Monday, July 27, 2009

Under the Milk Spell

Sophie is always interested in what Molly is doing and where I have put her down or if I would put her down so she can hold her. Molly is usually doing one of only a few things. She is either sleeping, eating, having a diaper change, and for only a few moments of the day she is awake. One day I was holding Molly, rocking in the chair, after a feeding and Sophie came up and asked if Molly was really asleep or just under the "Milk Spell". I thought that was a great way of describing that state babies get into that isn't really sleep but when they are full, content and resting with their eyes shut. This "Milk Spell" state is one of my favorites. This is where you can just watch the babies face flit between a distressed, crinkled eyebrow look, to the blank sleep face and then to my favorite, the big whole face, happy grin.

We are all enjoying having a little baby in the house. Henry is happy that I can have him on my lap again or that I can pick him up and carry him around a little. Ian is the least interested in what the baby is up to. He still gives her little pushes in her swing and gets very distressed if he hears her cry. Sophie just can't wait until Molly can share a room with her and she is always very excited when I bring Molly in and lay her on her future bed which is all ready for her in Sophie's room. My husband seems to think he has forgotten how to handle newborns so is a bit afraid of changing her diaper and that sort of thing. It is coming back to him slowly but he does his best at keeping the other kids busy so I have more time to rest and take naps when needed.

Maybe we are all under the Milk Spell. We are all full, content and happy. What more can we ask for.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is for Posterity, so be honest

This could go under the label of "too much information", but since it is part of the story of Molly's birth I figured it needs to be written down. And since this blog tends to be my journal.... here is the story.

My babies have all come just a few days early, 4 or 5 days. So luckily we were able to plan ahead and have my Mom here, on hand, to stay with the kids because there was no time to do anything. Once Miss Molly decided it was time, everything went really quickly.

I had woken up at 2:00 a.m. or so Tuesday morning to use the bathroom. Nothing out of the ordinary when you are this pregnant. My husband asks me how I am feeling as I climb back into bed. I tell him I am feeling fine just needed to use the bathroom. We went back to sleep not thinking anything was going to happen. (My last two babies decided to come in the wee hours of the morning so we tended to think this one would as well) So at 4:30 a.m. I wake up to a little cramping, nothing that was that strong or lasted that long. This too had been happening off and on the last few days so didn't signal anything to me. I dozed off again until at about 5:00 I woke up with another of those not so bad cramps that didn't last too long but then it happened again about 10 min later. I started to get the hint that these cramps were serious.

After I had breathed through a few more of these contractions, I then got up to take a shower. While in the shower the contractions started to come more quickly. I got out of the shower and woke my husband and told him to quickly take a shower because we need to go. Without actually timing my contractions I would say they were coming about every 5 minutes and lasting about a minute. But then while sitting on my bed still in my towel on I suddenly had the feeling that I was needed to pee and I quickly stood up and just in time to save my bedspread from amniotic fluid because there was a huge puddle on the floor. I screamed, and dropped my towel to clean up the mess and looked at the clock. It was 6:07. My husband jumped out of the shower at my scream and taking a moment to see what had just happened he grabbed his clothes and called to my Mom. She came running and of course Sophie came too.

I tried really hard to get dressed so I could get to the car but got no further than a shirt because the fluid just kept coming and my contractions were getting stronger and stronger and not giving me much of any break between them. My husband could tell, having been through this with me three times before, that I was headed in the "wilderness of pain" which is his title for the transition phase of labor. I was shaking and couldn't get myself to walk across the room to my shoes let alone out to the car so he could drive me to the hospital. His first thought was that he needed to get me some help right then so he called 911. They said they would send help and started to talk him through preparing to deliver at home.

The first responders were a few police men.

Before too long my bedroon was filled with policemen, firemen and finally the EMTs. I am still standing half naked in my bedroom trying to get through each contractions and then in the brief moments between, move to where I was told and let them do the checks and preparations they needed to determine if I needed to deliver there or they would be able get me out of there. I guess when in "the wilderness of pain" modesty just doesn't cross your mind.

They decided to take me to the ambulance and get me to the hospital. You can see on the clock it is now just after 6:30 a.m.

