Monday, March 30, 2009

....and the not-so-nice birth.......

After the wonderful, gorgeous birth on Saturday, I was called to another birth on Sunday. I was looking forward to this one. The couple is young, very athletic, very motivated to have a natural birth, and I just thought they would have an amazing birth. I should know better than to make assumptions, shouldn't I?

When I arrived at the birth center, the mom was in very active labor and already 6-7 cms. dilated. Many hours later, she was still 7 cm. and the water that was leaking had some meconium in it. By late in the evening, labor was starting to slow waaaaaayyyy down. We tried to get her to eat, but everything that went down would come back up. Finally, we gave her an IV and decided to just put her to bed and let her rest for a while.

When she got up, she started walking the stairs and hallway, trying to get this labor going. After a while, the meconium got heavier and then the baby's heart rates started getting really bad -- and the mom was STILL only about 8 cms. We made a quick 911 call and had her taken to the hospital. The midwife went with the couple; I had to stay behind to get the birth center cleaned up. I was absolutely certain that my client would end up with an emergency cesarean, so imagine my shock when the midwife called and said they'd had a vaginal delivery!! Yahoo!!!!! Stinks that I missed the birth, after being with them for all those hours, but I'm so happy for them. Apparently, by the time they reached the hospital, she was fully dilated, and the back-up doctor decided to let her give the delivery a try. Surprisingly, the baby's heart rate stayed good enough that they were able to complete the birth without any interventions!! I still cannot believe that it turned out this well! Truly the grace of God!

So tomorrow, I get to make 2 visits to see new parents and cute little babies!! Fun, fun, fun!!! Tonight, hopefully, I get a full night's sleep........ :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Back to Basics"

I've been on the lookout for some kind of homeschooling materials, videos and the like to help me put together a nice, basic cooking class for Mackenzie. And just this week, I found this:

Mackenzie and I have signed up for this, and we'll have to let you know from time-to-time how it's working out. The actual cooking classes begin next week; however, the teacher e-mails three short lessons in advance as preparation: one on the kinds of kitchen equipment you'll need, one on how to measure correctly, and one on how to check the temperature of your oven WITHOUT a thermometer, by cooking an egg in the oven. As an incentive, she said that the first two people who completed this assignment and e-mailed her a picture would receive a really cool salt and pepper grinder that she uses in her kitchen. Mackenzie prepared the egg, I took a picture, and voila!! She's one of the two prize winners! We can't wait to see her prize!! Here's Mackenzie and her egg:

Looks pretty good -- and she says it tasted yummy, too!!

Such a nice birth.....

One of my clients gave birth yesterday at the birth center in Virginia -- . It was her second baby, and her first birth had been fairly easy. When I arrived at the center, mom and dad were sitting in the jacuzzi, relaxing through the contractions. A (the mom) seemed entirely too happy and relaxed to be too far along in labor, but who ever knows? I sat in the room with them for a while, chatted and got caught up to date on things (in between contractions!), and then left them alone for a little bit while I went to make sure the birthing room was set up and ready. It wasn't too long until A announced that she was feeling a lot of "pressure". She got out of the jacuzzi, went down the hall to the bedroom, and had a baby 18 minutes later!! Wow!! Talk about quick, smooth and efficient! And baby was direct posterior, too, which is usually a harder presentation to push out. Mom and dad were over-the-moon happy, and their beautiful baby boy is a handsome little fellow, weighing just a tad over 8 lbs.

And then I got a call this AM that ANOTHER client might be in early labor!! Is it too much to hope for yet another smooth, quick labor??? We'll see...... updates will follow later -- whenever this little one decides to make his/her entrance into the world.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where did this amazing young woman come from??

It seems so trite when someone says, "They grow up so fast", but it's really true. My oldest daughter, Morgan, just so often surprises me. She was such a quiet kid -- artistic, musical, poetic, but not much of a scholar. Oh, she did fine with her school work, but other than art, music and literature, didn't enjoy much of it. When she finished high school, she decided working full-time was much better than taking SAT's and going to college.

