Saturday, July 20, 2013

Our cat died today... and I'm so thankful!

     So thankful for my three beautiful and healthy children.  So thankful that we were dealing with a dead animal and not something so much worse.  I've had a lot of sadness on my heart this week first from learning about Cory Monteith's death, then reading about the little girl who died after being left in the back of her mom's car in Homewood (where  my sister Katie lives), the girls on the Asiana flight, the firefighters in AZ, I could keep going..... and now this.  So very thankful that this is the only "tragedy" that we are having to deal with.  Being a parent really puts things into perspective.  Five years ago I would've been completely devastated to lose a pet like this, but now I'm just sorta shrugging and thinking, "it was just a cat."
     But I will miss that cat.  I'll miss seeing her snuggle and rub against Blue Bell.  I'll miss how whenever I'd walk over to the church Blue Bell would sit at the edge of her boundary and wait on me, but Edy would follow me, wait at the church door until I returned, then follow me home. I'll miss watching her hunt frogs in the little drain next to our house and the little critters left on our front step. I'll miss her always sneaking inside the house and Drew yelling "the cat's inside again!  Where's my shotgun?" Or, "Get me a hatchet!"  The kids will miss her, too.  Evangeline's first word was "Edy."  This will likely be the only cat we'll ever have as a family (if Drew can help it!).  After trying to get pregnant for a year, I finally begged Drew to let me get a kitten, saying, "If I can't have a baby, at least let me have a kitty!"  We got Edy on a Friday and found out I was pregnant with Evangeline the following Wednesday.  Drew stubbornly teases that I tricked him and knew I was pregnant the whole time. The most remarkable thing about her was how well she got along with Blue Bell.  Blue Bell would hold her down and lick that kitten from head to toe and Edy just loved it. Katie was the one who suggested the name Edy because it went so well with Blue Bell (both ice cream brands for those slow on the uptake), so I decided that Edy's middle name would be named after Katie, Katharine. Edy's second favorite other than Blue Bell was me because I was the one who always fed her.  I'm glad that this morning when I let her out of the laundry room I picked her up and petted her sweetly before letting her out the door.
      I am really sorry that this happened to you, Edy. It scares me realizing how quickly something like this can happen and a life can be taken away.  But it also made me thankful for all of my blessings.

                                                 Rest in Peace, Edy Katharine Dabbs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

First trip to the ER

              And the winner goes to..... Trey!  If I had to bet, I would've said Trey would be my first to end up in the ER, and not just because he's a boy.  Though, he is a very adventurous and dare-devil of a little boy.  We had a hard time containing him tonight in the waiting room as he desperately climbed all over the chairs (with the hope of then jumping off I feel).
               I use to get kind of annoyed when people would look at me in public places and comment that I had "my hands full."  I even got some "hands full" comments this weekend when I was out with only Evangeline and Annabelle.  Today as I was going about my various household tasks and my kids were coming right behind me and undoing said household tasks I thought to myself, "I have my hands full!"
              For example, earlier today Evangeline was playing on the computer, Annabelle was in her bouncy seat on the counter, and Trey was hanging out trying to un-baby-proof some of my kitchen cabinets (something he's been quite successful at btw).  I go to help Evangeline with her game and turn around 30 seconds later and Trey is standing on a step stool at the stove stirring my pot of HOT soup!  Last week Evangeline fell into a hole (see previous post), yet it was doing something that we do almost every night that sent us to the ER: a bath!
                I saw the whole thing happen, but I'm still not 100% sure how he fell.  My best explanation is that he was quickly turning around and his leg slipped out from under him and he smacked his chin on the side of the tub. He wasn't standing up, but was kinda on his knees. As soon as I saw his chin, I knew he'd need an ER trip, and I was right.  This was not his first accident of the day, either.  He woke me up at 2:00 this morning crying for his paci.  When I flipped on the light I discovered he had a busted lip, and a pretty bad one at that!  Our theory is that he woke up, couldn't find his paci, and then ran into something in the dark trying to find it.  He may have fallen out of the bed, but we don't think so.
                He did pretty well getting his chin glued up.  By far the most traumatic event of the evening was when they gave him a sucker for doing a good job, and then had to take it away because it was dripping all over his chin.  :(  Poor guy.  They tried to switch his sucker for a dose of Bactrim, but it just wasn't the same at all!
                 Evangeline took a chunk out of her hair with a pair of scissors the day of the Connecticut shootings.  And now Trey busted his lip the day of this terrible tornado in Oklahoma.  It really does put things into perspective.  As we were sitting in the waiting room with my happy, lively, yet slightly injured little boy and watching the news coverage of the tornado I couldn't help but thank God that this is all I have to deal with.  I thought of all those other parents waiting in hospitals with their children or for word about what might have happened.  Sometimes something that seems bad, like a busted lip, can be a reminder of all we have to be thankful for.
                  Trey is sleeping peacefully with his paci, monkey blanket, and big bandaid.  What a blessing he is!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Through the Rabbit Hole

