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.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Just Ask

Tomorrow is National Ask Day.* Please do it.

*For the record: Yes. Many. All handguns are in locking cases in the laundry room pantry on the top shelf. All rifles & shotguns have safety locks. All ammunition is stored in the garage. All keys are in the empty cigar box on top of the computer armoire.

And if you think this means I'm an "easy mark" for robbery or something..... think again. I have a 4-D maglite named Mary by my bed and I actually HAVE practiced beating the hell out of a heavy bag with her. (What? I used to teach self-defense.) And I have a dog that only weighs 45 pounds but he will EAT YOUR SHIT if you mess with me or mine....

T-minus 3 weeks and one day to my "official" due date of July 12th.

Anyone like to place bets as to when this child will hatch?

Keep in mind:

1. Sweet Boy was about 5-6 days late.

2. I'm measuring smaller with this baby. (But SB was 8lbs, 10oz and 22 inches.)

3. I feel amazing. No swelling yet. No heartburn. Sleeping well. No napping after work. (go ahead... hate me..... I'm sure I'll pay by having a naughty baby.)

4. I'm having fairly regular Braxton-Hicks contractions... as a matter of fact, I'm having one right now. But nothing that gets into any sort of pattern. And sometimes they do something to that nerve on the inside of my leg and it hurts... what's that about??

5. My best friend called me over a week ago and said, "How does it feel to be more pregnant that I ever was?" (She never made it past 36 weeks with any of her 3 kids.) I'm still not sure what my snappy-clever-witty response SHOULD have been..... but what I did say was, "Uuhhhh. Bitch." Clever, I know.

Things I am not prepared for:

1. I can't find one box of tiny baby stuff. I'm pretty sure it is the tiny clothes & the night-time nursing bras... who knows what else. The only remaining place it could be is the garage rafters (we had an unfortunate stuff-stashing incident with the rafters... Hot Stuff couldn't take it anymore and started jamming boxes up there.) So I've decided I am not climbing up there or down will come baby... belly and all.... so I wait patiently for my knight-in-shining to get off his ass and go up there.... or I wait for being home after delivery.... I can climb up there my own damn self then.

2. The hospital bag.... it is not packed. (Although the camera is charged & I have some take-out menus printed.... why aren't take-out menus on any of those "what to pack" lists?)

3. A lengthy delivery. Last time my big fear was being sent home from the hospital with false labor.... I really dreaded that condescending pat on the head from some salty old nurse. Well, she tried that with her, "Are you SURE you are in labor?" (Well, no, it's my first baby and, well, I woke up at 1:30 and I got here about 5:00.... did I come in too early?) and "We'll put a sheet on the bed before we exam you so we don't mess the bed up for the next gal." (And, to quote my doc less than two hours later, "Go ahead and push and why the hell is there a sheet on this bed?") So, you see, I have some serious standards to live up too this time.... everyone is expecting a record-breaking roadside delivery from me..... what if I have 76 hours of labor? I will cry.

The things you hear if you listen long enough....

"I don't know if mice taste good... let's not find out, ok buddy?" (Hot Stuff & Sweet Boy on the front porch this morning watching the cat enjoy her fresh breakfast.)

"Well, her daddy's big farm sure makes her ass look smaller." (Only my brother could say something like that.....)

"I wish we had a bigger fuckin' tv." (ME..... watching game 7 of the Stanley Cup..... crouched about 2 feet in front of the tv doing some amazingly graceful contortions while I watched the Oilers go down fighting.)

"I want a cookie. I want a yellow cookie." (Sweet Boy... talking in his sleep..... that's my boy.)

"Roll over. I'm tired of serving in the advanced capacity as a glorified wheel chuck to keep you from sleeping on your back. And don't try to justify it by calling is SNUGGLING." (Hot Stuff to me.... but he didn't remember saying it because when I called him "Chuck" this morning he didn't know what I was talking about.)

"Crap. It's crap, mama." (Sweet Boy, as he fills his horse trailer with play-dough.)

"My goodness, that boy sure is starting to enunciate his rrr's, isn't he?" (My mom, after Sweet Boy tells HER it's crap.)

"They swimmin'." (Sweet Boy's response when I ask why all his little plastic men are in my watering can.)

Who needs toys when you have a dog food tub??

He really WANTED me to put the lid on the tub. He did. I didn't. He loves it when I push him around on the bare floors and spin the "car" in circles. This was originally our dog food container.... now it is a mobile toy box (note destructive toy mess in background of photo). Have you ever seen such delicious legs?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Redneck Parenting 101

I go to the farm for 2 days and all of my redneck parenting instincts just bloom.

