Friday, December 11, 2009

Did I mention hospital food sucks?


Look at that baby up there. A tummy full of formula, no doubt. It was one of many pictures that was taken while I was gone last week. For those of you not aware, I went to see the doctor last Tuesday for a pain in my back. I though I had pulled a muscle. He said it was pleurisy. He ordered a chest x-ray. By the end of the evening, I was admitted to the hospital for multiple blood clots, including the special ones in my lungs that were so special they get to be called pulmonary embolisms.

So, I got to hang in the hospital for five nights. It turns out it was a pretty good plan for losing most of the baby weight. While I was in the hospital, pumping breast milk non-stop, Emerson was happily enjoying bottle after bottle of formula. We've put a stop to that nasty habit now that I'm home.

So, I'm back. Please forgive me for not commenting, or even lurking as often as usual. But if I'm suddenly well enough to spend my days on the computer, Rich might think I'm well enough to do dishes. Gasp!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The New Normal.

Let's hear it for brothers-in-law! Michael showed up last week to help around here...and take pictures! Because I haven't been taking pictures. Or doing dishes. Or cooking. Or even showering. Mostly I nurse a baby. And sometimes, to mix it up, I wipe butts.


This is poor Greeley- she's no doubt waiting for something. Something to eat. A sippy cup of juice. A book. Someone to get her on PBSkids.org. Waiting for something.


Luckily, she has an Uncle Michael- who can do all that stuff! So, thank you, Michael! Thank you for loading the dishwasher and climbing like a baby jaguar with Greeley and Diego and holding Emerson so that I can eat, pee or even shower. Thank you!

***This post was typed entirely with only my left hand because I was- want to guess?- nursing a baby...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Damn, that hurt...

So, last Friday I think it was... Tracey from Just Another Mommy Blog let me know I had won her awesome giveaway. And by awesome giveaway, I mean $500 worth of cute clothes from BeiBambini. See?


Oh so cute. Tracey said they made her uterus ache. Maybe it was the cute clothes, because my uterus started aching Saturday night.

Or maybe it was that my younger sister and her fellow came up for dinner. Greg and Rich were enjoying some cocktails. Quite a few cocktails. Or perhaps it was Murphy's Law and that we didn't think I could have the tubal ligation done if he was born on the weekend? Whatever the reason, I grew kind of suspicious Saturday night that the whole labor thing had started.

Before we go further, the following story is long. And rambling. And if you're Jamie, my sister, stop reading now. Child birth is bunnies and flowers and rainbows and unicorns. And that's all you need to know for the next two weeks. All the rest of you, if you just want to see the baby picture, scroll to the end- I won't know.

Back to Saturday evening...The contractions were definitely more noticeable than all those silly Braxton-Hicks contractions I'd been having for weeks. I was half heartedly paying attention to them and realized they were about a minute long and 3-5 minutes apart.

So, I called my midwife and gave her a heads up. I had to explain I hadn't really been timing them that well because I was making dinner. I wasn't dashing out the door to the hospital or anything, but in case she had plans or anything on a Saturday night, I just thought I should mention it.

Then I called Grandma Lynda. She's our friend Travis' Mom. She watched the kids for us when Greeley was born. As soon as we told them Grandma Lynda would be watching them while we were having Emerson, they were squealing with delight and listing off all the ways Lynda was awesome. [As an aside, one of those ways was "pizza from scratch!!"... and yet when I make pizza from scratch, all I get are squeals of horror...]

Where was I? Oh, yeah, we called Lynda. And I explained that I wasn't heading out the door, but it might be a good idea if she was here in case it happened in the middle of the night.

So, we have Lynda. My sister, who's due with her first in two weeks, is getting a sneak peek at labor. She's sticking around in case I need-oh, say a sober ride?- to the hospital. I tell Rich to take a nap and maybe sleep off some of the alcohol. And that's kind of where things stood for a while. After a bit, Jamie and Greg left for home. Lynda timed my contractions. Rich slept. I watched a lot of cable tv.

Lynda realized she had to run across town at one point to get the cord for her phone, but we seemed to have plenty of time. Contractions still about a minute long and five to six minutes apart. Sometime in the early, early morning the contractions went up a notch again. Greeley also woke up. [If you can avoid having a toddler on your stomach during a contraction, I recommend it.] As the pain increases, I'm starting to be a bit more...ahem... vocal. Perhaps that's why Shea woke up? But the contractions are actually further apart... like seven minutes. So, still no rush.

