T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

37, 38 and 39 Week Update

It's been an up and down week regarding pregnancy and the baby. We are all very anxiously awaiting her arrival and she keeps teasing us, too.

Last Friday, we attended the school's Monster Mash. A dance where the kids get to wear their costumes, go through the haunted hallway, and dance in the gym. It was a delightful family affair. Actually, it was quite charming to see the girls coming up to T and waving at him or shyly saying hi and commenting about his Ninja Turtle costume. There are about 4 girls for every boy in T's class. It warmed both Hubby's and my hearts that he seems genuinely well liked by his peers. Plus, his glasses seem to make him really popular. Lil Sister totally got in on the action too wearing her Rapunzal costume. Both kids tore it up on the dance floor, me, too actually. I'm sure that was quite the sight. I'll include a photo of them right before we left. Hubby and I had worked the whole day and the kids had also been at school the whole day. We were all very tired but still went for an hour and had a blast.

That night I started to get some contractions - must have been all that dancing. The kids were so exhausted, Hubby and I actually had some time alone. We sat and just talked. It was so nice to talk uninterrupted. We haven't done that in a while. Then we were so exhausted we went to bed. I woke at about 1:00 with stronger contractions. These persisted and I would actually doze off in between but either dream about them or wake up about every 10-15 minutes. I did not sleep well. In the morning, everyone slept in but I got up because I just felt like I HAD to finish these baby booties and pumpkin hat. Cute, huh? Things were continuing. Actually, the contractions were coming about every 5-6 minutes at this point. I was also starting to get uncomfortable if I sat still so I continued doing chores and at 9:00 woke Hubby up saying, "I think we're going to have a baby today or tomorrow." 

We spent the day getting the house organized, the kids lined up to go to Aunt T's and Uncle Doc's place, went to lunch and took the kids to the school to play. While they played I walked in an attempt to get the contractions to get a bit stronger and more frequent. Actually, they were starting to get so strong that riding in the car was becoming quite uncomfortable, particularly if we went over a bump. We came home and went on another walk. Actually, a hike and I made them run sprints up the hill. I wanted tired kids if they were going to spend the night away from us (they do not do well staying in their bed). 

Back at home we had dinner, gave bathes, and packed a few last minute items. Still, as uncomfortable as I was getting, things were still pretty spaced at 5-6 minutes but consistent. At 8:00 we took the kids to their aunt and uncle's. It's a 30 minute drive. After we dropped them I insisted we come back home so I could labor at home until I felt it was urgent to get to the hospital. I asked Hubby to come with me on a walk in the neighborhood. We took a 45 minute walk and by the end things were definitely getting stronger. We went in and started watching my current favorite movie, The Avengers. We watched for almost two hours and I just could not take the discomfort anymore and the contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes. Then I started to shake. When Hubby said it was actually quite warm in our room and I was shivering he insisted we head to the hospital.

We went in at about 12:15. When I got there, I was having pretty consistent and strong contractions about every 3-4 minutes. The nurse checked my status and I was barely progressed from my appointment 2 weeks prior with the nurse practitioner. (I've been seeing the NP because 1 - I love NPs for obvious reasons, 2 - I only have to wait 15 minutes to see her instead of the minimum 45 to see the doctor, and 3 - she spends more time with me and just makes me feel better; don't get me wrong, I love our doctor, he's just over-stretched). Oh, and I don't get my cervix checked at all these end appointments. I find it does little to help my sanity. When she checked at that appointment, I was at 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby was at 0 station. When the hospital nurse checked, after a day of laboring, I was at 2 cm dilated, 70% effaced, and 0 station. WOW! All that work for so little. I explained I've never been able to dilate without medication, hence, my hesitation for even coming in but with all the discomfort, frequency of contractions, and the shakes, I thought I better. She concurred. In fact, she started getting things ready to admit me but said she wanted me to walk and see if things progressed and then she would call the doctor.

So, we walked from 1:00 to 2:00. By that time I was so exhausted. Hubby, too. He would actually just lay down in the hall way at times when I took a rest during a contraction. At 2:30 there was no change but we hung around and were monitored to see what would happen for the next 30-45 minutes. At the 45 minute mark, everything just stopped. Period. I have no idea why. Maybe my body was just exhausted. Maybe my body knew I was getting a cold and that virus put a hault to everything. Who knows. But since then, nothing.

