I can see through your clothes too….

Yummy foods I make – tacos, calzones & cinnamon rolls.

Zodiac sign – Virgo. ‘Splains a lot, doesn’t it??

Friday, September 29, 2006

Stressed Out

This week Hot Stuff quit chewing & Sweet Boy gave up his paci at bedtime. The only way the XY's in our house could get any more uptight is if the dog gives up his milk bones.....

Meanwhile I'm considering taking up serious recreational drinking just to be around them.....

Miss Seuser would be proud.....

The only reason I didn't have a perfect 4.0 in Junior High was Home Economics with Miss Seuser. (Side note: She later died from inhaling fumes from mixing cleaning chemicals.... something she always warned about....) Can you imagine why?

The photo doesn't do them justice... these were really beautiful calzones. I'm teaching my sister to make some simple recipes to impress her boyfriend. Hah!

For some reason my husband wasn't as impressed with these as he was with the chicken pot pie that said, "Go Steelers!"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A weighty issue....

A month ago I was bragging about being down to 158.... yeah, still at 158.

Heavy sigh.
Internet- I need some technical advice. I'm having some flash issues. (Not flasher-issues.... gutter mind.) I like to use the macro setting but if I use the flash I get this: And if I DON'T use the flash I get this:

Where's the happy medium between over-exposed & too rosy?? (And OH MY GOD can you not just fall in love with those blue-blue eyes & that adorable smile??)

See Mama, I snugglin' her.

So I was thinking how lucky I am to have a "big" boy who undertands how to be careful with the baby.... and I look over to see this: Doesn't the look on her face just say it all? Welcome to the rest of my life.....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Nadine Update

Hi all,

Nadine went in yesterday to begin her 5th and final round of chemo. The doctors decided this would be the last round and it is a 2/3 dose again (same as round 4). She got a scan yesterday and that was clear so that is positive. After this week is the tough part, the waiting game. She'll go every two months for scans to check for any tumors returning. Continue those prayers!!!

From a friend of Nadine's

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Eddie Bauer

Dear Eddie-

I love you. I forgive you for that, ahem, unfortunate incident with the ink tags. Remember? When the sales person left the ink tags on the cute vest & fleece jacket my mom got me for Christmas at the store in Spokane? And then when my mom calledthe store the sales person told her, well, basically, "tough bananas." And by the time we found a store with the same ink tag remover it was MONTHS later and I was WAY too pregant to wear the clothes..... and I said I would swear off your clothing forever.....well, I forgive you.

Why? What could change a mind as stubborn as mine?

Boot-cut, stretch, dark denim jeans.... size 10 long.

I would marry these jeans..... I sleep in them, they are so sexy and fit so well.....

And LONG. Almost too long. Really. Eddie, how could you? ALL of your jeans now have 2 inches more in the inseam and the Longs have 2 inches more than that..... I always thought I wanted MORE than 4 inches but, Eddie darling, you've prove to me it truly isn't the length but how you use it.....

I will admit I'm not as impressed with your "tall" pants.... they are longer in the legs but also longer in the rise.... and those of us with freak legs and short little tiny bodies just don't NEED that length in the rise.... but keep doing that thing you do with the "long pants" and we will continue to have a hot and torrid love affair.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Ok, quick. What does this picture tell you about me?? (And check out my new Adirondack chairs on the deck!!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Redneck Fun

aka: A lesson in filling your boots.....

Just Like Christopher Robin....

Scroll down here to see what "Rain Man" was up too in May 2005... Yup, different shoes but still stomping in puddles.

Molten Flourless Chocolate Cake

Would someone make this and tell me if it any good?? After last weekend I think I need it....

4 large eggs
½ lb (8oz) semisweet chocolate
2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
cooking spray
powdered sugar for decorating

Preheat oven to 425
Place a saucepan of water on high heat. Heat to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
In a mixing bowl, crack eggs and warm them over simmering water for 1 minute (hold bowl directly over the water, using a dish towel to protect your hands), whisking constantly.
Remove eggs from heat, and whisk for another minute until eggs are very fluffy. Meanwhile, put the chocolate and butter in a large, heatproof, stainless-steel or tempered-glass bowl; set it over the simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Let the chocolate and butter melt/ remove from heat. Let mixture cool slightly by stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Once slightly cooled, fold the chocolate and butter into the whipped eggs until no more streaks show. Batter will deflate.
Spray 6 (4oz) ramekins or ovenproof dessert cups with nonstick cooking spray (or use foil cups, or even muffin tins). Fill them ¾ of the way full and place on a baking sheet.Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how gooey you’d like the centers. Turn the cakes out onto dessert plates, and serve immediately with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Last weekend I:

A. Lost my (heirloom –from Hot Stuff’s great-grandma) gold wedding band.
B. Had a woman steal my son’s sunglasses and lie to my face.
C. Hit a baby deer with my husband’s pickup.
D. All of the above.

And while thinking about boob-lube….

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the tube of hospital-grade (I even got it FROM the hospital!) lanolin* that I’m smearing on my nipples (ew…. Wonder what google-hits I will get from that phrase….) says “DO NOT INGEST” and “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN” on it?? What do they think I need it for in the first place? And, more importantly, What is it going to do to my baby who is ingesting it??

*Interesting (or not) side note: With Sweet Boy I did not use lanolin…. Too sticky…. I used Crisco (NOT butter-flavored) instead. But this time I was in the hospital with no Crisco handy and the nurse gave me a tube of lanolin and I’ve been pretty happy with it so far.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just in case you were worried.....

I'm down to 158. From 161. That's THREE pounds. That's a whole pound more than my pound-a-week goal. I rock. I'm gonna go have another cookie.

And the dog thinks....

.... I can't wait until "it" can eat in that tray-cage.....then "it" will drop things for me.

And when "it" gets older I will teach "it" to throw a ball for me like I did with the Big One.

And I like to lick "it's" face and eat "it's" diapers. (Uh-huh.... I'm hoping it happens in that order too.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Oldest & My Youngest.

The dog.... he can't believe we've done this.


Macro Feature.....

Scary Alien Baby....

My kids....

This was AFTER he wiped his face....