Lynda decided to dash across town before things got too serious. You know what happened while she was gone, right? Things got serious. I went from moderate whimpers to yelling, "Oh my God! That hurts!!" Poor Shea, having witnessed this before with the birth of Greeley is asking, "Should I get someone? Dad? Lynda?" Greeley was offering her good friend Big Bear. Big Bear always makes her feel better. If I wasn't blinded by pain and unable to bend over, I would have kissed her.

Rich has the bags in the car and calls my midwife to say we're rolling to the hospital. Lynda pulls up and we don't wait for her to even get out of her car... we're walking to the car. As I'm about to get in, yet another contraction hits and there is no way in hell I'm crawling into that car right then. Instead it seems a much better idea to stand in my driveway at 7:30 on a Sunday morning and scream about how much it fricking (perhaps not the word I used at the time) hurt. How else do you tell ALL the nighbors the time is here? Efficient, I tell ya. So, Rich is coercing me into the car with words like, "I don't want him to be born in the driveway." and "Get in the damn car." I do.

I'm pretty sure Rich was excited to try out his race car driving skills for the four blocks to the hospital. I recall telling him to take it easy because the sharp turns weren't helping. And the contractions? They were just one on top of another by now.

He dropped me at the ER entrance and went to park the car. I walked in, told the nice lady I was in labor and just as she started asking me the routine "Are you sure you're in labor?" questions, another contraction hits. Seeing no one in the ER, I skip the restraint and continue "vocalizing my pain". On the edge of my awareness, I hear her on the phone saying something like, "Do you hear her? Get down here now!"

Rich shows up and she shows up with the wheelchair and wants me to sit down. HA HA HA HA HA!!! Perhaps she's not aware of how much more it hurts when sitting? I say no thank you to the wheel chair. She says you have to, it's policy. I say No I don't. Rich says OK honey, let's go have the baby in the parking lot. She relents. Rich will tell you this kicks off my series of no's.

Everything they asked for the next five minutes resulted in me saying no. No, I do not want your hospital gown. I want to wear my own gown. No, I will not do a clean catch urine sample right now. No, I do not want to lie down in the bed. The last I finally had to relent on.

They hook me up to the monitors and I hear Anne, our midwife is there. It's getting fuzzy at this point, but Anne says "Yeah, your 10. If you feel like pushing, go ahead. In the mean time I'm going to break your water." And she did. And the contractions seemed to stop for a sweet minute or two, but then of course they were back. And there was the pushing and the baby... but again the details are fuzzy. Thank God for endorphins and such.

In the end, like twenty minutes after we left the house and eleven minutes after we got into the delivery room, there was Emerson. And it hurt like hell. But, it was so worth it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crab Shack and Halloween: or yes, I'm still here...

Yes, yes, yes. I'm still here. I'm one of those pregnant ladies that is awesome at what used to be called false labor. That's the one where you have nice contractions four or five minutes apart for hours on end, and then they stop. However, seeing as Monday is the actual due date, I'm thinking there will be a baby sometime in the next week.

In the mean time, remember when I said you'd all be pleasantly surprised if I posted anything? See? Aren't you pleasantly surprised.

A few weeks ago, our neighbors, John and Deb, treated us to dinner at a local crab restaurant, Dave and Jane's. I'd offer the link, but it's not working today. Anywho, there were all you can eat crabs and Rich was mighty, mighty excited.

Atlee discovered there was also fried chicken to be had.


And of course, the crabs.

Greeley thought the mallets were pretty nifty.

Shea mostly wished he'd brought his DS. He didn't realize adults could eat crabs for two hours.

And last Saturday as you may recall was Halloween. Rich and his friend, Travis, took our kids and Amy's two around the neighborhood. When they got home, there was the traditional candy trade. Trinity ended up with like six Milky Ways, so she was pretty psyched.


Happy belated Halloween! If you don't hear anything for the next few days, it either means Emerson is finally here or that I just didn't feel like posting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We interrupt this blog to bring you Braxton Hicks contractions...

