Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Luke!

We celebrated Luke's 10th birthday today! I was very, very happy because Luke did not ask for a regular cake for his birthday--he asked for a chocolate cheesecake!! He is my new favorite child, LOL. Since I didn't have to work all afternoon on a Bionicle cake or some other time-intensive cake, we really went all out for making birthday desserts, which we took to Bible study.

We had the chocolate cheesecake, which had chopped up Snickers bars both in it and sprinkled on top, as well as chocolate syrup drizzled over. It was delicious! We also had chocolate-covered strawberries, with a choice of both light or dark chocolate, and we also had rice krispie treats with blue frosting, just to make them special, for those people like Caleb who are allergic to both cheesecake and chocolate, and also for those like Nathan and Amanda L. who just don't like cheesecake. We came home with a small square of cheesecake, so people pretty much scarfed everything down!

I can't believe Luke is in double digits now! He has really grown up a lot this past year, I think. I was a little worried about how he would handle all the orthodontia, but he has really taken that in stride. He has also become so amazingly athletic. I am still surprised at how good at basketball he turned out to be. Also, he is an amazing big brother to the girls. They really bring out a softer side to him. He can be pretty cynical, but he is so sweet and gentle when he talks to them and helps them. If I am not available, he is the one Grace turns to when she needs comfort, and he will sit and hold Faith for long periods of time on the couch. One night, after kssing Grace goodnight in her crib, he told me that it was the best thing to have little sisters. It was so sweet. I am so thankful we didn't stop having kids after having him, because I think his personality would be different without the younger ones to bring him balance. It has definitely made him more flexible and able to think about others. Now he and Caleb still butt heads all. the. time. but I told him that the Lord knew he had areas that needed to be worked on that Caleb brought out in him, and vice versa, and so that's why God put them both in the same family! Their relationship is definitely an area of prayer for me though.

I know I have shared before on the blog about Luke's meconium issues at birth, and I don't take for granted the fact that he is a healthy, happy 10 year old. We are so thankful for Luke!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yesterday I embarked on a big decluttering project. Well, let's just say I actually decluttered yesterday, and now we'll see if anything else gets done. I have been itching to declutter. I feel hemmed in by the amount of stuff we have, and the amount of time it takes to keep it all organized and put away (anyone who comes to visit can see that I do not actually take all that time, LOL), and it's very frustrating. It's been 4 1/2 years since we moved, which is obviously too long. We have accumulated a lot of stuff in those years!

My biggest problem was where to start. Finally Nathan and Luke took matters into their own hands, and a few days ago, Nathan went through their closet and pulled out a bunch of shirts they didn't want anymore. These were strategically left in a pile in the middle of the floor, so I decided to start on the closets in the boys' rooms. It took me several hours, but I went through both closets. It confirmed what I already knew--we have way too many clothes. I collected 2 garbage bags of stuff to donate, and 2 large tubs of clothes to consign at our big local consignment sales. I should probably just donate those items as well, but I made over $100 at the fall consignment sales just selling clothes, so it's hard to pass up that opportunity. Unfortunately, that means that the winter clothes will have to be stored until the Fall, so my thrifty nature is warring with my desire to clear everything out, LOL. We'll see. If we do move in the summer, those things are NOT moving with us!

Speaking of moving, Bob said he thinks we might not get a new assignment this spring. He looked at his records, and it looks like our clock was restarted when we got the one year extension last February. So that means it looks like we just arrived here last year. But who knows--anything is possible.

I have decided that I need to think as if we for sure are moving this summer, because otherwise I am not motivated to do the decluttering that is really necessary. Now my only question is where I should work on next . . . I know I have 3 tubs of maternity clothes in my closet, but there are lots of things that I haven't worn at all in the past 3 pregnancies. Those are on their way out! The basement storage room also needs work. I need a place to put the tubs of clothes. My only other question is where I'll find the time . . . I just have to tell myself that we're moving this summer!