At my appointment yesterday I was once again scheduled to see the NP but the doctor insisted I see him instead. So, the kids and I waited for over an hour to see him. His concern is that I wait too long to get to the hospital because I am concerned about "crying wolf" again, which I am and explained that I had yet to make it to 4 cm without drug intervention. He says I could still do it on my own as every labor is different so he does not want me to chance it. Still, though, I don't want a repeat performance of this weekend. I was exhausted after all that. So our compromise, which is a compromise since I really had my heart set on all natural birth. The plan, if I have a repeat performance with regular contractions every 2-3 minutes, I go back to the hospital. If I am dilating, they admit me. If not and the hospital is not busy, they will induce. If nothing by 40+ weeks, we induce. It's a good compromise. I don't need 4th degree tearing again from a giant baby nor a c-section from a baby that cannot come out. But I also want to try to do the hypnobirthing if I can, even if I need to get a little pitocin, I'll decline on the epidural (if I can) and move around doing my positions as best as I can while being continuously monitored. My body just does not seem to be made to birth babies without help. We already know that had I given birth to T in a non-modern medicine age I would have died. So, some folks can do all that natural stuff in their homes and I am so happy for you that you can do this. But please don't look down on those of us who need a little push to get things going. 

I am still hopeful things will work out in accordance to my ultimate birth plan. I spend many moments during the day visualizing it and hoping it will come to pass. However, I am also trying to be flexible as it is the ultimate lesson parenthood has taught me and if I can master this lesson maybe I can move onto the next!

Oh, and the kids did wonderfully at their Aunt and Uncle's. They even went to a different church and had a blast. And they stayed in bed all night.

I am including some profile photos from 37, 38, and 39 weeks. The 39 week ones are not the best as the "official ones" were taken very early in the morning via camera timer with the camera being balanced on a chair right as we were walking out the door to drop the kids off for school. The shadow picture from that day was pretty cool, though. Also included is Lil Sister snuggling and talking with Baby Sister about coming out and joining us. That blanket on my tummy we are snuggling with is the one my Aunt gave me before she died.

Here's hoping Baby Sister makes her appearance soon. I thought for sure it would happen today as our doctor told us he would not be available between 4:30 and 6:30. Alas, it would not appear to be the case. We'll see. Sometimes we are surprised. I'd be fine with that. Now I'm off to eat spicy Vietnamese food...

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

A couple days after their big day of firsts, the kids had their school field trip to the pumpkin patch. This was a completely different experience than the pumpkin/tractor farm. Lil Sister and I drove via car but T was able to ride with his class in the bus. Still, though, the whole day, Lil Sister was a kindergartener just like her brother and hung out with his class.

I did get a request from Lil Sis for a new shirt just for her big day with the big kids - a pumpkin/jack-o-lantern. Hence, the photo at the beginning. Next, a photo of T with his girlfriend. Yes, he has a girlfriend. When I asked what they do as boyfriend/girlfriend his reply was, "We sit together during story time and play during recess." When I asked what he liked about her he said, "She's nice, sweet, and I like her short hair." By the way, her mom was also on the field trip. When she introduced herself I told her how happy I was to meet her as our kids were getting very tight. She concurred and said her daughter is always telling tales of her and T's adventures on the playground. Apparently, they have a fighting crime club of super heroes. They totally hold hands, too - it's quite sweet and charming. (Mind you, T still holds his sister's hand, too - so don't worry we're still good.) Oh, and the kids are wearing college attire for red ribbon spirit week - it was wear your university attire.

There is also a photo of the kids and teacher listening to a presentation on pumpkin seeds. I have a great group photo but I did not want to get too detailed on the blog. Mrs. T, the teacher, is in the blue sweatshirt on the far left in the 4th photo. 

We had a great time on the hay ride (which was Lil Sis's favorite part and T's least favorite part), trek through the corn maze, visit to the petting zoo (Lil Sis was SO excited to meet a real life miniature horse), picking pumpkins (T's favorite part), having pumpkin bread and milk (Mrs. T packed their milk all the way in a cooler from the school), and climbing on the hay bales that had a giant tube slide. I did not take too many photos as I did have to help in the herding of little kids - it was quite a hectic place. Still it was a fabulous and fun field trip.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Last week, particularly last Monday, was a big day in our home.