Playing with his little toy men..... putting them in the pellet stove pipe outlet....

Because I know you really only come here for the pictures.....

I did this with Sweet Boy.... on or around his "birth date" every month I took a pile of pictures of him in a diaper with a particular toy. His was a stuffed elk, Darling Baby Girl gets a stuffed horse. I love looking back at the photos and seeing the changes month by month.....
and if I was really on the ball I'd post some one month comparison pics for you.... but I'm really just at work and happen to have these photos because I'm using the speedy office internet to upload to snapfish..... so the comparisons will have to wait.....

It lives.

Blogger hates me. I can't seem to post ANYTHING from home. But I tell you, I'm here....

So I'm at work right now but I don't have much to say..... I like working one day a week. It's a little frantic, but I like it..... I could get used to it.... but then I remember how teeny the paycheck would be.....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Go. Now. And then report back about how much fun you had trying to slurp the frozen caramel through the straw.

The weight.

The weight melted off during the first week. It did. Well, sort of. Now I’m stuck at 161.

Anything below 150 is Excellent.
150-155 is Good.
155-160 is OK.
160-165 is Heavy.
Over 165 is Pregnant with #3.

So, am I dieting & exercising? No. Are you kidding? I started my tried-n-true weight loss method on Sunday. Record everything you eat & report it to someone. It works, I swear. I learned this when I thought I had a starfish in my head (some people call them chronic migraines). The docs thought it might be a food allergy so I had to record everything and report it. Nothing more embarrassing than reporting half a bag of Hershey’s kisses, two spoonfuls of potato salad & 14 macadamia nuts for dinner. So far all I’ve discovered is I seem to really like hot dogs & cream-based foods. Hot dogs? I don’t even like hot dogs. Oh, and if I had any ice cream I would TOTALLY eat it for dinner…..

And then there’s that part about “put on your own oxygen mask first, then assist those around you”…..


It defines parenthood of two, doesn’t it? Come on… those of you with kids know exactly what I’m talking about…. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

How am I living this?

I shower every day. Every. Day. I take at least 15 minutes of “personal time” for myself. Shower (speed-shaving is an art form), put on a touch of makeup, brush my teeth… that kind of stuff. How is this being accomplished? A clear shower curtain, a bassinet on wheels & Thomas the train on dvd.

I snack. I always have granola bars (Can I tell you how much I LOVE the goodness that is a Kudo? Candy disguised as a snack food. YUM.) in the car and WATER. Last week (when my parents were both here and we somehow thought it would be a good idea to go car shopping in 95-plus degree heat) I failed on the water consumption and ended up with a raging headache…. I could actually feel how sticky & gummy the backs of my eyeballs were from being dried out…. Really. I thought I would die and managed to sucker my mom into staying an extra few days because of it…. Yeah!

Limiting myself to one or two things off the “must do” list. Today I emailed work with the baby’s insurance info so she will be added correctly. I am planning to drop off videos when I go to town later to help my sister pack up her house… and that’s IT. I’m putting off getting groceries & water-sealing the Adirondack chairs until tomorrow or the next day.

Ok, now I have to go be neurotic & obsessive-compulsive while both kids are asleep…. I’m making enchiladas for dinner, running the dishwasher AND the washing machine, making iced coffee to take to my sister & trying to catch up my Quicken budget…. All at once. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right??

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ok, it’s getting funnier now….

I had to wait a few days to write about this because it didn’t used to be funny….

I decided to go to Target. Well, I had to go to Target. I was out of newborn diapers. Yes, I know, I said I’d only need one package because I only needed one package with Sweet Boy. Guess what? I’ve learned there are a lot of things about a second baby that are different…. There is no such thing as a veteran mom….. every kid is a new experience. And this kid? She has a skinny & frog-like but very productive ass.

So I grab my sister (we can play man-to-man instead of me dropping back in a 2-on-1 zone) and away we go. Things are going great. We shop. We find. I end up in the changing room once nursing the angry humming bird while Auntie watches Sweet Boy dance in front of the 3-angle mirrors. Sweet Boy learned there IS a naughty chair in Target…. It is by the camping stuff. Don’t run away from mama.

Hot Stuff called and had a big fire so we decided to hang out with Auntie, watch a movie, and eat dinner. Things were going along just fine until Sweet Boy curled up next to me, closed his eyes, snuggled up and…. Began vomiting in fountain-style. All over. On me, on him, on the diaper bag, on the carpet….. so we cleaned up as best we could, rolled down the windows in the car and drove home. Got him in the tub and got a load of puke-laundry going. Fortunately, Darling Girl was sleeping in her car seat…. Scooped her out of the bucket seat and got….. a scoop full of baby poop. Yup, the pants & the car seat were full. How does she do that? I just changed her. So I get her out and cleaned up and get a second load of poop-laundry going and we all decide we’ve had enough. Darling Girl curls up on my lap to nurse & Sweet Boy curls up next to me with a sippy of water & a book for me to read.

Things are going relatively well and I’m thinking how good this story will be to tell later and…. Sweet Boy says, “I. Hate. You.” What? “I. Hate. You.” I know he doesn’t really mean it but I’m devastated anyway. I put him to bed and sit down on the couch to re-examine my parenting skills & style. Did I go wrong somewhere?

Hot Stuff finally gets home around 11:30. I tell him about my day. He asks what movie Sweet Boy watched. Nemo. NEMO. NEMO. Nemo says, “I. Hate. You.” To his father. Ah-hah. Ah-hah!! Hell. Now what? So Hot Stuff has a long talk with SB the next morning and, indeed, Sweet Boy tells him Nemo said it.

Welcome to parenting in my world, right?

Here I am.

I'd love to be posting... .really.

But getting internet time here is, well, not really possible.

1. I have better things to do... like write thank-y0u notes.
2. I can't be online because Hot Stuff might be getting a call to go to a fire and we are using dial-up.
3. Did I mention we are using dial-up? Dial-up sucks. Do you know how long it takes to post with dial-up?
4. I've gone somewhere EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Really. I'd like to stay home but I have so much to do. Today we are off to the park to have a picnic with the cousins & Nana and then we are stopping at Ben Franklin to drop off Sweet Boy's Smokey Bear posters... I've been promising him we will get them shrink-wrapped so he can hang them on the wall. Yesterday I went to church (me, alone, with the two small ones.... I got a lot out of it), the grocery store & then we went to the water slide with Nana & the cousins.

