Sunday, June 29, 2008


I just love this country. With all the things I complain about, all the issues to debate, the problems to solve....I'm so thankful that I live in a country where I'm able to complain, debate, and solve.

Aren't we lucky?!

I also love a good reason to celebrate. So as we near independence day, I'm breaking out the decorations. Most of them are made by me. In the U.S.A. Since that's where I am.

I was wanting to poke some flags into my window boxes. Snazzy 'em up. I started my quest a few weeks ago....looking for the right ones. Can I tell you how defeated I felt EVERY TIME I looked at a small American flag with the words "Made In China" on it? Are you kidding me?

Perhaps you're new to me, but that country is one that I have so many issues with. I've already complained about it here, and here. And here. Ugh. Now I'm getting all in a huff.

At any rate, today, on a routine trip to Target for soap refills, I was PLEASED to find these great little flags. For $.99! And looky here:

See those three wonderful words? Made in U.S.A.

Here they are in my window boxes. If you'd like some, you'd better hurry over and get them. Before I run out and snatch all of them up.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


When yesterday's creative juices were flowing, I decided I needed to strike while the iron was hot!

So that lovely piece of fabric on the top of the pile in yesterday's picture? It was going to be a purse...or a blanket...or a lavender eye pillow....but I grabbed my scissors and started cutting it apart. Into pieces for a dress. For my girl. Who was asleep on the couch. Without a pattern. Or any prior successful dress making skills. (I've probably mentioned before my disdain for patterns. They're so constricting. And bossy. I don't like to be bossed. A reflection on my glowing personality? I'm quite certain it speaks volumes.)

And what I've discovered, is that I have really no idea what I'm doing. The "dress" is okay. It's the kind of thing that looks like "your mom made it." (If MY mom made it, it would be lovely. SHE can sew. She knows what she's doing. And she uses patterns.) But for my little one, it looks like I made it. Which I did...but I don't want it to look that way. I want it to look like someone ELSE made it. For a store. You know what I'm saying?

I also realized that it is probably helpful to at least have the person's general size in mind while cutting things out. Guesstimating doesn't exactly cut it. Unless you want it to look like it belongs to a sister who is 5 years older.

I'm having some thoughts on what I want to try to do to fix it. I'm planning a really wide waist band that will help conceal the awkwardly placed waist, with a fuller apron attached to help fill out the skirt...which in my mind's eye was going to be billowy-er.
But now for your viewing pleasure, the first draft: (it wouldn't hurt my feelings if it made you giggle)
(I purposely scrunched it together for this it didn't look so wide and marmy.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

new projects

I was hoping to put a few things in my Etsy shop this July. But in order to do that, I'll need to actually MAKE a few things to go in there.
I've been playing around with fabrics and ribbons this morning. I think I'm going to make some random blankets and bags.
The best part is dreaming up what each piece of fabric can much potential. Where to begin?

late night thoughts

You know how it is, when you read a book, and it's really sad, and you have to blink a thousand times so you can keep reading through your tears? It's kinda tricky.

And then you have to put your book down, because you need to go and blow your nose, since you can no longer breath....and then you snap out of know, since it's JUST A BOOK?! Fiction!!

I'm not a huge fan of that. Or maybe I am? I know that I am a huge fan of seeing clearly and breathing normally.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

labor three {the Lord willing}

Labor one and labor two. Part of my life story. Experiences that helped shape who I am. If you read them both, you may have noticed something was missing from both.

They were both painful. Both worth it.

But did you notice Who was missing?

He was. The very One who watched as I tried (pretty miserably) to accomplish the job on my own. In my own strength. Which was feeble. And lacking.

I got skunked out of the epidurals. The pain meds I took didn't work for me the way they were intended to work. For a reason. They weren't supposed to. For me.

Because, He was the only thing I needed. "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13 NIV) That is a promise being pressed into my heart. I'm going to go into this labor prayerfully.

I'm going to have a team of prayer warriors interceding on my behalf. This one will be different. This one is for HIS glory. This one will not be done through my own strength. You know, the one that isn't strong enough? I'm going to be seeking my Savior's face when the contractions become too painful to handle. I will be meditating on His words....His promises...

