Friday, February 27, 2009

Party Girl

Levi got his first birthday invite in the mail last week. At 15 months I'm pretty sure his social life is better than mine. ;) The birthday girl is a sweet friend from church, and her party is tomorrow. Earlier in the week, I went on a present search. Yikes! I hadn't a clue what to buy. Every time I found something she might like, I wondered if she already had it. After unsuccessfully browsing the toy sections of two stores I opted for the diy route. Since generally I'm whipping up toys for my little boy, it was a nice change of pace to make something for a little girl. Though, I might have gone a little crazy with the pink! Hope she likes it.You might notice that I ditched the traditional tail. Instead I opted for a fluffy pom-pom tail which I made out of pink can just barely make it out in the above pic. I also added a little felt bow to her hair. She needed an accessory! I've dubbed her Maude.Hope y'all have a stellar weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I failed to mention that despite all the craziness and the rather lengthy separation, Levi and I were blessed to establish a strong breastfeeding relationship. Having since heard disaster stories about breastfeeding after a c-section (especially an emergency c-section), I am truly grateful to be able to say that Levi still breastfeeds to this day. We had a very rocky first 3 months...Okay, so maybe "we" is a bit misleading. Recovering from the c-section and battling 3 months of breast infections didn't bother him one bit. Me? I was on cloud 9 over being a mom, but at the same time I thought the pain would NEVER end. I truly couldn't have gotten through it all without my family. They were so supportive and went above and beyond the call of duty.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You Asked For It: Part III: The Aftermath

You're probably thinking, "Phew, it's over. And, oh my stars, we so shouldn't have asked for this tale!", but it's not over. There is more. If your eyes are glazing over, feel free to stop reading. There's a reason I haven't blogged about this before. Believe it or not, this is the short version.
Okay, back to the birth story, or the after birth story: After seeing Levi for a matter of seconds, he was whisked away from me. He wasn't in distress. It was just hospital protocol. They stitched me up, counted all of the tools of the trade, and stashed me away in a "recovery" nook.
I begged to see him. I woke up frequently from my drug-induced sleep and sent my mom to ask for him. I was worried about him. Surely he needed me. He'd been a part of me for 9 months. How could he be okay without me? Wasn't he hungry? I needed to hold him, to feed him....5 hours later, after much begging and stressing a nurse finally strolled him in to see me.
Me: "Can I nurse him?" Nurse: "What? You want to nurse him?" Me thinking: Of course, I want to nurse him. I've only written my intent to breastfeed on every piece of paper that's been handed to me, even the ones that probably didn't require it. Despite my blood beginning to boil, I politely said, "Yes." The nurse actually looked annoyed, but she helped me none the less. Levi was a natural, and I thought I'd landed in heaven--even a better one than the epidural induced one. I could have stared and stared and stared at that little munchkin.
Then...she took him away...AGAIN. Y'all, if my momma hadn't been there to help me through, I would have seriously lost my mind and my temper. In the hours after Levi was born, I only saw him for a few minutes. That was way worse than anything labor and a c-section could have dished out. There is nothing that makes sense about separating a mother from her newborn.
The night labor and delivery nurse totally botched my delivery. I didn't even list all of the ways she messed up. But, that I'm over. I don't want to hug the lady, but I'm not angry anymore. But, being separated from Levi during those long hours, that still makes my heart hurt and my blood boil.
When they FINALLY put me in a real room and brought my baby to me, I didn't want him out of my sight. The nurses practically begged me to let them take him for a little while, so I could get some rest. I wouldn't have it. They insisted on taking him in the mornings, so the pediatrician could check him out. I called every 15 minutes to ask them to bring him back. They probably thought I was crazy. I didn't care. I just wanted my baby.
When the doctor asked if I'd like to stay an extra day, I refused. I wanted to go home where there were no nurseries and no nurses and no doctors to bother us.
Despite all the craziness, it was worth it. I would do it all over again, a hundred more times, just to get Levi. However, if I'm ever blessed with the opportunity to actually do it again, I want a midwife, no hospital, and no dingbat nurses (please excuse my uncharitable feelings).
I selected my OB with great care and still think the world of her. She is kind, compassionate, and wicked smart. But, she wasn't there when I needed her. I was at the mercy of a nurse, who I wouldn't have wanted around if she was the last nurse alive, and I didn't see a doctor until the situation had become an emergency. So instead of picking out an OB they should let you pick out your nurse.
Well, that wraps up Levi's birth story. Unless you want me to tell you about the wicked awful pain of getting over a c-section and getting a three month long breast infection to boot. We could do a You Asked For It: Part IV....just kidding! I'll spare y'all! I just have to say it's a good thing babies are so dang skippy cute:
P.S. Excuse the lengthiness as well as the many grammar and spelling errors. I probably should have proofread this, but if you think your eyes are glazing over, you should see mine. :)