Your hands are covered in filth from the shop floor.... here, have a goldfish cracker.
You want to ride a 4-wheeler? Sure. The helmet is vintage 1974? No problem... I'm sure it will protect your precious gourd if you fall off.
Carseats? Fertilizer trucks don't have carseats.
Going into a mud puddle over your boot tops does so count as washing between your toes.
You want to wear the same grime-encrusted jeans you wore yesterday? Why not? Less laundry.
Cwap? The cattle trailer is full of..... oh, my, I can't wait to hear what new words you teach the other daycare kids on Monday.
Why hasn't Fisher Price developed a toy that mimics the hydraulics on a tractor bucket?
A packet of "pressed meat," 3 slices of cheese and a baby carrot is a perfect lunch.
Wiping your nose on a baby kitten isn't really excellent social etiquette.
Fishing for blue gills and crying when Daddy catch-n-releases them because you wanted to pet them like the kittens.
Your grandpa trying to potty train you by showing you how to pee in the dirt.
Sure you can go drive the hantavirus-infested old schoolbus parked behind the shop... I think they just use it to store deadly chemicals now.
You picking up a giant sledge hammer and trying to take a swing at the sprayer boom.
The air compressor scaring you.
Going out to feed cows with grandpa at 6:30 am and then needing to eat a second breakfast around 9:00 because you've been working so hard.
You played on a dirt pile most of one afternoon while the guys put in forms to pour concrete..... I've never seen such a filthy child.
We sent Auntie up to test out the treehouse before we let you go up with her... so we are sort of responsible parents, aren't we? Oh, and we didn't let you light the garbage barrels on fire (that's daddy's job) and we made you come in the house (and quit playing on the giant METAL swingset) when the lightening started.....

Friday, June 02, 2006

The eyes have it....

Hot Stuff had cataract surgery 3 years ago. Recently his eyesight has been getting cloudy and dark and blurry so the doc needed to go in and dynamite a hole with a laser to fix it. Seriously…. That’s how Hot Stuff described it. And that’s why I generally treat him like a 6-year-old regarding medical issues. But, turns out, basically, he’s accurate. So Wednesday we trekked to Great Falls where the ophthalmologist that works with his regular eye doctor performs this procedure twice a month.

It all started with a bad book choice. I hit the library’s “new releases” section Tuesday night because I didn’t want the other people in the ophthalmologist’s office to know I’ve been reading trashy Nora Roberts books for the last two weeks (why I bothered, I don’t know…. None of those people could SEE the title of my book anyway now could they?). So I got a book by Terry Goodkind. Why is he such a big seller? I remember reading the first two of his sci-fi series long ago. I thought they were fine but nothing stellar. So why did I pick up this one? Well, I just read and enjoyed (do I sound surprised? I was surprised) a book by Diana Gabaldon. The concept? A woman accidentally goes back in time in Scotland. (You understand the surprise now, no?) So I thought maybe I needed more sci-fi but I couldn’t find the second in the Gabaldon series…. So I ended up with Terry and bored. The magazine selection was less than thrilling and the waiting room was packed so, when left to my own devices, I eavesdropped and people-watched and made judgmental assessments in my head.

First, the process. This is cattle-call surgery at it’s finest. Patients go to one building to check in and get dilated (their eyes…. Although hugely pregnant me thought of THAT too). Then they are sent to ANOTHER building for the procedure. We walked over because Hot Stuff looked and said the parking lot was full. The parking lot wasn’t full but that’s what I get for trusting a guy who needs eye surgery to look. We needed the exercise anyway which brings me to my next thought…. SIZE. No, not just the fact that all the “vision center” signs were in teeny text…. I’m talking size as in super-size me. The majority of the people were huge….. why? Is it the obesity epidemic I keep hearing about? Is it some correlation between being overweight, diabetes & cataracts? I don’t know but somebody should write a book about it.

They called Hot Stuff back and put a purple sharpie dot over the eye he was having worked on…. Then she dilated him…. Again. I’m pretty sure that was a big oopsie. He came back to the waiting room and gave me his personal stuff (we weren’t sure at this point how big a deal this procedure was going to be so he gave me his hat, sunglasses, pen, St. Florian’s medal & cell phone) and then they called 6 patients up. I watched them line up in chairs along a hallway. They each got two packets of eyedrops and post-op instructions. Then they called them in one at a time and as each one went in (I’m not kidding) they all had to move down one chair and a new person was called to fill in the empty seat. Hot Stuff said it was disconcerting but not really too bad until the guy next to him (a retired music teacher) started singing some sort of twisted “musical chairs” theme.