After working several months at Michael's Arts and Crafts, the lightbulb went off -- she realized this was NOT what she wanted to do with the rest of her life!! She began attending community college and has become this "super student"! Oh, my goodness -- where was this kid hiding all this time? She's 50+ credits into her DOUBLE MAJOR degrees in Art History and Interior Design with STRAIGHT A's; is working part-time at college as a "peer advisor" in an advanced English class; was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (honor society); has made Dean's List each semester -- most recently awarded two weeks ago.

She's had midterms this week and has been studying like a crazy person. She came home yesterday to tell me that she got an A+ on the paper she turned in last week and she thinks she ace'd her midterm in the same class. The one class she's been worrying about all semester -- the one she's had to work the hardest in -- she found out that for the first half of the semester, she's got a 94 for homework and an 86 for tests. Not shabby for a really difficult class!!

She's got good friends, a great boyfriend, a steady job, a good relationship with God, high personal standards -- I'm so proud of this kid!! Can you tell???

Morgan, I love you, kiddo!! I'm proud of the fine young woman you've become. And yup, I'm saying it in front of the whole world, just to embarrass you!!!

The Many (Silly!) Faces of Morgan!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

For those of you who love demolition and classical music......

....this is too good not to share!! It was put together by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Who says those government employees are dull and unimaginative??

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pray for this little guy and his family.....

Prayers for Stellan

I've been following this family's blog for quite a while. He was diagnosed with a serious heart ailment before birth, but miraculously born healthy and with no sign of problems. Unfortunately, in the last few days, the heart condition has returned with a vengeance, and little Stellan needs a lot of prayer for his healing. You can click on the link above and see his story on the family's blog.

Mackenzie and Cody's new exercise

Yesterday, I realized that I hadn't seen Mackenzie or the dog for quite a while and decided that I needed to go investigate what was happening. When I came into the family room, the video shows what I found!! Unfortunately, I turned the camera sideways to get a better view, not realizing I couldn't edit/rotate a video like you can with a photo! Oh, well..... turn your head sideways, and I hope you get a chuckle out of it.

A great way to start the day!!

Here's my first attempt at making the cinnamon rolls I mentioned yesterday!! Not as pretty as the other gal's, but good anyway!! I need to do a bit of tweaking -- I think it might've been better if I'd rolled the dough a bit thinner, and used a bit less flour when I rolled out the dough, but all-in-all, a good first try!! My family certainly didn't complain! It does make more than I expected -- the picture above is one of TWO trays of rolls. I think we'll be eating them for a day or two..... hope nobody is too upset (hah!!!).

On the down side, Mackenzie started getting sick yesterday and just could not sleep last night. Poor kid -- she was still up at midnight with a stuffy head, sore throat and coughing. This morning, she sounds like she's hacking up a lung and doing nothing more than resting on the sofa watching TV. Hopefully a bit of rest, fluids, and TLC will cure the problem -- otherwise, I suspect we'll be visiting the pediatrician soon.......

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This looks positively DECADENT!!!

I recently found a new site/blog to follow:

She's a homeschooling mom with a bunch of kids and lots of great ideas for saving time, money, etc. I just found this recipe on her site, and it looks sinfully delicious!! I think we're going to try to make these tomorrow -- I'll let you know how they turn out!!


These rolls are so good, and so bad for you! The kids love them and they are quick and easy.

Cinnamon Rolls

* 1 T yeast
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup melted butter
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 T dry milk powder
* 4 cups white flour


* 1/2 cup softened butter
* 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 1 oz. cream cheese
* 2 T water
* 1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together, but don't add all flour at once, add slowly. Knead into a ball, divide into 2 pieces. Roll out both pieces into large rectangles and spread with: 1/4 c. softened butter, 1 C. brown sugar and 3 T. cinnamon. Roll up and cut into rounds. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or so. Drizzle with the icing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cody's new "friend"!