Throughout the entire 15-20 min it took for the ambulance to get me to my hospital. The EMT's kept timing my contractions. At this time they were lasting about 2 minutes and giving me only about 20 secs between. They kept telling me to not push. Luckly I didn't feel the need to push yet. And was happy to know I would make it to the hospital after all.

They dropped me off at the Emergency room and the doctor there quickly did a check and I was fully dilated and they could feel the head but decided to get me to Labor and Delivery. Once there the doctor came gave me a quick check and put a monitor on the baby and we got to work pushing out the baby. Within 30 min of being at the hospital, Molly was born. It is always amazing to me that once the baby is out the pain stops too. I couldn't believe how quickly it had all happened. It was after the birth we finally got around to filling out the paperwork and the forms that needed to be signed to admit me in the hospital and allow them to treat me.

My Mom later told me how Henry and Sophie were entertained by the Firemen and Police men that morning. (Ian I guess slept through the whole thing) They both thought it was grand adventure.

Evidently the morning shift had just started and many of those responders came just because they didn't have anything else going on yet. So in the end we had three police cars, a fire truck and the Ambulance all respond to our 911 call. That is a lot of guys to help one very pregnant lady.

I guess I was glad to be the mornings entertainment for all those men. I am just happy my little girl is here safe and sound and we are all doing well. I would have preferred it to be a little less dramatic. But isn't it nice to know all we need do is call and someone is here to help us in our times of need.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Delivered! and Home Again

Here are a few shots of our Molly. Sophie picked out her name ages ago and wouldn't hear of any other name. So she is named Mary but we will be calling her Molly.

She decided to come early Tuesday morning. She was my biggest baby weighting in at 8 lbs 14 oz, but she came super quick! 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. We almost didn't make it to the hospital. But I will have to share that story in another post when i can get some of the pictures my mom took to document one half hour of the somewhat crazy experience.
For now here are a few shots of the kids when they came to visit us at the hospital.

Miss Molly is getting lots of attention from her big sister!

And her brothers like to give her gentle pushes in the swing.

I am just glad to be home. I hate being in the hospital and couldn't wait to return to the comforts of home.

Now I just need to get a little more sleep. But I have feeling that may be a long shot! At least I have nothing planned for tomorrow and a husband who now has 5 weeks off of work to play with the kids while I relearn how to feed and we all figure out how to take care of this new little girl.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My new habit.

I have gotten into a new habit recently. It is one I think I inherited from my parents. Or at least I know they do this too. I get up in the wee small hours of the morning and read. My parents tell me they do this because when you get old you just get insomnia. I have often, when at their house, woken up at 4:00 a.m., with a baby or sick child, to find my parents both out in the front room reading. My excuse the last few weeks is that I wake up for the 3rd or 4th time to use the facilities and then lay in bed for an hour or so tossing and turning because I can't seem to find a comfortable position any more. Either that or woke up from some strange dream and can't stop thinking about it. So what do I do instead? I go out in the living room, turn the reading light on, plop myself in the lazy-boy, prop my feet up, cuddle into a blanket with a light read. I then read for the 45 min to hour I used to toss and turn and then I head back to bed, fall back into dreamland quickly, and for another few hours get some good hard sleep. It has actually been wonderful. I feel more rested in the mornings. And I have been able to reread a few old favorites. 3 books in one week is doing pretty good for me.

As I said, the books I have been reading have been "light reads". Which usually means I have read the book before and know the story well. But I have also thrown in a few that are new to me as well. After watching Northanger Abby on PBS last week I decided to give that Jane Austen book a reread since it has been some years since I read it last. Then when I finished that one I pulled out Sense and Sensibility since I hadn't read that one since watching the new BBC production of it and just wanted to compare the book to the film. I was then going to pick up Pride and Prejudice or some other Jane Austen when I had finished but I saw my Elizabeth Gaskell books sitting next to my Jane Austen books and decided to reread Wives and Daughters instead. I got through a number of chapters of this book but then went to the library and picked up a book that came in that I had put on hold a few weeks ago, Shannon Hale's new book The Actor and the Housewife.
I just picked it up on Thursday's library trip and here it is Saturday morning and I just finished it. (A fun read! But it also had me crying in some places). So I will be returning to Wives and Daughters today and even through the book is thick, I think I will make it through it rather quickly too.