Life is..... Busy.

Darling Girl is, well, perfect. She learned how to spit up a little bit this week and she's trying to master the pacifier. Her fingernails grow with lightning speed. She's a champion nurser and a world-record caliber pooper. Seriously. That sweet pink bundle can take a Pampers to maximum capacity in about 12 minutes. And she's started making cute noises (as opposed to smelly noises) and she's getting chubby cheeks. She's in that cute phase between scaly-lizard-baby (last week) and little pimple nose with cradle cap (next week). Gosh, I should take some pictures.

Sweet Boy is handling things pretty well. He is two. He has figured out he can pretty much do whatever he wants when the baby is eating. Yes, the naughty chair is in no fear of getting dusty. We've had a few serious trials but for the most part he's still sweet. And only a few stellar parenting moments.... like the night he slept with us because he was scared of bad dogs..... (What? He LOVES to watch Fear Factor with his dad.... he likes the helicopters & car crashes.... how was I to know that episode would have attack dogs on it???) He really loved going down the water slide with his Auntie yesterday. Perma-grin.

I'm holding up. It helps that this kid sleeps for fairly consistent 3-hour stretches at night. I try to keep her awake in the evenings and then nurse her into oblivion between 9-10 pm so I can get a solid chunk of sleep between 10-1 or 2. It's the best we can do right now. I've never been able to do that "nap when the baby naps" thing... I'm not a good napper. And it never fails that someone calls or shows up the second I flop down on the couch. Fortunately, she's not a screamer so I can nurse her in the middle of the night without really ever fully waking up. Love the co-sleeper bassinet. Worth every penny for us.

So far the "gift I thought I wouldn' t use that I now love" is the swaddler-blanket. It has a pouch for the feet & legs and some velcro things to keep the baby in. A little tiny yellow straight-jacket... what could be better? Darling Girl doesn't love having her arms swaddled so we skip that part but I love knowing her tiny little toes are covered up at night.... the girl is a squirmer.

And now she's squeaking.... must go.... back in a few weeks.....

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Girl

The birth story... abbreviated.

The short version:

4:30: Woke up.
5:21: Started timing contractions.
5:30: Showered, shaved, deep conditioned my hair. Put on grey eyeliner.
6:05: Woke up husband, called mil to come down, called doc & ob at hospital.
6:40ish: Left for hospital, leisurely drive.... talking through contractions... way different than last time.
7:05: Talked to dad, sister & work in hospital parking lot. Felt like idiot standing in front of ER doors gabbing like a teenager at the mall on cell phone.
7:20: Hook up to monitors in "rule out" room.
7:55: Get moved to regular delivery room. Still laughing, joking & smiling.
Sometime after that: Game face comes on. Trying to figure out if holding my breath will make me not push.... try very hard not to push.
8:04: Official birth time.

The Story of Your Birth

Oh just skip this post.... it's long & boring & you'll only hate me in the end.....

July 18, 2006

Darling Girl-

On July 14, 2006 at 8:04 am you made your unique presence known to the world in a delivery worthy of the Baby Channel.

Just 4 days old and already you have So Much Personality, my little Princess Angry Humming Bird. You are Mama’s girl. You love to eat. You love to look over the scene with your dark little beady birdy eyes and then, very confidently & concisely, give your opinion regarding all you survey. Daddy is good… but only for snuggling and tar-substance removal. Mama is yummy. Big Brother is the best paci-retriever in the world… and you need it… why have a paci when the real thing is so close at hand?

Unfortunately, your most common nickname is, “Snort.” And then your brother gets “Are You My Mother?” and we read about the Snort. You are a great nurser although you still need to work on your burping skills.

Your big brother is adjusting nicely to your existence. He’s a bit bewildered about why pacis are only for babies but seeing Daddy change a few nasty diapers has him reconsidering potty training. He told us he had to go and went on the big potty chair a few times right after you were born and whenever we change you he says, “Eeewww.” He really thinks having a baby is all about eating pizza, watching cartoons at the hospital and getting a new remote control car. Although at one point he did look at you and ask, “Ok, now where’s my baby brother??”

The official story? Well, you were due July 12 and Mama went to the doc that day for an exam and learned she was 4 cm dilated. (Auntie Lala said, “Ask for the epidural now! You can get an epidural at 4 cm.”) Dr. L stripped Mama’s membranes (not nearly as horrible as it sounds… it was nothing like juicing an orange…. Which is the mental image I get from the name….) and said he would be out of town Friday-Sunday. Rats. That night Mama had steady but mild contractions for about 2 hours… so I cleaned the toilet (what? When I had your brother I got sick and nothing says, “I love you and I prepared for you” like a nice clean toilet… I even used Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap so it would be minty fresh.) The contractions were steady enough that I put my toothbrush in the overnight bag…. There is nothing more depressing than getting your toothbrush out of the overnight bag in the morning to brush before you go to work… again.

The night of the 13th (Thursday) I decided you might never come so no point in being worried about it. Daniel & I stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on the essentials… just in case. I was starving that night and then had to take a nap…. Oh, hind-sight, you are 20/20.

I woke up at 4:26 thinking I might be having a contraction. I, of course, couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and started actually timing them at 5:21. Took a nice shower, braided my hair, packed up the essentials & put them in the car, made sure the cell phones & cameras were charged, cleaned the fridge, put on grey eyeliner (a little joke between your father and I…. He always said I would stop in the middle of labor to put on grey eyeliner…. He’s been right every time), put on my “go to the hospital” outfit of grey yoga capris & your father’s maroon t-shirt, cleaned the sink, started the dishwasher, watered the pots on the porch, tidied the living room and, at a few minutes after 6, woke your daddy and said, “It’s time.” Daddy responded with, “Time to get up or time to go to the hospital?” And I said, “Probably both but no rush…. I can still clean through a contraction and they are still 12-15 minutes apart.” I called your Nana to come stay with your brother and Daddy took a shower and took out the garbage (we are nothing if not Virgos). I called the doctor and got a message for the on-call doc…. A doc I don’t know… so I left a cheery message about being in labor. Then I called l&d at the hospital and had another cheery conversation and told them we were on our way. I’m sure the nurse thought I was an idiot. Meanwhile the on-call doc had called back and left a message on daddy’s cell phone saying to go to l&d and have them page Dr. L and good luck. Again with the…. “Lady, I’m pretty sure you’re an idiot” overtones…..

