Thursday, November 29, 2012

No Room at the Inn

I called L&D this morning at 7:30, and what do you know--they don't have any room for me.  Sigh.  Bethesda doesn't technically start inductions until 7:00 PM, but the doctor was hoping I could get in earlier since I don't need my cervix softened and all that stuff, just a bit of pit to get things going.  I'll call back around lunchtime, but the nurse this morning was not hopeful and encouraging, so it looks more likely that this baby will be born tomorrow, a day I totally wanted to avoid.  Although there is the very real chance that they won't have room for me tonight either, and then they'll just move the induction to some other day.  Whee!

I am trying to be encouraged by Day 29 of the Thirty-One Days of Praise book I pray through in the mornings.  "Thank you that I can give myself up to be led by you . . . that I can go forth praising and at rest, letting you manage me and my day . . . that I can joyfully depend on You throughout the day, expecting You to guide, to enlighten, to reprove, to teach, to use, and to do in me and with me what You desire . . . that I can count upon Your working in me and through me as a fact, totally apart from sight and feeling . . . that I can go forth praising and at rest, believing You and obeying You and ceasing from the burden of trying to manage myself without Your wisdom and power.  Thank you that I can throw the whole weight of my anxieties on You, for I am Your personal concern."

And now I must decide if I want to take yet another walk, or do my "Perfect Pregnancy Workout" DVD one more time.  Then school, a quick trip to Sam's for more soy milk . . . life goes on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow

I went on what is hopefully my last forced march around the neighborhood this pregnancy, and I ate my last (small) bowl of chocolate ice cream.  I'll call labor and delivery tomorrow around 7:30 to see when they want me to come in.  This will be my 3rd induction where I haven't been already 5 cm dilated.  I will definitely admit to being nervous.  The thing about having had a lot of babies is that, well, I pretty much know how this is going to feel!  The baby could be very uncooperative, as he has been so far, and refuse to move down, making this induction take a long time, and that is what I really dread.  That, and pushing.  I hate pushing!  And just the thought that he might be 10 pounds or more like Micah is certainly reason to dread the whole thing! 

I never really had any more measureable contractions last night or today, so I expect that I haven't progressed any more than the 2 cm I was yesterday.  I printed off a ton of stuff from the spinningbabies website so I have plenty of techniques to try once the pitocin starts that will hopefully help him move down and me progress.  I will let you know if anything actually works, LOL.  My hope is to eventually become a doula, after I'm done having kids an homeschooling no longer takes up so much of my time.  Reading so much about optimal fetal positioning this time around has really been incredibly worthwhile and educational--I really do think it will help me become a better doula.  Now let's see if I can doula myself into a good labor, LOL.

I definitely appreciate your prayers for a safe, smooth, uncomplicated labor and delivery!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

(Small) Progress

I had another OB appointment this afternoon.  It was supposed to be at 1:20, but a guy from the front desk called and left a message yesterday saying they had to cancel my appointment, and I needed to call back to reschedule.  So I called back, and the man said they had a 2:40 slot for this afternoon, so he was putting me in there.  Okay, fine, whatever . . . that worked better for Bob anyway, who was metro-ing over from the Pentagon to meet me there. 

So I showed up at 2:40 this afternoon, and the lady at the desk looked quizzically at me.  "What time did you say your appointment was?"  Hmmm . . . this is not my fault, LOL!  Long story short, the guy had not actually entered my name in the slot, although I overheard a different lady at the front desk telling someone she was there when he was talking with me, so he must have just messed up.  Well, I was assured that I would indeed be seen, since I was due, and that was all I cared about! 

I saw the same doctor I saw 2 appointments ago.  This time I am all of 2 cm dilated, although still just 50% effaced.  She said the baby was lower, although still not totally pressing against my cervix.  But my cervix was low enough that she could at least strip my membranes, so that was good.  I had felt that my pelvis was achier this morning, and last night I actually had a few Braxton-Hicks contractions.  I've had a few contractions tonight as well, although they still don't seem like they are really meaning business, and I certainly haven't had anything like bloody show or anything.