I don't know if I really want to say I enjoy this new habit. It would be better to just not wake up several times in the night. I guess if I am going to wake up, I might as well use that time visit some of my favorite characters.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My library bag is light?!

Thursday is always our Library day. We used to go on Thursday because that is the day they do story time. My kids used to sit through story time. I loved it. They would sit and be read to or sing songs or even do a craft while I walked through the shelves and found the books I needed. Now my kids are too busy finding books to go to story time. They have found the joy of finding a book and sitting on the floor of the library and reading it right there on the spot. Sophie has even started taking a bag of her own to fill with her own books of her choice. She loves having her own library card.

Before heading to the library this week, I filled my large canvas bag until it was full and very heavy. This is the usual. We almost always have 50+ books checked out and often during some school weeks it has been up to 80+. I then loaded a number of DVDs and CD's and Audio books into Sophie's library bag too. So we returned a lot of stuff yesterday. But what amazed me was that I didn't leave with two full bags of books. I walked out of the library yesterday with my bag only half full. My arm wasn't about to fall off under the weight of the heavy book bag. Most of what I didn't check out was audio books and they are rather light. Sophie got distracted by a book and didn't end up filling her bag either. I think she ended up with only 3 books to check out and take home.

There of course isn't a lack of books in our house. Infact I often feel bad that we check out so many books since we have many great ones already on our shelves at home that don't get read very often. I think I need to make a point of reading more of these old favorites rather than trying to find new books.

My children and I have always been partial to audio books but lately we have become audio book junkies. I haven't been reading as many books to them recently, and since school has been put on pause for a bit we just fill in our hours with audio books while we play with legos, playmobil pirates or other craft projects. We have gone through about 3 audio books a week, which is pretty good because we often relisten to many of the chapters as we go along. I have been rechecking out some of the audio books we have already listened to and loved, like Trumpet of the Swan and adding in some new ones that either just sounded interesting while scouring the audio book shelf, or have been recommended for one source or another.

This week I picked up the sequel to The Penderwicks, which we listened to earlier this summer, called The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. I have also heard good things about a book series that starts with The Doll People. So when I saw it there on the shelf I decided to take it home.

I also picked up a few of the Jim Weiss audio books. My kids love these stories. I think we have just about listened to all of the Jim Weiss Audio stories that our library has. I hope they get some of the others. We always enjoy these.

So even though my library bag hasn't been bursting at the seams the last few weeks, we are still getting in a lot of story time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What is it about Star Wars?

It started with Legos. When my sister moved across the country her husband gave my boys a box of legos that he didn't want to pack up and take with them. These were a few Star Wars lego figures and some of the ships from the Star Wars movies. The kids have been playing with these legos for months now and slowly learning the names of the different figures that they found in this box. They kept mixing up the numbers and letters of the different "robots", I tired to correct them and say they were droids. They have been asking and asking me to let them see the Star Wars movies. I kept saying they needed to wait until they were older because they might be a bit scary and give them nightmares.

A few weeks ago I took the kids to one of the summer Wednesday morning dollar movies, Kung Fu Panda. Henry had yet to see a movie in a theater and loved watching this one on the big screen. As I was sitting there watching these different animals do Kung fu and battle it out I thought... This is just about a violent and scary as the original Star Wars movie. I went home and talked to my husband about it and ended up putting the First Star Wars movie (episode IV) on my Netfix queue.

My kids were in heaven when I told them that it had arrived in the mail. They quickly cleaned their rooms and put their toys away (this doesn't happen quickly, ever in our house) so they could watch it. I watched it with them, or tired to, I fell asleep through a bit of it, in case it got too scary. The kids loved it, watched it again the next day, and were clamoring for the next one. So again I put the Empire Strikes Back on my queue and the kids loved this one even more. Sophie especially loved Yoda. They boys just love the antics of C-3PO and R2-D2. And of course they knew there was more to the story and wanted to see the next movie too.

Here is Sophie's drawing of R2-D2 which has been given a place of honor in a frame and now sits in the boy's room

So again the mail man brought us a red envelope which Henry couldn't wait to open. Before I could even stop him he had ripped open the envelope and was looking at the disk. He said "Princess Leah doesn't have much clothes on". I had forgotten how scantily clad Leah is during one of the scenes in Return of the Jedi. I didn't go into detail about why Leah is almost naked but just said that they would find out when they watched the movie. I am glad that scene doesn't last too long and boys were more interested in Jaba and what animals he was eating than in Princess Leah. When the movie ended they talked about the little live teddy bears (Ewoks) and all the funny things they did.