You Asked For It: Part II

I caved. I let her give me Stadol. BIG MISTAKE. I knew in my heart of hearts that I shouldn't have, but I couldn't keep going like that with no end in sight. The Stadol didn't curb the pain a single bit. In fact it just got worse. Eventually, my screaming could be heard outside of the labor and delivery ward. (I'd just like to take this moment to apologize to all of the ladies who came in to deliver their bundle of joy that night. I'm sure I scared the ever living daylights out of you. Sorry!) More Stadol was administered. The pain was not alleviated. The only thing the Stadol did was make me feel like I had lost my marbles. Just what I needed to top off some crazy horrific pain...NOT!
My sister kept asking if I wanted her to call mom. In the midst of screaming like a banshee and crying like a baby, I actually told her not to. Note to sis: Never listen to a drugged pregnant lady in labor (even if you think she's not really in labor). I should take this moment to give props to my sis, who stuck it out like a champ and truly is the best sister a girl could have. I'm fairly certain, though, that she's decided that giving birth is for the birds, and adoption is the way to go. I can't say that I blame her. That certainly ranks as one of the longest and scariest nights of either of our lives.
By now, you probably more than get the picture of how the night went: pain, pain, more pain, drugs, even more pain, even more drugs, extra extra pain, dingbat nurse, two women who between them had only ever seen a horse give birth...yeah, not a pretty picture. It went on until around 6:30 or 7 a.m. when my doctor came to check on me. You know her expressions that I mentioned earlier. Well, you could see the steam rising from her head and the wrath in her eyes when she walked into the lovely aforementioned scene. Her first question, "How far along is she?" The answer...silence...crickets chirping...No one knew, because no one had thought to check. Hmmm...lady...9 months pregnant...screaming like she's undergoing Chinese water torture...wonder what that could be caused by?
So, turns out I WAS in labor. When the doc checked I was dilated 8 freakin' centimeters. My previous pleas for an epidural had gone unanswered since it was just the baby pressing on a nerve. When I heard "8 centimeters" my heart nearly fell out of my chest. I thought I couldn't get an epidural that late, and, people, my dreams of a med free birth had gone out the window hours before. I WANTED an epidural!! The relief that came over me when my doctor ordered the epidural is indescribable. Granted getting a needle in my back while writhing in pain is a whole other blog post that I will spare you.
Finally, the epidural kicked in. I couldn't feel a thing. I won't lie to you. The lack of feeling was absolutely glorious. I thought I'd landed in heaven. Then reality kicked in.
The nurses: "Let us know when you feel a contraction."
Me: "Huh? I don't feel anything."
Them: "Nothing?"
Me: "Not a thing." Seriously, I felt nothing.
Plan B-the nurses told me when I was having a contraction, and they even told me when to push. Of course, they had to wake me up first. If they'd let me I would have slept through the whole darn event.
On cue, I pushed with all of my might. They administered Pitocin in an attempt to regulate my still erratic contractions. The doc kept coming in and out, the whole while looking concerned. I kept hearing mutterings about my baby being in distress. Thanks to the mass quantity of drugs running through my system I didn't have the wherewithal to be very concerned. The nurses kept getting on to me for not staying on my side--as if a woman who can't feel the vast majority of her body can actually be expected to know if she's staying put. The doctor came in again to check me. The concerned expression grew more so. She told me that my baby was under too much stress, and that I needed to have a c-section. Screeeech! What?! No, so not in my plans. Argh ! Due to the size of his head she thought pulling him out with giant baby tongs (no that's not what she called them) would be far too dangerous. I cried. They strolled me into surgery.
The drugs could no longer dull the terror. I was scared my baby would die. I was scared I would die. And to top it off, it felt like they had shipped me to Antarctica . So not only was I shaking from terror, I was also shaking from cold. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how they would cut a straight line with me shaking so badly. This made me even more scared which made me shake even worse.
Shaking aside, they pumped me full of more drugs. They started poking my belly with something and asking me if I could feel it. "" All the way up to my chest, they poked, and I still couldn't feel a thing. At that point their eyes got a little big, and somebody muttered that I'd had enough. Call me crazy, but I think you're still supposed to be able to feel your chest when they anesthetize your lower half. This being reason number 210 that I never, ever want another epidural as long as I live.
My mom had been there for some time at this point. They suited her up and let her sit next to me. She held my hand. As you probably suspect, I didn't feel a thing. My sweet baby was safely extracted. My first sight of Levi above that blue curtain is forever etched into my mind. He was beautiful and so funny looking all at the same time. I cried. He peed on the nurse. I laughed and cried some more. Then fear struck again. How could they possibly sew a straight line with me laughing and crying? Never fear, it is possible.
My mom held him up to me, so I could kiss him. I touched him for the first time. I cried some more.
To be continued...I know...How could there possibly be more?...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You Asked For It: Part I