So we set up the tv so your brother could watch some cartoons and showed Nana how to run the dvd player and casually headed to town a few minutes before 7:00 am…. It might have been as early as 6:40. We talked about driving through the Subaru parking lot and car shopping but decided to do that on the way home… a wise decision. We were so proud of ourselves for avoiding 8:00 Capitol Complex traffic. It was such a comfortable drive compared to the trip we made for your brother. I could talk, the contractions were far apart and not uncomfortable yet. No need to brace myself and arch my back and swear during them…. We even made fun of the contract engine we passed…. They were traveling in their yellow shirts…. A sure sign of dorks.

Once at the hospital we parked (no drop-off-the-door-doesn’t-work-and-I-can’t-read insanity like with your brother) and called our offices to let them know we wouldn’t be in, then I called your grandpa and talked about harvest for a while…. He said the wheat would be ripe in about 20 minutes and I said I thought maybe I would be too…. Little did I know….. I told him we’d call him around noon because maybe something would be happening by then. Then I called your Auntie Cassidy to apologize for not waiting for her & grandma to be there. We talked about how hot it was and how nice a/c is…. By this time Mama is standing by the emergency entrance feeling like a Valley Gal for chatting on her cell phone like a big dork. We go in and register and the receptionist assumes I am there to be induced. "No, this is pretty much active labor for her,” your father tells her. She tells us we will be going to the “Rule Out” room…. As in to rule out labor. This makes me laugh. As we are waiting for someone with a wheel chair to come get us I am joking with another pregnant lady there who is going to be induced. The Slowest Driver In The World takes us to l&d. I remember the trip there with your brother…. Flying down the hall while daddy ran along behind carrying a ream of admit papers with the overnight bag banging against his hip… all big eyes & a pale face. I decided this leisurely pace was much better.

We met our nurse, Elizabeth, and settled into the “rule out” room for monitoring. I got into a gown and that funny belly band thing that is really stockinet like what Grandma had around her rolling pin. We started filling out paperwork and noted, at some point in there, that the time was 7:20 am. At this point I’m still thinking I might get to glance at the new “Health” magazine I so optimistically stuck in the overnight bag at the last minute.

We are filling out the reams of paperwork that are really only about 3 pages but seem like reams when the contractions start getting a bit more serious and closer together. Elizabeth notes that I’m having some stronger and some milder and I don’t seem to even notice the mild ones…..at this point I have one that lasts about 3 minutes….. I noticed that one…. And she exams me and says I’m over 5, stretchy, and can easily go to a 6…. Which makes me note, “Oh I came in at a 6 last time…” Elizabeth has seen my chart and decides to speed things along and move us to a room…. I wish I could tell you what time it was…. I’ll have to ask your father…. Probably around 7:50.

So we get unhooked from the monitor and meander down the hall to room 408. I get hooked up to the portable monitor and prepare myself to do the power lap. Pace, focus, pace, stand over the toilet when the contraction hits in case I pee (what? I don’t want to pee on the floor and then slip in it…. I’m sure that’s something you could sue the hospital for…. Isn’t it?) and Elizabeth steps into the hall to do something and promises to hook me up to a saline drip as soon as she gets back. I go into the bathroom as a contraction hits (I swear, at this point, I had no ulterior motives… I was just doing my power lap.) and I’m pretty sure my water broke over the toilet. (Tidy of me, don’t you think?) Elizabeth came hussling in there and said, “Don’t you dare push.” I looked at her to say, “Oh no, I would never do that…” but instead my body said, “Push? Oh that sounds like a lovely idea…. Let’s push.” But my brain said, “No, too soon… pace.” And Elizabeth said, “We need to exam you…. Let’s get you to bed.” And I said, “Can I have the drugs now? I know the drugs will make me not want to push.” Elizabeth, so kind, says, “Let’s exam you first.” And I can tell by the look on her face there will be no drugs today. Your father said at this point I had stopped joking and laughing and my “game face” was on. So I get on the bed & Elizabeth says I am at a 9 and she looks just a little shell shocked. She yells down the hall for “Carol & a delivery cart & I need a little help in here & we are crowning & page Lechner again.” Then Lechner pops into the room like some sort of super hero and then pops out again to change…. I swear he musta changed in the hallway… he was back fast. (He told me yesterday he was hauling ass to get there… swearing at the traffic…. And then the only thing he could think was his scrubs weren’t tied tight enough and his pants would fall down and he’d hit his head and be sprawled out in the corridor in his undies and miss the delivery anyway….) So I’m at a 9 and I’m really, really having to focus to keep myself from pushing. Lechner comes back and as he walks around the end of the bed (not broken down for deliver yet…. The story of our lives…) he grabs the “Blue Goose” bulb booger sucker. I remember thinking that was odd. But I’m feeling better and a little more in control of myself again (Your father said I was totally zoned out, glazed over & had on my satan-face. Me, I was feeling more like your brother must feel when we say, “Are you pooping?” when they were telling me not to push…. No, I’m not pushing…. I really was trying not to push…..) But then I said, “Ok, I’m not pushing… it’s easier…. Or something really coherent like that….” And the doc says, “Doesn’t really matter now….” And I realize what Elizabeth had been doing was holding your head in and it is out and he is suctioning you…. That explains why he grabbed the blue goose as he got there. And then you are there. And I can see (I was kinda up on my elbows and left hip) you come out and cry and Daddy said, “It’s a girl.” And he was crying and laughing and kissing me and saying, “That was too fast. I wasn’t ready.” The doc says, “ The only thing keeping the baby in at all was she had her arm up around her neck… that and the bridge of her nose.”