Someone was telling me about a gal that focused on the different names of Christ throughout her contractions. It was then that it struck me. Wow. Of course! What am I doing? Why didn't I see that?

It's not like I didn't know the Lord during my last labors. I knew Him. But not completely. These last few years have been different. The Lord used a move, and a new baby, the subsequent ppd, and my aloneness to reveal my NEED for Him. He stripped away everything else. It wasn't until I was "alone" that I realized it all. God doesn't want to be an every once in a while kind of acquaintance. He's not pushy. He's not vindictive. He's there. Always there. Waiting. It was for me to make the move. To see. He was there. As always.

So, as I walk into this next labor, I'm walking with Him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

labor two

My second pregnancy went pretty smoothly. We moved to a new town when I was in my third trimester, so I had to get a new doctor. I was very sad to be leaving Dr. Pushover. But the new one was great. Very kind and thorough and fatherly. My due date came and went. On the eighth day of overdueness, he was finally ready to induce me. I had been having contractions, but not ones that were doing anything productive. I thought that the baby would be in there forever. And ever.

Still feeling dejected about my first epidural that, I didn't even get to reap the benefits of a pain free transition, or relax my way from a one to a ten. I figured, I basically did the other labor with out pain meds, this time, I'm going to go med free. I can do it!

So we went in on a Tuesday. They started the drip. Nice mild contractions. But nothing was really happening, as far as dilating and effacing go. About three hours in, my doc checked, and said that the baby might just not be ready...didn't know if he should break my water....maybe I should wait it out another few days and see what my body does....the look of panic and anger on my face sent him to find another doc to second opinion. (I appreciated how conservative he was being about it all, but really just wanted this baby OUT. Yesterday.) While he was gone finding an OB to give her thoughts, I prayed for another cm. And PTL when this one checked, she gave the go ahead. He rechecked, and voila! Water breakage with a crochet hook. And the subsequent wetting. Woot! Let's get this party started!

I labored for a few hours before the pain got crappy. And another hour before they turned into the contractions of horror. I got up to use the bathroom, stopping every three steps, or so, to cling to my husband. And scratch up his face. (not really) And while in the bathroom (sorry, we're getting really acquainted here, aren't we?) I made up my mind I wanted an epidural.

"DO NOT GET AN EPIDURAL!" said a voice in my subconscious.

"Shut up, voice, I'm getting an epidural." I said back.

"You are not to get that epidural." It said again.

"Tell, the nurse I want an epidural." I told my husband. Smirking at the voice in my mind. Ha! I'll show you.

The epi was ordered, and an hour or so later, two anesthesiologists come into my room. One very seasoned looking, and one fresh out of the box. The fresh one stepped up to my back and with some quiet coaching from the other started to poke in the huge needle. A sharp and horrible pain shot down my left leg. "Ahhhhhhoowwwww!!!!" I yelled, uncontrollably.

"Oh, back out a little, you've hit a nerve." The older said.

Newbie tried again. Same thing. Backed it out again. Another try. Another nerve. Again and again, for six tries.

No go. My spine was "problematic." Great. It wasn't before. They tried to do some other kind of shot in my back, which "didn't take."

It was awful. They left. I was transitioning. The part of labor that sucks the worst. I wanted something. ANYTHING, to take away the pain. They gave me some kind of narcotic. In my IV.

Just then, I felt the urge to push. And so I did. And then the team of people all came in, my husband on one leg and a nurse on the other. I only pushed for about ten minutes, when the baby's head started to crown. And then the rest of him came out. And he was wonderful. And perfect. And huge. Nine pounds Six ounces. A joy. My boy.

It was after he was delivered that the narcotics began to kick in. I felt loopy. And yucky. Not in control. They gave me something to counteract the drugs, and all was well. Until I got The Headache.