A couple of posts ago, I got a number of requests to blog Levi's birth story. So, here it goes. By the end of this y'all might regret having asked. ;)
Levi was due November 17, 2007. It was pretty clear, though, that he had no intention of greeting the world on schedule. November 14 rolled around, and with it came what was supposed to be a normal checkup. I went to the doctor's office leaving behind a messy house and a pile of laundry. Seriously people, I was convinced that Levi intended to stay put for at least another couple of weeks. So, off I went to the doctor.
As she's checking me out this look of concern crosses her face. My doctor has no sensor on her facial expressions...though she tries, God bless her. She immediately ships me off to have a sonogram. I could feel him kicking in there, so I knew he was alive. But, I must say her expression did leave me uneasy.
Turns out the poor little fella' was running out of amniotic fluid at an alarming rate. To this day I'm convinced that he ate it all. It would be just like him.
Anyway, the doc ordered me into the hospital that evening. She was entirely unconcerned about my messy house and pile of laundry. This so was not in my plans. I was supposed to go into labor as God intended. I had no intention of going to the hospital until I was dang skippy near ready to pop the kid out. And my house was not supposed to be messy while all of this was going on.
As ordered, I showed up at the hospital bags packed--house still messy--ready to try to coax this kid out into the world. I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect. The nurses ushered me into a room, and administered some terrifically uncomfortable drugs in the attempt to "soften my cervix". It took two different nurses to accomplish this task, neither of whom was remotely concerned about my obvious discomfort. I was told that I would probably feel some contractions through the night, and they could give me drugs if I needed them. When I told them I didn't want any drugs, they nearly rolled there eyes.
Because they wouldn't be administering Pitocin until morning, my mom went home to get some rest. As the appointed labor coach, she wanted to be well rested for the upcoming event. My sister (who had never seen anything but a horse give birth) stayed with me through the night. At first, I couldn't even feel the contractions that registered on the monitor. After a couple rounds of cards things started getting a tinge painful, but still nothing that gritting of teeth and clenching of fists couldn't get a girl through. And, then things started getting nasty. The pain was HORRIBLE. The worst part--it was relentless. I had contraction on top of contraction on top of contraction. Those minutes in between contractions that they tell you about in childbirth class, they didn't exist.
My sister began calling the nurse in regularly, asking what was wrong with me, if I was okay. The nurse would smile, take a gander at the monitor, and calmly say, "The baby must be pressing on a nerve. Would you like something for the pain?" When I said, "No, thanks." in between cries of pain, she walked out. No pointers, no words of comfort, nothin'. I began thinking that if this wasn't active labor and Pitocin was only going to increase the pain, then the pain was surely going to kill me. I already felt like someone was repeatedly and relentlessly stabbing me. All to get me ready for Pitocin to be administered so that I could go into labor. Yes, I actually believed that despite the pain, I was not really in labor yet. The stuff they gave me wasn't intended to send me into labor. The nurse was convinced it was just the baby pressing on a nerve. I had never even seen a horse give birth much less a human, so I certainly wasn't going to argue with her.
To be continued....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oh My