Monday, February 23, 2009

2 Week Well-Baby

Faith had her 2 week well-baby appointment this morning. She is back up to her birth weight of 8 pounds, 10 ounces, so that is good. The doctor said she is in the 50th percentile for weight, but the 75th percentile for length and head circumference. Then she said that she wouldn't be surprised to see Faith be in the 75th percentile for weight as well by her next appointment. I laughed and told her that I would be pretty surprised! I expect that Faith will start falling down the chart, ending up around the 10th percentile or so by a year. And this will happen regardless of when we start solids!

Everything else is fine. Her jaundice is gone, as it always is by the 2 week appointment. She has slightly clogged tear ducts in both eyes, but they are improving. Her right eye is slightly more watery than the left one, but I've been massaging them. She has the clearest skin of any of my babies, I must say. No infant acne to speak of! She's a pretty happy baby; she still really doesn't fuss very much. She has been giving me longer stretches at night, sometimes as much as 5 hours. Usually I'll feed her around 10:30 or 11:00, then she'll wake up again between 3:00 and 4:00, and then again between 7:00 and 8:00. That's not too bad for a 2 week old!

Faith also had another hearing screening before the well-baby appointment, and this time she passed in both ears! Yay! I was so thankful to those like Johanna and Carri who commented on my last post about the failed hearing test. Your comments were very encouraging!

In the picture, Faith is being held by her February birthday buddy Luke, who will be turning 10 on Friday. You can check out his braces-less smile!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Where everyone shops . . .

Last night at Bible study, Anna had to go potty. She noticed the brass trashcan in the L's bathroom, which is totally unlike the plastic Rubbermaid ones that adorn all our rooms, LOL.

Anna: "Mommy, what a pretty trashcan!"

Me: "Umm hmmm"

Anna: "Who gave that pretty trashcan to Mrs. L.?"

Me: "Probably no one. She probably just bought it."

Anna: "Did she buy it at Walmart? Or at the commissary?"

LOL! Because you know, those 2 places are where you get everything! I guess you know where we shop now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Orthodontic Update

Luke had not one, but two orthodontic appointments yesterday. At the first one, he got his braces and his expander taken off. Yay! He kept saying how weird it was to feel his gums and the top of his mouth. I don't think any of us will miss the sucking sound he would make to try to clear out food that got stuck up in the expander, LOL. I still can't believe the difference that 6 months of the expander, plus a few months of braces, made in his mouth. Wow.

While he was there in the morning, he had impressions made to fit him for a retainer that he will mainly wear at home and at night. The orthodontist also came out to talk to me and tell me that he also needs to wear a head thing to help his lower jaw grow forward, since it is really small, and his teeth are not lined up properly. He asked me if I thought Luke would wear it, and I said he would probably wear whatever we told him he had to wear. Luke needs to wear the head gear for 14 hours, most of which will be at night while he's sleeping. This is the good thing about homeschooling--Luke seems totally unaware that there might be any sort of stigma against orthodontic appliances. I was a bit worried that he would be really self-conscious and not want to wear the thing, but last night he didn't really seem to care. He wore it for about an hour and a hlaf, while watching a movie. We have to work up to the 14 hours, and he did say it was uncomfortable after awhile. I hope he can sleep with it! I'm not sure that a picture will be forthcoming, but we'll see.

When we went back for our afternoon appointment, Luke picked up his new retainer. I don't know if he just only needs a small one, or if retainer technology has really come a long way since I was in junior high, but it looks nothing like what I remember people wearing! Those were these huge things with a big pink palate part, and wires everywhere. His is clear plastic with no wires, and it is not noticeable at all. He's just supposed to wear that at home, not out, which should be easy. I'm not sure how long he'll have to wear these things. We go back next week to check on the progress.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Finding Things

I'm not saying this sort of thing ever happens around here, but someone on the Well Trained Mind board posted a link to this funny post by the Country Doctor's Wife , which I am just copying and pasting in its entirety, since I know you are probably lazy like me and might not bother clicking on the link. All I'm saying is that I happen to live with 5 males as well . . .