Had a very scary moment earlier, and I'm still not quite over it.  Evangeline fell through the floor vent in our hall closet!  We normally keep the closet locked for that very reason, but somehow it got left unlocked and when she stepped on the filter, she fell right through.  Hearing your child scream, "Help me! Help me, Mommy!" and not being able to help is horrible!  Fortunately, I was able to help her because the filter had bent and stopped her fall.  I was able to lean in and pull her out.  She was very dusty and scared, but otherwise unharmed. The first thing I did when she fell was to call Drew.  I said, "she fell down the vent!!!" and he says, "she who?"  She who?  What'd he think I dropped the baby down the vent?? The cat? (not that Drew would've cared).  The dog wouldn't have fit! The closet is now safely locked back up! I guess that's what I get for hiding the extra bath toys in that closet, which was the reason that she had decided to play in there.  It was supposed to be locked!!

I told Evangeline, as I was dusting her off, that she was like Alice falling through the rabbit hole.  Sadly, she's never seen Alice in Wonderland, so the comparison was lost on her.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Dance Recital

         Saturday was Evangeline's first dance recital.  I'm not gonna lie, I had been looking forward to this for months.  Years, really.  I took dance for 15 years from Mary Alpha and loved every minute of it.  I knew before I ever had a girl that dance was something that I wanted my daughters to have an opportunity to participate in.
          Evangeline has been taking all year from Ms. Amy.  I really wasn't sure what she was going to do because I never could get much out of her at home except for a few "p.a.'s"  I asked her one time if she played with her friends at dance and she said, "Ms. Amy says NO PLAYING," so I knew that they didn't "play."
           We geared up for the day by watching an old home video of me at my first dance recital.  I have to be honest, I was better in my first recital than she (but I was also an entire year older and only had to learn one dance, whereas she had two).
            I remember from my dancing days that there always seemed to be a kid on the end of the row who really didn't seem to know what they were doing.  That was kinda Evangeline.  But, she was the youngest in her class by far!  Most kids were four, and some were even five already.  She left the stage in not one-but BOTH- numbers!  The first time she exited my mom and I were both in the audience softly repeating, "get back on stage, Evangeline, get back on stage!"  The entire theater filled with 1,000 people got a good laugh out of her at least.  And, when the little girl next to her lost a shoe, what did Evangeline do?  She ran to go tell the teacher.  In the middle of the dance.  And everyone laughed, again.
           I got glimpses of my little girl's personality that I really liked during the whole recital experience.  She is not shy at all when it comes to talking to adults or even children her age.  She was BFFs with all the little girls in her class.  If they're all sitting together, Evangeline just crowds her way up in the middle of the group, something I would have never done as a child.
           She's also stubborn.  One little friend Evangeline talked about all year was "Remily."  Come to find out Remily's name is actually "Rivaly."  Rivaly's mom told me she overheard a conversation between the two of them that went something like this, Ev, "Your name is Remily."  Rivaly, "No, it's Riv-VA-ly, silly."  Ev, "NO, it's Remily!" Riv, "Rivaly," Ev, "REMILY."  You get the picture.  Evangeline did finally accept the fact that her name was in fact Rivaly, but interestingly never corrected Rivaly for calling her "Evangeleen."
             She loves her brother.  Right before she was to go on stage, she turned to me with a serious look and said, "Is Trey here?"  She wanted him to watch her dance!  He's the only person she specifically asked about.  Also, when she got a present, she wanted to know why Trey didn't have one.
             She's loving and generous.  She got her first ever medal and the moment she ran off stage she said, "Look, Mommy!  I got this for YOU!"  Melted my heart that she'd want me to have her special medal.
             All things considered, I was so proud of my special little dancer on Saturday.  She really was the cutest one on the whole stage, even if she didn't have the best moves!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Annabelle's Birth