All of the spinal pokes I received drained spinal fluid. So, when I was upright, my brain rested on my brain stem. (This is the most dumbed down version...the one I understand.) They could try and do a "blood patch", but because my spine was "problematic" it may only make things worse. Um, no thank you. Please don't make it worse.

So for the next eight days, I enjoyed my new baby while laying upon an ice pack pillow completely horizontal. I was okay, as long as I didn't have to sit up. I remember taking a nap between my two beautiful children, feeling so in love and lucky and blessed and just crying because I couldn't sit up to look at them. They were the loveliest worst days of my life.

And because of them, I have a new plan for labor three. I'll share that next.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

labor one

My first pregnancy was pretty typical. I had morning sickness for the first trimester, felt great in the second trimester, and out of body in the third. When my ligaments started stretching, my right leg started coming out of joint. I was very uncomfortable. I went to pt, and that helped a bit. But not completely. By week 38 I was SO ready to be done. (But who isn't by week 38?)

My doctor was (a pushover) sympathetic. I told her I wanted to be done. Could I be done? Please? She decided that my baby was pretty huge--over eight pounds she guessed. So based on baby's size and my discomfort, she scheduled an induction at 39 weeks. It was a Wednesday evening when I went to L&D for a cervical gel to thin me out. They administered the gel, monitored the baby, and sent me home until morning.

I was told that the gel could start some contractions. It did. Yucky ones. I tried to sleep, but it wasn't restful. At all. I finally decided to just get out of bed at around 6, and then at 7 we went back to the hospital for the induction.

I was only dilated one cm when my doctor came to check that morning. They started a pitocin drip. The contractions weren't bad. It was then that I puffed my chest and stated that I thought I could totally do Lamaze through the whole thing. What are other women whining about? This is easy-squeezy.

A few hours later, with little progression, my doctor came back in to break my water. She said once she did, this would seal the deal. Baby would have to come that day. I was cool with that. I just wanted to be done. To hold my baby on the outside. She grabbed a long crochet hook and that was it. It felt like I sat there wetting the bed. I flashed to my life 60 years from then. This must be what incontinence feels like.

The contractions started getting more intense, but still, not too bad. I labored fairly easily for several hours. Then there was a nurse shift change. The new nurse came in and upped my drip by 50%. I hated her. Those ugly contractions made me want to die.

I had gone into the process thinking that I really wanted to try it without drugs. Not necessarily opposed to them, but wanting to experience the beauty of it all. But those ugly contractions reminded me of Genesis 3:16. And I ordered an epidural. My sweet husband gently asked if I was certain I wanted to go that route. And I ripped out his lips. (Almost.)

By this point I had been on the pitocin for 12 hours. The epidural came two hours later. I had FINALLY dilated to a seven. By this point I was ready to allow them to remove an arm if necessary to take away the pain, so when the anesthesiologist came in with his huge needle, I wasn't even phased. Poke it in my eye if you have to. Just take away this pain before it kills me.

While the huge needle was going into my spine, and my husband's jaw was resting on the floor--not from fear, but shock and awe. I had to "arch like a cat" and "hold still" while it was going in. Seriously. Isn't there a better way? An easier application? Do you know how difficult it is for a woman to hold still while her body is betraying her?

Soon it was all set. The drugs kicked in. It was heavenly. They checked me again, and while the stupid epidural was going in, I dilated from a seven to a ten. Ready to go.

Stink! You mean I did all of that and I don't even get to enjoy this epidural? They told me to push when I felt the urge.

"I think I already am." My body sort of took control. My abs (HA!) were squeezing uncontrollably and I had no idea what to do with myself. The hospital staff took their positions. The nurse grabbed one leg, told my husband to grab the other. "Honey, when you have another contraction, I want you to push."

Um. Okay. I don't know what that means, I thought. Push with what? Which muscles? There was a moment of panic, when I thought I had done all of this, gotten to this point, and now, because I am a total loser without musculature know how, my baby will remain clogged inside of me. We'll be like this forever.

But that's when my body started taking over again. I thought I was going to go to the bathroom on all of them. But I went with it. And the nurse said, "That's right, sweetheart. Great job! You're doing great."