Hubby started a brand new job. He was at his last job for 18 years. It was a big leap to change after such a long time, but boy is he happy. He says it has been like Dorothy leaving the black and white world of Kansas behind and stepping into Oz - bright, colorful, and vibrant.  In short,  he is loving his job and having a great time.  We took a photo of him on his first day since we were all very excited for him.  Not only is his new work role a great one, but the hours and benefits are great as well, and it is very work/life balance friendly!   I could go on and on about his reports back to me.  Something I totally oooh and awed about was the fully stocked vending machines that are totally free - candy, chips, soda, snacks, etc. There's plenty of other food, too - fridges stocked with bread and sandwich makings, all the makings for an impromptu lunch or barbeque, fresh fruit, etc. He said his biggest concern at this new job is weight gain. There is a gym next door that he has been using so maybe it will balance things out. It's just so fun to see him being treated well and smiling when he eagerly leaves for work.  I realized recently that until now, I had never actually seen him giddy about work in the 12+ years we've been married.

The kids, on the same day, started at their new school programs. Yes, we cannot do change gradually around here - we have to do it all at once. My mom has been ill and can not take care of the kids. She is supposed to make a full recovery but it will take time. We hope maybe she can help with the baby in the new year but the kids have been loving their new programs so much that we plan to keep them on the same schedule regardless of whether she can help out again or not. It's a lot to ask a 74 year old woman to watch 3 kids. But I think she'd be bummed if she did not have time with the baby.

The program they are in is called "Just for Kids". It is an extension of our city school district. In fact, it is also on school grounds. It is somewhat of an onsite day care. However, much more elaborate than that. It's also a preschool and pre-kindergarten. The staff are all from the local university and are elementary education majors. T goes for a half day two days a week - he gets walked right over from his kindergarten class. Lil Sister (by the way, we need to change her blog name soon, huh?) is in pre-kindergarten two full days a week. There is plenty of structure, rest time, and they can bring their meals or eat in the school cafeteria. 

I did have to go get Lil Sis a nap pillow and bring in one of her blankets for rest time. She seems to not nap there but her teachers (she has two for the 8-10 kids in the class) say she always rests quietly during the entire nap period. (Shh, don't tell them but the secret to her doing so is her soft "blankie"). I also purchased new lunch boxes for the kids - they love JFK days because they get a "picnic lunch".

T does not have a rest period and loves that several of the kids from his kindergarten class are also in JFK with him. He's making lots of good friends. Oh, and his teacher in his after school class is a guy - he thinks that's totally cool to have a male teacher.

The security there is also impressive. My mom was especially worried about that (having been a preschool director for years) but we can only sign them in or out with thumb print recognition. I thought that was pretty cool, too.

So, everyone has done great. It does make for really early mornings on Mondays and Fridays when I drop them at school. Oh, Lil Sister also calls JFK school. Plus, she was begging and begging for weeks to go to school. I think two full days a week is just the right amount for her at this point - and I am just about over the guilt of her starting preschool well before her brother started school. We can always add more down the road. And before we know it, she'll be my kindergartener. I was talking with T's teacher about helping more in the class. She laughed and said I was doing plenty as I had two other kids that would be going through kindergarten so I better pace myself. Oh, and she totally wants Lil Sis in her class in two years. She already talks like it's a done deal. Maybe because our little girl joins in as often as possible with T's class. I'll post some photos of the pumpkin patch field trip we all went on last week soon.

For now, here are some first photos - Hubby on his first day at his new job (I am still smiling hearing the excitement in his voice as he told me of his day), Lil Sister and T on their first day at their new programs. I also had to include a photo of Lil Sis wearing her "big school girl" back pack - this one does not hold toys, but only school work. Oh, and I don't normally send them in their pajamas but it was red ribbon week and the first day was wear your pajamas to school day. They both wanted to wear their bones jammies so they could show off how they glow.

Congratulations to my husband and kids on their successful days of firsts - the dinner conversation that night was AWESOME!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Boris Bear

In T's kindergarten class, each child gets a turn having Borris Bear. The goal is to teach him various things, particularly manners, and also enjoy him. Well, last week T had to skip his term as we thought we might be having a baby. So, his turn was postponed until things were more stable. Needless to say, he was really disappointed. Today, though, when I was in the class doing art (we had the most awesome art projects - I cannot wait to show them off soon), his teacher said it was going to be his turn. He was SO excited.

