Monday, August 31, 2009

A big, bouncy, baby GIRL!!!

Thankfully, after returning from NYC, I got a full night's sleep, only to be awakened at 7:30 AM with a call from a client in early labor. I headed off to her house about an hour later -- no rush, because things were just getting started. Her first two children were being watched by grandma and grandpa, who were wonderful with the children, and were also wonderful about making sure that the midwife and I were well-fed and taken care of! Great folks!!

The client's first two babies were both in the 8 pound range, so were we all surprised when out came a NINE POUND, TWELVE OUNCE baby!! Gorgeous baby; great, smooth birth; happy parents; loving siblings; hours spent in a lovely house with a beautiful view overlooking the Severn River; fabulous weather -- what more could we ask from such a fantastic day??!!


Our "Wicked" trip to NYC!

"Wicked", showing at the Gershwin Theater, NYC

What a blast!! A bus ride to NYC; spend the morning at Macy's (wow, an incredible store!); hop in a cab and take a loop around Rockefeller Center; off to Gershwin Theatre to see the Broadway production of "Wicked"!! And what an AMAZING performance that was!!

Morgan has really wanted to see this show for a long time. She's been so focused and hardworking the last year or so, holding down a PT job, pulling straight A's at college, keeping straight on her relationship with God -- and when this opportunity came up, I just HAD to jump on it. I wanted to do something special for her to show her how much we admire and appreciate all her efforts! I think this picture tells how she felt about this trip:


Friday, August 28, 2009

I need to get a grip

I made all these plans for my daughter to go to Florida, saw her off yesterday, spoke with her by phone last evening -- and she's happy as a clam! So why am I sitting around here missing her, when I've got so much stuff to be doing??? Maybe I'll just call her and say "hi"!!?? :)


Monday, August 24, 2009

Life at my house...... always interesting and constantly changing, it seems. My original plan for last week and the upcoming few weeks had been to finish lesson plans and then begin homeschooling today. Then in 3 or 4 weeks, we would give Mackenzie a 5 or 6 day break and send her to Florida to stay with grandparents. And you know what they say about the best-laid plans!!

My migraine, of course, took an enormous chunk (5 days) out of my scheduled lesson-planning time. As I sat last night, contemplating how I would do lesson plans this week AND send Mackenzie to Florida in late September (which would effectively mean losing two weeks of school time right at the beginning of the school year -- far from ideal!!), it dawned on me that maybe I could just send her sooner, while I'm trying to get the lesson plans done, and lose less time that way. Hmmmm...... I wonder.......

So here's a portion of the ridiculous e-mail I sent to my parents last night:

And it's time for another episode of............."The Crazy Life and Times of Pam Llewellyn"!!! The continuing saga of the twists and turns my life takes, the unexpected obstacles placed in my path, and the never-ending quest to find some semblance of sanity in my day-to-day life.

Today's episode -- After surviving a four-day migraine, Pam finds herself at the crossroads. School was SUPPOSED to start tomorrow; however, after spending four days flat on her back, lesson plans are nowhere near complete, causing the loss of several days of school this week. Upon evaluating the upcoming schedule, trying to figure out where to squish in an entire lost week, she decides on a desperate act -- to throw herself on the mercy of her parents and beg for them to take her youngest daughter into their care at the very last moment, thus allowing her the possibility of getting some organization accomplished before the re-scheduling of the beginning of the school year, now tentatively set for next week!!

OK, is that loony enough?? I literally am just coming back out of this stupid headache -- I cannot believe this had happened yet again, but it appears that my changing hormones are causing me to have a tendency to develop monster migraines. My suppressed sense of humor is now coming out In wacky ways, and I just couldn't resist this!!

After talking with my folks on the phone this AM AND after doing some quick on-line searching for airfare, plans have been made to put Mackenzie on a plane to Florida this Thursday -- her first ever plane trip all by herself! Of course, we've signed up for the flight attendants to watch her as an "unaccompanied minor", but boy is she ever excited!! After the last few years, she's become a fairly experienced traveler, but this is huge and exciting to her!

Then on Saturday, my hubby, oldest daughter and I are taking a red-eye special (bus trip!!) to New York City for the day. My husband will be doing a lot of tourist-y, sightseeing type of stuff; my daughter and I have tickets to go see "Wicked"! Wow!! To say we're excited is an understatement!! We CANNOT WAIT to see this!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oh, the pain -- I'd never make a good "drunk"!!

Man, this "getting older" stuff stinks. It seems that changes in my hormones have also produced a tendancy to get migraines. I don't think I'd had more than ONE migraine in my entire life until about three years ago, and now I'm getting them twice a year -- and they last FOREVER.

I started getting this headache on Wednesday afternoon, along with a very stiff upper neck. I thought that maybe if I took a short nap, it would go away. WRONG!!! My "short nap" ended up being 3 hours, and when I work up, I was dizzy, my vision was blurry, and lights and noise were killing me. At that point, I knew what what happening..... again...... sigh..........

I did all my normal tricks -- ibuprofen, warmth on my neck and shoulders, resting, Excedrin Migraine..... some improvement, but no real relief. So on Friday, we decided to pack me off to the doctor's.

A quick check showed that it was indeed nothing more than a "simple migraine" -- what's so "simple" about it, I don't really know. Regardless..... the doctor gave me a prescription for Imitrex -- said it would "kick the migraine's butt" and make me feel much better in a few hours. At that point, yes, I was desperate -- I think I would've taken almost ANYTHING that offered some relief. We picked up the medication, and I tried to read through the extensive list of side effects. But by then, it didn't really matter to me; side effects like "heart failure" and such seemed like a pretty remote possibility, as did most of the others. But of course, since I'm such a tea-totaller, the side effects that did catch up with me were "dizziness" and "drowsiness"!! I took the meds at 7:30; by 8:30, I could barely sit up straight on the sofa!! By 9:00, my hubby walked me down the hall, helped me into my PJ's, and plopped me on the bed. He was afraid if I fell asleep on the sofa, he'd never get me moved -- and he was right! I slept the sleep of the dead until about 5:30 AM -- I was just TOTALLY out of it! Unbelievable how hard that medication hit me!