Seems like the most interesting thing in my life lately has been my dog -- sad, isn't it?? Last Friday, we met a lady who recently had to put her lab to sleep. She had quite a pile of toys suitable for a large dog, and so decided to pass them on to us. All but one were of the "indestructible" variety -- and so, of course, Cody's favorite was the DESTRUCTIBLE one!!

Here's the photo-saga of the orange monkey-stick, complete with Cody's thoughts!!

"I can keep it under my control......"

"....or I can kill the intruder......"

"....or I guess we can just be friends???"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to make me feel old.....

Just to make my "wonderful" day even better:

After the toilet incident, I changed my clothes -- put on one of my nicer blouses with a pair of jeans. I asked my oldest daughter if the shirt and jeans went together OK. She took a look, said they looked fine together, and then said, "y'know, you look like an aging hippie!" Oh, great, kid, thanks a lot -- I'll remember that remark at Christmas time!!

Some days I think Murphy lives at my house!

And today is one of those days.... As spectacular as yesterday was, today is turning out to be the opposite kind of day. It's still warm out and the birds are singing, but it's very gray and overcast -- looks like it will rain at any time.

I woke up this AM already tired from Daylight Savings Time (which I HATE, by the way!!), and I was not feeling very good. That, coupled with the lost hour of sleep, made me very slow and grouchy. I helped my youngest daughter get breakfast, fixed her hair, but just could not get myself ready to leave for church with the rest of the family. So I sent them on ahead, told them I would meet them there after I took a leisurely shower and got ready. But I kept feeling cruddy, wondering "Do I really want to go out?" Yes, I want to -- yes, I NEED to.... OK, put one foot in front of the other, keep going, let's get ready. So after I was completely ready to go and leaving the bathroom, I noticed the toilet needed flushed and so I flushed it. Uh-oh -- here comes Murphy to visit my house!! The toilet rapidly filled to the top, overflowed, and kept running. I threw all the bath towels on the floor; started using the bathroom throw rug as a towel; ran to the hall and got more towels -- and THEN remembered to turn off the water valve to the toilet!! By this point, the entire floor was flooded, the water was running under the baseboards and heaven knows WHERE it was going from there!!

I ran into the other bathroom (sort of behind the wall of the master bathroom), and fortunately, no water had come in there. Ran downstairs to get a mop and more towels -- and there was water coming from upstairs and falling onto the washer and dryer, and making puddles on the laundry room floor. Sigh..... I mopped that up and returned to the disaster upstairs.

So one hour, 15 towels, one throw rug, several sessions of mopping and dumping, and one load of laundry later, it is now cleaned up and contained! Fans are running upstairs and downstairs to dry up the rest. Church? Never made it -- and I did all the clean-up in my good clothes..... blah..... They're probably not too clean now!

And in case you're wondering -- no, I have NOT turned the toilet back on!!! My husband can deal with that issue when he gets home -- I am DONE with plumbing problems!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A sunny lost-and-found day!!

It's GORGEOUS outside -- already 62 degrees, predicted to reach 73 degrees today. And that 8" of snow we just had four days ago? A thing of the past -- it is G-O-N-E, gone. In its wake -- the lost key from Tuesday!! Yippee!! This day is starting out on a good note!

Now I think maybe I'll open this place up, air out the house, see if we can chase some of these nasty germs away.

Friday, March 6, 2009

These are the days.......

......that try my soul!! I really don't like days that don't go the way I planned -- and lately, it seems like I'm experiencing more and more of those kinds of days. My plan for the day was to get my daughter up, do some uninterrupted homeschooling, bake and ice a cake (just for fun, no special occasion), do a bit of laundry, pay some bills, keep working on the taxes. Very ambitious, but I really THOUGHT it would work out!!

One of my clients, who's been trying to get her labor going, called this morning to tell me nothing was happening -- OK, so far my day is intact!! This bubble was soon burst, however, as my partner Audrey called to tell me that the birth she was at (which we had expected would be quick and easy, as it was the mom's fourth baby) was now entering 13 hours and no sign of ending. Unfortunately, my partner was scheduled to be at work today and needed to leave the birth no later than 2 pm. If the baby wasn't born by 12:30 or 1:00, she'd need me to drive to Virginia to take over for her.