Disclaimer: this is long and will probably bore most people.  But, I definitely don't want to forget it!   

          At the beginning of this pregnancy I knew one thing for sure: I wanted a second VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian).  Trey had been a VBAC, and the experience had been a very smooth one, other than a massive tear that caused a recovery nearly as painful as my c-section.  As we had moved since Trey was born, I was not going to be able to use the same Dr. or hospital as my other two births.  I decided to use a Midwife and after meeting her, learned she was extremely supportive of a VBAC attempt and never seemed to question that I would be able to have one.
            With Trey’s pregnancy, I was stressed a lot because my Dr. had originally told me that I had to go into labor on my own before 40 weeks for a VBAC to be possible.  I did not have a lot of confidence that this would happen.  I was induced with Evangeline at 40 weeks, 1 day and was sure I would have gone two weeks past if not for the induction.  My Dr. allowed me to be induced anyway at 40 weeks 1 day by breaking my water and giving me a low dose of pitocin, and four hours later he was born. 
            This pregnancy was a lot different from my first two.  At around 30 weeks, Annabelle started measuring small.  At 25 weeks she was measuring 26, at 28 she was measuring 28, and at 30 she was still measuring 28.  She remained two weeks behind until the last two weeks of my pregnancy, at which point she held steady at 33 weeks.  After an ultrasound concluded her growth was okay, my Midwife determined she was just in a different position.  Turns out the position she was in was LOW. (My unprofessional opinion is that she still was a little small anyway, given her eventual birth weight).
            At my 35 ½ week appointment I was already 1 cm dilated, still thick, and she was at a -1 station, which was pretty low for that early.  It was exciting because with Trey I was never anything and knew I needed to be something for an induction attempt. 
            The next week (36 ½ weeks) I was 1 ½ cm, 70 % effaced, and baby was at zero station.  Then, my Midwife said the words I wished I had never heard: “I think you’ll deliver in the next two weeks.”  I laughed and told her I didn’t believe her.  But, that was enough to absolute start driving me crazy.  Every night from that point on, I was on pins and needles wondering if I was in labor or not.  I was anxious, nervous, bored and didn’t feel like doing anything but going to the hospital and having a baby.  And I felt guilty for thinking that since it was still so early!  I was only 37 weeks, barely full term.  It was more than just her telling me that, though, that gave me the crazy thoughts.  I could tell something was up with my body.  Something I had never experienced before.  She also just felt really low, though it was never particularly painful. 
            Sunday night (Jan. 6th) at 36 weeks, 6 days I started having contractions in church.  Something about sitting down, especially in cars or church pews, always caused me to have contractions with all three pregnancies.  With Evangeline and Trey, they were simply Braxton Hicks.  These hurt somewhat!  They were coming so much that I even downloaded a contraction app during the middle of Drew’s lesson and started timing them.
            The contractions went away after I got up and started walking around.  I had a few more sporadically throughout the evening.  My strategy on figuring out whether or not I was in actual labor was to go to sleep and if I woke up the next morning, I probably hadn’t been in labor. 
            Monday I only had a few contractions, but Tuesday they started again: a few here or there all day.  Tuesday evening I had some almost consistent ones, but they faded away.  I had so much nervous energy I didn’t know what to do!  Tuesday started off wonderfully with a surprise baby shower at my Bible study, but by that afternoon I was going crazy!  I was in pain from contractions that weren’t consistent enough to do anything with and beginning to feel depressed and like I didn’t feel like doing anything.  One thing I did want to do was walk and I made a pledge to myself that I would walk every day until the baby was born.  I managed to walk Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and had every intention of going walking in the rain Thursday when I opened the door and heard the tornado siren going off and decided against it! When people would ask how I was doing I wanted so badly to tell them that I thought I was going to be having the baby soon, but then I felt so silly. What if I didn’t?  I do remembering saying that I was “ready” a whole lot to people.  It felt weird saying that even because I was still early.  And with the others I was definitely NOT feeling ready at 37 weeks!  I had made a plan with my Midwife that we would induce on the 25th, (Evangeline’s birthday!) mainly because that was a Friday and Friday felt like the perfect day to have a baby with my babysitting situation. 
            Wednesday was a lot better of a day than Tuesday because I stayed busy.  There’s nothing like a trip to Winn Dixie with two little ones to take your focus off of impending labor.  Plus, it was Drew’s birthday, and we enjoyed a family birthday lunch with Poppy at La Pinata.  I also decided it’d be nice to make cupcakes for the kids at church in honor of Drew’s birthday and barely managed to pull those off in time before running over and teaching choir and TeamKid.  Wednesday evening I had more of the same: painful contractions happening here and there.  Went to bed and woke up with no baby and no more contractions. 
            Thursday morning was a fun day at MOPS, and I was looking forward to my Dr.’s appointment that afternoon and hoping my Midwife would have something to say that would help my nerves.  I was 2 cm, 80 % effaced, and baby was now at +1 station.  I was also still measuring 33 weeks, which was 4 ½ weeks behind!  She offered to strip my membranes since I was so close to labor, and I let her.  I had always heard that that hurt really bad, but it didn’t hurt me at all, likely because of how much progress my cervix had already made.  I was not optimistic that it would do too much, though.  I had begun to prepare myself for another two weeks of pregnancy and was trying to get energized to make it through.