"My dear friend, Mistah Zellah has often philosophized over the years, that the real reason women are able to find things more easily than men, is not because they are smarter, more determined, or one step higher on the evolutionary spectrum. Rather, it is because they have a uterus. He believes that it is the uterus that gives women the ability to exhaustively hunt for things.... to keep looking even when the first few spots do not pan out... to open doors... to look under beds... to empty drawers... to actually move a pillow or a pile of clothes or a sofa cushion to see if the missing object is located UNDERNEATH... to look behind the jackets on the hooks... to stoop... to bend... to move their necks from side to side during a search... to keep looking and keep looking and KEEP LOOKING until the lost item is found. He believes there is a yet to be discovered synapse, a muscle or a nerve ending that travels from the uterus to the brain that men do not have and this is why women can search, search, search and find and men can only briefly scan a room at eye level for a precious lost artifact before throwing their hands up in surrender. Living in a house of five males, I often wonder if Mistah Zellah could be right.

This weekend the Country Doctor and my son Drew were in a frantic fury trying to find a missing team basketball jersey. It is the exact same frantic fury that occurred the weekend before... and the weekend before that... and also the weekend before that. Before basketball season it was a football jersey... before football season it was a baseball cleat... etc, etc, etc. It is always a vital piece of sports equipment and it is always lost.

Actually, the item is not lost. It is just located slightly beyond their peripheral vision and that makes the missing item impossible for them to find.

I asked the Country Doctor what he would do if he could not immediately locate one of our sons in a convenience store, after filling up at a gas station in another town. I am positive that if the child did not materialize, directly in front of him, in a matter of seconds, the CD would decide that the kid was gone for good. He would run out to the car to tell me that one of our boys was lost, forever. I would jump out of the car, rush into the gas station, move my body slightly to the left, swivel my head ten degrees to the right and our child would instantly appear in front of me.

"How did you do that?" the CD would gasp.

"I used my EYEBALLS!!!!!!! You know THESE THINGS!" I would say, pointing to my eyes.

This evening, right in the middle of preparing dinner, I had to go pick up my eldest son from school.

"Ethan!" I hollered as I was leaving the house, "Chop up some carrots for the stir-fry while I am gone."

"Where are the carrots?" Ethan called out as I was walking out of the house.

"In the fridge... in one of the drawers..."

I knew I should have run back to the kitchen and set them out on the counter... but as the fridge only has TWO DRAWERS I thought SURELY HE CAN FIND THEM!!!!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!

I came home to find my son standing in front of the fridge unable to locate the GIGANTIC BAG OF CARROTS IN THE DRAWER OF THE FRIDGE RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE!

After dinner, I announced that I would really appreciate it, if everyone could put their dishes in the dishwasher when they were finished with dinner. Immediately, I realized that I needed to give them a lot more information if I truly expected them to be able to FIND THE DISHWASHER!

"It is the rectangular silver appliance located in the kitchen," I explained, " You open the door and put your dishes inside."

The Country Doctor got up and stood in front of the fridge.

"You mean this one?" he asked opening up the fridge. "It has dishes in it."

"No... not that one... it is lower... you are going to have to bend over to find it."

The Country Doctor moved over and stood in front of the stove. "This one?" he asked. "It is silver and lower and it has a door..."

"No... but you are very close... turn around."

The Country Doctor turned around.

"This is a sink." he said.

"Yes, I know," I replied, " Move your body one step to the right and look down."

The Country Doctor followed my instructions and he found the dishwasher! At that moment, I looked at my four sons still seated at the table. I realized that watching their father find the dishwasher not ten feet from where they sat, did not improve the chances that they would also be able to find the dishwasher.

Suddenly, I discovered that I did not have the necessary strength to walk each one of my sons through the motions of locating the dishwasher. I was simply not strong enough to endure it. I felt weak and dizzy and sick to my stomach. If I kept this up... I was clearly going to perish. I wisely decided to admit defeat and live... for the sake of my future grandchildren... for the sake of my show cats... for the sake of the people who read my blog... I decided that teaching my four sons how to find the dishwasher was not the hill on which I would die.