So, Borris came to hang out with us for the day and night. Immediately, T asked for me to make him a scarf of blue and brown. He said with the weather getting cold he needed something to keep him warm. He insisted on teaching him some of his favorite things - chess and legos. Plus, he wanted to teach him about table manners - specifically using a fork to eat his food. He also tried on his Superman outfit on him and realized his own build-a-bear is the exact same size. He decided the two of them were long lost relatives.

Of course, Lil Sister had to get in on the action, too. Note - she is still in her princess nightgown - ALL DAY! We pick our battles around here. I understand, though. If I had a princess nightgown like that when I was her age, I would not have wanted out of it either. it's too cool. So here are our photos of Borris' visit. It was wonderful. We'll be including them in his book along with an accompanying story of what we did together and what we taught him about manners. (By the way, the last photo is a rare one of our little guy minus his classes - he has such handsome blue eyes. Someday when he gets contacts it will be wonderful for him to show off those eyes. Plus, it's just cool he has blue eyes when the rest of us all have hazel/brown. Wonder what the newest little one will have?)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Punkin (Pumpkin) Patch 2013

This weekend was our pumpkin harvest. If you recall, each year we are invited to Good Neighbor D&M's parents' farm for pumpkin picking. If you recall, this year the kids helped with the planting. It was fun to see all the pumpkins being selected.

If you would like to walk down memory lane with our various visits, here are a couple of links. This is from our very first year. Lil Sis was just a tiny bean, less than a year old. She actually slept most of the time. Here's from two years ago. Last year we had so many fun adventures, I actually did a whole series of postings

These days I am pretty tired, uncomfortable, and grouchy. Thus, just a few photos. It was actually pretty nice this year. The kids were fairly independent and happy to participate and run with the other kids. Hubby and I actually had a nice visit with few kid interruptions. 

T was a little apprehensive but agreeable to drive the tractor this year. Both kids loved riding in the back of the gator truck. These also were very eager to pick pumpkins, too - especially the tiny ones. Plus, one of these gatherings is not complete without Good Neighbor M's special sugar cookies - both frosted and unfrosted. 

Lately T asks us daily what the highlight of our day is. Often I tell him to ask again at the end of the day. However, today Hubby took a photo of one of my daily highlights. On the way over to the farm, the kids were listening to Veggie Tales Silly Songs. The song playing was Dance of the Cucumber. It's quite hysterical and the kids are getting to the age where they understand some of the subtle as well as not so subtle humor. I was cracking up listening to them crack up at the funny humor. Hence, the photo in the car (plus, it shows off Lil Sister's funny headband she insisted on wearing). Otherwise, the rest are from the farm and our fun time.

Just a couple other updates before the photos. Hubby starts a new job tomorrow which he is very excited about, tomorrow the kids start afterschool and preschool just on Mondays and Fridays when I work, and the minivan arrived on Friday. Nothing like just a few changes going on. We've been talking for a while about sending Lil Sister to preschool. She's been begging to go actually. Since me mom is still not well enough to watch the kids, we opted to start her in school and then extend T's school time to include after school as well (again just on my work days). It's going to be a big change for all of us. Plus, Hubby's new work hours are earlier than at his old job so we're going to have to work on our night owl behaviors and get on a strict schedule. 

As far as the baby, I really feel like she's ready to come out. Now we need to get my body to cooperate. She's sitting at zero station (head down) which I've never had a baby sit that low for so long. It's nice to be able to eat and breathe again but the really frequent bathroom breaks and other "stuff" is not-so-fun. I am dilated a couple centimeters but I know I can hang out at that point for weeks. The nurse practitioner I've been having follow me these past few visits says when things kick off they should go fast but gosh these prodromal contractions at all hours of the day are starting to get old. I keep telling myself I'm being boiled slowly rather than being thrown into the frying pan. As I always say, all babies come out eventually. So, just keep going. 

For now, enjoy the farm photos...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jury Duty

It's been a rough month around here. At one point I told hubby and quoting Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, Episode III, "Not to worry, we are still flying half a ship." I feel like we recover from one big thing and move onto the next. 