            Drew had told me that morning that he thought I would go into labor that day because there was a low pressure system coming through.  And, he was right (about both!).  Not sure if it was the storm or not, but I started having strong contractions around 4:00 that afternoon.  I would have a strong contraction then about three others every 8-10 minutes afterwards and then about a thirty minute break before another strong contraction.  This went on from 4-11.  Sometime around 11:30 I finally fell asleep and then woke up at 12:11 with a super strong contraction.  I had three more about 8 minutes apart, my same pattern so I thought.  Since they kept coming and I didn’t want to wake Drew up, I decided to change positions.  I walked around the house and had another.  Then I thought a bath would be nice.  In the tub they started coming about every 4-6 minutes.  Hmmmmm.  My original goal was to wait it out til morning (5 or 6) and then wake up Drew and call my mom.  Then I decided if I could make it to 3:00 before bothering anybody, that’d be really good.  I made it to 1:20 because as soon as I got out of the tub, they started coming every two minutes.  And they hurt A LOT. I was definitely having to breathe through them and focus on other things.  I stink at relaxing while my body is in pain! 
            I woke up Drew and told him I was having strong contractions every two minutes.  He said, “okay,” put his arm around me, and went back to sleep.  One minute later I had another contraction and it was that that woke him up enough to go ahead and take a shower and get ready.  I called my mom, though at this point I still wasn’t 100% certain I wanted to go to Labor and Delivery.  If they stopped, or decreased, I was gonna wait it out.  They kept on every 2 ½ to 3 minutes until we FINALLY left for the hospital at 2:00.  I was so thankful for my mom’s quick response and that she (nor Drew) never questioned me about if I was REALLY in labor.  My mom said she never doubted that it wasn’t the real thing, especially after she saw me pacing around the kitchen moaning.  It’s not a good thing to be dreaming of an epidural while you’re still at home and realizing it’s going to be a while before relief will come!  The only person doubting if I was actually in labor was myself.  Looking back on that I think “you had to be crazy to not know that was really labor!).
            I told Drew on the drive to the hospital (between contractions) that even if they said I wasn’t in labor they better give me something for the pain!  Also, if this wasn’t labor I didn’t think I could do it again and I just wanted to sign up for a c-section. 
            The question over whether or not I was really in labor was quickly answered as my water broke as I was literally walking through the doors of Labor and Delivery.  It was a relief to know that it wasn’t a false alarm and I would really be staying to have the baby.  I think that relief helped me to calm down and my contractions honestly weren’t as bad.  The worst part of my labor was the time spent pacing the floors of my house! 
            I asked for something, anything for the pain as soon as I could get it and just knowing meds were coming helped me, too.  My water breaking turned out to be a huge blessing because it was immediately apparent that I was, in fact, in labor and the nurses could then start an IV soon and request a dose of stadol for me, which I happily accepted.  I discovered that singing was a good coping method for the contractions and Drew and I sang selections from Mary Poppins in honor of Evangeline.  Our nurse even sang along some.  The singing helped with my breathing and also gave me something to focus on since I don’t know the words that well.
            The stadol cut the pain in half and made me fell super loopy.  I was very pleased with how quickly the anesthesiologist arrived to place my epidural.  I had briefly considered trying to labor with only stadol, but then decided I’d had enough pain.  Getting the epidural this time around was much more pleasant than with my other two (especially Trey) because the anesthesiologist was so calm.  Definitely won’t mind paying him his bill!  I think the stadol helped that experience, as well.
            When I was first admitted I was 4 cm.  The second time she checked me I was already 9 cm.  It took a while for me to make it to a 10, though.  I stayed at 9 ½ for about an hour.  It turns out that I still had a bag of water in front of her head that was preventing me from dilating the rest of the way.  The bag of water was a relief, because my nurse had originally felt her head and said she was bald.  The baldness turned out to be a water sack. 
            Even with the water intact, I still was able to push.  She came out super quickly (after about 5 minutes) and on the second to last push the rest of my water broke.  My initial thought was that my baby had exploded, but then I told myself babies don’t explode and I felt okay! 
            Annabelle Margaret Dabbs was born Friday, Januray 11th at 6:45 a.m. and is super tiny (5 lbs 13 oz and 18 ½ inches), but perfectly healthy!  She is so much smaller than my other two 8 pounders, but it’s fun having such a little one!  My mind is still blown by the fact that she was 2 ½ weeks early and I went into labor on my own and my water even broke on its own!  With each child’s birth I feel as though I’ve had a new life experience.  With Evangeline I first became a mother.  Trey gave me the experience of a vaginal birth that I thought I’d never have.  And, Annabelle gave me going into labor naturally.  I told Drew that if there’s a fourth, I don’t think I want to add the experience of a natural delivery.  I’m so very very thankful for a beautiful baby girl and delivery.  Other than running a fever Friday evening and having a pretty yucky night, my recovery has been wonderful!  No stitches at all, and I haven’t even had to have any pain medication!  God has been so good to us!  I wish I could’ve seen the end result during all this week of worry!  He definitely had things under control- I even got my wish for a Friday baby!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A (slightly) traumatic Christmas Eve