I placed a feverish, shaking hand on my abdomen and thought about my uterus... my good old uterus... my helpful uterus. The same uterus that had sheltered all four of my boys... nourished them... cradled them... protected them The same uterus that clamped down and pushed them out when it was tired of them. I felt a shudder of pity sweep through me. Can the male species really be blamed for their inability to find things? After all, they are missing the vital organ that connects the brain to the eyeballs and allows the neck to swivel from side to side, which then causes the knees to bend and look underneath the stack of towels on the chiffarobe for that missing shoulder pad. They don't have a uterus! It is almost as if they were missing half their brains."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dietetic Freedom

I must say that I have been enjoying the freedom of no longer having gestational diabetes these past few days! No pricking of the finger, no worrying about when I can eat . . . I had cinnamon toast with breakfast! Fruit with lunch! Two servings of pasta with dinner! It's been so nice!

On the other hand, I can honestly say that I felt better when I was following the diet. I've gotten used to the smaller portion sizes, and more carbs make me feel bloated and heavy. Eating protein with snacks, eating smaller amounts more frequently--it all just made me feel more even-keeled. And I am missing the exercise! Even though it took up an inordinate, non-sustainable amount of time, all the time on the treadmill gave me lots of time to myself just to think and to listen to praise music on the Christian radio station. I am looking forward to starting back again, although NOT 3 times a day!

I have decided that I am going to give myself a week of eating whatever I want. That should help me work through all the birthday/ birth day/ Valentine's day cheesecake, chocolates, candy, and other goodies that have appeared in our house over the past week. Then I am going to start back on a modified gestational diabetes diet. By "modified", I mean that I will enjoy eating dessert at Bible study and other special occasions, and not be so totally anal about every serving size. But in general, my strategy will be less carbs and more protein. I do have to go back and have a 2 hour glucose test done in a few weeks (sometime before my 6 week post-partum appointment), to make sure the diabetes has gone away. Hopefully I won't have any problems with that! It's one thing to go on a diet . . . it's another thing to do all that pricking.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

3 Days Old

So Faith is now all of 3 days old. Since we got discharged early, she had a follow-up doctor's appointment this morning. She is down to 7 pounds, 13 ounces, but my milk came in yesterday, so I am sure she'll start gaining it back. She also has a touch of jaundice, but again, that's par for the course for our fair-skinned babies. That's the good thing about it being #7--you pretty much know what to expect, so it's not too worrisome. The only thing that is potentially worrisome and different from everyone else is that she has not passed her newborn hearing screening in her right ear. That's the test where they bounce sound waves off her eardrum--the waves go in, but they haven't been to be read coming back out again. At the hospital, the doctor said it was because she was still so young--not even 24 hours old when they did the test there--and she still had too much fluid and vernix in her ear. And that's pretty much what they said again today. Still, that's weird. We'll have it done again when we go back for her 2 week well-baby check.

Faith has been busy being loved on here at home. She also has spent some time in the snazzy swing from Johanna, which makes Anna very happy, LOL. She loves that swing!

I don't know if there has ever been a baby surrounded by as many people who adore her and want to hold her! There is always a line whenever I'm done nursing. I am constantly having to shoo people back while I'm nursing, or all her brothers and sisters would practically be sitting on me!

Anna is still so thrilled to have a real, live baby in the house. She constantly carries her baby around, and she really imitates whatever the person holding Faith is doing. Here my mom was holding her, so Anna got a blanket (in this case, a super-soft one that was a present from Elizabeth) and very carefully arranged herself and her babydoll so that they looked like Grandma and Faith, with lots of sideways glances, just to make sure things were perfect!

Faith is a good nurser, and she's been a pretty happy and calm baby. She's not much of a fusser so far anyways. I'm feeling good except for my milk coming in. I think this is my least favorite part of having a newborn. I love the first 2 days, when you feel good and aren't yet engorged! Faith is still wanting to sleep more during the day and wake up and be more alert during the night, but she is improving. We're all just enjoying snuggling her cuddly little baby self, and rubbing her soft little baby head! She's a sweetie!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Faith Amy is here!

