Sunday, December 27, 2009

Have a Beery Merry Christmas??!!

This is amazingly funny and well done!! Hope you enjoy it!!



Friday, December 18, 2009

And a WHITER Christmas??

Just listened to the news and they're upping the snowfall prediction -- now 14-20" and some areas will receive more!! Wow...... nothing more to say than -- wow...... Sounds like a LOT of shovelling to do.

A White Christmas?

We don't get those around here too often -- but the weather reports are now calling for a "significant winter snowstorm" in our area, with 10-15 INCHES predicted, and locally heavier accumulations of 15-20" !!!! Wow........ We may end up with snow for Christmas for the first time in many, many years......


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congrats to Morgan and Solomon!

After dating for nearly 4 1/2 years, it's finally official -- Morgan and Solomon became engaged last night! Congrats to both of them! No details for wedding plans yet -- a bit too soon to know. But we will share as plans and dates are set. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures!

Solomon took Morgan out to a very fancy restaurant, rather late in the evening, so by the time they came home and we took these pictures, they were both pretty excited AND tired, as you can see in the pictures!!

Sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Sorry for the lack of postings recently -- I've been "trying" to get sick since last Friday. On Monday I took Mackenzie to a field trip at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and one full day of activity was all it took to kick the "trying to get sick" into "really being sick". Yuck......

So right now, my world is only the living room sofa and lots of soda and hot tea, trying to break up the gunk in my throat and head. Good thing for the internet, because it's the only way I can "talk" right now!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cool picture

On Sunday, I took a bunch of pictures at Mackenzie's Polka Kids dance show at Blobs Park. One of the pictures turned out really strange -- but I kinda like it! Over the years, more than 400 kids have learned how to dance polkas with this group -- so we're calling this rather unusual picture "The Ghosts of Polka Kids Past"!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taylor's Grand Adventure!! -- Comical!!

This will probably be a bit long, but it's entirely too funny not to share! So, sit down, grab a hot chocolate or a cookie, read, and enjoy a good laugh at our expense!!


Our family had a lot of things going on today, which necessitated everybody being out of the house for most of the day. We worked everybody's schedules so that somebody would drop by the house every few hours, check up on the dogs (especially Taylor, now 6 days post-spay), and take the dogs out to do their business.

My hubby called me after lunch and said, "Sorry you spent so much money on Taylor's operation -- because I just killed her!!" Uh-oh, not a good way to start the conversation........

He came home mid-day and took Taylor out for a walk (with a retractable leash) around our court. When he got to the end of the court, Taylor pooped in the neighbor's yard. Hubby leaned down to clean it up, and as he did so, the breeze blew, sending a large leaf skittering across the road. Taylor decided to chase it! Unfortunately, since my hubby was leaning over, he was off-balance when Taylor hit the end of the retractable leash, pulling it out of his hand. She ran a short distance, stopped, then looked back and saw the retractable leash "chasing" her!! She took off running again! When she would run, the leash would lengthen, but when she'd slow down and look back, it would start to retract, looking like it was gaining on her -- so she'd get scared and take off again! She ran around the court, then cut across the court and got the leash caught on the wheel of our 50-gallon recycling container which was out on the curb. She was going so hard and fast that she pulled over the container and now was dragging IT along behind her, too!! She ran through the front yard with leash and can in tow, made a hard turn and finally got the recycling container caught on a tree in our front yard, which stopped her!! My husband says by the time he caught up with her, she was shaking uncontrollably, and once he got over being mad at her for not listening, he couldn't stop laughing!!

Oh, my, what I would give to have had a video camera going for THAT fun time!! Now if THAT doesn't pull out her stitches, nothing will!! (And I TOLD that stupid vet she was extremely high-energy!!! I wasn't wrong!!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

I goofed -- yuck, what a mess!!

I needed to go pick up my daughter from college today, and just didn't feel I could leave Taylor unattended in the crate for that long, only 3 days after her spay. So I put her back in her T-shirt, made her comfortable in the back of the car, and took off. After arriving home, I put her on the leash, got her out of the car, and turned around to get a few other things to take inside. While I was not paying attention, Taylor walked out to the full length of the leash -- still in her T-shirt -- and did her "business", fully dressed!! Ewwwwww, yuck........ See what happens when mommy isn't on her toes? Blech.......