Even now, 17 hours after taking Imitrex, I'm still feeling a bit dizzy. How much is from the meds and how much is from the remainder of the migraine, I don't know. But either way, most of the pain is gone -- and THAT is a good thing!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Water park fun!

When my oldest three kids were younger, we used to get season passes to Six Flags each year. It was a lot of fun -- until the park started getting a lot of rough, unruly customers who made the visits feel ugly and sometimes unsafe. We stopped going, but I often wished I knew of another park to go to that would be fun and family friendly.

Fast-forward to this past weekend -- I went to a birth at a client's home in northern Virginia. As I was driving down the highway, off on the side of the road, in the dim light of evening, I could see a small waterpark! When I got home, I did some Google searches, and finally found it -- Great Waves Waterpark in Alexandria, VA. Since I needed to return to the client's home to do a postpartum visit, I decided I'd make a day of it and take Mackenzie to the waterpark at the same time. That's what we did today -- and boy, did she have a BLAST!!

This is a really nice, community-sized waterpark -- nothing big and commercial like Six Flags. It had a nice-sized wave pool, a "lagoon" for toddlers, another larger "lagoon" with small water slides for slightly older kids, three of the really tall curly water slides, and two tall, straight "racing" slides! A small gift shop and a snack bar with reasonably priced food completes the entire park! Great things about this place: it was not crowded (probably only 200 people or so); parking was close by and FREE; there was plenty of seating and shaded areas for everyone; the innertubes were FREE (no rentals!!); the lockers that you can rent for the day were only $5 -- and $2 was refunded when you returned the key!! What a nice place to spend a day!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Atlanta adventures!

A photo diary of Nelson and Mackenzie's fun times in Atlanta! They had a BLAST!!

View from our room during the day --

-- and the view at night --

-- fun times in the pool --

-- view of tornado damage to hotel, as seen from pool area (tornado in 2008) --

-- great sign in the window of the Hard Rock Cafe --

-- a visit to the World of Coca-Cola --

-- playing in Olympic Park --

-- visiting the Georgia Aquarium (fantastic!!) --

-- and hanging out in the hotel!!

How much MORE fun could they possibly have squeezed into 3 days???

Monday, August 10, 2009

Art Can Give You The Creeps

......especially when it's a whole row of little red fire ant statues!! These are "crawling" over the baggage claim area in the Atlanta airport, and boy, did it give us a momentary startle at first! This is an interesting new form of "public art"!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My dog is a murderer!

I put the dogs out for their morning pee-and-play, as usual. Shortly, Cody wanted back in, as it's already getting hot out today; Taylor wanted to stay out and continue to play. No problem there.....

After she still hadn't come to the back door in 10 minutes or so, I figured trouble might be brewing and I'd better investigate. I looked out and saw her digging madly in the iris bed...... sigh...... yelled for her to get out of there, which she did immediately -- WITH A BUNNY IN HER MOUTH! Ewwwwww........ yuck......... "Drop it!" -- and surprisingly, she did!! (thank heavens for small favors -- I certainly didn't want to chase her around the yard to get THAT -- especially since I was still in my PJ's!). She trotted right back into the house, happy as a clam, so proud of herself -- the mighty hunter who protected her yard from dangerous intruders! -- and I sent HUBBY outside to clean up the deceased and check the iris bed for any more bunnies!

No more found -- the bunny was not full-grown, but definitely was not a little baby -- so maybe it's the only one. I hope there's no nest of bunnies out there, waiting to be re-discovered. I don't wish to enjoy this "moment of discovery" again!!

What's the penalty for murder in the state of Maryland? I'm thinking that solitary confinement for her might do us both some good......

(And no pictures will be provided with this posting, thank-you-very-much!! Way too gross for public viewing!)


"I'm leavin'....... on a jet plane!"

I'm heading out tomorrow AM for Atlanta, Georgia for the annual DONA conference (Doulas of North America) ! I am really looking forward to hearing all the great speakers, and what will be even more fun -- getting to meet all these wonderful women from around the world. I went to the conference three years ago in Denver, Colorado and had a BLAST!!

This year, I'm bringing my hubby and my youngest daughter along. They're going to be seeing the sights of Atlanta. They've already made plans for the Olympic Centennial Park, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Georgia Aquarium. Supposedly, the aquarium has a whale shark (which are ENORMOUS!!) and several beluga whales -- Mackenzie will be in HEAVEN!! It should be a lot of fun for them!

And next year -- I hear the conference is in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- I hope I can pull that one off, too. I've only been to New Mexico once in my life, and I was only around 13 years old at the time! Of course, other things may interfere with that plan (like a rumored family wedding next year..... hint, hint.....!), but we'll cross that bridge later!!

'Bye for now!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Astronaut in training

Saturday night, we had the opportunity to go on a great field trip! NASA/Goddard Space research center had an open house, and did we have fun!! There were special speakers (astronauts!), lots of hands-on kids' activities, telescopes set up outside for nighttime viewing, cake for everyone, and so much more! If you're looking for a free, educational place to go with the kids, their Visitor's Center would be fun place to visit!!

(this activity shows how craters are formed, and what scientists can learn from the way the dirt moves when impacted by a meteor -- pretty cool!)