Faith arrived yesterday, February 8, at 11:54 AM, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. She weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and she was 21 inches long. We came home this afternoon, and everything is going fine! Now, for more details . . .

I continued having bloody show Saturday night, as well as these "gas pains". The pains were never regular or very strong, but I did assume they were contractions. I just was afraid they weren't doing anything. If I got up to go to the bathroom, I would feel one or maybe 2, but they certainly weren't waking me up or anything.

I woke up Sunday morning fully intending to go to church. I ate breakfast, debated about whether or not to walk on the treadmill (decided "no"), helped people get ready, and showered and got myself dressed in church clothes. All the while, I was feeling pretty uncomfortable with these pains, which were in my back, mainly. I got on my hands and knees and crawled around for awhile, and I rocked my pelvis a lot, knowing that the baby was probably not in a good position and that should help. Finally, at 10:00, everyone else was ready to go to church, but I decided I was too uncomfortable to sit through a service, so Bob and I didn't go. Mom said I should call the labor ward and see what they said, but I told her I knew they would just say to come in, and I didn't want to do that and have them tell me the contractions just weren't strong enough to do anything, and that they would give me some pitocin. I wanted to wait until the feelings were in a more regular pattern. Up to that point, they weren't regular, and they weren't long--less than 30 seconds long.

After everyone left, I updated my Facebook status to say that I was having contractions, but that they were in my back, and I was trying to get the baby into a more favorable position. I also piddled around, getting the rest of my stuff into my hospital bag. I brewed up my super-strong raspberry tea pint that I drink when I go into labor to help ease labor pains. It is supposed to be 2 cups of boiling water over 1 ounce of tea, brewed for 30 minutes. I realized at that point that maybe I wouldn't be able to wait 30 minutes for the tea to brew, however. Hmmm. At that point, these feelings were definitely happening pretty regularly, about 3-4 minutes apart, although they were still only 30 seconds long, and it wasn't like I was breathing through them or anything. I just felt more comfortable leaning over when I had them. So I leaned over the couch, and I realized that I was actually quite sweaty and clammy and most likely in transition. Hmmmm.

I told Bob we needed to go to Bethesda immediately. We loaded everything up in the car, but as I was walking out to the van in the driveway, I was already feeling a lot of pressure and wondering if we had not waited too long. Bob zoomed along in record time, and we were so thankful it was Sunday morning, so there was hardly any traffic. We left our house at 10:50 and got to Bethesda at about 11:25. I prayed the whole way that things would slow down enough for us to actually get to the hospital, so I wouldn't have a Beltway baby! And although I kept feeling more and more pressure, I didn't feel the urge to push, and my water never broke.

We went up to the labor and delivery floor where they examined me in the triage room. The doctor said I had a slight anterior lip and a bulging bag. They wheeled the whole bed I was on into a labor room, broke my water at 11:50, and I was ready to push! I pushed a few minutes, and Faith was born at 11:54. You know how you always really remember your first birth, so when I felt her head getting close, it hurt, and I thought, "I so do not want her to stay right there through a whole 'nother contraction--that hurts!" Then the doctor said, "You're almost there--keep pushing!" So I did, and her head popped out! One more push, and out came the rest of her. Ahhhh. Every time I have a baby, I am so happy that you only have to have your first baby once! It definitely gets tons easier!

I couldn't believe it was all over so quickly. Everything was kind of chaotic, with people rushing in and out. I was just sort of in shock, but really glad that it was all over. The thing was, I didn't nurse right away, so by the time I got Faith back and tried, she really wasn't interested. She also started having a hard time staying warm, and when they checked her blood sugar level (because of my gestational diabetes), her number was really, really low--28. The pediatricians were called, and she was given a bottle of formula, since she wasn't interested in nursing. Then they tested her levels again, but only about 5 minutes after she finished eating. Her number was 38, which was still not that good. The doctors said they wanted to take her to the NICU and give her glucose in an IV for 12 hours, until she got rid of the extra insulin in her blood and could regulate her own levels.