Sophie has really enjoyed the library book we found that is all about the different droids. We have endless pictures of them scattered about the house.

So now the kids have watch these three Star Wars Movies. They know there are three more and that they explain how Anikan Skywalker becomes Darth Vadar. I personally have only seen each of the prequels only once and don't remember being that impressed with them. They seemed very flashy and full of computer generated characters and lots of special effects. A little light on story if I remember right. The kids are pretty happy with the three they have seen but most of the books and such that they find at the library talk about characters and events that happen in these first three movies. They even found Episode I on the shelf of children's movies. I don't know why I am so leary of these first three Star Wars movies. They are rated PG just like the 3 I have already shown the kids but.... maybe it is because I am not as familiar with them. What do you think? Are the first three any worse, violent and such, as the original three?

For now they are content to build lego ships, read books about Star Wars, and draw lots of pictures of their favorite characters. There are a few light saber battles too, Ian is always Luke Skywalker and Henry is always Darth Vader.

I have never been that excited about Star Wars. Growing up, I remember watching the movies but can't say they were ones that I needed to see over and over again. My brother did have a few of the Star Wars figures and if I remember right an Empire Strikes Back Beach towel (funny the things your remember!). I know when I went to college there were Star Wars parties where they would watch the original three movies back to back. For some reason they are a classic for us to share with our kids. My kids sure loved these and are a bit Star Wars crazy at the moment. But I know before long they will move onto something else. So far we haven't had any bad dreams and I don't see an increase in violence around the house. (My boys have always had battles, either they were vikings, knights or Kung Fu fighters).

So I gave in with Star Wars. I still wonder if almost 4 years old is a little young for such movies. But it is hard to let some kids watch and not let the others.

I am still holding off on Harry Potter movies and books though. I look forward to reading these with the kids and watching the movies. I told Sophie when she was 11 we would read the books. The early books would be fine I am sure but the later books are a lot more scary and I don't think she would understand them yet anyway.

I guess Star Wars will have to do for now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

These toes look familiar......

.....but I remember having ankles.

These poor feet don't fit into any of my shoes either.

These can't be mine.
Maybe in the morning they will look different to me.

Can I at least trade these ones in for my old set in 2 weeks? I am sure hoping my old set is still available.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Getting Ready for the 4th the Lazy Way.

I wanted to spend a week studying, with the kids, a little about the 4th of July and what the day is all about. Last year we spent the whole month of June studying the Revolutionary war, or at least what started it. This year I decided we should take a week to review a little of what we learned last year and revisit some of the lives of our founding fathers. I admit I took the lazy route and got a bunch of audio books for the kids to listen to.
Jean Fritz books are excellent and my kids enjoyed them. Full of information but often with a little humor to keep the kids interested. Our library has many of them accompanied with an audio CD which was so nice because when I sit down to read to the the kids, before too long I am dozing off mid sentence. So each day we listened to one of these great biography type books and learned a little more about the revolution and some of the men that helped make it happen. I have a few more, John Hancock, George Washington and Patrick Henry, that I had placed on hold but they hadn't come in yet, (maybe someone else is being lazy too and has these ones out right now!) so we are probably going to continue listening to books about the revolution into next week as well when these books come to sit on the hold shelf.

I also found another book (with a CD of course) which was also very interesting, The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence. I think we will relisten to this one again today (the 4th).

But we also learned more about George Washington this week. I actually had to read the biographies I found of Washington. I didn't get to be as lazy and let the CD's do all the reading. But we read a few different biographies of our first president and now Ian at least recognizes his picture when we see it and knows who Washington was. He was very excited that Washington was on the 1 dollar bill and also on the quarter and got very excited when we saw a poster of a painting of George Washington on the walls of the Library when we went this week. So a little is sinking in to my 5 year old.

I wish I could say we did some fun crafts or projects to go along with our reading but like I said this was all done the lazy way. I just can't seem to get motivated to do much more than this lately. Taking naps and lounging around sound so much better to me at the moment.

I hope you all have a great, relaxing, safe, and enjoyable 4th of July.