So, um, yeah. I'm not really updating anything around here lately. Please don't take it personally. But the camera is way upstairs and I'm way downstairs and do you know how difficult stairs are lately? Do you? So, if I get around to posting anything we'll all be pleasantly surprised. If you are one of the three readers that I don't have as friends on Facebook, drop me a line or a comment or something and I'll just add you there. At least then you'll get status updates.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where I Break Into Song and Sing the Circle of Life...

For those of you who didn't see the obituary on Facebook, Acorn the Rabbit has passed on to the great warren in the sky. I put the girls to bed on Friday evening and checked on the rabbit as was my habit. (I'm a poet.) Unfortunately, the rabbit was a tad bit stiff and immobile.
So, I hauled the cage out of their room and put it on the front porch. Rich was on his way to DC to pick a friend up from the airport, so I gave him a casual sort of heads up call..."Um, when you get home don't be surprised at the dead rabbit in a cage on the front porch."

On Saturday, he and Atlee dug a hole. The stiff bunny went into the hole. Well, she went into the hole once and Rich realized she wasn't going to fit. Atlee mentioned to him that "Yeah, Acorn got really fat. It's a good thing she's dead so she didn't hear me call her fat." After the hole was enlarged a little, she was laid to rest.

Today's Sunday. My younger sister came up to visit and we took the girls to a pet shop where Atlee spent her every last penny on this:

We had discussed that it should be a mini lop, but once more I somehow have ended up with a full size rabbit. At least this time I know it's a baby and is going to get bigger. She's debating names right now- we'll keep you posted.

In other news, if you didn't get the Facebook Rabbit Obituary, perhaps you didn't get the status update about Greeley cutting her own hair this week. Amazingly enough, the safety scissors did cut her hair. They don't cut anything else. Rich was pretty impressed with the results:


Now, where was I? Oh, yes, "The circle.... the circle of life...."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Packing for the Hospital.

We're getting close enough to having this baby, that I've started to think about what I need to pack for the hospital. You know- clothes for the baby, clothes for me, that sort of stuff. The girls have other ideas about what I should bring though.


I've decided that waiting to have a baby is a lot like waiting for Christmas. It seems like the day is forever away. Weeks and weeks ahead of you.


Then, all of a sudden one morning you wake up and go four weeks? Is that all the time I have to get ready? Wait. In one week, I will have a fully developed human being just hanging around inside me?

And, so at some point you pack for the hospital. It's actually one of the few times Rich and I get to spend a night away from the kids.

I'm thinking it won't be the most romantic evening away from the kids we've ever had.

Perhaps I need to rethink what I'm packing here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Acorn's Deluxe New Digs.

Do you remember when we first got Acorn? She was so cute and little. I could almost believe she was the dwarf rabbit I thought I had purchased. She seemed to fit in her cage alright. But then...


then Acorn got bigger. While her ears may say dwarf rabbit, I don't think the rest of her body says it so much. So, the cage she once fit so nicely into became a little small.

So, I started plotting and planning a great big Acorn condominium. I found a layout online I liked and brought it to my carpenter husband. He told me it would be approximately $50.00 in materials. I quickly added another $25.00 in my head, because you know those carpenters. They never keep to the original bid. (I kid, I kid.)

Anywho, I told Atlee she should shell over $25.00 out of her allowance to free Acorn from the tiny, always poop filled cage her existence had become. Atlee played hard to get. Shea heard me telling the story and forked over $1.50 for the Acorn fund. ("Mom, your story of the rabbit's plight touched me.")

So, that's where things stood around here. Convincing a five year old to do chores so that I could take the money back and convince my husband to build a rabbit palace. But, then? Then Freecycle answered my prayers with this...


Once Rich cleans it out, it will be an outside refuge that Acorn can not even begin to imagine.


If you are not familiar with Freecycle, I encourage you to check it out. You have to have a Yahoo account, but that only takes a moment to set up. I've managed to pass on lots of odds and ends to folks who needed them.... and scored the ultimate rabbit habitat. With like five pounds of food too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Apples, Petting Zoos, and Hay Rides... Oh My!

Remember Amy? (Hint: She's the friend who took all three kids so that Rich and I could shack up at Herr's Tavern overnight last year.)

Her daughter, Trinity, recently had a birthday. The birthday party was at Showvaker's Evergreens. Atlee was looking forward to going for- oh- about a month before the actual day.