Will I ever quit feeling the need to stare at him, and kiss him, and hug him, and squeeze him, and say things like "Oh, my stars! He's the cutest thing this side of Texas!!!".....? It's going to be pretty weird if I'm still this insanely smitten when he's thirty. Seriously, I can't get enough of this little guy.
And, for those of you sweet ladies who've requested Levi's birth story, it's a comin'. Next chance I get for a lengthy blog post, you will get what you've asked for.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is It Friday Already??????

How is it possible to get to the end of the week and not realize it?? I was genuinely shocked when I woke up this morning and realized what day it was. The sad thing is that yesterday I was perfectly aware that it was Thursday. It really shouldn't be that much of a surprise for Friday to follow Thursday. It only happens every single week. Hmmm...maybe I need my head examined.
On to other things that have slipped my sieve-like brain....the very sweet Amber from The Nutrients of Life tagged me for a fun little meme earlier this week.
The rules:
“go into your photo archive, pick the 4th folder in the archive, select the 4th picture in the folder, and write about it. Then tag 4 other people to do the same”Admittedly, not the most flattering of pics. The hospital room glow does wonders, huh? This is me and my sister, Annie, in the hospital getting ready for what could easily be described as one of the scariest nights of our lives. Of course, we had no idea what was coming when this picture was snapped, hence the smiles. Luckily, babies are so worth all the crazy events that lead up to their arrival! Sigh.
On to the tagging part. about...
Erin that's not a typo!
Enjoy your weekend! I think I'm going to do some relaxing, and maybe plug up some of those holes in my brain. What about you?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here's A Nugget For You

I might have mentioned before that my desk runneth over with scraps of paper containing various and sundry quotes. Well, here's one I ran across recently that really spoke to me:

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
Joseph Cambell

Admittedly, I am not naturally a life planner. I can plan outings, parties, meals, daily to do's, but life on the big picture scale????...not so good on that front...which, really explains a whole heck of a lot. I tend towards the scattered side of things, and my life in the past has certainly reflected that. However, becoming a mom, helped bring things into focus for me. Planning and building a life that makes some sort of sense has begun to top the charts of the to do list. On occasion I find myself becoming slightly obsessive about it. Lately, my ideas have maybe become a tad rigid, and I've found myself feeling a bit out of sorts and not really "letting go and letting God" as the saying goes. Today, in particular, I was obsessing over some really dumb stuff that in about 5 minutes isn't going to matter anymore and in truth doesn't matter right now. Then this quote popped into view. I feel better already. So, I say, "Yay!" to messy desks that produce nuggets of wisdom at precisely the right time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Think Someone Hit The Fast Forward Button