I just wanted to freeze that moment in time. The beauty of your first little cries and knowing you were safe and whole and perfect. The fleeting moment of terror thinking about being the mother of a teenaged daughter. Seeing that gorgeous ring of black hair and those bright little eyes. Those tiny little frog legs. Shock and awe and more than a little fear about taking you home and being responsible for your tiny little self. Your dragon lady finger nails. That beautifully soft and only slightly mottled pink skin. Those adorable little pearl toes…. Feet impossibly big and incredibly tiny at the same time. All these thoughts in an instant.

The nurse takes you and starts doing all that stuff they do and they are ohhing and ahhing over your round little head and how “dry” you are…. You were ready to come out, dear girl. Lech looks at me and says, “Ok, well, now all we need is a push to get the placenta out and….. (I get all geared up for the “real” work) and oh, never mind… there it is….” I never did get to push. I never got an iv. No pitocin after to get the placenta out…. Nothing…. Not even a need for frozen maxi pads. One tiny little tear on the side that didn’t even warrant a stitch. Obviously, no Jacuzzi (I really did think I’d get to do that this time.) The good things…. No throwing up and no passing out afterwards…. With your brother I spent most of the first day passing out whenever I tried to get up…. With you I got to shower before 10 and was walking around whenever I wanted….. I took an extra-strength Aleve after you were born…. And another one that night to ward off nipple pain….. that’s all the hospital drugs I got.

And you. You were gorgeous from moment one but you just kept getting cuter every hour….. which –I am sure- when I can look back objectively at your first pictures…. I will realize is a blessing.

I’ve managed to shower every day since you were born and we’ve accomplished one “major” goal every day. Well, you know my idea of a “major” goal is successfully managing to vacuum the house or going to the store to buy a sprinkler system and “c” batteries. Goals still on my list include putting the bumper pads in the crib (you sleep in the bassinet) and trimming your nails (I tried to do one, nicked you, barely made you squeak but traumatized me for days…. So Daddy tried, nicked you, and decided you could just wear those gowns with mittens for a few days until we got our nerve back…. So you have two trimmed nails & a scratched face.) Other goals include giving you a bath (maybe this afternoon) and pumping. (My milk came in quite nicely and I’m battling engorgement by wearing a regular bra (not one of those flimsy sleep bras) 24 hours a day… but pumping… pre-prepped by dosing with Aleve…. Would be a good idea.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Need I say more???

Baby Love....

Darling Girl
July 14, 2006
8:04 am
20.5 inches
7lbs, 12oz

You can go to stpetes.org and look at her in the virtual nursery. This post will only be up (with her name) for a little bit so GO NOW!!! Her name is my sister's middle name, my middle name & my other sister's first name.

The birth story is HILARIOUS... but I don't have time (and I'm working via dial-up) so you'll just have to wait.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

So do you refer to it as T PLUS one day and counting????

Wanna know what’s depressing? I had to dig my pit stick out of the overnight bag to get ready for work this morning. Yes, I got so excited by the two hours of mild-but-regular contractions last night that I actually put the final elements in the overnight bag….. alas, it was not to be…..

Yes, I was due yesterday. Yes, we are all very sure of the due date (Please don’t make me go into details here…. My brother reads this site). Yes, I am very carefully avoiding going to any place like babycenter.com that will tell me all about the cute little bundle of joy I am now holding…..

I went to the doc at 4:30 yesterday. The baby is so low I can’t sit up properly. 35cm (down from 38 last week). I’m 4 cm dilated. I told Lala this and she said, “Ask for the epidural now. You can have an epidural at 4 cm.”

The doc said, I quote, "I can't bounce the baby's head." I looked over at his nurse and mouthed, "I can't bounce the baby's head????" She laughed out loud and said, "No, that's a good thing." I guess it means the baby is so low s/he is wedged in there and doesn't boing back up when he pushes. He stripped my membranes (without telling me exactly what he was doing) and it was uncomfortable but not as miserable as I thought it would be.... They really should change the name. “Stripping your membranes” makes me expect ripping sounds & a spurting sensation…. Like juicing an orange. When that is what your expecting, really, anything less is pretty nice.

So I was still feeling moderately friendly towards him and then he told me he would be out of town Fri night - Sun afternoon.... damn. I really like my doc but I don’t feel like waiting around until Sunday night to hatch. Sorry. Although the up side to that would be my sister would be here…. I say this like I have ANY control over the situation….

I went home and had some minor contractions 12-20 minutes apart from about 7-9 so I casually made sure everything was loaded in the overnight bag then I did what any sane pregnant woman in the early stages of labor would do…. I cleaned the toilet. What? Last time I ended up throwing up and I like a clean bowl when I’m communing with the porcelain goddess. I even cleaned with Dr. Bronner’s so it had a refreshing peppermint scent.

Then I went to bed thinking I should get some rest.... and woke up this morning and looked around for the baby. Hot Stuff opened one eye, looked at me, looked at the clock, looked at my belly, and flopped the pillow over his head.

I have that heavy-low feeling...... like the baby is RIGHT THERE and if I just relax enough things will happen.... but nothing is happening.

The doc said if I continue to dilate & don't go into labor he will see me at 3:00 on Monday the 17th and probably break my water to get things started.

I’m still feeling pretty good but I also feel like I’ve milked this situation for all the comic fodder it can possibly provide… it’s time to bring on the BIRTH STORIES…..

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dangerous Tricks

Do these pants make me look fat???

Need I say more?

Yook, Mama, I a shark.

Remembering things I learned in Baby School…. Revisited.

We didn’t do baby school this time around. I may regret that when it comes time to breast feed. I turned out to be a brilliant breastfeeder (I’ve always wanted to say that…) but the start was, um, rocky to say the least. But I know we will muddle through with a little help from our friends…. (My best friend is a freakin’ lactation consultant and the proud mother of a pair of ta-tas that have nursed three little ones into toddlerhood….. and she’s just a phone call away….)

I almost got kicked out of baby school for comparing that little plastic thingy that shows the centimeters of dilation to a spaghetti measurer. What? That’s what it looks like. I believe the comment was, “Shit. That’d make enough spaghetti for a football team.”