When we got there, the first thing Greeley found was a duck and pump station. Water and rubber duckies. She was in heaven.

All of the kids enjoyed the corn crib. Instead of a sand box, it was a big box of corn kernels. I still have corn all over my family room floor from three kids taking off their socks and shoes when they got home. Atlee rolled around in this like a pig in mud. That's why you can't see her in this shot. She's actually lying down in the corn kernels.


There was a petting zoo, which Greeley enjoyed.

Turkeys that aren't on the Thanksgiving Table. Yet.

She also enjoyed driving the train.

It's not quite a smile, but it's not quite her usual glare either.

All the kids enjoyed the hay ride. Except Greeley, who spent much of the ride with her hands over her ears. The tractor was a bit loud, I guess. That or she was tired of the sales pitch to come back and buy our Christmas Tree there. Hard telling.

The hayride stopped so that all of the kids could do the apple sling shot.

All morning long, from the time we got there, Rich kept asking, "Where's the apple sling shot?" "Have you seen the apple sling shot?" He perhaps enjoyed it more than the kids.


Note the chocolate frosting remnants on Atlee's face from the cupcakes. The party tent was in the corn maze. I don't have any pictures of the kids traveling in the maze, though. They all seemed to have a good time. The adults all came out looking like they needed a cocktail or two. Happy Birthday Trinity!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Problem with Home Improvements.

The problem with home improvements is that, of course, as soon as you get a beautiful brand new bathroom door...

the four unreplaced doors off the same hallway look that much worse.

Monday, September 28, 2009

An Overdue Treehouse Update.

Rich did some more work on the tree house a few weeks ago. Which means starting a few weeks ago, he started nagging me to update the tree house picture. Nagging and nagging and nagging. So, to bring some peace and quiet to our little abode...

The kids do enjoy it. Except a few weeks ago when Atlee, Kaya and Trinity were all up there and a bee!!!! flew near them. I'm pretty sure the neighbors on the other side of the development thought we were slaughtering children here that day.

While I'm at it, I just took this one this morning:

Shea's home sick from school with a fever and Rich put him to work helping to install a new bathroom door upstairs. The amazing part of this picture? That Shea is both smiling (sort of) and waving at the camera.

I'm off to enjoy the new found peace and quiet around here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heritage Festival

Some of you may know this, and some of you may not, but I'm not generally a happy, glowing type of pregnant woman. Adjectives like cranky and fussy are perhaps a bit more apt. So, I decided to push my patience to the limit and take three kids to the Heritage Festival.

We've always enjoyed the Heritage Festival. Although, my kids are not the kind to try new foods. They have no interest in the Jamaican, Hispanic or Asian offerings. They are down with the ice cream truck though.


So, we got ice cream. And we settled in under a tree in the shade to enjoy it. Atlee noticed the tree we were sitting under was not the same type of tree as we had sat under for hot dogs and soda. (Worldly palates, no?)

Before, we go further remember adjectives that describe me lately are fussy and cranky. And perhaps sarcastic. Anywho, a gentleman overheard Atlee commenting on how the tree was different. And he looked at me and said in a rather patronizing tone, "It's a cedar tree." And I looked at him, snapped somewhere inside and responded in an equally patronizing tone, "Yes, it is. And the Latin name, if I recall correctly is Thuja occidentalis."

The lesson? Don't try to school a fussy, pregnant woman on trees when her father's a forester and she lived with an environmental science major for six years.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Haiku Battles.

For those of you not paying attention, there is a haiku throw-down going on. A battle of breeds on Patio Boater's site that has been wondrously entertaining. As I have no canine of my own, I offer up a few Gettysburg Family animal haikus.

In the realm of rabbits, I offer:

Acorn the Rabbit,
Lives caged on Atlee's dresser.
Vicious teeth that bite.

In the realm of cats, I offer:

Corwin chases Zoe.
Zoe hisses her response,
wishes he was gone.

The beagle haiku market has been pretty soundly cornered. It looks like the black lab haiku market is rapidly shrinking. I've got high hopes for the dual rabbit and feline markets. Now go look at Patio Boater's last several posts, including comments.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Technology makes me even lazier.