And, now I can't find pause. Friday morning we hit the road for an 8 hour turned 12 hour drive. Yeah...12 hours...where did the extra 4 come from???? The joys of driving to Georgia with the little fella' in tow. Actually, he was really sweet--seriously. We finally arrived at our destination Friday evening, and after a quick meal, we hit the sack.Valentine's day was worth the drive though. My great-aunt Othalyne turned the big 90, so we enjoyed a huge family reunion bash in her honor. (She's on the couch to the right). This is a pic of my more immediate family members. There must have been at least 100 people altogether.Aunt Othalyne is one of those ladies who makes EVERYONE feel like they are her favorite person in the world. The best part--it's genuine. She just exudes love and caring. So, driving 12 hours Friday only to turn around and do the same on Sunday was totally worth it. We got the added bonus of catching up with loads of family as well as meeting family who we've never met's a gigantic family.
For the most part my sister had the camera. She always gravitates to the outdoors, so most of the pics are of the kids--who were some of the only people willing to venture out on a chilly gray day.
As you can probably tell, the kids had a blast on the hay bales. By the end of the day a couple of the bales were toppled over and the rest of them were a bit trampled and worse for the wear.
Uncle Larry teaching my little cousin, Miles, to wield a camera:
I just love it when he falls asleep on me. Okay, so by the end of his nap, I couldn't feel my arms or legs, but really it's a nice feeling overall.:
Aunt Othalyne, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren mostly live on one HUGE piece of land. They've built a pond house for occasions such as this, and it has to be the most kid friendly place around. Hay bales, cows, horses, ponds and creeks, land for miles and miles, and a million lights up all year round:
After that fun-packed day, we turned around the next day and drove 12 more hours home. There really is no place like home. We were just in time too, because the next day Levi came down with a rotten, stinkin' awful stomach bug. I hope he gets better soon, because I am so ready to hit the slow down button. I need a break.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We're Back....

...from a very quick but very loooooooooong trip. I'm unbelievably tired, so a quick "Howdy!" and a picture will have to do for now.
Hope y'all had a weekend full of adventures and good times!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Loads Of Love

I hope y'all have a super fabulous Valentine Weekend full of loads of love!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I was absolutely hooked on thrifting. Nothing short of tying me up and tossing me in the basement could have kept me out of the thrift shops on a more than weekly basis. Then a lovely bundle of joy came my way and really shook up my routine.
To be honest, since having Levi I haven't even thought about thrift stores. I still frequent consignment stores, but down and dirty, dig through tons of junk to find awesome treasures at unbeatable prices thrift stores--those have not been on my must do list. They are quickly inching their way back in. You just can't beat the prices...and the treasures--oh,my stars!
My thrifting focus has certainly changed since my Levi-less days. Once upon a time you could have found me scavenging the furniture and household accessories--not to mention adding to my off beat collections of mannequins and virgin Mary statues. However, my home is overflowing. When the little fella' came along I had to send many of my treasures back from whence they came just to fit Levi in. So, now you'll generally find me perusing the children's books for vintage booty as well as the little munchkin clothing racks.
Here are yesterdays fabulous finds:
Vintage children's books galore (They just don't make 'em like this anymore!)
A cute little bomber jacket for the little fella'. It's a tad big now, but eventually it will be just perfect.
This might just be my favorite. It's an adorable little knitted vest with a wrap around dachshund. How cute is that!!

And all of this loot (plus a few less exciting but terribly practical finds) for just a few bucks. I'm officially re-hooked on thrifting!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Picture Day

This weekend we had our pictures taken for the church photo directory. (Think school picture day just in the church fellowship hall instead of the school auditorium.) To be honest, we weren't bowled over by the results. I mean, how is it possible to walk in a place thinking you look pretty darn good and walk out feeling like you've gained thirty pounds and bad hair to top it off? But...since we were all gussied up anyway, we snapped a few pics of our own. Call me crazy, but I totally prefer outdoor, all natural, snapshots to stiff, staged "portraits". I may not have a swanky-danky camera or any roll down backdrops, but I'm really liking these anyway. They show us doing whatever it is that we do--albeit a little more dressed up than usual.
I just have to say, I think I have quite a beautiful sister. Not only is she beautiful and a fabulous Auntie, she's pretty dang talented to boot. She made the dress she's wearing! :
So, there you have it, our non-professional but beloved family portraits.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shopping For A Cause

I'm sure that most of you have heard about the tragic bush fires in Australia. If you're looking for ways to help and you like to shop, well you're in luck. Red Chocolate recently blogged about the ways that crafters are reaching out and raising money for those in need. On Etsy you can search "bushfire" and you will instantly have an assortment of items to choose from. I just bought this fabulous little number donated by Magic Jelly:

For those of you who prefer the traditional donation route, there's always the Red Cross. The Nutrients of Life also has a list of other crafters for the cause as well as a link for wildlife donations.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Simple, Wonderful