She scheduled me for an induction Thursday.  I will call at 7:30 AM to see what time they want me to come in.  I really am praying that I will make some more progress by then, although clearly this baby is not one to cooperate with my plans and wishes!  I really, really do not want another long, drawn out induction, like the one I had with Grace.  So in the meantime, I will continue with all the exercise, plus the spinning babies techniques.  I will be QUITE happy to be done with all that in just a few more days!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, we had a really nice Thanksgiving weekend.  The only thing lacking was a new baby.  We went over to the L's house for Thanksgiving dinner, along with a bunch of other people.  It was tons of fun, and the food was delicious!  Since it was a potluck, we only had to bring mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cran-apple-pear sauce, and sweet chex mix.  And my mom and I had spent Tuesday doing the cooking, so all we had to do Thursday morning was heat the mashed potatoes (we used the Pioneer Woman's make-ahead mashed potato recipe--with 15 pounds of potatoes, LOL), and put the sweet potato casserole together and heat it up.  Easy!

Thanksgiving Day had absolutely beautiful weather, so as soon as we were finished eating, Bob and I went on a long walk with Zachary L. and his new wife Karynn (we went to their wedding in St. Louis in August--where Micah did his famous microwave trick).  It was nice to walk in such beautiful weather, with such fun company, and in a different neighborhood than our own!  I am so sick of walking around our neighborhood at this point!  I must have taken hundreds of walks this pregnancy alone, LOL.  A change of scenery was VERY welcome!  And walking meant that my numbers were great, even after a meal with lots of carbs!  I ate a lot of turkey, and a spoonful of other things, LOL.

Of course, since we didn't make the turkey, we didn't have any turkey left-overs, although we did have some mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a little bit of sweet potatoes left.  So Friday Mom and I made a turkey of our own, and we recreated Thanksgiving dinner again!  Yum!  I made a turkey pot pie with the dark meat Saturday, and we've been eating the white meat for sandwiches.  It was only a 17 pound turkey, so we didn't have tons of leftover meat!

Friday morning we also got an email from Nathan's football coach that he was nominating Nathan as the county youth football player of the year.  This was exciting, but he also needed some more information, like Nathan's gpa, and a list of volunteer and extra-curricular activities, by Saturday or Sunday.  I thought I had been really organized the end of last year with his grades, but when I looked back at that folder on the computer, it turns out there were a few gaping holes, both for last year and even for the first quarter this year!  So I spent time Friday getting organized and also making lists of activities.  Christine said it was a good thing I wasn't at the hospital, because it would have been hard to compile everything there!  I guess so, but now I'm done, and the baby still isn't here . . .  Anyhow, we won't hear anything until February, but it was a great honor just to be nominated--and it is nice validation for a homeschooler of leadership, character, and athletic ability!

Saturday the menfolk (Bob, my dad, Nathan, and Luke) headed back over to the McC's house, where they had also been Friday, helping the McC's hang drywall after their latest flood.  My dad conducted a little workshop, with a lot of hands-on experience for everyone, LOL.  Good skills for the boys to know!

Sunday I was incredibly crabby, due to the fact that I was still quite pregnant, but with no signs of progress.  Nothing fits anymore--pants roll down and shirts ride up.  I went ahead to church, where I answered people very shortly about my lack of progress.  Next Sunday I am definitely staying home!  I am not in the mood to be social!  We did put up the Christmas tree and the Christmas decorations Sunday afternoon while Micah was napping.  The nice thing is that the boys can do most of the stuff, even bringing everything upstairs including the tree, and setting it up!  When Micah got up and saw everything for the first time, he was completely amazed, LOL.  "Oooohh . . . . woah . . . .. ooooooh" he kept saying in wonder!  So cute!  Now we are trying to keep him from touching all the ornaments.

And now--we're back to a somewhat normal routine--still with no baby and no signs of one coming soon.  The boys did school today, Nathan is getting ready to head to his Spanish III class in a few minutes, and tomorrow will be TNT and Rivendell, although I'm not teaching anything.  I have another doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon, where they can tell me that still nothing is happening, grrrrrr.  It will be interesting to see what they suggest.  I imagine they will want to schedule an induction probably for next week--but my dad is actually flying back to Ohio next week for a week, so it is definitely not a good time for me to be in the hospital having a baby.  The boys have places to go, like co-ops, 4 different basketball practices on 4 different nights, Civil Air Patrol, etc., and my mom can't get everyone everyone and deal with the little ones too!  Gah--I can't believe this baby is being so uncooperative!!!   PLEASE pray that this baby will come by this weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting . . .

Monday I ran a ton of little errands, and my parents arrived safely from Ohio.  Yesterday we spent the day doing our part of the cooking for the Thanksgiving dinner we're eating over at the L's house.  I got my bag sort of packed.  I washed a load of baby clothes.  I worked some on the biology syllabus for this next semester.  Things are pretty much ready around here.

Unfortunately, Baby #9 has not received that memo.  At my appointment this morning, I was basically unchanged from last week--still a (soft) 1 cm, cervix very high, about 50% effaced.  And the baby is still on that right side, not pressing down on the cervix, just floating around.  "He seems quite happy in there," said the doctor.  Yes, well . . . I am not happy for him to stay in there.  I don't think I have ever been this far along and been so little dilated!  What we are looking at is a December baby, which is incredibly disappointing to Caleb, who has been so looking forward to finally having a "birthday buddy" of his own.  All the rest of our birthdays are between February and June, while he hangs out all by himself in November.  Nothing like feeling like a huge disappointment to one of your other children, one who actually DID put me into labor on his own, right before his due date, with no issues or problems, no less.  Grrrrrr.  At least December avoids the anniversary of Jennifer's death. 

And of course, an overdue baby means an even bigger baby for me.  The doctors seem to think that is simply not going to be an issue, but you know what?  I have big babies--even when people don't think the babies are big.  As one of the small minority who has pushed out a 10 1/2 pound baby, as well as two over-9-pounders, all with no pain medicine at all, I would just like to say I do not want to do that again.  Sigh.  The doctor said he didn't recommend even thinking about an induction now, since it's so obvious the baby isn't ready, and I have to completely agree.  This reminds me (again) of Grace's birth story, where she wasn't ready and it was not my favorite birthing experience.  And with her I was at least 3 cm dilated!  But she was very high, took forever to move down, and wasn't in a good position when she did, such that she had shoulder dystocia. 

This is also reminding me of Jonathan.  He was due mid-May--around the 18th, I think.  His birthday is June 2--my first induction.  He was also "very comfortable" in there, way up high, not moving down.   I never dreamed I would have a June baby when I was due in mid-May!  Those last 2 weeks were some of the most discouraging of my life, as I chased around 3 other little kids (Nathan, the oldest, was 5).

I know a lot more about birthing, and about optimal fetal positioning now, though.  I've read up on Spinning Babies about "oblique lying babies" (where the head is off to the side, in the hip), and I've been doing their suggestions.  Unfortunately, however, nothing is working, obviously.  I have learned even more though--it is such a  fascinating website!  For example, when I had Nathan, I stalled out at 9 cm.  I had a lip on one side which just wouldn't dilate.  Eventually (after Pitocin), the AF midwife had me lay on my back and push while she held my cervix out of the way.  I never had any urge to push, and the whole thing was incredibly difficult, but Nathan was born after about 2 hours of pushing.  Looking back, I am amazed that I avoided a c-section, and I am sure that if a doctor had been attending me, I probably would have gotten one.  Wow--that would have changed things!  Anyhow, I was reading on the site last night, and one part was talking about how to do a "side-lying release".  It said this move was indicated in labor when the uterus is contracting strongly, but progress stalls at 6, 7, or even 8 or 9 cm.  The uterus just can't bring the baby down evenly.  Huh!  In another place it even talked about how lying on your back and pushing, while uncomfortable, can get the baby to tip into the pelvis in a better way and avoid a c-section!  Who knew?!  The sad thing is that no one had any suggestions for me, other than pitocin--no changes of position, no "side-lying release move" or anything. 

I would say that most causes of labor that is slow to progress or even slow to start  are badly-positioned babies.  But that doesn't answer the question of why, if I know this and am trying these techniques, they are not working for me?!  Frustrating!  So now I have added weird positioning exercises to my twice daily routine of pregnancy exercise DVDs and forced marches around the neighborhood.  Whee!  The fun just keeps coming!  But not the baby . . . and I can't even eat cookies or chocolate to distract myself.  My next appointment is Tuesday at 1:20.  Although the doctor said, "Well, I'm sure you'll start progressing any day now", I am not so hopeful.  Unless something changes with the baby (and there's no indication that is going to happen), I doubt anything will change, even in a week. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Belly Shots