Lil Sister was struck with a secondary lung infection about 2-3 weeks ago. She had been ill for 2 weeks and was actually worsening rather than improving. I finally took her to be evaluated for pneumonia which I suspected she had but I find difficulty in treating my own kids as I struggle to be objective. Even the pediatrician who saw her said he never treated his kids. He confirmed my suspicions. She was started on antibiotics and after 7 days of fevers being 102-103 F, 24 hours later she was fever free and finally coughing up what needed to come up. And we actually also had a good night of rest. We were exhausted.

The following week, jury duty started. I've been summoned a couple of times but I've never had to actually report. Well, this time rather than call in, my number was chosen so I had to actually report to the courthouse. I filled out the online questionnaire which asks my education level, where I work, my spouse's employer, and if I was related to or knew any police officers (if so, what was the name). I filled it out and even listed our close family friend as the officer I knew. (This will be important later.) That was it. I showed up and waited for an hour before we were brought into the courtroom. 

The judge explained the charges against the defendant. Four total:

1) Battery against a parole officer

2) Possession of a controlled substance
3) Possession of drug paraphernalia
4) Possession of a controlled substance

I know, two charges of a controlled substance - more on that later, too.

The young woman was 30 years old and we only knew that she had previously had some kind of felony charge because she was on parole. But that was all we knew. The prosecuting attorney was a female and the defense attorney was a male. Our judge was a very pleasant appearing woman who definitely commanded that court room - I was scared of her before the trial was over.

We were lined up and various potential jurors were questioned. The prosecution wanted to to clarify some of the responses in the online questionnaire that was filled out. Some were blank and some reported they had previously been prosecuted of various things. She also asked a few people their thoughts on legalizing marijuana. She also asked for anyone to raise their hand if they ever had an offense with the law including a speeding ticket. Only two of us did not raise our hand (yes, to this point, I have never even had a speeding violating - don't ask about parking violations, though!). However, most everyone had been directly questioned for something by one of the attorneys - I never was. Oh, at this point, the pool of people was about 65 total.

The defense was totally fixated on the police officer question. With that being said, we regularly see and socialize with our friend who is a city police officer. The defense attorney never asked me about this. No, he systematically questioned everyone else who did answer yes to that question. I sat through 2 hours of hearing people say, "Yes, my wife's best friend's son in law is a police officer in California" or "Yes, my daughter-in-law's brother is a sheriff in Cleveland." Talk about weak links to the law. Here I am not technically related but I regularly see and feed the city police. I think the attorney missed the boat with me. 

Plus, I totally thought they would not want the very pregnant lady. I may have worn clothes that really emphasized my belly. But at nearly 36 weeks, I thought they would not want to risk me being on an extended trial. (The judge explained the case should be resolved in 3 days - of course, if was not.)

After another hour of the attorney's debating back and forth about who the chosen jurors were going to be. The clerk finally announced the list. At this point, I was really grumpy having been sitting for about three hours and had not had a bathroom break. (I fully expected to pee my pants and suffer a blood clot - okay, maybe not, but I was about to have a fit.) Boy, was I grumpy when I was the 9th name called of a list of 13.

So, I was immediately placed in the jury box. Add another 30 minutes onto my wait. Now we are at three and a half hours without a restroom break. I am sure my face was turning red. The judge re-reviewed the charges and told us we could take a lunch break and be back ready to go after lunch.

Lunch that day was actually great. I sat with two fellow jurors. By the way, we were not able to discuss the case with anyone, even ourselves, nor could we get online and read anything related to the case or look up any legal terms or anything. So, the gentlemen I sat with during lunch told me of their lives. One, whom I immediately liked because he had the same first name as our son, was 80 years old and lifelong military. He had two adult children and no grandchildren. The other man (yes, I seem to associate with the old guys - probably from my VA training during nursing school) was recently retired from computer work. He had 5 children and 3 grandchildren. I told them how my wooden crochet needle had been collected at the secuity check in that morning and I was stuck without any entertainment during all that deliberating. We had a pleasant lunch of salad and fries and went back up ready to start the trial.

It was long, long, long. The state had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty. So, all but one of the witnesses called were from the state. Most were parole officers or city police officers. They all had to answer the same series of questions like where did the event take place including date, time, physical location including state, county, street address, etc. It added time to each of their testimonies. Then the defense would get to cross examine which that attorney would totally ask nit picky questions, with long pauses between. He would often mispronounce the officers' names which I felt was a rhetoric technique. 