Saturday, November 28, 2009

One sad looking doggie.....

Here are some pictures from yesterday and today, after Taylor's spay. If you saw my previous posting last night, you know that she had a more difficult than usual spay, as one of her ovaries was adhered to the kidney lining. She's got a rather large incision, which she doesn't really want to lay on. She kept me up a good portion of the night, because she kept walking around the enclosed area we made for her -- just wouldn't lay down!!

She's doing better today, with the help of painkillers. We've also allowed Cody to come into the room and lay nearby on his mat, and that seems to be calming her some. They were both frantic last night, being apart from each other all day, and then not "re-uniting" after return from the vet. But they're happy to see each other today, and occasionally Cody will go over to the enclosure and they'll lick each other through the fencing -- very cute!!

So without further ado, here are Taylor's sad-faced pictures:

Right after coming home last night --

To keep her from messing with the incision --

"Aw, come on, Mom & Dad -- I look STUPID!!!"

If you look closely, you can see some of her stitches --

Her "home" for the next few days --

Kenzie keeping Taylor company --

Hopefully, she'll recover quickly and easily!

Friday, November 27, 2009

If figures.....

So if any dog had to have complications during a spay, it would have to be Taylor, right? Apparently, she gave the vets a boatload of trouble today! I warned them beforehand that she would be more than a handful -- they didn't believe me....... The vet said that it started when they did her pre-op blood work; They told me she flopped around like a fish on a hook and it took several people to hold her down. Good thing she only weighs 62 lbs!

Then after she went into surgery, they had a hard time finding one of her ovaries. It was adhered to the peritoneum, and very loosely adhered to the kidney . Thankfully, "loosely" is the key word there, because they were able to "tease" it off the kidney with no damage to the kidney.

And then they had to give her a little bit extra medication after the surgery, because she was coming out of anesthesia too quickly and was starting to get hyper and active too soon!! (They can't say I didn't warn them!!)

So, she's got a WAY bigger incision than anticipated, and a longer recovery period than anticipated. Sigh...... how on earth I'll keep her down even longer is beyond me...... They sent her home with an antibiotic, Rimadyl, and something else that I've forgotten (another pain killer). I stopped at the store today and bought some Benadryl -- before I knew how much other stuff she'd be on. So at least I've got that around for after the pain killers run out, if I need something else...... We'll see.

She looks so sad and miserable, and happy to be home, all at the same time. And Cody is practically frantic that we're not letting him in the room with her right now. Taylor's being so calm and relaxed that I really want to keep them apart, for now at least. We'll see how things go tomorrow.

Wish me luck -- I think it's going to be a looooooong night.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Forget the "Free to GOOD Home"......

I have a dog AND an adult daughter who are free to ANY home...... they're BOTH in the dog house right now!!

Thursdays, I have to be gone pretty much the entire day every week. My daughter stays home working on college work and supposedly watching the dogs for me. Well, obviously she doesn't watch close enough...... look at what Taylor did to the foot pedals of my 110+-year-old baby grand piano.........

(with culprit lurking in the background......)

I'm going to kill them both.......


Friday, November 13, 2009

My baby is growing up so fast!

Some people don't like Friday the 13th, but our precious Mackenzie was born on a Friday the 13th, and I would most DEFINITELY say she certainly was not bad luck!! Happy 11th birthday to you, sweet little girl -- you're one of the best presents God ever gave me!!

2nd birthday --

3rd birthday --

4th birthday --

5th birthday --

6th birthday --

7th birthday --

9th birthday --

10th birthday --

11th birthday TODAY --

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The count is rising......

It's not the end of the year yet, but I decided to do some quick tallying anyway. Here's my baby count thus far --

January -- 2
February -- 3
March -- 3
April -- 2
May -- 4
June -- 5
July -- 1
August -- 2
September -- 3
October -- 7!!
November -- 2 (thus far!!)

So I'm up to 32 births attended for the year, and we've still got quite a few left for November and December. It's been a busy year!!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Update on Stellan

From MckMama's blog just a few minutes ago:

Monday, November 09, 2009
It's going, it's going...'s gone!!

It's outta the park!!