I have not actually taken any belly shots so far this pregnancy, so this afternoon, after church and before running off to our small group meeting, I asked Bob to document this pregnancy with a picture!
I'm carrying like all the others--a big basketball out in front.  Sometimes people tell me I look low, like I've dropped--but I've looked this way for awhile now, nothing new!  I just carry low.  And I look big, too.  The doctor was funny on Friday--I had told her I was expecting a 9 pound baby, since Caleb and Jonathan were both 9 pounds.  She felt around and said she didn't think this one was 9 pounds.  I'd be VERY surprised if he wasn't though (pleasantly surprised, LOL).  Maybe if I go into labor in the next day or 2--not if I wait another week and a half!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Yesterday was a very busy day!  I had an OB appointment in the morning.  Bob took the day off, so we drove to Bethesda for that.  The doctor was very nice.  She did check me, and not too much is going on.  I'm soft but only a cm dilated.  That's not too surprising, since I really haven't had too many contractions.  The doctor said the baby's head is not centered in my pelvis--it's off to the right, in a "false" pelvis.  That is not surprising either.  My babies like the right side, and I always have problems with the round ligaments on that side.  After I had Micah, the nurses kept exclaiming about how lopsided my uterus was when they were doing the fundal massage!  Anyhow, I wonder if this isn't a reason why I haven't been going into labor by myself these past several babies--they get comfortable in their off-center place, and then they never really push on the cervix enough to get regular contractions started.  Now, my cervix does end up dilating, but maybe it just does that out of habit, LOL.  I just don't go into labor.  I've been crawling around today, doing pelvic rocking and figure 8's, but I don't feel anything different like the baby shifting or anything, so that is discouraging.  And I reread my posts up to Grace's birth (May 1, 2007), and I was reminded about how I ended up being induced with her (due to the paranoid civilian doctor).  That was only a few days early--about 5--but she was not in a good position, and she took forever to descend.  Consequently it was a very long labor (9 hours--which is forever for a 6th baby!), and my uterus didn't clamp up right away after it.  Also, she had shoulder dystocia.  All in all, not my favorite labor experience, and one I don't care to repeat, so I guess it is better to wait for the week after Thanksgiving, with all its negative emotions, than try anything next week. 

I was very happy, however, that the doctor was able to get me an appointment next Wednesday.  I was so worried that this would be my last appointment before the week of my due date.  Hopefully I'll be a little more dilated next week, and they can at least strip my membranes.   So we'll see what these next few days bring.  I'm definitely at the point where I feel like I'll be pregnant forever, especially with not many Braxton-Hicks contractions either.  At least my parents are coming on Monday!  Hooray for Grandma and Grandpa!  Everyone is MOST excited to see them!

So anyhow, after the appointment, Bob and I drove to BD's Mongolian Grill, which is just down the street from the base.  Except that it isn't there anymore!  We always enjoy eating there, and we've gone right after being disharged with both Faith and Micah.  I guess we'll have to find a new tradition!  Yesterday we were starving, so we went a few doors down to Subway, which was tasty and cheap.  But not necessarily a place I would make a special trip to with a brand newborn baby, LOL.

Then Bob and I headed to Fort Meyer to make one last trip to the commissary.  I just went the end of October, so it really hasn't been very long, but I wanted to get a turkey and a ham for the time with my parents.  Plus, we can always use more cereal!  It's fun to go with Bob--stuff seems to jump into the cart, LOL.  The commissary was very crowded, though, which made it all the more tiring.

We got home, everyone helped unload, I cooked up 21 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken to use in casseroles and soups, and Bob made hotdogs for dinner.  THEN it was time for me to be off to Christine's house, where she was hosting a baby shower for me!  I hadn't been sure I really wanted one, but she insisted, and she told me to think of people that I just don't get to spend enough time talking with but that I really enjoy.  Well, that was easy enough, and there ended up being 9 of us there.  It was SO much fun!  I had a WONDERFUL time!  The food was delicious, the conversation was great, and it was just so very nice!  Those of you who couldn't make it, like Lynnea, Amy P., and Christine B., were sorely missed--you missed a great time!    We laughed our way through the evening, and I didn't get home until after 10:00!  And the ladies got me tons of diapers and even a frozen meal!

Funny story--I brought in all the gift bags and set them down in the family room.  Jonathan walked in.

Jonathan:  "Where did all these presents come from?"
Me:  "The baby shower--they're gifts for the new baby!"
Jonathan:  "Oh--the shower was for YOU?!"

LOL!  I guess he's used to me going off to all these baby showers at church and never imagined one would be for me!  So funny!