So, I really enjoyed the prosecuting attorney. Maybe because she was a super strong, well spoken woman, maybe it was because she was very straightforward and had her stuff together (if you know what I mean), or maybe it was her super cute, stylish suits. Her arguments seems to always sit well with me. The defense attorney just grated on me. He kind of drove me a little crazy with his defense tactics. Think "the biscuit" from Ally McBeal. He had this big thick mustache and kind of shaggy hair (hippie hair as T would call it). Oh, and he constantly kept provoking the prosecution to have to object. She was sharp, though, catching him every time but sometimes the witness would answer too quickly before the objection was called and so we'd hear the answer. It was tough to put that out of the mind once the question was answered, which is exactly what I think he was hoping for. As I said, he was playing games during the trial.

So, during breaks/recesses of the trial, the 13 of us jurors were escorted as a group, by an armed bailiff, to a locked, closed room - no electronic media, no news, just a book (if we had it). We could not discuss the case. One day I was so frustrated by the silence in the room I exclaimed, "I know we cannot discuss the trial but can we discuss what the witness was wearing or their hair - that might take the edge off?" We did that and it broke the ice. We finally started learning about each other. Jurors 8 and 10 were my little old men so we got to know each other quite well. #10 even brought the baby a crocheted hat to make up for the time I lost crocheting being on the trial and getting my hook collected. I was charmed by that. The next day I brought him some jarred pickle relish. Juror #12 was also expecting a baby and was also a nurse. She, however, was about 6 months with her first and barely sported a baby bump. She sat through the entire trial - all four days - and was the one randomly selected at the end to be the alternate. She never was able to participate in deliberations or had a vote. I felt so bad for her. I would have been pretty grumpy.

Juror #6 was a back country pilot. I enjoyed his stories. Juror #7 also had small children, a couple of boys. It was fun to hear her stories. Juror #3 used to work with my husband so it was kind of surreal to be going through all this with someone I was acquainted with previously. Juror #1 worked at Home Depot and was very proud of it. He was also full of random trivia. Juror #4 had 11 boys aged 2 to 18 - he said they had a refrigerator in the garage dedicated just to milk.

So, how were we treated? My husband was very concerned after that first morning because I was stuck sitting without assess to a restroom for 4 hours. Well, after then, we were treated like gold. Our meals were taken care of - whatever we wanted. Snacks of any kind were provided. We had armed escorts everywhere in the courthouse and around. Our bailiff was awesome. He did a great job watching out for us as well as our needs. And I had a special signal I could give him if I needed a bathroom break. He would then stop the hearing and we would recess. I actually never needed to use it because we had plenty of breaks. Sometimes the attorneys would have to debate things with the judge and we were not allowed to hear - they don't want to bias the jury. Yes, our tax dollars at work. The hours were kind of long - 8:15 to 5 or 6 pm but not too bad. Oh, and every time we entered the courtroom, everyone would have to stand - not just for the judge but for us. That was kind of cool.

So, after 3 1/2 days of trial, we finally had our chance to discuss the trial as jurors within our group. It took about 3-4 hours but we came to a consensus. It had to be unanimous. The two counts of possession of an illegal substance were because the defendant had spice which was a form of synthetic marijuana and was composed of two different types of chemicals. Hence, the two charges. We jurors debated over this far longer than I think we needed to because there was a tape of a police officer asking her if she knew she it was spice and if she knew it was illegal and if the pipe they found was what she used to smoke it - she replied yes to all three. Still, though, the debate was should she be charged twice. In the end, I made the point it did not matter. If we read the instructions from the judge, it clearly stated we had to determine if she possessed the substances - that was our charge, not to determine if she should be charged twice. The one that took the longest to debate was battery of the parole officer. We went around and around. In the end, we determined there was enough evidence to determine guilt. We presented our verdict to the judge. Then something odd happened.

She thanked us and asked us to please wait in the deliberations room. We were all a little shaken but went back in a tried to get the bailiff to tell us what was happening but he said he could not. We were finally able to go back in and the judge thanked us for our service and excused us. As it turned out, the defendant had previous felonies, not just the one we knew of. However, they could not tell us for fear of biasing us. The state then charged her with being a "repeat offender". Since she pleaded guilty to that, we did not have to do anything further. However, if she had plead not guilty, we would have had to debate that as well. But the bailiff could not tell us and bias us. 