            This Christmas Eve will forever go down as the one in which Drew tried to set my parent's living room on fire.  Within about a minute of opening a sweatshirt from my parents, the sweatshirt was a blaze as he had set it on a candle.  Yikes!  Definitely sounds more like something I would've done than Drew, who, like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every way.  He's very observant and rarely careless.  Saturday I lost my keys for two hours and they were discovered on top of my mom's car that she had been driving ALL OVER TOWN!  That, for example, is not something Drew would ever do.  In fairness to him, he was trying to hold on to a 19  month old who was singing the Wonder Pets theme at the top of his lungs while playing with his new Wonder Pets steering wheel, fending off the big sister who kept snatching it away, and also opening a present.  I, for one, can certainly understand how you might become distracted while dealing with two young, wiggly, loud children.  Happens to me daily.  Besides, Drew would like me to point out, that this is the first time he can ever recall my mom lighting candles and placing them on that table.  Probably will be the last year she ever does, too.  :)  I was busy videotaping (though, sadly, set the camera down shortly before discovering the fire).  Drew feels really bad about burning the shirt, but it could've been worse.  He could've burned the crocs that he really likes, one of the kids' toys, his own shirt, a cat, etc.  The fire was put out quickly, but still will remain A Christmas Story moment for us. 
             Speaking of A Christmas Story, Evangeline caught about a thirty second glimpse of it tonight and it just happened to be the scene where the little boy gets his tongue stuck to a pole.  I walked in the living room as she was jumping up and down and screaming to my dad, "Scary! Scary!  No! No!  Turn it off!"  Of course, dad couldn't get the remote to work immediately, so she continued to scream.  When he finally did get the channel changed it was to wrestling.  Probably not much better.  She was effectively traumatized by the whole event and kept periodically crying throughout the rest of the night, worrying that her tongue, or Trey's tongue, might get stuck on something.  We are trying to use the experience as a hygiene lesson: "This is why you don't lick things, honey."  I feel confident that she will be keeping her tongue to herself for a while! 
                Now our babies are snuggled up in their beds, waiting for Santa to stop by.  We read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Matthew tonight and it made me really, really thankful for Luke.  Can you imagine what our Christmas traditions would be like with only Matthew?  Mark and John have nothing to work with as it is.  Would we even know how they got to Bethlehem, and why? 
                 Thankful for the opportunity to celebrate Christ's birth with my family today and tomorrow, and praying that the weather won't be that terrible!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Funny Times at Christmas