This weekend was one of the first weekends in some time that really FELT like a weekend. Maybe it was the stunningly beautiful glimpse of spring weather that sent us all outdoors to soak in the goodness or the fact that Levi has finally put all of his walking skills together and is really getting into it, or maybe its just that I didn't have to run a single errand and could just sit back and enjoy. Whatever it was, it was perfect and wonderful in all of its simplicity.
Saturday morning Levi and I headed outdoors to enjoy the beautiful day. His feet hit the ground and he was off. Since his first steps, he hasn't taken more than 4 in a row. That is, until Saturday. He led me around our entire front yard--which is huge. Then we headed for the backyard. Once he decided he could really walk, the boy just took off. We spent two solid hours walking around.
Eventually we headed up to the barn with Aunt Annie. Levi tried to chase down the chickens. Our girls were a bit fast for his little legs. They were so fast that I had trouble getting a good shot of them. You might be able to make them out to the left of the tree.
Grandpa joined us for a little barnside visit. Levi decided to take a bit of a break to watch Aunt Annie clip her horse's nails.
Of course, no weekend would be complete without an afternoon drive. No worries, we don't let the little man loose on the roads--just around the farm a bit.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thrift Fabulous

Last weekend we did a bit of thrifting. I ran across a stack of old children's books, and, of course, I couldn't resist. I paid $1 for the lot. I'm loving the quirky fabulousness of the old illustrations.
Hope y'all have a swell weekend!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder"

... and my eye beholds more beauty with each passing day. I am amazed at this little life that has been entrusted to my care. I try to savor every precious moment...drink it all in, slurp it up, stare endlessly, and fall hopelessly in love all over again every time those little arms wrap around me.
The truth of the matter is that my husband left when I was 3 months pregnant, and this may be the only baby I ever have. Maybe it's the fear of never getting to experience this again that makes me that much more aware of the swift movement of time and the transience of each moment, but I have a sneaking suspicion that many mothers, whatever their circumstances, feel this way.
I want to be thoroughly present even in the moments that are woefully unglamorous. There are times when I fail miserably at this; times when I let the uncertainties of life get in the way of enjoying what is happening before my very eyes. And, then I snap back to my senses, and get back to the business of savoring the moment. When I've read the same cardboard book 14 times in a row, or gently scolded Levi for poking me in the eye for the 500th time, or just had to clean all manner of baby ickiness off of the bathroom floor, or done the 10th load of laundry for the day, I have to remind myself that someday I will miss this. Someday, I will wish for this again.
Can you tell I'm getting sentimental over my baby becoming a toddler? Where did the time go? I've been determined to relish every single second of every single day since I got pregnant, and for the most part I've succeeded. But, my, oh, my has it gone by quickly. I can't count the number of times I've prayed that God would just let me stay in this or that moment just a little bit longer. The countless breathtakingly beautiful moments by far outweigh all of life's pains. And, if you ask me, that is a true blessing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Y'all Are So Sweet

Thanks for all of your well wishes! I am on the mend, although a little worse for the wear. Hoping to be right as rain in a day or two! Until then I'll leave you with some Levi cuteness:

Have I mentioned before that he has an obsession with trying on gloves?
It was a little wet out. He wasn't sure what to make of it.
And, yes, he ALWAYS looks dreadfully serious when we're outside. You'd think we never went out, but, in reality, he spends ample time in the fresh air.
Hope y'all are having a fabulous week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sick With A Capital S

I spent the weekend at my sister's, and lucky me, my cold--that I've had for two weeks--turned ugly. I've never had a sinus headache before, and it's really getting to me....THREE DAYS, people!! I've had migraines since childhood, and this sinus headache is just as rotten stinkin' awful as a migraine. I'm going to the doctor...very soon. Wish me luck, I'm a little scared of doctors.

P.S. Thanks ladies for all your sweet comments about the state of my house. I promise it looked better in the photos than in real life. And, it literally took the whole day to clean--that's not including the studio/office/bedroom, which I've given up on for now. :)