My family and friends have been trembling, weeping, rejoicing and manic phone calling each other for long enough. It's time for me to let you in on our unbelievable news.

IT'S A HOME RUN!!!!!!!

Just call me "me of little faith," I guess. I was floored, shocked, utterly speechless when Dr. A came in and put his hand on my shoulder and said that Stellan's ablation was indeed the home run we had all only dared dream about.

You heard me right.

This morning, Stellan flat lined on the table in front of me, lost his blood pressure nearly completely and needed to be shocked back to life.

And tonight, his heart beats in perfect sinus rhythm. His is totally and utterly SVT free and there's not a pacemaker in sight.

WHAT AN ANSWER TO PRAYER!! Absolutely amazing.....


Prayer need for baby Stellan again

Prayers for Stellan

This poor little guy -- he's back in the hospital AGAIN, and he's really not doing very well right now. He's in the children's hospital in Boston having a heart ablation -- which is happening right now as I type. Please be praying for him, his surgeons, his mom in the waiting room, his father (on a plane trying to get there from Minnesota), and his siblings back home styaing with various friends. Most of all, pray for healing for this little guy. He's been through so much in just one year of life.


Friday, October 30, 2009

How "charming"......

Mackenzie decided to be a snake charmer for Halloween -- here's her outfit, complete with the turban I designed and sewed (by hand??) yesterday!

What's wrong with this picture?

My daughter tried to print out her homework for a college class yesterday, and it printed BACKWARDS!!! Three times!! I've never seen a computer do THAT before. Maybe it was the computer's thoughts on how stupid the assignment was......?


Friday, October 16, 2009

ANOTHER birth this week????

I was called to another birth last night, and unfortunately, this one didn't end up going as smoothly as the others from this week. The mom got to 9 cms. rapidly, then just couldn't seem to get to 10. After the midwife helped her eliminate ("reduce") the last bit of cervix, she started pushing -- and she was a pushing CHAMP!! But this baby would NOT descend, and after she started passing a lot of meconium and the baby's heart tones started dropping rather low -- AND the baby was still not descending -- the decision was made to transfer to the hospital. So -- outcome is a healthy baby girl, 8 lbs., 4 oz., delivered by c-section this AM, presenting in a posterior position with the cord around her neck twice! I'm very grateful that God made is quite obvious that this baby NEEDED to be born via c-section; there's no second-guessing on this birth. The right decision was made at the right time, and everyone is healthy and happy. (Well, maybe not the midwife and I, who are exhausted and punchy!!!)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Babies, babies, and more babies!!

My partner Lori left for vacation this week. I was more than a bit concerned, because we had FIVE clients due in a 9-day span -- due dates were the 11th, 12th, 15th, 19th and 20th, I believe. However, all but one were first time moms, and they usually tend to go overdue, so Lori thought that it wouldn't be TOO bad while she was gone..... HAH!!

She left Friday afternoon. By Saturday mid-morning, I'd received calls that TWO of our clients might be in labor -- uh-oh, not a good thing. By nighttime, they were both contracting about every 3-4 minutes, and it looked like I needed to make a decision. I could be at one birth or the other, but not both. I called my friend and former partner, Audrey, to see if she'd like to attend one of the births. No good -- the hospital she's working out was SWAMPED with people in labor, and they'd asked her to come in and help on her day off!! (Babies popping out there too!!) I called another birth assistant, but she didn't return my calls. Finally, one of the midwives started helping me make calls, and we managed to find someone who could go to the other birth at the birth center.

Around 11:45, the midwife called me back, and said that she hoped she hadn't made a bad call, as the 2nd client had phoned and said it seemed like her labor was slowing down. At that point, I really didn't care. I figured I'd go to sleep and they'd call me when they needed me. So I was absolutely shocked to be awakened by a call at 12:25: "Hey, Pam, this is J....... the baby is OUT and we can't reach the midwife.... what do we do?" Holy cow -- is this a JOKE?? Not funny!!!

But it was true! The client had tried to lay down for a while, but couldn't get comfortable; got up and walked around a bit, then decided she needed to use the bathroom -- and 10 minutes later gave birth to a cute little baby girl!!! Unbelievable birth for a first-time mom!!

The midwife and I arrived within the 1/2 hour, checked on everyone, cleaned things up, made sure all was well, and helped with breastfeeding before leaving around 4:30 AM.

