thoughts on daily life within our family of SIX....each child in her own phase of childhood....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

We will always remember....

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Monday, September 15, 2008


My children are put to bed--Laura, Mary and Kerry. You know--Ingalls.

This is our second day without electricity, and as we said our prayers tonight, the big sister said, "I don't know whether to pray for electricity or not. I like playing 'Little House on the Prairie'...but it would be kinda'nice to have a/c."

Hurricane Ike paid us a memorable visit. But along with downed trees, a saggy, "broken" ceiling and some roof trouble, Ike packed some blessings in his bag. Blessings much bigger than any trouble that he brought to our family. Ike took out our electricity, and along with that, many of our distractions that sometimes keep us from being together even when we are together.

At no time over the past couple of days have we tried to talk to each other over the din of the evening news--or even over the background noise of "Little House on the Prairie". Mom and Dad have not been distracted by checking e-mail or blogging (gasp!). We haven't been rushing to answer phones...our land line has been completely down, and we've only had sporadic service on our cells.

We've been out in the yard today--cleaning up together. I don't think we sat on the couch once. And we even made it to church this morning where the priest and deacon led parishioners in worship in a very dim sanctuary--lit only by candles (and I suspected a flashlight).

Tonight at bedtime, the kids and I played guessing games about what the light from the flashlight looked like on the ceiling. Of course, there were shadow puppets, too. Giggles and laughter bounced off the walls in our bedroom. Little Man fell asleep holding my hand, snuggled up next to me on our bed. His sisters' giggles were his bedtime music. As I tucked the girls into "bed" (a pallet on the floor), they called me "Ma" and chided me for calling them by their real names.

Now, after the kids are asleep I sit by an open window and write by candlelight. I can't help but feel joyful. Life here on the "prairie" is good. There's a different focus here. We like it. The kids like it. My daughter is wondering whether she wants the lights to come back on and all to return to normal. We are nothing if not blessed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stand and Take It

We're expecting a visit from Hurricane Ike tonight. All day long, we've been hearing things like "direct hit" and "glancing blow" (which does not seem to be our fate).

Really nothing for us to do except be armed and ready for no electricity, no conveniences, powerful wind and some rain. I thought about taking the kiddos and leaving (hubby was scheduled to work), but I really worried about getting our family stuck in traffic and running out of gas. I'd rather be home with some possible shelter than in that situation.

All day today, people ran back and forth to the stores....last minute batteries, bread, water....Lots of nervous energy in the air. But tonight, neighbors visited in driveways and chatted even as dark overtook the streets. We've done all that we can do. Now all we can do is stand and take whatever Ike brings with him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, September 8, 2008

At Dinner Last Night

After gobbling up a bite of spaghetti, Darling Daughter asks, "How do you get a baby?"

Adults look around, acting like they didn't hear.

Oldest daughter who has now had "the talk" uses wide eyes to look at Mom.

Persistant Darling Daughter--"How do you get a baby?"

Mom (seemingly preoccupied with spaghetti pieces on the floor), "Hmmm?"

Daughter "How do you get a baby? I mean, I know about going to the hospital and sitting on the bed and acting like you're sick and all, but before that....How do you get a baby?"

Mom's answer is most unenlightening (as it was meant to be!). "Oh, it's pretty complicated," said Mom. We'll talk about it a little more when you're a little older."

The first time around, Mama just told the oldest darling daughter that God gave out the babies. That was enough for her until she was older.

Silly Mama. This isn't the first time around.

What Would She Do At Home?

Last night my hubby and I sat together and watched one of his favorite television shows. It's not a sitcom, and it's not a night-time soap, and it's...well, the little one calls it the news. And it is, but not the local kind. And you might say that the "anchor" leans in a certain political direction. And that is all I have to say about that. Because what I'm about to tell you really is not about my political leanings, although I'm not silly enough to tell you that I don't have any.

What I'm about to tell you really is about women and the disrespect that still exists within our gender, against others in our gender.

