Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Elijah!

This is a repost from last year's birthday post for my son Elijah. He turns 3 tomorrow and the story below is the story of his birth. It's not gross, don't worry.

Painfully waddling down the hot city sidewalk I finally reach my destination and entered the airconditioned Dr.’s office. My abdomen is swollen with my son, my first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

I’m still a little sad that people were staring at me while passing by. I supposed they just wondered if maybe I was carrying multiples, which is becoming more and more common. I'm bigger than any person I've ever known carrying one baby, my whole stomach shakes when Elijah moves.

I’m weighed by the nurse, she smiles and pinches me. I’ve gained 2 pounds in one week.

The Dr. checks me, grimaces. 2 cm dilated. I’m only 36 weeks.
I worry, my face flushes and I glance at Jeremiah beside me. He’s calm, unworried…

The day before I had an ultrasound. Today the Dr. is telling us our son is already 8 pounds, but it’s most probable that his lungs have not developed. The Dr. wants me to keep my feet up and rest as much as possible.
We make a date for induction. Sept. 25th. 38 weeks gestation..

At 26 weeks I woke up early in the morning with contractions. We went to the hospital and the nurses could not stop the labor. Finally after hours, medications and threats of life-flighting us to childrens hospital my labor stopped. All was well.

Things go smoothly for the next few weeks after the Dr.’s 36 week visit. I rest, the girls are anxious and want me to play. I’m tired of being pregnant, of not being able to lift anything or play with my daughters. I’m tired of people staring at me.

I want to meet my son, my first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

Jeremiah is anxious, but sweet. He loves us and shows it everyday.

The night before the scheduled induction we take the girls to my mom’s house, visit, then tuck them into bed and head home. I get into my P.J.’s , Jeremiah tucks me in (because I insisted and he couldn’t say no) and then the contractions start.
They started low like menstrual cramps and then spread in warm circles across my abdomen. My whole body started to react. I felt flushed, nauseous, then full of frenetic energy and finally as the contraction ended, surprisingly calm. I had pre term labor many times and assumed (for some odd reason) that’s what was happening.

Jeremiah became amazingly excited when I called for him from across our home and told him about the contractions.
Practically bouncing off the walls, he told me, “This is it, Baby! I can just tell.”
I got into the shower and after a few minutes smugly told him that the contractions had stopped. I guess regardless of my physical status, I always have to be right.
He waited for me and handed me a towel as I got out of the shower…and the contractions began again.

We got ready and went right up to the hospital. The nurse checked me and confirmed that we were indeed in labor. I was 4 cm dilated. Then she asked me if I wanted an epidural.

I looked at Jeremiah and he said, “Whatever you want, Baby.”. And for some odd reason I said yes. I’m not against epidurals and had even had one after laboring 12 hours with Maxine (it went on to last 26 hours total)…but I’ve never been a fan either and had been assuming I would not have one.

The Dr. came in, did the epidural and then Jeremiah and I spent the next five hours watching t.v., talking, relaxing and drifting in and out of sleep. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than with Jeremiah, as long as he’s in the room with me I’m good and good we were.
The lights were low, just us and the occasional nurse. I was in labor, but it seemed like a surreal blur. A picture in time playing back slowly and smudged with cloudy marks…

Any calmness was abruptly ended around 3:30am. I was on my side and all of the sudden felt like the baby was coming out. I asked Jeremiah to look and he didn’t see anything. He went and got the nurse and the Dr. (who was just about to come into the room and check me). They rolled me over and Elijah just started coming out. I was scared, afraid because of the urgency of it all.
No stirrups, no set up, no ‘tools’…the Dr. was just putting on gloves as Elijah’s whole head was out. It was messy and I was sitting upright and could see everything.

Jeremiah was flushed and I could tell he was worried too.

The Dr. was laughing when he told me to give a little push.

Elijah was born on the sheets in front of me, close enough to touch and caress at 3:55am, September 25th, 2007. The nurse and the Dr. were loudly giggling and talking about how big he was.

To me he looked tiny.

And blue.