Whew. Found the muscles!

I pushed and pushed for an hour. When the baby's head crowned, I said I wanted to push once more. I did. A big one, and out she came, with a rip and a tear. She was seven pounds eleven ounces. And perfect. And worth every second of pain I endured to get her here.

My mom always told me that a woman forgets the pains of labor once she holds her new baby. Maybe some women do, but not me. I remember. I've done it once more since then, and can remember the pain of that one, too. I'm hoping to do it a few more times, God willing.

So, while it stinks so bad to walk through that pain, the end justifies the means. The super mean means.

Monday, June 23, 2008

On labor

I was at a mom's group playdate last Friday. So much fun. The kids play, the moms visit....a good time is had by all. Etc.

There were two new mommies there that day. Both with brand new itty bitty babies. ADORABLE! You know the greatest thing about moms? We have a built-in conversation ice breaker.

"So, tell me about your labor."

I love labor stories. Women OWN their labor stories. They are experiences. Tough experiences. Painful. Perfect. Wonderful. Horrible. Worth every effort.

And everyone remembers....little details. The initial I-can-totally-Lamaze-my-way-through-these contractions. That become they-hurt-so-bad-I-think-I'll-die contractions.

From emergency c-sections to epidural converts....I love to hear the stories. It's instant bonding.

Last Friday, I heard some great birth stories. These lovely new mamas clearly enjoyed the Motherhood Sisterhood.

I've decided a few things about my next labor. Based on the experiences of my last labors. I'll share those stories in the coming days. Because I rocked those labors. They were mine. And I remember every last detail. From epidural convert to anti-epidural....

This birthing business is crazy stuff.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

rummage sailing and profound thoughts

My girl and I got up this morning and decided to go check out some rummage sales. Before we left home, I had her clean up her room and make some mental notes. We don't want to be adding any unnecessary things to the mix. We prayed for wisdom. Grabbed our monies and off we went.

On the way, I asked her what it was that she would be looking for today. What she thought she would want.

"I think I'll have to see it before I want it," she told me.

It struck me. Profound thoughts from the mind of my six year old. She had no needs or wants just then, but once she saw something, THEN she would need it.

How many times do I do that? A million? I'll be perfectly content. Then find myself in a store and see something. Something that I didn't know existed. But something I cannot exist that I've seen it.

It felt like something was being written on my heart. Work on this. Practice contentment.

Our shopping proved fruitful. I found some wonderful fabric for pennies. Practical. I will use it all. My girl found beanie babies. She only had two prior to this, and now has more. And a few clothes. A cute dress, some skirts and tops, all at $.50 a piece. And she paid for them all herself. So, while the beanies aren't my favorite, I'm glad they aren't Polly's or Barbies or Ponies. Something new. I think I'll convince her to eliminate something to make room for these new treasures.

We're both learning today.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So I married a super hero

This man that I married. Wow. There is nothing he can't do. Nearly. I don't think he can make a bed, or wash a dish, but he can build! By his own physical abilities, he has dug over 90 feet (3' x 30+ times) into the ground. He set 30+ eight foot posts, ran hundreds of 2 x 4 stringers, and is in the process of installing a gazillion boards to said stringers and posts.
AND he's doing all of this on his only two weeks "vacation" for the year. What a hero, what a guy. (Baby Bear, anyone?)
I can't tell you how much fun I've had watching. I'm the cheering section. Which, I'm sure most people don't realize is the most important part of any project. I boost morale. And bring drinks.
So, I guess you could say that WE are building this fence.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Must haves

Have you seen these? WoodWick candles. They're just SO wonderful. Really.

I have had this one lit everyday (14 hours) for the past 3 days. It smells fantastic. And! I can smell it all around my house. When I open the door, this is the smell that greets me. This one is "Cashmere." (Which makes me think of that one Seinfeld episode....cashmere! Cashmere!! CASHMERE!!!)

The best part about these beauties is the wooden wick. It makes the greatest fireplace-y sound. Crackle crackle. And they burn completely wasted wax. Hands down, the best candle in the world. (Yes, I am this lame.)