Hot Stuff almost got kicked out for saying, “No fuckin’ way.” Outloud. When she showed the model of the pelvis and the model of the baby head and how that whole situation was supposed to work. He also swears he wrote “would be better with beer” on the comment card for “Daddy Boot Camp.”

The breathing. Does this actually work for anyone? Now, I did use some very serious yoga-breathing techniques but all that hoo-hoo-hee-hee stuff just made me lightheaded…. It could be that I was thinking I was still in early labor and I was actually in TRANSITION…. So, my mistake.

Don’t let your husband eat onion sandwiches. Really. There were a few choice gems that came out of Baby School…. This was one of them.

Timing contractions. I’m sure they taught us this but damned if I can remember. I think it is from the start of one to the start of the next…. And since I’ve posted about it twice today maybe I should stop obsessing and just look it up on the internet.

Slow dance your partner through her contractions. Hot Stuff says this is the biggest load of crap he’s every heard…. He couldn’t even catch up to me…. Let alone dance with me. He finally looked deeply into my eyes and said, “I’ll do whatever you need. If you need me I’ll be sitting in this chair right here.” And I went back to pacing my little lap around the room…. Pausing only to stand straddled over the toilet during contractions because I felt like I was going to pee…. Sorry, tmi, but I think people need to KNOW these things are a possibility….

Think of a flower bud opening gracefully. Yes, indeed, this is the image I am supposed to have of my cervix. You wanna know what I thought about? Some sort of sci-fi telescope aperture. You know what I’m talking about…. I wish I could find a picture….

Because it isn't all about me.....

In other news:

I finally dusted my living room and the only spot that wasn’t totally coated was the “naughty chair.” Yes, indeed, we are two now.

Sweet Boy LOVES the diving board. I believe this is another case of his physical development being far in advance of his mental development. He has NO FEAR about the diving board and bails off while mama-shamu floats nearby with a funoodle and prays his skinny little arms don’t squirt out of his arm floaties. He doesn’t know he should be scared to jump and now has started doing silly arm motions like he’s going to dive like he sees the big kids do…. NO FEAR. Sprinklers, on the other hand, terrify him.

My dear sweet boy has no idea what he is in for..... I just hope he continues to be so good at entertaining himself. Last night he wanted to paint so we got out his "painting box" (a white boot box that is turning into quite the work of art) and his paints (sponge-tops… the only way to go) and we sat on the porch and painted until the wind started blowing. I got to read most of a magazine, put my feet up & drink a big glass of peppermint tea all the while congratulating myself on fostering my son's creativity & independent spirit.

Driving home the other night. Sweet Boy & I have the tunes turned up loud & we are rocking out to the Shrek soundtrack. SB says, “Wait, Mama, Cwap.” (Cwap? Did he just hooey in his pants? Is this going back to the, “Look, Mama, it’s full of cwap.” Thing when he filled his toy horse trailer with play dough? Mama brains move at lightning speed when trying to decipher the babbling of the young.) I say, “What?” And SB responds with, “Cwap. Mama. Cwap. Like dis.” And he starts clapping his hands in time to the music.

Happy Due Date to Me.....

Every morning I check around the bed just to make sure the baby didn’t fall out during the night. So far…. Nothing. There seem to be several reasons I’m just not quite ready to go into labor.

1. FYE. It’s a big deadline for me at work and it is officially over today. Well, at midnight tonight.
2. My sis-in-law is here and my sister isn’t. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my sis-in-law is wonderful person. I KNOW if I go into labor she will want to be supportive & helpful & in the delivery room if at all possible. WE MUST AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS…. Because who wants to see another child in the system just because a mom couldn’t control herself and killed her sister-in-law during labor and delivery?? And I just don’t think I would be very good at making license plates…..
3. My sister isn’t here. She’s in Calgary at the Stampede (and having her own “Could I plead insanity if I killed someone in Canada right now?” issues as my mother is traveling with her and can be, ehem, a bit of a challenge.) She gets back Sunday and would really like me to hold off hatching until then.
4. I can’t remember how to time contractions. Seriously. I think it is the beginning of one to the beginning of the next one but I’m just not sure. How did women do this stuff before they knew they were supposed to time their contractions??
5. My teats aren’t waxy.
6. My husband keeps staying out late on fires… this is actually a good thing since we need that overtime pay to cover the costs of having a baby. Indeed, I put the baby on the credit card…. So I’m getting frequent flyer miles AND a new kid. I’d call that a bargain at ANY price.
7. I have ice cream to finish. I will switch to Wilcoxson’s fudgecicles after the baby is born…. I can wolf those down one-handed…. But for now there is a carton of Dreyer’s slow-churned (that stuff is GOOD) calling my name and it requires two hands (or The Shelf) to eat. Have I mentioned I’m actually SCARED to eat a root beer float?? I have so much to do at work and I’m so worried about SIL wanting to be in l&d with me I am AVOIDING things that, superstitiously, MIGHT put me into labor (well, the root beer float seemed to be what did it LAST time…. Says my pregnant brain….)
8. My loving & supportive husband (who assures me there is no way ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH I DON’T CARE IF HELL DID JUST FREEZE OVER & YOU”RE MAKING MARGARITAS FOR THE PARTY his sister will be anywhere NEAR the hospital for delivery) is having strange anxiety dreams about redneck mafia guys and fire protection issues and being run off the road by fancy black cars & redneck pickups and it cracks me up.
9. We’ve decided on names…. Officially. (oops…. That’s a reason TO go into labor, isn’t it??)
10. I’m wearing really cute panties today and I just can’t WAIT for another trial run at the stirrups for my appointment this afternoon. Really. You can’t practice that stuff enough.
11. Everyone says I’m really gorgeous in the shamu-suit.
12. I bought a pack of newborn diapers and they are so tiny I don’t want to use them…. So I’m waiting until the kid is too big for them like Sweet Boy was….I
13. ’m really out of shape. At some point in the next 3-4 days I really need to get in shape for delivery…. Hit the gym, do some yoga, go for a walk…. something. You know the phrase, “Damn, I wish I’d done some Kegal’s.” is going to come out of my mouth during the drive to the hospital. There. I just did a few now…. I feel better, don’t you??