Meanwhile, the nurse is calling for James. There are, apparently, two people named James in the office. One is back in the musical chairs line and paying attention and keeps perking up at her when she says his name. The other is lost somewhere in the sea of people in the waiting room. And there is this poor little woman named Jane who keeps trying to get in line every time the nurse calls for James. Picture a tiny, deaf, perhaps slightly demented woman in polyester pants standing about 6 inches from the nurse yelling, “Are you saying Jane? JANE? J-A-N-E? I’m Jane.”

And then Hot Stuff went through the procedure room door. And Jane wandered back and took his seat. Hot Stuff was in there less than 4 minutes. He came out, took his sunglasses & hat, and we were outta there. Seriously.

And off to our traditional Jaker’s soup-n-salad bar lunch. Indeed, it is where we go whenever anyone has medical procedures in Great Falls. Fabulous high-end salad bar and 5 different lovely soups. I had shrimp bisque & homemade tomato (with blue cheese sprinkles…. And don’t hassle me that pregnant women shouldn’t eat blue cheese…. Pregnant women shouldn’t eat unpasturized cheese and I challenge you to find a restaurant in Great Falls Montana that serves unpasturized cheese) and a giant plate of fresh greens smothered in oh-so-healthy things like creamy dressing, cheese, bacon bits & hard-boiled eggs. And, since we were celebrating Hot Stuff’s newfound (refound?) eyesight I had a hand-squeezed lemonade and he had a heffeweizen. (I admit… I stole a few sips…. Damn, that stuff is good… go ahead, hassle me about it.)

And I stole a packet of those little breadstick things for Sweet Boy because my grandma always used to bring those to me when I was little and I loved to pretend they were cigars or magic wands and then eat them. But I left a really big tip…. Because I felt guilty about being a master thief and because I always feel sorry for waitstaff when there is a buffet-style meal… I don’t think people tip well in those situations. And because I wanted to surprise and impress our waitress…. She tried to give the credit card slip to Hot Stuff (because he looks like a big tipper) and had a slightly crestfallen look when I took it…. I remember that about waiting tables….. the fear of stingy-wife syndrome.

So we headed for home, Hot Stuff took a nap, I cranked the ipod & wondered all the way home if Jane ever got the correct procedure done…..

Rambling, ambling......

Well, after all that I though you could use something a bit uplifting.....

My options are to be shallow and brag about my day yesterday or be funny and tell you about my day Wednesday..... I'll start with yesterday.

June 1 is a Big Day for our family. My mom's birthday, our anniversary, my son's birthday. So we try to spread the celebration out over the course of at least a week..... Hot Stuff took the day off to "recover" from eye surgery (read: mow the lawn, find the perfect anniversary gift, play with Sweet Boy).

Around 10:00 the boys show up at my office with roses. Our receptionist had MADE A CAKE for Sweet Boy. So we had lemon cake & he got a present. Good start to the day. Then he got to go to the transfer station (aka. the dump) and that is his favorite place in the whole world. Grandma took him to story hour (why do they call it story hour when it is 20 minutes??) and I met them there. Then he got to go to Auntie's house and "help" her. (For some reason he has a fascination with cleaning her toilet.... I'm still trying to figure that one out.) He spent the evening eating pizza and being spoiled rotten by Grandma & Auntie while Hot Stuff & I went out for a romantic dinner. (AND my in-laws got us a gift certificate to the restaurant so we did it up right.) I wore my cute black skirt and we ate and talked and laughed. I only missed having a glass of wine with dinner a little bit. I made up for it by ordering a lovely dessert. For the first time EVER in his life Hot Stuff had to get a doggie bag. (Have I mentioned how skinny my husband is lately? I actually matched him on the scale last week and I'm sure I've passed him by this week.)

We got home from dinner in time to tuck our freshly bathed & jammied little boy into bed. Then we gave my mom her birthday present. Expensive but wonderful CK panties. Then we got into a big panty discussion and Hot Stuff had to go outside to move the sprinklers.... What? A discussion about undies with your mother-in-law is a problem?