Well now -- change of plans, but maybe I can still salvage something of the morning. Maybe I can get my daughter up, get some school done, maybe the cake?? Except that when I wake her up, I hear the words every mother dreads: "My stomach doesn't feel very good. I think I'm going to throw up!" Oh, no, not THAT!! Fortunately, that doesn't happen, but she ended up spending all morning on the sofa, and absolutely NO work got done. And no cake, either -- and I was SOOO looking forward to that cake!!

Audrey called at 12:30. No baby born, I need to get down there. Off I go, leaving sick daughter on the sofa, recuperating dog on the floor next to her, and praying that no disaster happens while I'm gone!!! I arrived at the mom's house in Virginia at 2:04 -- the baby was born at 2:06! So my partner got to be present for the birth, though she needed to leave immediately, and I took care of assisting the midwife through the postpartum period. Thankfully, all went smoothly and easily, and I was out of there by 5:10 pm.

The harder part was the drive home. Leaving Virginia and trying to drive through or around Washington, DC and into Maryland at that time of day is suicidal. I KNOW better; I should've found a Starbucks or a restaurant, stopped and got a snack or a meal, waited for an hour until the traffic slowed down, and I probably STILL would've gotten home at the same time as I would have braving the traffic. But no.... I just wanted to go home!! So I drove straight into the mess! Two hours, 45 minutes later, I arrived home -- a 54 mile drive in nearly 3 hours. You do the math -- it was SLOOOOOWWWWW going. Three hours at the client's house, four hours on the road -- I think there's something wrong with that situation!!

Now I'm home and typing, because I'm just too tired to do much else! Guess the rest of my big plans will need to wait for tomorrow.

My funny moment for the day involves Cody (what else??). He is still recovering from his surgery and was resting in the hallway right outside my office door this morning. I heard his tags jingling, and looked up to find him curled around towards his rear end, with rear leg up in the air over his head, starting to lick his stitches again. I made the ah-hem, "clearing my throat" noise, but said nothing. He moved his eyes -- and nothing else -- and looked directly at me, staring, probably for 8 to 10 seconds, then slowly lowered the leg, pretending to scratch himself on the head!! What a liar!! Then he let out another of his now-infamous sighs, and went back to resting on the floor. Poor Cody -- busted again!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The dog is making me CRAZY!!!!

We took Cody to the vet yesterday for his big "neuter" procedure. What a L-O-N-G two days it's been here.....

Cody may just be the worst patient ever. When we left the vet, he didn't want to get in the car -- and I'm not too good at hoisting 93 pounds of solid dog into the car. Got him in, and he shed and slobbered all over the inside of the car -- our NEW car (well, new to us!!) What a mess......

The vet told us to give him only minimal amounts of water for the evening, and no food. Cody acted like he was DYING of thirst -- he went to every sink on the first floor and whined at each one. I finally put about 1/4" of water in his bowl, and he inhaled it -- exactly what the vet didn't want him to do! Then he started whining to go outside. I put him on the leash and took him out, thinking he needed to go to the bathroom. No...... he wanted to eat the SNOW!! He would not pee..... So, back inside...... 15 minutes later....... wants outside again........ only to eat snow again....... and repeat this whole scenario 3 more times, and you'll see how frustrated I was now getting -- and he'd only been home 1 1/2 hours.....

Nelson and I have a class we're taking on Wednesday nights. We decided to leave Cody home with our 10 year old keeping an eye on him, since our 22 year old daughter would be home in only 45 minutes, and we thought -- well, what could possibly go wrong in that amount of time????

I no sooner arrived in the parking lot of the class location and my cell phone rang: "Mom, I think Cody pee'd on the carpet -- what should I do?" Sigh...... He hasn't pee'd inside since he was a few months old -- and then he did it again this morning..... ARRRGGGHHHHHH......

