Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Just so you know, I've been totally selfish lately.
When I think about the plan for the day, it's all about me.
What do I want to do today?
Where do I want to go today?

Let's document this realization...
And hope that getting it out there will help me shift my priorities toward a more balanced approach...
Like considering my children.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Long White Bones With The Skin All Gone

Remember that lovely little song?  

Something about the Ghost of John...
Anyway, we did a skeleton craft for Halloween.  
It was easy peasy.  
I painted the skulls and cut the q-tips.
The kids glued them on while using an example from the internet as a guide.  

I helped Sarah position her q-tips.  But I'll give her the credit :-)

These lovely bones now grace our front door...scaring away anyone who dares to ring our doorbell.

Friday, October 21, 2011

School Library Pumpkin Contest

Caleb's school library is hosting a Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  You know I love creative outlets, so we jumped on board.

A few of the ground rules:
Your pumpkin is to be decorated like a character from a book.
You may not puncture your pumpkin.
Pumpkins may be decorated by the child or as a family.

Caleb chose Clifford The Big Red Dog.

I let the kids paint the pumpkin completely RED.  This was a pretty tame activity, but we did have one mishap.  Dusty (our dog) stepped in a puddle of red paint!  Thankfully we caught it before he exited the tiled area.

I brainstormed about what to use for Clifford's snout and ears.  I settled on foam sheets.  They were easy to work with, but tough to attach to the pumpkin.  I think the slick surface of the pumpkin hindered their ability to stick.

I let Caleb help with the eyes and hair.  We used Sharpie and white paint.  Done.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Budding Artists

Caleb and Collin, a friend from school
101 Dalmatians


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Norah's 3 Weeks Already!

Oops!  I forgot to post her 2 week stats.

Weight: 6 lbs. 8 oz.
Length: 18 1/2 inches*
Head Circumference: 13 inches

*her length is less because the doctor's office takes a more relaxed measurement instead of stretching infants as far as possible :-)

She can already:
Stay awake for 3-4 hours a day (following feedings).
Turn your head from one side to the other when laying on her tummy.
Make brief eye contact.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm a ghost. Boo.

That's what you'll be hearing Sarah say over and over and over on Halloween.

I copied Sarah's Halloween costume from a Pinterest find.   It looked simple enough, and it was.  Except for the skirt.  I can't get the tulle to fluff up like I want it to.  But it's still adorable.

Here's the original:

And my completed version:

Cute, but my ghost face is HUGE!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

Sarah:  "Like a tent in here."

Context:  She joined Norah under the nursing cover.  Apparently, she thinks it's a fun place to be!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Columbus Day

This was Caleb's monologue when he got in the car this afternoon.  We found it exceptionally humorous.  I hope you enjoy it, too.

"We don't have school on Monday.  It's because somebody lived a long time ago.  It's Christopher's birthday.  He wasn't looking where he was going and he bumped into America.  The other people thought the world was flat.  Christopher thought it was round.  He bought three ships.  He called the people Indians."

Maybe I should teach him this poem (who knew it was so long?):

IN 1492

In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.

October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!

"Indians!  Indians!"  Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.

But "India" the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.

The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.

Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he'd been told.

He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.

The first American?  No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.

Adjusting to Life On the Outside

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Norah's Birth Stats & Story

Here are the stats:
  • Norah Elizabeth Freeman
  • September 27, 2011
  • 12:14 pm
  • 6 lbs at birth
  • 5 lbs, 14 oz at time of discharge
  • 19.5 in long
  • 12.75 in head circumference
  • dark brown/black hair
  • Special fact: Her birthday is the same day my daddy died 4 years ago.  So bittersweet.
  • 4 hour, 44 minute labor (we delivered less than an hour after breaking water)
  • no epidural = alert baby and mommy
Praying for:
  • My blood pressure, still working its way back down to normal
  • Stable milk supply for nursing
  • Norah's overall health and weight gain
  • Sleep: these night time nursing sessions are killing me
Just so you're forewarned, I am including as many details as possible.  I want to be able to read this in the future and have the whole story to come back to!

We went in at 7:30 am on Tuesday, September 27 for an induction.  At that point, I was 38 weeks, 4 days.  I was dilated to 4 cm with 75% effacement.  I expected to have the Dr. Rister come in and break my water at 7:30 am, but that didn't happen.  The Labor & Delivery nurse was training a new nurse, so things moved along at a snail's pace.  When the doc came back at 8:10 am, the nurses still didn't even have my IV in.  At that point, Dr. Rister had to go to his office for his regular day of OB/GYN appointments.  Sigh.

The IV insertion was quite an experience.  The nurse in training was sweet and gentle, but she pushed that IV needle into and back out of my vein.  Painful.  Very painful.  Made me jump out of my skin.

Once that was finally over, I had several hours ahead of me until I'd see my OB again.  Sad face.  So, the nurses started my Pitocin drip to get the labor moving along.  The contractions felt like menstrual cramps that became more intense as time went on.  This entire process of labor was annoying.  I know, I'm complaining about something that most women experience for hours on end.  It's just that I counted on things moving a lot faster, because I'd expected to have my water broken before then.

The nurse checked me for dilation around 11 am.  I was dilated to 7 cm and 90 % effaced.  She also noted that my bag of water was bulging.  And so that is what I'd been feeling for the last few weeks.  I had mentioned to Jadie and a few friends on several occasions that I could feel "something" pushing out.  It didn't feel like Norah's head or foot or anything, just an uncomfortable bulge very near to the exit area.  :-)  So that's what it was!  Bulging bag.  What a ladylike term.

Dr. Rister returned around 11:20 am to break my water.  Finally!  This really got things moving, as I expected.  Over the next 45 minutes, my contractions became more painful and I opted for an IV drug called Fentanyl which I could take 3 times at 20 minute intervals.  It may have taken the edge off, but I still felt just about everything.  The nurse checked me after about 30 minutes to check progress.  I was dilated to 9 cm, but she discovered that Norah's head was blocking the remainder of my water from coming out.  She shifted her out of the way a bit, released the rest of the fluid and I immediately dilated to 10 cm.  It was go time!

Dr. Rister came back to our room and told me to start pushing with the contractions.  I couldn't get myself coordinated for the first two cycles.  My body just couldn't figure out how to push.  It was probably due to the fact that I was delirious from the Fentanyl.  Once I got things coordinated, she was out after only 2 pushes!  What a relief!

Norah's birth was much kinder to my body than Caleb's or Sarah's.  I'll be sure to thank her for that later.  She managed to make her way out without the need for an episiotomy or any tearing.  Praise the Lord.  This means that recovery has been quicker and less painful as well.

The craziest thing to me is that today, on October 5, we're still 2 days away from her due date.  How in the world do women make it to 40 weeks?  I've got to give them credit!