                  Evangeline's Christmas list is growing.  For the longest time she has only asked for three things from Santa: a baby doll, diaper for her baby, and a candy cane.  We splurged and bought her a box of candy canes.  This past week she added a purple sweater.  I guess she really liked the purple sweater Audrey was wearing a few weeks ago.  She's also added strawberry drink, purple gum, and tonight, vegetables.  Huh?  Drew asked her what kind of vegetables she wanted.  Broccoli?  No, that's not a vegetable.  I don't like that.  Carrots?  No, don't like those.  Squash?  Not a vegetable.  Okay then, what kind of vegetables do you want?  Vegetables like turkey.  Alrighty.  We explained to her that, first of all, turkey was not a vegetable, and second she only told Santa about three other things so that's all he knows to bring her.  She seemed satisfied with that response.
                    Trey's three things are an LOL Elmo, a talking Chuck the Truck, and another box of candy canes (Diego ones!).  He'd be perfectly satisfied with a toothbrush, I'm pretty sure.  Trey loves to brush his teeth, but hates putting the toothbrush back down.  So, I just let him tote it around until he forgets about it.  Well, that strategy caused us to lose his Diego brush the other day, so he's been using an extra one that Evangeline hadn' t used yet.  This morning he was wondering around with that brush and then suddenly had both brushes.  Don't know where the Diego one had been hiding.  A few minutes later, he came to me very distressed and said, "Mama I stuck!!!"  I asked him how was he stuck and to show me.  Next thing I knew he joined me in the kitchen holding the floor vent cover from our bedroom in which both his toothbrushes were now stuck.  "Stuck!"  Yep, they were stuck!  I unstuck them and, for the record, we didn't brush his teeth tonight because both his toothbrushes are in desperate need of sanitization. 
                     Evangeline informed me tonight that HER toothbrush needed batteries.  Apparently hers doesn't "work," like her cousin Avonlea's works. 
                     We enjoyed a very nice Christmas Eve Eve looking at Christmas lights and then picking up take-out and bringing it home for a relaxing meal.  I loved listening to the kids sing Christmas songs.  Trey's favorite is "Bingle Bells" and tonight he sang "Bingle Bell Bock" for us.  Super cute.  He also sang the second verse of Away in a Manger for Drew at bedtime.  I am amazed at how much he speaks and sings! 
                       Looking forward to more wonderful, and funny, Christmas memories the next few days!