And that was the wonderful end to a long and tiring day!  I waddled off to bed, so thankful for the good friends I have here!  They are all such blessings to me!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I'm on break!  I'm on break!  Oh, happy day!   On Tuesday I taught my last biology, life science, and memory work classes until Jan. 8!  And today we had our last lab period!!

For biology I am giving the boys a bunch of assignments over this long break, since I don't want them to forget all their hard-earned knowledge.  They have some practice AP essay questions, some practice genetics and Hardy-Weinburg problems, 2 virtual labs to do on the computer, a mid-term exam, and several chapters to read in their biology book.  We are through the hardest sections, I think, so the challenge when we return will be to keep all the biochemistry/molecular biology stuff fresh in their minds with lots of review.  I do need to work on the syllabus for the remainder of the school year--that is the last thing hanging over my head.  There are a ton of chapters in the book that are not emphasized any more (the "march through the phyla" chapters), and I need to spend some more time figuring out what in there is important, and what can be safely skipped over. 

It is just such a nice feeling to be done, even if it is temporarily.  Like I can take a breath and look around! 

Now, the rest of Rivendell is not done.  We're off next week for Thanksgiving, but then there will be 3 more weeks of classes before Christmas.  The day will be shorter without the science and memory work classes, however, so that will be nice.  The elementary co-op is doing a fine arts unit those 3 weeks, which will culminate in a little Christmas musical on Dec. 11.  The kids have already been working on the songs and lines, so we have been faithfully listening to the CD each and every day.  Rivendell is going to meet on Monday that week so that the older boys can watch their younger siblings perform on Tuesday.  And then we'll all be off for Christmas! 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Another OB Appointment

I'm over 37 weeks along now, and I had another appointment this morning.  Everything looks just fine, and the doctor was very happy with my blood sugar numbers.  She did surprise me, however, by saying that well-controlled gestational diabetes is the same as not having diabetes at all, so they aren't planning to induce me or anything before 40 weeks (my official due date is Nov. 28).  This was a surprise, because with Faith, they did not want me to go past 40 weeks at all, even though everything was well-controlled then too.

It wouldn't really matter, except for a couple of things.  First, I have big babies.  I did not have GD with Caleb and Jonathan, and they were 9# 5oz and 9# 6oz respectively.  So I am expecting at least a 9 pounder here.  Anna and Grace were not GD babies, and they were 8# 11oz and 8#13 oz, and Faith, who was a GD baby, was 8# 10oz--right in line with the other girls' weights.  Anyhow, all those numbers to say I am not interested in going much over 40 weeks!

Second, my due date is just terrible timing, really.  You may not remember what I was posting about last year at the end of November/beginning of December, but I have personal reasons for not wanting to deliver Nov. 26-30.  So in my mind, I have been thinking of my due date as more "right after Thanksgiving", and not that in last week of November.  But really, with Thanksgiving there is no way to schedule anything except that last week of November, and I really don't want to go into December, for fear of having another big baby.  Nine pounders are one thing, but Micah was 10# 8oz--and I definitely do not fancy pushing out another one his size again!!

I have another appointment next Friday.  The doctor today said they would do an exam and see what things were looking like at that point, although I'm not seeing her next week, so really who knows what this next person will do, LOL.  Then I am going to attempt to schedule another appointment like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, although it is tricky to schedule one so soon, since I have to see a doctor, not a nurse-prationer or midwife, and appointments fill up quickly.  If I could, though, that woul give me one more exam (and hopefully a membrane-stripping), and if I was dilated, then maybe Bob and I would go into L&D sometime Thanksgiving weekend, like we did with Micah, and if they weren't busy, they would probably give me a little bit of pit and put me into active labor.  So we'll see how all that works out.

The thing is, I really don't have any hope of going into labor on my own, much less early.  I did go into labor on my own with Faith 2 days before the scheduled induction at 40 weeks (and we barely made it to the hospital), but otherwise, the last person I went into labor with on my own was Caleb, #3.  Jonathan, #4, was 2 weeks overdue before I was induced with him!   There are no tricks that put me into labor, LOL.  And my water NEVER breaks on its own!