I got mine at my favorite store in the whole world. The home of my favorite mugs of all time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

stacking the deck

It's time for change! Healthier eating! More physical activity! Regularity! *cough*

I discovered a couple years ago, that if I had fruit washed and ready, and set out looking like a decoration, my kids would sneak it for a snack. Now, I'm not about encouraging deceitfulness, but saw this as an opportunity for healthful snacking. I let them know that anytime they were hungry, they could grab anything from the stand (a three tiered plate rack on a side table in the kitchen). Some where along the way, I quit stocking the store, and healthy snacking of this caliber ceased.
Okay, now that I got that out, whew....what was I going to say? Oh, so, last night, I went crazy in the produce aisle. I brought everything home, washed it up, arranged in on the stand. Told the kids they were free to snack from it anytime. Bedtime snacks were oranges and plums. DELICIOUS! For breakfast, more oranges.
I just love how my family loves fruit! And they can't eat it if it's not here. And it wasn't here (at least not like this). But, now it is here (and lots of it)!
Physical activity and regularity to follow suit! *snicker*

Monday, June 16, 2008

huge sigh

Home. We are home after a planned-last-minute trip to my husband's parent's farm. Back near my old stomping grounds. It's always fun to visit. The kids become country-kids for a few days....playing outside, driving small motors, getting wood ticks, getting dirty, eating like royalty, and l.o.v.i.n.g. EVERY minute of it. My son cried the night before we were to leave. Our place is boring. We don't have tadpoles. Or the biggest coolest playhouse you've ever seen. Or three wheelers.

When he's big, he's building a house right next to theirs. I'm guessing it will be attached somehow, so he can run over for breakfast every morning. "Where's my sausages?"


I was able to run into town and see a girlfriend for lunch....which is always super fun. Fun to eat the food that I dream about, with the secret sauce I suspect contains heroin, as your body nearly aches to eat it again...or to just drink it plain. And it's great to be able to catch up and chat like only minutes have passed since your last visit. I love that.

I tried to do a pop in on another friend, which felt like the meanest thing in the world to do. With out a 15 minute phone call allow for the mad dash toy pickup. Something tells me, this gal wouldn't have needed it. She wasn't home, and I didn't go and peek into her windows, but everything on the outside suggested perfection on the inside. Right down to the most adorable little dog in the window.

I also tried to see a cousin and aunt, but they were out and about....I really need to learn to use my phone. But somehow, just being near their homes felt like I had connected with them.

It's really a blast to go and visit the place of our youth, but I like coming home, too. Now to tackle that mountain of laundry. :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

baby blanket

I've got a friend SO ready to give birth to a baby girl. Her second child. I had her little boy draw a picture for his sister-to-be. Not bad for a three year old, huh? :) It's the new baby. With a bow in her hair. So adorable.

I embroidered the picture's design onto pink linen....

And then sewed that pink linen into this...

Here's the back...

My husband doesn't quite appreciate the embroidery...because he has never been a mom. About to give birth to her second baby. That will now have tangible evidence of her son's artistic ability two weeks before second baby's arrival. I'm hoping that this friend will appreciate this tangible evidence. :)

What do you think?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Not as good as the real thing

I went grocery shopping with the kids today. I even let them make a list. We came home with "pof corn," "choclit melk," "salamy," and "froot snacks." And cookies. Chewy Chips A'hoy.

I am trying to like them, but they taste waxy....plasticky.....perservativey. I have only been able to eat 5 of them. It's a cryin' shame.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

hormones and emotions

My girl finished Kindergarten. Next week, she'll be leaving for college. Her wedding will be three days after that, and before next month, I'll be a grandmother.

At least, that's how it feels. Two weeks ago, she was a newborn! How is it that time can be so warped?! People tell you that time flies...and you know, I never completely grasped that until I had babies. (Excuse, me. I need a box of tissues.)

I've heard it said that the days are long but the years are short. How true. How illogical and strange and spot on.