While there, the midwife told me that my first client had gone to the birth center, been checked and was only 2 cms., so they sent her back home. I called the client's husband on my way home to check in and told him I'd be available for them now. So I was surprised (and not very pleased) to hear later that the clients returned to the center around 6:30 AM, and the midwife had the back-up attend instead of calling me in. I hope the client was OK with working with a birth assistant she'd never met before......

It turned out to be an extremely long, drawn-out birth, and it was probably a good thing I didn't go. The baby was not born until 5 AM Monday, meaning she'd been in labor over 30 hours. The baby's head was positioned very crookedly (called "asynclitic") and it took a lot of position changes and a lot of labor to get her head to move. However, ultimately, it did, and the client gave birth at the center to an 8 lb., 9 oz. baby girl!! Good for her!! I hear she's quite proud of herself, as she should be -- what a good job!

So on Tuesday at 3 AM, my phone rang again -- this time from the clients having baby #2. They wanted to give me a heads-up that she might be in labor. Good -- I'm going right back to sleep until you call again, thank you!! Around 5 AM,, they called again, said labor had continued, and the midwife wanted to get there before the AM rush hour traffic. So a quick shower, change my clothes, grab my bags, and I'm on my way!! I arrived around 6:30 AM, and we had a cute little baby boy at 10:30 AM! Nice, easy, straight-forward birth with clients who were very self-sufficient!! What a nice way to begin a day!!

So the total is 3 babies in 58 hours -- not bad!! Now, if at least one or both of the remaining October clients will wait until Lori returns.....


Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Howl-o-ween??

My husband recently got a new camera which has proven very difficult to use. It tends to take very odd-colored pictures -- but he managed to get these weird shots of evil spirits peering out my living room window...... See if you can figure out what they are.......!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random stuff......

It's been a while since I posted, so I just thought I'd share some recent happenings, thoughts, etc.......


Monday night -- Cool weather, leaves falling, Panera bread soup bowls -- life is good!!


Definitely feeling more and more like fall -- even made a yummy batch of snickerdoodles, which did not last long around here!!


Nelson's had two trips to Georgia in the last two weeks, which leaves me running kids around here, there and everywhere! I'm gaining a new appreciation for single mothers!


We've been working extremely hard on obedience with Taylor. The other day, I had put her in the crate for an hour so I could get some uninterrupted work done. After an hour or so, I called Mackenzie and asked her to let the dog out. She did and then went back to whatever she was playing. About 40 minutes later, I heard Taylor whining and went out to see what was wrong. There she was, sitting in the crate with the door open -- nobody had given her the "release" command, so she was staying put!!! Poor puppy -- that was a really long "STAY"!!!


I've started gathering some early info on wedings, since it looks like Morgan will be getting marrried next year. I've also taken her out to see a few churches in the area. She's got this idea of a BIG Gothic-church style wedding in her head (think "Sound of Music" here!!) I think she and her dad and I need to sit down REAL soon and put together a budget for this -- I'm starting to see scary $$$$ signs floating in my head!


No births since September 24th -- what a nice break for my partner and I!! However, we have clients due on the 12th, the 13th, the 15th, the 19th and the 20th -- AND my partner is going to be out of town most of next week. I think it's going to be an absolutely crazy week -- sounds scary to me.....


YIKES!! I had forgotten that we'd filed an extension on our taxes back in April (check out my post from April 17th about that!!) and never finished up -- and our six months' extension is up next week..... sigh...... need to get busy with that on top of everything else. Ugh.


And life continues......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

My family -- we are all such suckers for animals. We already have two dogs, a guinea pig [the other one died just last week :( ], and a tank full of fish. Along the course of the summer, we have temporarily had a snake and five frogs. Morgan went on a walk yesterday, and what does she bring home???? A baby kitten abandoned in the woods!! YIKES!!! NO MORE CRITTERS!!!