So, on day three it was looking like I was not going to be able to go to work the next day. I tried to ask the judge if there was a way out of it since I had patients who were relying on my care that following day. Alas, there was no debating that woman - jury service before work obligations, even if my medical expertise was needed. Thus, all my patients the next day were canceled. I felt terrible doing that to my staff and to those patients. Everyone was kind and understanding. And my employer totally rocks - they paid me for the day, too. How grateful I am to work where I do and with whom I do. Great group - they take such good care of me.

There you have it - my jury service. At that point, my mom was doing okay but having some issues with gout. Fast forward about 4 days and she is in the hospital in kidney failure. Yeah, it's been a rough month but we're still flying half a ship. And let's now forget, Anakin did land that half ship for "Another happy landing..."

P.S. Mom is out of the hospital and significantly better. Lil Sister is better, my mom is on the mend, the minivan arrives this week, and the newborn cloth diapers are also en route - baby can come now.

Monday, October 14, 2013

36 Week Update

Photos from 36 weeks. (I know, a week behind. More later this week with the most recent update.)

As my good neighbor "D" said, baby is in launch position. Thus, things are looking a bit different. Plus, I am at the point where things are packed so tightly in there I don't want any pressure on my belly. Hence, more lose-fitting clothes. Still enjoying all those loaner clothes from my neighbor. 

I had a good 35 week ultrasound. Everything looked good. The ultrasound machine suggested the baby to be, at that point, weighed 6lbs 2 oz. I kind of felt that to be a little inaccurate as Lil Sister was 6lb 6oz when she was born and I am smaller this time around. That was her at 39 weeks. So, if this baby is nearly the same size at 35 weeks, I'm a bit concerned and questioning the accuracy.

Kidneys looked good and no cord around the neck. Nothing worrisome. A couple of interesting things seen on the ultrasound, though. The baby seems to have either really chubby cheeks or she was smashed in there making her cheeks looked chubby. The other kind of cool thing we could see on the ultrasound was a skiff of hair on her head. Lil Sister was REALLY excited about that. Not 5 inches of hair, which is what it has to be in order for us to call her Rapunzel, but just a skiff. Lil Sis had quite a lot of hair when she was born. Her brother had a beautiful little skiff on his head. I'd be fine either way. 

Last week we did take a little trip to labor and delivery. I was having contractions about every 4-6 minutes regularly and since we have not hit that 37 week mark, hubby and I were really worried. They monitored me for 2 hours and then I was told I could go home. The contractions were not changing or progressing so we were in the clear. But everything on the monitors looked great and the baby was tolerating the most intense contractions without an issue. So, reassuring. I just had these horrible worries of lung issues and the baby going to NICU - my heart breaks every time I hear of families having a NICU baby - it is such an emotional and physically challenging journey.

How I am feeling? Grumpy is the word of the moment. The other day, a total stranger asked very aggressively about names for the baby. I explained we wanted to see and meet the baby before going with a chosen name - we have some names but really do want to see and meet her first. This woman would not back down. I was at the hospital visiting my mom (she's much better now) and my sister was there with me. They watched me get grumpy and they've learned to totally back down about the name thing, especially of late. Finally, I told the lady. Yes, we have a couple names. We're going Biblical (which we really are) - Bathsheba and Delilah. I could see my mom trying to keep a straight face. She knows her Old Testiment and she knew I was totally joking with the lady but I think she concurred with me doing so due to the woman's aggressive nature. The lady smiled, nodded, and asked which I preferred. (Can this woman not take a hint?) Then I said, "Well, I am sort of partial to Bathsheba as she had to have been a great beauty to be coveted by a king, but Delilah, she cut Samson's hair for money so I guess she worked hard for her money. The lady smiled and then moved on. Okay, so I feel a little bad I did not just say, "Look, we're keeping it to ourselves" but she was the straw that broke the camel's back. And don't worry, the baby will not be called either of those names. Although, I still jokingly refer to her as baby Bathsheba since that incident. I told my boss of the incident and he, too, is quite Bible savvy. He actually got my joke. He had a few great female Biblical character suggestions for me as well, but emphasized that he did not want to incur my wrath so he stopped at a couple of his favorites.