At this point, my parents were on their way to visit us, having gotten home from church and eaten lunch. I knew the kids would be so disappointed if they couldn't see Faith, so I wanted them to wait to take her until the kids had visited. Bob asked if they could stick her heel again and take one more reading. They did, and her number was up to 60. They still wanted to take her, but they agreed to wait until 3:00, so the kids could visit.

After we took some pictures and let everyone exclaim over Faith, the doctors took her over to the NICU, with Bob following along. When they got there, the NICU nurses tested her glucose levels again, and they were up to 107--perfectly normal. So they decided not to start any glucose IV, but they would just observe her for awhile. After my parents took the kids back home, I went over to the NICU to nurse. I asked the nurse there how long Faith would have to stay if everything continued to be fine, and she told me 24 hours! She said Faith had to prove she was well, etc., and that once a baby was in there, they rarely left earlier than 24 hours later. Grrr. This meant I would have to get out of bed every few hours and trek over to the NICU to nurse at night. Plus, Faith looked like a chunky toddler in there, compared to all these preemies! She was right across from an adorable set of twins that had been there for 11 weeks. They had started out at a little over 1 pound each, and now that they had chunked up to 4 pounds, they were getting discharged the next day! Faith the newborn looked like a giant compared to them! Since she didn't even have an IV line in, it seemed silly for her to have all these leads attached, and all this care. I started praying that she would be able to get out of there sooner.

Her glucose numbers continued to be just fine, and when I went back to nurse at 7:00, a new nurse told me the doctor was getting ready to send her back over to my room! Yay! So around 9:00, she was discharged from her little stay at the NICU. She has been a great nurser so far, and I was glad to be able to nurse her in bed, instead of far away in a rocking chair, with a ton of beeping and activity going on around us!

Since she was doing fine, and I was feeling fine, we got discharged this afternoon, making it home by 3:00. Everyone was excited to see us! Now we're just settling in. It's great to be home! I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, without corpsmen and doctors coming in all the time for various reasons. I will say that all the people we dealt with at Bethesda were so very nice. It was really a good experience all around. Very impressive, especially for a military hospital!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Still Here . . .

Well, no birthday baby for me. Oh well! That would have been fun though--I share my birthday with my uncle, my mom's brother. So if I had delivered today, that would have meant that my grandma and my mom also would have also delivered on the same day! But it was not meant to be . . . I have continued to have bloody show all day today, and I'm pretty dure I lost my mucous plug this morning, but I jsut haven't had any sort of regular contractions. Or really too many contractions at all, to be honest. My plan is to take the castor oil tomorrow afternoon after church.

I did have a wonderful birthday, though. I went out to lunch with a group of 4 other ladies. We had been in a Bible study together for 2 years, but we stopped meeting last summer and just never started up again. I have really missed them, so I was so thrilled when one of them sent us all an email this last week suggesting a get-together! We spent almost 3 hours at a local restaurant catching up over lunch! It was so fun!

After the afternoon basketball games for Nathan and Luke, Bob grilled some absolutely delicious steaks, and we had a real feast. We also had baked potatoes, green beans with almonds, and spinach strawberry salad. You can't get a yummy meal like that for 10 in a restaurant for any reasonable price! Plus, he had stopped at Sams and bought some mini cheesecakes and a caramel apple pie for dessert! Yum! After walking on the treadmill for 40 minutes, my blood glucose number was 130, which isn't too darn bad considering the big meal and the cheesecake!

Now we're watching the Ben Carson movie Gifted Hands on TNT. I've always admired Ben Carson, and he has such a great, inspiring story.

So even without having a baby, this has been a wonderful birthday! But now I am really ready to go into labor . . .