I will say that "Kitty" (or "Kyo", as the kids are calling him) is strikingly handsome -- in fact, I think he's probably one of the prettiest cats I've ever seen. However, I cannot handle another pet, I'm afraid of what the dogs might do with him, AND my cat allergies seem to be getting worse as I get older. And part of me wishes that was not the case -- this little guy truly is a cutie-pie, and I sorta, kinda, maybe wish that we could keep him!! But we won't!! Anybody want to give this fellow a nice home?? (BTW, my best guess is that he's between 6 - 8 weeks old, so still a little squirt!!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

What do you remember from the day the towers fell?

What do YOU remember? When I think of 9-11, the first thing I think of is -- deep, eerie silence........ Let me explain.....

September 11, 2001 started like any normal day at our home. My husband was downstairs working in his home office; my kids were up, getting ready to start our schoolwork -- just a typical day in a homeschooling household. My mother called from Florida just before 9 AM to say, "Have you been watching the news? The World Trade Center was just hit by a plane!" My father used to work in the WTC; he knew people there; I had visited him in his office there; this felt very personal. I ran downstairs to turn on the TV and sat watching in disbelief at the scene I found -- and then I remember the horror I felt as I saw another plane crash into the second tower. And the silence of having no words to express what I was thinking and feeling....

I remember my kids crowded onto the sofa around me and trying to make sense of what was happening. My husband was a manager for AT&T at the time, and an emergency conference call was immediately set up with managers on the East Coast, so he went back to his office. I went to his office from time to time to give him an update of what was happening on the TV. I remember screaming, "The tower collapsed!", and as he relayed the info to the others on the conference call, the immediate stunned silence -- the first of many moments of silence that day.

I remember continuing to watch the news; the station I was watching put up a smaller frame in the corner of the screen, showing another area with flames and smoke coming up. One of the broadcasters said, "Is that Central Park?" and I remember thinking, "No, that's somewhere here in Washington -- I've seen that before." And learning later that it was the Pentagon -- again, silence. What could be said?

And then the news of the plane crash in Shanksville, PA -- I stared at the TV, aghast. What was happening?

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, I left the basement and went outside onto my deck. I needed to get away from those awful images, clear my head, process what was happening. Where I live, halfway between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD is a very busy metropolitan area. A major railroad track runs behind our neighborhood; our house is in the flight path to BWI Airport; several major highways are close to our house. But that day, when I stepped outside, all that was heard was -- silence. The railroad had been shut down; the airplanes were grounded; almost no cars on the road; just -- silence. An eerie quiet that I will never forget.

Those are MY memories of 9-11 -- what are yours?

9-11 -- may we never forget.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pray for Baby Oliver

My job, while usually fun, exciting and rewarding (though often exhausting!) does have its share of nail-biting moments, moments of despair (such as the loss of baby Logan this past summer), and times of worry. Right now is one of those "times of worry".

We had a client give birth on Monday night -- a very straightforward birth for the most part, especially for a first-time mother. Mother and baby left the birth center and went home about 5 hours later. Therefore, I was quite surprised when the midwife called me the next afternoon to tell me that the baby was in the NICU. He was EXTREMELY jaundiced, especially for being less than 18 hours old. Most pediatricians don't start to really worry about the bilirubin count until it's hitting 16 - 18; Oliver's was 26. That's terribly high by any standard.

Oliver was immediately sent to the hospital, and last night underwent a complete transfusion of all his blood. It turns out he and the mother had a blood incompatibility issue which set all this off; hopefully with the very quick treatment he received, he will have no long-term damage from this. But what a way to start off life with a new baby....... Please be praying for parents P & M and their new baby Oliver.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Flood at River Valley Ranch

I learned this week that one of my favorite places in Maryland (as well as one of my kids' favorite places!) sustained a great deal of damage during a flash flood last week. I'm attaching the link to River Valley Ranch's site with news reports/videos of the damage. If you feel led, please donate to their rebuilding effort. This is a place that is WELL worth supporting, and is deserving of community support.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Inside Macy's

When Morgan and I went to NYC the other day, we were absolutely fascinated with Macy's. It is SEVEN FLOORS of merchandise, beautiful old architecture, and a great combination of old and new decor. Here were things that really caught our attention:

*Beautiful light fixtures and decorative colums, plus the details on the ceiling -- I wish my pictures showed all that better, but I was using my cell phone to take these!!

*A close-up of those gorgeous light fixtures!

*Old WOODEN escalators -- so cool --

*Plus the metal plates at the top and bottom of the escalators!