And, there seems to be a conspiracy with all radio stations. EVERY song is about how my girl is going to grow up and leave me. Don't they know that she can't? Ever leave? Never? She NEEDS me too much.


The people who warn you not to define yourself by motherhood alone are wise. Very wise.

I know that I have a job to do. An important job. A VERY important job. My mind knows that this is all a part of God's divine plan. We raise our children. We train them. We teach them who they are in Christ. We feed them, and buy them clothes and more toys than can fit into our home, and then we give them a gentle shove out of the nest. Or, we hold on to their tail feathers with white knuckles as they drag us behind them trying with all their might to loose our grasp.

I know all these things in my head, but this heart of mine has a REALLY hard time wrapping around it all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I'm in need of some SERIOUS motivation. My list of things to complete is long. Some things are necessary and some are completely random and unnecessary. Most are completely random and unnecessary.

I need to clean out closets. And organize storage. My cupboards should be gone through. My fridge needs to be cleared and cleaned. Windows washed. Yadda yadda.

I also "need" to paint a dresser. Sew some skirts and shirts for my girl. (The inspiration came easily there...check out what Amy J. is doing.) I want to do some fun things like that.

Sew some pillows.

Make a blanket for a friend about to have a baby.

Bake some caramel bars.

Send some letters.

Get my nails done.

Cut flowers for an arrangement on my coffee table. {check}

My list goes on and on...and on and on...and the longer I sit not doing the necessary, the more random unnecessaries I dream up. So that list gets longer.


Oh, wait! I'm feeling motivated.

Here. Now I can cross one thing off the list. Hmmm. What next? Further bulletins as events warrant.

Monday, June 2, 2008

slow down.

I got a call from my husband this morning. Would my son and I be willing/have time to bring him some cupcakes and lunch? Several students are celebrating birthdays, and he thought it would be fun to sugar them all up on the second to last day of school. A good way to end the year...the same as they started...with cupcakes. (The first day of school was a birthday, too--and my husband is thoughtful and wonderful and awesome and handsome.)

Any who....yes! We had time! We love to see Daddy mid-day. I put the house in order, and we ran to the grocery store. I thought I had allotted ample time. We picked out the cupcakes, a soda (for Dad), and a candy bar for my boy. Headed to the check out. There were 12 checkers. All check out counters were full. We tried to go to the express lane, but it was closed. No big deal. We still have a few minutes before we needed to be on our way. We wandered back through the lines, and found a check out with only one customer. She had two carts full, but they were almost done ringing her out.

Perfect. Only a few minutes left. This gal will be done soon. They finish scanning, give her the total, and she digs through her purse. Out come hundreds of gift cards. Oh dear. Her total was over $200, and the cards all had $25 stamped on the plastic. Okay. It's okay. She is completely allowed to use her gift cards to purchase her two carts full of groceries. Of course! She might be going through a crisis. She might have 12 children at home. Maybe one is very ill. Maybe she can only shop once a month? Maybe she got those cards because her husband died? (when I start to feel entitled or snotty, I make up stories about the object of my wrath. Which makes me feel terrible, and sympathetic.)

It takes a good 5 minutes for all her cards to go through, and then 2 minutes for her receipt to print out. It was a long one, too. Like Santa's list of good children.

I did some Lamaze to keep my cool. Because, after all, this woman had done nothing wrong. At all. Nothing. But, make me a little behind schedule. Big deal. I'm delivering cupcakes to 6th graders. Not an organ for life saving surgery. Get over myself.

We raced to the school. We got there in plenty of time. I forgot all about the big deal I was making at the store until we were on our way home and someone cut me off. And drove slowly.

UGH!!!! What is wrong with you people?!?!?!

Seriously. This is what went through my mind. Because, you know that God put all you other people on this world to enjoy the ride as you revolve around me. Perhaps you didn't know this?

It started to become clear that I am in need of a serious attitude adjustment. I gotta start slowing down....recognizing that I am here to love you all....not mumble under my breath when your path crosses mine as you pull out in front of me and drive 15 mph slower.

I'm going to practice extending grace.