He's been out for at least three walks today -- he's going nuts in the house, but the vet doesn't want him running, and that's exactly what he'll do if I put him out in the yard.

I gave him his painkillers -- I hope they worked. Rimadyl?? I guess it takes the edge off the pain, but it sure hasn't slowed him down any. Do you think if I called the vet back, she'd prescribe something to sedate ME??? (I'm thinking Valium sounds awfully good right about now.....!!!)

At least he's not messing with the incision too much. I've caught him two or three times starting to cleaning it, and I'll tell him to stop. He gets this "look" (if dogs could roll their eyes, THAT's the kind of look I'm getting), and then this big, long, exasperated sigh...... and plops his head down on the floor. I swear, he's just being the biggest brat over this whole thing!!!

And the not-so-funny part of all this is -- for once in my life, I didn't do any research on this. Since I do a lot of work with pregnant women, I know all about reproductive systems, birth, methods of birth control and sterilization -- I guess I figured I knew it all!! I honestly did not realize that when they neuter a dog, they actually removed the testicles!!! I just thought the procedure was like a vasectomy for men!! And my husband didn't know, either!! He was HORRIFIED when I brought Cody home from the vet and he saw what had been done!!!

I need to go check up on my impatient "patient". Probably time for another preemptive bathroom run........

Pray for my sanity......

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's beautiful outside.......

Finally, REAL snow!! Not 1" of fluffy stuff that turns into slush in three hours, but real snowball making, sleddable snow!! Last time I checked, the ruler on the deck showed 8" -- yippee!!

I was up until about 1:30 AM today (don't know why, just being stupid, I guess!) and there was only an inch or so at that point. I really thought the weather man had blown it and we would get missed again. But here's what we woke up to find:

And Cody is having a BLAST:

Now, of course, every fun day must have its "moments", right? Mackenzie went outside to get her sled out of the shed, and managed to drop/lose the key in the snow. And of course -- again -- it's on a white key chain. What do you think are my chances of finding it either before the snow melts or the dog eats it?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow????

My first attempt at blogging -- and on the first (and probably only) day we'll have a really good snowfall this winter! We're anxiously awaiting the snow, the sledding, the fun of seeing Cody outside playing in his first substantial snow! We've double-checked the pantries, cupboards and refrigerator, like good Marylanders, because you know that we would absolutely STARVE to death if we had more than four inches of snow in one day!!

Seriously, it amazes me how much snowstorms like this freak people out around here. Lines at the grocery store and gas stations are insanely long; the top news story of the hour is the impending snow storm and the latest tracking on where's it snowing, updated almost minute-by-minute! It's crazy!! What did people do before the creation of doppler radar, satellite tracking and all the other weather-related technology we have? I guess they were always prepared!! Maybe we should learn something from that.....

I have one client who lives 40 miles from me and is now five days overdue. What do you think the odds are of her going into labor tonight or tomorrow AM during the heaviest snowfall?? Hopefully, I'll get a chance to just sit around, enjoy looking out the window at the snow falling, sip on some hot chocolate, read a book, and just relax, taking in the beauty and peaceful feeling that comes from watching the snow fall. Is it too much to ask my clients to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to go into labor?

And instead of sitting here playing with my new blog site -- as much as I'd like to!! -- I suppose I ought to return to the more urgent needs of getting tax paper work done and getting those blasted FAFSA forms filled out so my daughters in college can have some small hope of getting financial aid! Why the process has to be so complicated is beyond me. The part of my mind that tends to think in "conspiracy theory mode" suspects that the idea is this -- make it hard enough, complicated enough, time-consuming enough, and a lot of the people that would actually qualify for some government or school aid will just quit, thus saving everybody but dear old Mom and Dad (or unlucky student!!) plenty of bucks! But somehow, I managed to plow through this mountain of paperwork last year, and I am DETERMINED to do so again. (How many more years of this until my oldest girls graduate???)