Despite the lack of concern from the Dr. and the nurses, Jeremiah and I panicked a wee bit. We kept asking if he was okay, looking anxiously at the nurse suctioning his mouth.

He was fine. More than fine, he was 10 pounds 14 ounces. 20 inches long. He had dark brown hair and those classic dark blue newborn eyes. He looked at me briefly the first time I held him and anxiously nursed with no problem for a few moments before the nurses took him away to clean him up.

Elijah Christopher. My first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dead Chipmunk Revelations

The other day my momma and I were cleaning (i.e. throwing out and donating tons and tons of stuff) my house. We have a habit in my family of doing a very thorough 'fall cleaning' instead of spring cleaning to get ready for the colder winter months. It's horrible being cramped in a messy, cluttered house with four children all winter long.

We were taking things out to her minivan and the curb when we came upon the corpse of a freshly deceased and very much intact chipmunk lying about three feet from the curb in front of my house. The chipmunk was splayed out on it's fluffy stomach and all it's adorable limbs were spread out around it in an almost comical, but still very poignantly sad fashion.

About an inch away from it's tiny outstretched right paw was a peanut, still in it's shell.

The many possible death scenarios are all perfect for an after school chipmunk special extolling the dangers of abusing nuts and running in the busy streets amuck.

My momma and I argued about what we were going to do with the sweet 'munk for a few minutes before getting busy with our current tasks and promptly forgetting all about our deceased rodent friend.

Later that day I looked out the window to see if the bus was coming around the corner (it passes our block to go around to the next street down first, giving me time to run out and watch the two older girls walk home from the bus stop) and I noticed that the chipmunk was no longer on the street. I walked out to investigate and couldn't find a trace of it or the nut anywhere. Figuring someone must have cleaned it up, I went on about my business again.

About an hour after this I looked out again to spy a small squirrel sitting on the curb, directly in front of where the dead chipmunk had been lying.

It was just sitting there, staring out into the road.

I immediately began to have thoughts of the two rodents being friends in life, perhaps an inter-species couple...maybe even a sad Romeo and Juliet type scenario with the chipmunk taking it's own life out of frustration for not being allowed to love his dear squirrel companion. Or even better yet! A angry jealous squirrel lothario had murdered the chipmunk in broad daylight in a fit of rage!

Ahhh, young rodent love. (You're probably doubting me and my reference to chipmunks and squirrels as rodents. Yes, I looked up to make sure that squirrels and chipmunks are in fact, part of the rodent family. You learn something new every day.)

Weirder still, the next day another squirrel (or perhaps the same one!) was sitting on the curb again. Same spot.

I am now certain that this is the place where they meet their nut-dealer for illegal nut transactions. Something must have gone terribly wrong for our dead chip, he may have even gotten greedy or messed with the wrong nut-thug

Go ahead, look up rodent nut abuse. It's prevalent in suburban areas like ours. Horrible stuff, really.

I googled 'chipmunks doing drugs' to get this photo. Yes. I. Did.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Lessons with My Momma

Yesterday was my Mom 40-something-ish birthday. I'm not being smart trying to hide her age like she's bothered by being old, I just don't know how old she is. Older than 46, younger than 50.

Today's post is going to be a homage to her, of sorts.


  • Scott toilet paper is the only toilet paper you should ever buy.
Every once in a while I stray from the preferred brand, looking for something softer, a better sale. But those brands never last as long and always clog up the toilet. Oh momma, you are wise.

  • Don't talk about bombs in the airport.
This piece of advice was left for me on a piece of paper positioned strategically so it would be the first thing I saw upon opening my carry-on before one of my trans-atlantic flights. This was before 9/11 but after the bombing of several airports in France and Germany. After reading this it took all of my might not to talk about bombs in the airport. I did, however, show everybody that note. And we all thought about bombs and my mom for the rest of the morning, I'm sure.

  • Make your bed every morning, it's a good start for your day.
Organization of the mind and of your surroundings is very important to my mom. Starting your day by straightening up the place you spent all night making a mess of is an excellent way to start your day on the right foot.