We're feeling more and more prepared every day. Every room in our home is highly organized. The house is actually more organized than it has ever been. It just took preparing for the birth of three babies to get us there.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Baby Sprinkle...

This is a little delayed in being posted. The baby's shower or "sprinkle" was a couple weekends ago but the week after Lil Sister was very ill and developed a secondary lung infection in the form of pneumonia. Then the following week I was selected for jury duty and served on a criminal court case for four days. These are both adventures in and of themselves and I want to blog about each of them. However, I feel the photos from the baby sprinkle party deserve a dedicated posting.

My sister was main coordinator but my mother-in-law was the driving force for getting me to agree to the party. I was hesitant to agree to a baby shower just because this being the third baby and all I do not need all that much. Although, the more I prepared, the more I realized I've done such a good job borrowing stuff that our baby daughter had no newborn clothes. Plus, we are without a baby wearing carrier and a few other essentials. However, that was still not enough to persuade me to agree. Then my mother-in-law declared we were having a shower with or without my help. So, I agreed. Since my mother-in-law is in her eighties (shhhh - don't tell her I told you her real age - she looks and acts about 60), I did not want her doing the majority of stuff. 

Hence, I called in my sister. She's the mega-party coordinator. That girl missed her calling as an event planner. She did not need to get that fancy MBA degree and should have spent the last several years event planning instead. I know she does a lot of planning, coordinating, and executing of events as she is my nephew's home and school president. Thus, I knew it would be an amazing party. And it was. Magical, perfect, and everything an expectant mom could hope and dream for - although, I wish there were more photos of her!

My sisters-in-law all pitched in and helped with food and prep work. My mother-in-law did a lot of the food and prep work as well. Even Lil Sister joined in on the planning and decorating. Although, poor dear, on the actual morning of the party she woke with a 103 F fever. I gave her tylenol and motrin around the clock and she survived the party with good spirits but she was still under the weather. 

The invitations were all hand painted by my sister. They were awesome. I actually crocheted all the favors/prizes. Oh, yes, there were definitely games. My sister is semi-famous for her games at parties. These were no exception. We did dropping clothes pins into a bottle - I managed to not get any in the bottle! There was scooping cotton balls while being blind folded. There was also guessing the buttons in the jar and estimating the length of the string measuring around my belly. I actually disliked that game when it was played at my shower 6 years ago. This year, I welcomed it. The winner of the game 6 years ago was my Aunt Edith. I know she would have loved to have been at this party and I sense she was there in spirit. However, her gift was by far my favorite as it came from the beyond. She crochets\ed the baby a blanket before she passed and gave it to my mother shortly before she died. I did not even have words. In fact, I could not even speak when asked who gave me the gift. Oh, by the way, the measurement around my waist was 36 inches (just in case you were hanging on wondering).

Actually, our baby daughter received four amazing blankets. I love baby blankets. My mother also crocheted a blanket. My mother-in-law knitted a lovely blanket. And my sister gave the baby a quilt in the colors and patterns of my party. Homemade gifts are always my favorite. I was given some other amazing items. I am excited to try out my Ergo baby carrier. Plus, some really cute girly clothes, shoes, toys, and owl themed items, too. Owls are big with me this year. (More on that in another posting, too.) Oh, I am also making her a crochet blanket, afghan actually, but my momentum for finishing the project has slowed since I have so many amazing blankets.

So a couple of other cool items. One, my friend who NEVER wears dresses wore her amazing French dress AND she wrapped the gift with paper AND a flower. I actually thought I had switched universes. I had to photograph the moment. The drinks - the pink punch was incredible as was the cucumber water. I wanted fun, non-soda, drinks - something I could enjoy. The cupcakes were pink champagne cupcakes - awesome! Oh, the baby in the photo is my newest grandnephew. It was fun to have a baby in attendance.

Here are some photos from the event.

A special thank you to my sister, mom, mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law who all pitched in and made the day incredibly memorable and simply perfect! 

Oh, and in case you are wondering about the theme of elephants sprinkling droplets of water, it is based on a card my mother received after I was born with an elephant trunk held high sprinkling water. I have loved the card all these years I had to pass it along to use as a theme for my own shower or "sprinkle". Love how it all tied together.