As my hubby and I sat snuggled up close on the couch, I heard Geraldine Ferraro speak about Sarah Palin and how wonderfully capable she is. She didn't talk about her stance on abortion, about her position on the war or any of the "issues"--they clearly disagree on those. But she gave a rousing testimony about her ability to succeed in the world of politics and elections.

And then, no doubt as part of her support (although certainly not political support) for this forty-four year old mom of five, Mrs. Ferraro criticized those who have criticized Mrs. Palin for not staying at home to raise her children.

Ferraro said, (and I'm paraphrasing, but not loosely) Really. She's a talented contributor. What would she do at home?

Simple, really. But that spoke volumes to me about where we really are in this country today. Women. Working outside the home and getting paid for it. Working at home--raising our children, taking care of our families--and not being paid for it.

I admire Mrs. Ferraro for all that she has done in her life. I may or may not agree with her politics, but I admire the fact that she was our first female VP candidate. But Mrs. Ferraro just tipped her cards. She still believes that staying at home to raise your family is for those who can't do anything else well.

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

**By no means am I criticizing Palin's choice not to stay at home to raise her family. My beef is with Ferraro.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Better Than Disney!

When God handed out the daddies, we got the best!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

I visited Rocks in My Dryer today and thought this meme was fun! Join in; I'd love to hear your data!

How long were your labors?

Kid #1, 5 1/2 hours.
Kid #2, 7 hours.
Kid #3, 10 hours.

How did you know you were in labor?

Kid #1, Pitocin IV.
Kid #2, Pitocin IV.
Kid #3, Pitocin IV.

Obviously, I never went into labor on my own. I'm convinced that I would still be carrying around the last one if I hadn't begged my doctor to do something.

Where did you deliver?

The first two were born in the same hospital, same room, same day of the week, same time.

The last was born in a very large hospital room in a nice, new hospital. He was weighed, bathed, checked out and all in my same room. He never left us. Except for the one time that I just had to catch a little snooze, and I was afraid the hubby would doze and someone would come in and take my baby out of my arms.

Well, and there was that other time that he involved his little personal area (sorry, Sweetie...).


Most definitely. Yes. Although I did consider not having the epidural with my first. Until the contractions started. I was a pretty calm patient. No yelling, screaming. No ugly language. But my nurse, an older woman at the end of her shift, did drop this little question that has stuck with me for the past 12 years. She asked, "Did someone tell you this wasn't gonna' hurt?"

My second was "sunny-side up". Back labor. No question about the epi.

Contractions were pretty reasonble with my boy for a very long time. In fact, when the nurse gave me something before the epi, I really didn't think I needed it.

I got the epidural soon enough...soon enough for it to start to wear off before his birth. They fixed it or upped it or whatever they had to do, but by the time that he was almost here, the epi started wearing off only on one half of my belly. Enough that I could REALLY feel it. The staff finally told my mom that there was nothing else they could do for fear of parlyzing my lungs, so we'd just have to go with it.

A little later, as I was pushing and they were assuring me that if the doctor didn't get there in time they could deliver this baby no problemo, one of the nurses said, "Oh, man! Maybe if we turn the pitocin down, she won't feel those contractions as hard." That's kinda' funny. Now.


No. And I have to thank my doctor who was wonderful with all three because while I was in labor with the first one, the nurse (you know, the friendly one) took my mom into the hallway and told her that there was no way I was going to be able to deliver the normal way. She was head down, but apparently her head was turned in a funny way. My doctor, though, was able to turn her little head so that it all worked out for me.

Third one, the doctor told me that he wasn't decending, and there was a strong liklihood that I'd have to have a c-section. But I had an amazing nurse with the little guy, and she showed me how to rock and move in ways that got him moving south. Would never want to do those things out in public, however.

Who delivered?
The same sweet, quiet doctor. He's great. A little bit of an underestimator on the weight, but great otherwise.

Weight of Babies At Birth?

Okay, I added this one. Because I think I should get a prize. In fact, I was a little surprised when the staff didn't bring it to me before I left the hospital.

#1 7 1b., 7 oz.
#2 9 lb., 8 oz.
#3 10 lb., 2 oz.

Did you read that part about no c-section? That trophy should be here any day now, don't ya' think?

I want to read your story!