Any of you ladies who have been pregnant may remember the last two months. The last two months where time slows down until it seems to stop. And the nesting urge? I don't know where it went, but it's not around here. So, I've been slacking on taking pictures. And we all know I've been slacking on posting pictures. But then my brother-in-law posted this on Facebook, and I could just steal it and post it. Wohoo!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last Days of Summer Videos.

Eh. This wasn't how I meant to load the videos, but it takes so stinking long to load a video, I'm not redoing it. Suffer through the side by side presentation.

The first video is an abrupt cut of Atlee singing to Greeley on the back deck. It just offers an opportunity to 1- see how well the girls hang out together and 2- admire my outside table and chairs. I love my outside table and chairs, and will miss eating out there this winter. When kids spill crumbs on the deck, the squirrels clean them up. There don't seem to be any squirrels in the dining room.

The second video is just one of those things I never thought I'd see. I went to the grocery store and came home to this action in the front yard. I suspected at first that Rich bribed him some how with offers of a new DS game or some such, but that wasn't the case.

video video

And no, I won't change my header quite yet. I don't want to admit summer is gone, even though the kids are in school and all. Summer goes until at least Labor Day Weekend, right?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Day of School.

This last week was the first day of school for the Gettysburg Family kids. Shea had his first day on Wednesday. Atlee had her first day on Thursday. I didn't get any pictures on Wednesday because that sly dog was out the door before I could even think about where I had left the camera. Greeley just saw pictures being taken and wanted in on the action.

The traditional pose for the first day of school picture was quickly followed by the traditional bolt for the school bus stop to avoid missing the bus and therefore losing screen time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Under the Category of Things I Never Thought I'd Do As a Parent

When I worked at the Mirror Lake Inn, I remember wondering what sort of parent paid for their 10 year old to receive a pedicure. What madness is this? Then I moved to Southern Pennsylvania and before you know it, this happens:

For the first day of school (which is Thursday for her) she had her feet soaked, scrubbed, clipped, massaged and polished.


Her absolute delight in the entire experience has taught me why parents give their kids pedicures.

For the record, we went to the Gettysburg Day Spa. We had a wonderful experience there. They did not pay for this promotion, but if they want to kick me down a gift certificate for a couples' pedicure, Rich and I will gladly write a rave joint review.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Road Trip of Summer

And oh what a summer it has been. We hit the road for our last trip of the summer last Thursday. We had a whirlwind tour of New York State planned, and it all started in Syracuse. Are you ready for an inconsistent photo journey? I took odd pictures this vacation.

We visited our good friends Brandi and Ash. Greeley helped make dinner.

Brandi and Ash got a new dog, Maddie, in the last year, and every now and then through the evening she looked a lot like my Mom's old dog, Cassidy. I kept hoping I could capture the very Cassidyness of the dog, but it didn't happen. So much for the plan where in a year I slip the Maddie-dog to Mom and take the Cady-dog off her hands.


On Friday, we drove east to Glens Falls and had dinner at Mom and Dad's. A lot of family was in town because we were having a family reunion outside of Chestertown on Saturday. It was everything a family reunion should be. There was a swimming pool and oodles of noodles.

There were kids games- including (gasp!!) fishing in a bucket of WATER. Greeley and Atlee were in heaven.

And there was live music. My brother Mike's band, Nom de Plume, played for a lively crowd. I would offer a link to the band, but I can't seem to find one on the internet after five minutes of looking. So this is where we'll check to see if Mike regularly reads the blog and can provide his own link.

On Monday we went north to Wilmington. We had dinner with our former neighbors. See Sam on the left? When we first met Sam he was like 11 years old. He was our first babysitter. Now he's a sophomore in college.


When you have dinner with your former neighbors you get to see your former house.

On Tuesday, we spent the day with Judi. I have no pictures to show. I'll provide a link to her website, Lost in the Trees- even though she hasn't posted anything new in four months.

Moving on... on Tuesday evening we went and had dinner with Kelly and Phil. Kelly showed Atlee her garden. They picked some peas.

Atlee then ate A LOT of peas. A whole lot of peas.

After dinner, the kids played with their Wii. Shea tries Guitar Hero for the first time.

And Atlee tried out the Wii Fit action.


And we'll wrap up this post with a picture of the kids on the beach the week before.
School starts on Wednesday. I better get in position early to get my papparazzi stalker style pictures of Shea on the first day. It also means my access to the computer should become a bit easier and my commenting and posting will increase.