  • Shower at night, then sleep-in in the morning.
I don't sleep-in anymore, but I always shower at night (when I actually shower at all...). I feel like it cleanses your body from the yuckiness of the day and you're all clean when you get in your jammies. When I was a teenager, however, I slept in until 8 minutes before my bus would come, get up, brush my teeth, grab my bag and run out the door. I didn't eat breakfast until I was in college. If I hadn't showered at night then, I would have never showered.

  • Do as I say, not as I do.
My parents have made mistakes in their lives and I'm sure they'll continue to do so, just like all of us do as human beings. My mom wanted us to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.

She also didn't want us to swear. Which she did, fairly often. My mom has a dirty mouth.

  • Think about what you're going to say before you say it.
There are soooo many times I wish I would have listened to this piece of advice more often. I can't even begin to count how many times she told me this while I was growing up. I had a big dumb mouth and got myself and others into a lot of trouble with it. I lost friends, hurt feelings, took advantage of others. I work really hard now at giving all of my thoughts and spontaneous actions a hard once over before I act on them. Being a more thoughtful person is something I really aspire to.

  • Breastfeed your baby, no matter how hard it is.
My mom had five children and nursed four of us. My brother Joshua was born at 26 weeks gestation, before she had produced enough milk for him. She gets teary eyed just talking about her inability to nurse him. When I had problems nursing Rosey, my first child, she told me to stick to it and I did. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done and one of my greatest accomplishments so far in my life. I was able to give my babies all of their food, helped them grow and excel right from my own body. And that brings me to my last piece of advice via my mom:

  • If it's not at least a little bit hard, it's not worth doing.
My mom spoiled us rotten, so this very important lesson didn't really make sense until I was a parent and homemaker. Easy tasks come and go and usually don't teach you a lesson or have any lasting value. Breastfeeding, learning to be a better mother to my children, partner to Jeremiah and daughter to my parents have been my hardest life lessons so far. And as my mom would say, "Some things just suck, so get it done and you won't have to do it again for awhile."

Things that my mother taught me that are not true:

  • Tom Cruise is hot.
  • Patrick Swayze is hot.
  • The Other Sister, Radio and I Am Sam are the best movies of all time.
  • My pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are gross.
  • It's smart to vote straight ticket Democrat (or straight ticket anything for that matter).
  • It's ok to be a fair weather Steeler fan. (We should all bleed Black and Gold all season long!)
  • Lifetime movies are awesome.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Smooth Sailing and Saling

The kids' first whole week of school has come and gone. They're already not perfectly groomed or up and rearing to go each morning before they leave for the bus stop, but that's ok. I'm slowly starting to cope with Maxine Jane's daily absence, Olivia has so far not annoyed any teacher enough to warrant a phone call home (the last two years have featured one phone call and one note home within the first month of school beginning) and Rosey hasn't over-analyzed her homework to the point of breaking down in tears, yet.

I have already started working on Christmas orders and my new job at Crochet Spot is keeping me pretty busy. Angela at Eat Here has ordered a bulk order of Boxer hats (see her lovely husband rocking their previously custom order hat here). And here are some other things I've been working on:

This shawl (worn here wrapped around like a cowl) is available in hypoallergenic acrylic yarn for $40 and luxury merino wool for $70. The shawl in the photograph is available for sale (and quick shipment) for $45 and is made of the merino wool.

This cowl is so warm and chunky. I can't wait to make one for myself in raspberry or some funky ass yellow! It's available in hypoallergenic acrylic yarn for $30 and luxury merino wool for $50.

This cabled headband is made of a cotton/linen/silk mix yarn and can also be worn as an earwarmer! It's $25 and available in an awesome array of colors.

These washcloths are made of 100% organic cotton and are completely all natural. They come in sets of 5 for $20, but can also be purchased in bulk at a discount.

Remember all of these items can be ordered in any color! This goes for the star washcloths as well, if they are ordered in a color I will use organic cotton that has been naturally dyed. Contact me at with any requests, questions or ordering info. I'm a prompt responder!

Don't forget to check out this SALE if you're interested in ordering for this holiday at a discount!