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Yeah.... nothin'.

But I did have fun last night at the grocery store telling people I was due in 36 hours......

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Are your teats getting waxy??"

"Are your teats getting waxy??"

Ok, so that is going on record as the STRANGEST pregnant-lady question EVER. And guess who asked? MY DAD. He's a vet and, apparently, mares get waxy teats just before they foal. (And, hey, who knows?? Might help with that nursing nipple pain... maybe the horses are on to something.) But I do love how he refers to it as foaling. Not labor, not delivery... just, "So, have you foaled yet??"

The Wednesday stats: 39weeks0days. 38 cm... same as last week. Up less than a pound. 25 lbs for the pregnancy. 140-150 heart rate. Head down. No internal exam so nothing to report there. I did put in a few minutes in the outside hot tub (it isn't very hot but more like a warm bath....) and several hours in the pool this week so I'm hoping that helps the dilation.

My doc says, "You are at 39 weeks. You've had a text book pregnancy so far. You have a week left.... don't screw it up." I love that man. We discussed c-section rates in the area and his personal views on it. We also discussed car seat positioning for two in a car, a Jeep Cherokee & a bigger pickup with suicide doors. He told me the only way he can maintain an office practice as a family doc is because most women go into labor at night so he rarely has to cancel his office hours. Isn't that interesting?

I'm in that last little stage of pregnancy that I sort of forgot about... the one where you can't call anyone.... because when your number shows on caller id they answer all breathless and asking, "Is it a girl? Is it a boy?" and I have to say, "No, it's just me." And then they sound so disappointed. I can't handle disappointing people like that.

And the nesting..... I'm a nesting sort of person by nature.... pregnancy just takes it to a new level... a boarderline psychotic level..... Wednesday morning I decided I could start packing up maternity clothes. I was one week from delivery and I know he won't let me go more than 14 days over my due date so if I keep out my favorite 7 outfits and plan to wear each of them three times.... yes, people, this is mommy-math and it is going to do nothing but get funnier after baby #2 is born.....

And just for those of you wondering... the 7 favorite outfits are: 1. The 1940's curtains top (see previous picture) with denim capris. 2. the white Adidas t-shirt with pale blue capris. 3. the red Old Navy camisole top with dark blue shorts. 4. the black t-shirt with the black flowered skirt (a non-maternity item) 5. The blue-black striped stretchy shirt & denim skirt. 6. the white sleeveless polo and black yoga pants. 7. The stretchy pink & black flowered shirt & the black skirt or black capris. And, of course, the famous shamu suit.... I really must get pics of my maternity swimwear this weekend.... because you all deserve a good solid gut laugh for sticking with me through this whole post.

And with that.... I'm outta here. Maybe my next post will have baby pictures.... but probably not.....

Weekly Update from Nadine's Mama

Hello dear friends!

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend -- we sure did. We dragged the whole family up to Lincoln for the Rodeo on Sunday. It almost felt like a regular old summer watching Levi look for his boots in "The Boot Race!" He was the last little guy in the arena, because some other kid took one of his boots, and therefore the two left were not a matched set. He knew the rules, and he was supposed to put on HIS boots!!!!!

We went to the (name removed) Ranch for our annual July 4th barbeque and fireworks, and were delighted to be there as usual. Didn't think we'd probably make it this year.....

Nadine had her check-up this morning, and here's what we know:

1. We'll check back in to St. Pete's first thing Monday morning to start round three of chemo.

2. Sometime on Tuesday they'll do a full-body CT Scan, to make sure that nothing new is growing where it shouldn't be.... (that scares the cr...p out of me).

3. We'll be there about a week. She usually is feeling great for visitors the first day, and into the mid-afternoon of the second day. The second evening and third day really stink, and we keep her knocked out as much as possible. Sleeping is merciful, in this case. Then, by that evening and into day 5, she has seemed to perk up again. Keep in mind that I'm basing this on her previous two rounds of this chemo protocol, and this one could be completely different!!!

4. This means that we have the rest of this week and the weekend to really LIVE IT UP!!!

Friday evening, July 7th, Levi will be riding sheep (aka "Mutton-Busting") at the East Helena Rodeo. He will ride in the "pre-rodeo" which is about 6:30pm. The regular rodeo schedule starts at 7:00 pm. We'll be there in the Levi cheering section, with Nadine, and hope you can come to cheer him on!!!

Saturday, July 8th, we'll all be attending mass at "Our Lady of Lourdes" in Marysville (the little country church where we got married) and then attending the annual Marysville Pioneer Picnic. This is the once-a-year opportunity to attend mass in this beautiful historic building. Father Dan, from Our Lady of the Valley, serves mass, and usually the Brennan's are the music ministry. It's awesome. If you can join us, that would be wonderful. Also, the Pioneer Picnic is a lovely family afternoon in our little ghost town with a colorful past! Games for kids, Baron of Beef picnic lunch, live music and auctions, etc. Hope to see you here.

Thanks to everyone for keeping us sane this summer, and helping in so many ways.

Love, The Mama

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Further Evidence to Support the Theory of Evolution....

Is it coincidence a pint of Ben & Jerry's nestles perfect spoon-distance on the anatomy of a pregnant woman? I think not.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wednesday Stats: T minus 2 weeks....

Well, I gained another pound. I'm up 23 for the pregnancy, but only 3 for the month. Hooray for cooler weather and no swelling. Measuring 38 cm.

Did the internal exam & strep b test today.

Dilated to 2 cm & 30% effaced. This will be my last exam until my due date on the 12th unless I ask for one.... who in their right-mind would ASK for an exam??

So far here is what everyone is predicting...... I will remind ya'll there will be fabulous prizes for whoever comes the closest.....

KR: Boy, July 14, 8lbs 1oz.
One Crue Girl: Girl, July 15, 9lbs 4oz.
Susan: Girl, July 17, 6lbs, 8oz.

Me, I'll just be sitting here daydreaming about a Mother's ring with two diamonds (hey, something COULD happen before Friday).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This week

The last weekend in June is, traditionally, the Augusta Rodeo. This rodeo used to be a true hell raiser. I'm talkin' a guy driving a dozer through town every morning to clear the beer cans out of the street..... seriously. Bodies everywhere. People making a fortune on recycling cans.