So I am just continuing my routine and hoping for the best.  I'm still exercising twice a day most days, which takes a huge chunk of time and makes me really tired.  I do one of my pregnancy workout videos in the morning, and usually Bob and I take a 40 minute walk after dinner.  All the exercise does keep my blood sugar numbers low, I've only gained a pound of weight in the last 8 weeks since I was diagnosed, and I sleep well and don't struggle with constipation, LOL.  Silver lining . . .  I have a chiropractic appointment scheduled for next Wednesday--I want to be well-aligned so the baby can be in a good position.  I'm also taking my daily regimen of supplements.  I'm up to 4 evening primrose oil capsules a day (promotes cervical softening and dilation), 6 raspberry leaf extract capsules (uterine toning and effective contractions), 4 alfalfa pills (prevents hemorrhaging), and the usual prenatal vitamin and fish oil pills.  Hopefully the evening primrose oil in particular will be effective.

In general, I feel pretty good, although I am starting to feel these last few weeks of pregnancy.  But to be honest, I'm so busy with co-op and everything else, that it's not like I have time to sit and stew in my discomfort, LOL.  We have one more week of Rivendell before Thanksgiving break, so I just have to get through the  classes on Tuesday, plus lab on Thursday, and then I'll be home free!!  And this past weekend, we really picked up, in part because of the moms' meeting I hosted on Sunday, but also because Wednesday afternoon a lady from church, along with 2 helpers, thoroughly cleaned our house!  It looks sooo good--they did such a fantastic job!  Now I feel like I can really relax, since everything is so clean, although it will be a struggle to maintain it, with all these little (and big) messmakers around.  I also got out the baby boy clothes.  We're closer to being ready!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Allergy Appointment

As mentioned in my last post, Micah had an allergy appointment at Bethesda on Monday.  He definitely reacts to milk (hives around the mouth), and a few weeks ago (maybe back in September?) he ate a cashew that the girls left out and broke out in hives all over his mouth and trunk.  The milk reactions go away fairly quickly and without me needing to give him anything, unless it is actual real milk that he drank because unnamed parties forgot to take their cereal bowls off the table *cough*.  Then I give him a bit of liquid benedryl, and that reaction clears up right away too. I gave benedryl for the cashew, and the hives cleared right up.  He never had any sort of wheezing or anything, so that was good.  But at his last well-baby appointment, the doctor gave me a referral to the allergy clinic.  Anyway, we have been avoiding milk and nuts! 

The appointment was at 1:15, and I should have guessed how long it would take when we had to park on the 8th floor of the parking garage (the top floor), and there was only one elevator working!  I ended up carrying Micah and the stroller down all 8 flights of stairs, since I realized it was going to take approximately forever waiting for the elevator.  Actually, I didn't do it all by myself--I had a ton of offers from kind gentlemen to help, and one guy brought the stroller down a few flights (until I felt bad for him and told him I would just catch the elevator at floor 4--but that was taking forever, so I launched out again), and another guy carried it down the last 2.  Anyhow--a bad omen, LOL. 

One thing that took so long is that since Bethesda is a teaching hospital, we actually saw not 1, not 2, but 3 doctors!  They were all extremely nice, but it does add up!  They decided to do a skin test for casien (a milk protein), milk (with all the proteins), cashews, and peanuts.  I had been giving Micah peanut butter at the beginning of the summer, and he didn't seem to be reacting, but then as the summer wore on, he just got progressively itchier, and his eczema flared up.  I couldn't tell if this was related to the peanut butter or not, but I decided to go back to sun butter anyway.  But that's why they were testing for it.

Micah was a pro throught he testing, most likely due to him having a lollipop to suck on, LOL.  Nothing popped up like Caleb gets--humongous wheals almost instantly--but Micah definitely got wheals for the whole milk and the cashews.  Not the peanut one though, and not the casein, although that is pretty meaningless--we still have to avoid milk!  After we talked to all the doctors again about those results, they sent us off to have some blood drawn for a RAST test.  There they tested for other tree nuts, along with some other stuff.  Some ladies from the pediatrics clinic did the blood draw, and let me just say they were amazing!  Micah didn't like having the rubber tourniquet thing around his arm, but they got the vein on the first try, filled up 3 vials with no problems, and got out of there in a jiffy!  In fact, with both the skin test and the blood draw, Micah behaved considerably better than other members of the family who have had these same things done at older ages *cough*.  It was a 2 lollipop-bag of fruit snacks-bag of teddy grahams afternoon though, LOL. 

The second doctor said he'd call in 2-3 weeks, whenever he gets the blood results back.  I was just glad to get the appointment out of the way before the baby is born!