Friday, February 06, 2009


Well, I have had a lot of bloody show this afternoon/evening, so hopefully something is happening down there. I have had some contractions, but the baby is still in a weird position, and they feel different from the contractions I usually have--more like gas pains than menstrual cramps. She's still pretty high, I think, but I think she is facing the right way. Anyways, we'll see if anything further develops, but even if it doesn't, at least I'm hopeful that I will be more dilated on Tuesday. It's more than I had happen with Grace!

Nathan and I ran some errands today, and one place we went to was Walmart, so I could buy some castor oil. I did take castor oil before I had Anna, but it was more to relieve constipation rather than to start labor. I did have some contractions after taking it, although it did not start my labor. The bigger issue is that Anna passed meconium before birth, and I always wonder if it was because of the castor oil. I don't see how it could be, because everything I have read says that it does not pass the placenta, and the way it works physiologically would not carry over to the baby, but still . . . Anyhow, I have decided I will try taking some Sunday afternoon if nothing has happened by then. We'll see. Even though labor did not start with Anna, I was 5 cm dilated when I went to my appointment on her due date, and when they started the pitocin that morning, it was only a few hours until she was born--a much better experience that with Grace! But maybe just buying the stuff will show my body that I am SERIOUS about having this baby, and things will progress, LOL.

Today was a good day--I have already been celebrating my birthday, which technically is tomorrow. Nathan and I came home to find a beautiful bouquet of roses from Bob, and when Bob himself came home at dinnertime, he had a huge bunch of balloons of all manner of meesages--congratulations, happy birthday, it's a girl, I love you, etc. The girl at the dollar store was not sure what to make of the mixed messages! So maybe my birthday will also be my "birth day". That would be nice! You know how it is at the end--ANY day is a good day to be born!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Appointment

I had my last OB appointment this afternoon at Bethesda. The doctor said I was 3 cm dilated this time, so that's some slight progress over last appointment. She did a very thorough job of stripping my membranes, so maybe that will start something. I went into labor with Luke after having my membranes stripped, but not with anyone else that I can remember. I know I had my membranes stripped multiple times by multiple different doctors when I was pregnant with Jonathan, and he was still 2 weeks overdue and had to be induced!

The baby is still really high. In fact, as the doctor was stripping my membranes, she kept laughing because the baby was sticking her hand down there and pushing against the doctor's hand! Before the doctor stopped, she said the baby moved her hand back up by her body, so that's good. Hopefully she will move down, at least before the induction. They won't break my water with her so high, because they don't want the cord to wash down first.

So there you have it. I would say if I don't start having contractions tonight, then nothing will happen until I get induced. At least I have a homeschool co-op moms' meeting tonight to distract me.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Madagascar Report

Today was a big day for Nathan--he gave an oral report based on the research paper he wrote for the homeschool co-op writing unit. The 5th and 6th graders had to pick an African country to write about, and he picked Madagascar. He did a great job on his report and got good feedback from his teachers. I was happy with how self-motivated he was to get the report done, and also to work on his display. He did stuff with Powerpoint as well as figured out the pictures he wanted to use. I really didn't have to do much at all, which was nice. My parents have friends who work for the same organization they do, and they have actually visited Madagascar. They were kind enough to email us some pictures, and then we also got a few off the internet.

It turns out Madagascar is an interesting country. Did you know that 1/4 of the plant and animal species in the world are found in Madagascar? Many of these species are native only to Madagascar. Also, most of the people there are not African by heritage. They actually are descended from Indonesians, who somehow traveled over there a long time ago. "Malagasy" is the adjective you use to describe things from Madagascar.

Actually, all the oral reports were very interesting. I stayed and listened to about half of them, including Nathan's. He was pretty nervous, so his first few sentences were directed to his notecards, but after he had to start pointing out things on his display board, he loosened up and started looking at the audience. He did really well, overall.

After all the kids were done, they had an "African feast". Everyone brought in food from their African country. We brought a dish called "varenga", which is boiled, shredded, roasted beef. We put it over rice, since that is a very important staple in madagascar, and they eat it for every meal. It was really good! I was amazed at how much food there was, and also at the great variety. People really went all out! A lot of stuff was pretty starchy, so I didn't sample it, but everything I had was very good!