I use the last weekend in June to, as Jimmy Buffet would say, "I took off for a weekend last month just to try and recall the whole year."

6 years ago this week: A friend of mine keeps bugging me to meet this friend of her boyfriend. I finally caved and met him in August. August 12th actually.

4 years ago this week: I was a newlywed and we were trying to make a baby. I always get confused about this because the date on our groom's cake was the wrong year..... yup, it said "June 1, 2001" and it wasn't....

3 years ago this week: We had survived a year of Hot Stuff teaching in a town about 45 minutes (plus hell construction) away. Every vehicle we owned had a broken windshield and he was completely burnt out on teaching. After a little over a year of trying & several "probable but unconfirmed" miscarriages I was finally truly pregnant and we had just announced the news to our families. Little did I know..... next week I would miscarry and require copious quantities of tequila and maxi pads to make it through the weeks ahead.

2 years ago this week: I had a new baby and we took him to his first rodeo.

Last year this week: We were trying for baby #2. My best friend was visiting with her three little ones and we were having a blast going to the "lake" and the carousel and making lovely meals every evening (Lala, I miss your enchiladas). Hell, Target becomes a 5 star destination when you have two mamas of similar spirit and adventure running the show. We painted my bathroom & my dryer. (I need you to come back..... Sweet Boy's room needs painting and you KNOW I can't pick a color without you.) It really made me understand how a polygamist relationship could actually be a good thing..... well....

This year this week: I have a sweet little boy who doesn't yet know a 2-year-old is supposed to be naughty and another one due any day. I spend my time contemplating the same things other mamas think about..... "When did Dyson vs Oreck become important?" and "How do I maintain hip-mama status with a minivan & a sun visor?" and "How do I figure out what kind of new, sexy music to listen too that is for grown ups?" and "How do I fit-in with the other mamas without becoming one of those moms?" and "Which super hero would I be?"

Monday, June 26, 2006

So my brother has a girlfriend and I think she’s a Selkie…..

…. And other news from the weekend.

Mellow weekend. Saturday: Washed the infant carseat liner. Weeded the flowerbeds. Went to the Farmer’s Market. Walked around downtown with Sweet Boy. Still need to pack a hospital bag. Hooked up the portable air conditioner. Barbequed steaks & made amazing salads for dinner.

We went to the Augusta Rodeo yesterday and met my brother’s new girlfriend. I have a theory. You know that old folklore about Selkie women? They are seals but can shed their skin and take on lithe female form. If you steal their skins they have to stay in human form and marry you. Well, brother, hide that skin well…. I think she’s a keeper. Truly, it’s the only way I can figure a guy like my little bro could get a girl like her. She’s cute (stunning eyes) and funny. Smart. Motivated. She has opinions and plans. She seems to like my brother. She likes farming and knows a lot about it. She didn’t seem too fazed by meeting the whole nerd-herd in one big swoop. Sweet Boy likes her… he gave her a sticky little boy (alternate layers of sunscreen & dirt) hug when we left.

I tried to be nice & inviting. I managed to hide my awe as to the fact that she was with my brother. Hot Stuff made me promise not to smother her with questions and to give the two of them space. I tried. I hope I didn’t appear standoffish. I resisted the urge to document her photographically just to prove my brother is capable of dating.

Dating when you are (almost) 30 is different. He seems more relaxed and confident about himself. They seem comfortable together. Granted, there weren’t a whole lot of pda’s… but hell, it was about 95 degrees…. True affection was shown by sharing Nalgene bottles of fluids, not bodily fluids.

Now we just have to wait and see if the whole “family experience” was too much and she runs for the hills…..

Wednesday, June 21, 2006



I'm back from my second once-a-week appointment.

The stats:

I gained half a pound and am up 22 lbs for the whole pregnancy. (Impressive until you remember I was 10-15 lbs heavy BEFORE the pregnancy.) And that is without the swelling weight I'm sure I'll gain later this week when the weather gets hot.

My belly is 35cm. Down one from last week due to baby shifting and dropping. If it goes down 2-3cm in a week they worry about amniotic fluid. He is guessing it will be a smaller baby (SB was 8lbs, 10oz & 22 in) and if he had to guess he'd say low 7's for weight.

We don't know if it is a girl or boy and, honestly, don't care. Hot Stuff would like a girl. I have mixed feelings..... I just want it to be definitively one or the other and I'll be happy. We are making our friends and family crazy by not finding out the sex..... too late for another ultrasound now.

We are having some due date issues. Based on my lmp date (which is very, very accurate.... I won't go into details but I'd just returned from a long trip and Hot Stuff was on a fire after that....) my due date is July 12. Based on my February ultrasound my due date is July 15. So... whatever. I'm using "mid-July" as my due date.

Sweet Boy was lmp due May 25 (again with the very accurate thing.... what? Hot Stuff was headed to a 14-day dispatch and we figured we'd miss the window for that month anyway so we just had a fun one.... and that's why SB is my little love child.... all that stress and careful planning and in the end he was just a lucky little swimmer) and his multiple-ultrasound due date was May 17th. He was born June 1st. So... whatever.

So you want my predictions? I'm saying it will be a girl on July 17th. 7lbs, 7oz. (Tune in tomorrow when I post about the ten pound boy I just had......)

*Game ON. My friend K just emailed to say it will be a boy on July 14th. 8lbs, 1oz.

Nadine is headed home from #2

Just got an email that Nadine & family are going home today. She checked in last Thursday for round 2 of treatment. After all the hubbub, fear & concern over her white cell counts last weekend it feels almost "normal" to be back into the "routine" of treatment.

I can't remember if I posted this or not but she has already lost all of her hair and that was very difficult for her (again). Her mom says her hospital social worker (or whatever her official title is.... she's a little patient advocate & counselor type person) approved her to order a wig and they were on sale so they ordered two. Both are blondish-brown... one is a bob and the other is pigtails. So she has at least a few options if she wants to dress up her gorgeous little globe of a head. It is really important to her and she's quite excited to get them.

Many thanks to all of you who have sent and are sending cards & packages.