In theory our "anniversary gift" is the refrigerator we were going to get for Valentine's Day. (It will be delivered on Monday.) But we decided a few little things would be ok. I got Hot Stuff the new Ivan Doig book (his favorite author) and a very cool fly-fishing book. And a few small practical items like rechargable batteries for his camera. My gift? Oh, I've been wanting adirondack (sp?) chairs for about 4 years now and we've never been able to find any. On our way into town on Wednesday we drove by this new place called (I'm not kidding) Gazebo Depot..... rotten location out in the middle of a field on North Montana and they will probably never last but..... THEY HAD CHAIRS. So, big score by Hot Stuff.... although he went way over the allowed $50 spending limit. He also got me a pack of AAA batteries (get your mind out of the gutter) and a flowered-handled screw driver. The batteries? Well, the night before he'd tried to change the batteries in Sweet Boy's electric toothbrush and realized EVERY SINGLE battery in a 15-pack of Rayovac's was dead..... expiration date: 2011. And he knows I forget to turn the ipod radio-transmitter-thing-a-ma-jig off in my car all the time and it eats the batteries. The screwdriver? Well, I have a red-handled 4-way screwdriver that is the "house" screwdriver and we were doing some "home repairs" on Saturday and SOMEHOW the screwdriver disappeared. (Most likely.... it is in the bottom of the toybox courtesy of one small mechanic or it got knocked in the garbage can and is gone, gone, gone.) But the cabinet thingy we put up looks very Pottery-Barn and I like it a lot.

We ended the day watching part of "The Producers" and laughing like lunatics. It really was quite lovely and perfect.

More Update Info....

This is from a family friend....

Hello all. For those of you who haven’t heard, after (name removed) sent this e-mail yesterday they ended up taking Nadine into the hospital and she was admitted. She will be there for at least a week if not longer. “Neutropenic” means that her immune system is very compromised and she is very susceptible to any and all kinds of buggies out there. (Name removed) says that Nadine is up for visitors. However, it has been suggested though to please limit visits to those who are very healthy. They ask that no flowers be sent as they carry pollens and other things that could make Nadine sick.

Nadine has lost 7 ½ pounds this past week due to the sores in her mouth and throat. The cells in the mouth and throat are the fastest growing and the chemo kills these, thus the cells in the lining of her mouth and throat cannot regenerate fast enough. This is causing her a lot of pain when she tries to eat. They are starting her on nutrition today, I am assuming through an IV drip of some sort.

(Name removed... another family friend) will try and e-mail later a more detailed update (her computer is temporarily down), but for now suffice it to say that the seriousness of this treatment is here. Levi is spending the day with family friends but is of course concerned about his sister.

Keep those prayers going!

Thank you all and God Bless you!
(family friend)

From Nadine's Momma

Hello friends of Nadine and Levi!

Thank you so much for all your wonderful visits, cards, gifts, prayers, thoughts, etc. these past weeks.

Yesterday at her Doctor's appointment, Nadine was diagnosed to be "neutropenic." This means her white blood cells (specifically the neutrophils) are WAY TOO LOW and we must exercise precautions so as not to expose her to nasty bugs, bacteria, viruses, etc. Mostly, she just feels like laying in bed anyway, so that's not too difficult. The movies are coming in VERY HANDY! She and Levi end each day by laying together in her hospital bed, and watching a movie together on the little DVD player. It's wonderful to see them adjust to the new reality!

She has lots of sores in her mouth, and a very sore throat, so she's not eating or drinking anything, unfortunately. Dr. (name removed) said that if she isn't eating by her check-up tomorrow, she'll probably be checking back into the hospital for a while.

For now, we're going into the Cancer Treatment Center every day, for her "Neupogin" shots. We were supposed to be able to give them to her at home, but our insurance company informed us that the prescription co-pay was going to be $700 per WEEK!!!!! So we're trying to figure out a different way of getting her those necessary white-cell-booster-shots. We've got some very good people working with us on this problem, so with luck, it will be worked out soon.

Thank you to (name removed) for his beautiful reminder of our little guy, Levi. He is, without a doubt, the one having the hardest time right now. He is really struggling, so I'm glad so many of you have responded to (name removed) note, and want to do something for him!!!

I've had quite a few emails and calls today, asking what type of thing Levi would like? He's such a wonderful little brother, he just wants to be with Nadine. He doesn't want to go off and play by himself without her. And he doesn't much care for being away from mommy and daddy right now, either!

Today, he asked me, "Mommy, when I get cancer, will people send movies to me?" It broke my heart. Of course I explained that he was not going to get cancer, and his 4-year-old logic immediately interpretted that to mean that he wasn't going to get any of his own movies, either. So, for those of you who asked, I guess he'd like to have some dvds of his own!

He loves animal adventures, so maybe things like "Free Willy," "The Bear," "The Seal," Etc. He loves wildlife and animal planet and things like that. He really loved the Harry Potter series. Does this help? (He already has Benji: Off the Leash, and Stuart Little) Oh, and he loves Toy Story and Toy Story II. Oh, I don't know. Whatever you think. And THANK YOU.

Much, much love to everyone. We can feel your support, and it's what is keeping us going right now.


The Momma of Nadine