The only problem with the appointment taking so long is that Nathan was supposed to have his Spanish III class at 3:00 at the McC's house.  Whoops!  And I was in a place where I got no cell coverage, so although he tried to call several times, I could never actually talk to him, and I couldn't make any outgoing calls.  Eventually, when we moved to the blood draw room, I got a small signal and he was able to get through.  By then it was 3:10 (and I obviously hadn't even left yet, LOL), so I told him to call Christine and see if she could come get him.  As soon as I hung up with him, Christine called, wondering where he was, so she headed over to pick him up, thankfully.  I'm so glad we live close by!  The clock was broken in the exam room where we were, and I just lost track of time, as I doled out snack after snack and tried to keep Micah entertained, LOL.  When we finally could leave, the traffic was bad, so we didn't actually get home until 4:30--time to pick up Nathan!  Whew--that was a long day, especially with Rivendell the next day!  But we made it.  The appointment didn't give any real new information, but it is good to have everything documented.  I'm still hoping that since Micah doesn't have as violent a reaction to milk as Caleb did, that he will outgrow his milk allergy a lot earlier than Caleb--like at age 2 instead of age 9!  Anna outgrew her milk allergy at 2, so there is precedent.  In the meantime, I am back in the milk avoidance routine, sign.  It was a lovely 2 year break though!

Happy Birthday, Caleb!!

Well, I'm a little bit behind!  Caleb had his 11th birthday on Monday!  Mondays are really busy days for us, as we are doing last-minute things for Rivendell on Tuesday, but we managed to squeeze in some celebrating.  Caleb wanted chicken salad on croissants for his birthday lunch.  I got the croissants on Sunday from Sams, but I didn't get the chicken salad made up.  I had to leave at 12:00 to take Micah to Bethesda for an allergy appointment, so I made up the dressing but Caleb had to cut up the chicken, celery and grapes for his own birthday lunch.  Good thing he likes cooking!

Micha's appointment took forever, but finally it was done, I rushed home, then rushed over to the McC's house to pick up Nathan from his Spanish III class, and then rushed back home to make his birthdya dinner.  Caleb really loves this sausage roll, which is sausage mixed with some other things in a puff pastry sheet shell.  The recipe calls for one puff pastry sheet and 1/2 pound of sausage.  We are now up to quadrupling the recipe, LOL--4 puff pastry sheets and 2 pounds of sausage.  Finally we had a bit left over!

After dinner we ate ice cream and opened presents.  Caleb got a short-sleeve underarmor-type shirt, which he's been wanting, as well as an Avengers t-shirt.  He also got the new VeggieTale movie, The League of Incredible Vegetables, which everyone has enjoyed. He also got a little Star Wars lego set.

Now you notice I didn't say anything about cake.  I knew a cake was going to be hard--I didn't have any time, and besides, I have gestational diabetes and can't eat any of it anyway!  But Sunday night I hosted the moms from our elementary co-op at our house for a spaghetti dinner.  This meant we spent all of Saturday and most of Sunday afternoon furiously cleaning the main floor of our house, which had somehow gotten incredibly cluttered, if you can imagine.  We did stuff we usually don't do for Rivendell, like clean off the hearth, and move piles of books from the floor and various tables onto actual bookshelves.   Exhausting! 

For the actual dinner I made 2 crockpots of spaghetti sauce.  I didn't know how much we would need, especially since I was feeding my family as well.  We would have been okay with just one crockpot, but we would have had no leftovers (some of which I froze.  Yay!).  I made too many noodles, though.  We only needed 6 pounds, not 8.  The other moms, of which there were 22, brought salads, bread, drinks, and desserts.

We had a great meeting, but no one ate the desserts!  And the moms didn't want to take them home . . . so we were the beneficiaries of 2 plates of cookies, a lemon bundt cake, a pan of pumpkin spice bars with yummy cream cheese frosting, and a ton of cupcakes, covered with sprinkles!  Perfect!  So Caleb got cupcakes for his birthday, as well as a smorgasbord of of desserts to choose from, just for variety!  Nathan asked if we could have a moms' meeting the night before his birthday so that he would also have a huge selection of desserts at his disposal!  At Rivendell the next day I declared open season on all the desserts, so they were all gone by the end of the day, LOL. 

I still owe Caleb a birthday cake though.  I had told him he could decorate one himself however he wanted, although he still hadn't decided on what exactly he wanted his cake to be, so maybe it is just fine to postpone!  The important thing is that now Caleb is 11 years old!  Happy birthday, Caleb!!