Dec 29, 2008

The best Christmas present . . .

What's in the bag?
A Christmas present for me!

I took a couple . . .
Then I gave one to my son . . .

and my daughter . . .
and my brother-in-law . . .
I don't believe a word they are saying. My daughter doesn't care. Her crazy pill is still working. I need another one.
Looks like the hubby found a couple . . .
Uh, oh . . . someone dropped one on the floor. . .

and the dog ate it . . .

My brother-in-law is showing me how many he took when I wasn't looking . . .I hope I get more next Christmas . . . because it just won't be the same if I don't.

It truly was "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" for all in my family. . . how about yours?

Dec 13, 2008

Happy Holidays . . .

This is our Christmas Tree this year. My kids decorated it for me. My daughter lovingly placed each and every ornament carefully on the tree. My son threw the ornaments at the tree and hoped they landed on a branch. A few didn't make it. He's getting coal for Christmas. I'm throwing it at him.
This is my Christmas china.
Does anyone know where the rest of it is?
This is a gratuitous picture.

Here's another one.

This arrangement is on my mantle. My sister made that for me. Don't tell her I added that giant green leaf in the background. She told me not to touch it. I saw her looking at it today when she came over. I wonder if she was asking herself where that giant green leaf came from.

This is our sitting room.
Most people prefer to stand in it.
I should probably buy some more chairs.

Those branches came from a tree in our front yard. They were free.
All the stuff on it was not. It's important that you know that. It is not important for my husband to know that. I hope he stopped reading my blog a few pictures ago.

This display is in the foyer. The branches sticking out of the flower arrangement look like antlers to me.
Can you tell what my favorite color is?

This is my favorite Christmas book. It tells the story of my family.
This is "Ernie the Elf". When my kids were little I used to entertain them with this stuffed doll. Ernie was Santa's helper. Every Christmas he would appear just after Thanksgiving to keep an eye on my kids and report his findings to Santa. Ernie did his best work when no one was looking. You never knew what you might find him or where he might be.
Ernie would show up in strange places around the house. Sometimes hiding in the kid's beds. Sometimes in Samantha's (my daughter's American Girl Doll) doll bed wearing her nightgown with an arm casually placed around Samantha's shoulder. Sometimes hanging from the chandelier. Sometimes in the car. Sometimes on the stairs. He was always hanging around doing funny things. During the Twelve Days of Christmas he would have a present for the kid's each day. I'm not sure who had more fun with the "Christmas Adventures with Ernie". I'd say it was pretty equal.
Ernie always left on Christmas Eve to go get the kids presents and help Santa deliver them. On Christmas morning he'd be under the tree waiting for them with all their presents and a letter from Santa.
to be continued. . .
in the meantime. . .Happy Holidays to all . . .

Dec 3, 2008

Oh, Baby . . .

My first kid weighed more than me when he was born. He was the biggest baby for the month he was born at the hospital. He was born on the hottest day of the year. He was born with a streak of blond hair that has never gone away. The nurses called him a punk baby. I thought they said, "Skunk Baby". That would have worked too.

After him, it took me 6 long years to get the nerve up to have another kid.

Let me tell you why.

When I was pregnant with my son I was in my final semester of college. The hubby and I married 2 months after graduation and the kid came 2 months after that. We did things a little bit backwards, but it worked out for us. What didn't work out so well was the fact that I came from a conservative Catholic family and was attending a very conservative Jesuit University. I had to hide my pregnancy until I couldn't hide it anymore at school. I also hid it from my parents until I couldn't hide it anymore. I was about 5 months along when I told them. The one thing I did right was get medical care immediately after I knew I was pregnant. Unfortunately I picked the devil of a doctor who was a parent of someone I went to high school with. He was another really conservative Catholic who lectured me every time I went for an ob visit on the evils of being pregnant and unmarried, and badgered me about when I was getting married. When I did get married, he told me it wouldn't last. It did. And we are happy.

The kid was two weeks late. The Dr. told me to come in the next day and he would have my labor induced. I told him I would go into labor before then. He told me I was wrong. I wasn't. I went into labor right after the Movie of the Week finished. I told my husband that I wanted to see the end of the movie and then I could go into labor. It was a Princess Diana and Prince Charles movie. I had to see how it ended. My first labor pain was when the movie ended. I looked at my husband in terror and said I had been kidding, I didn't really want to go into labor. In fact I didn't really think I wanted to actually have the baby ever. I just wanted to be pregnant forever. I was terrified of the impending pain. The inevitable pain. The certain pain.

I struggled up the staircase like I was climbing Mount Whitney and headed straight for the shower. I needed to shave my legs, or at least try to. I also wanted to get pretty for my kid and for the delivery. I had no idea what I was really in for. I had a few more pains in the shower and then a few more while I ironed my dress and dried my hair and put on make-up. I called the doctor and he told me I was probably wasting my time and his by coming in. He thought it was false labor pains. I was pretty sure it wasn't. Each progressive pain made me double over like a pretzel. We stopped and picked up my mom along the way.

We made it to the hospital and walked into admitting. The nurse at the station told us we had walked through the incorrect entrance and was unsure what to do. I told her I would moonwalk next time but for now I was staying put. She told me I needed to enter by wheelchair. I told her if I could deliver the kid myself I would, but could she put aside her OCD about me coming in the out door and take us to labor and delivery. She pulled a wheelchair out of her back pocket and shoved it under my legs and next thing I knew I was in a hospital gown and had been violated with a few procedures that are no longer performed on expectant mothers anymore. I think they are illegal now thanks to "Mother's Against Enema's".

The doctor came by and checked me. I was in labor. I asked for part of his salary since I could have told him that without the cavity search. He told me I had nice hips for birthing a baby. I told him he had good hands for catching one. Then my nurse showed up. It was a man. The first male labor and delivery nurse in the hospital and he was going to coach me through labor. I remember how he kept telling me he knew how I felt. He didn't but he was one of the nicest nurses and he really tried to help me through my labor when he wasn't watching Moby Dick with my husband at 2 in the morning and discussing what a great classic it was. Moby Dick was lying in a hospital bed right in front of them, writhing in pain, trying to birth a baby bigger than his father. The classic version had nothing on me.

My labor progressed nicely, or so they told me. I was too busy wondering if I was part of an exorcism for my sins. The doctor refused to give me any pain medication. My incredible birthing hips would take care of everything in his eyes. He told me I didn't need it. He told me a 15 year old had just delivered her first child without a sound. I told him to give her a prize and to give me some drugs. He left to catch the end of Moby Dick. My nurse followed him. My husband went across the street to get some coffee with my mom. I wanted him awake for the delivery. While he was across the street my labored did progress nicely. The kid was ready to make his entrance. Fast. I asked the nurse if he could just walk out on his own since they all told me I was having a big baby. The husband made it in time and I was wheeled to the delivery room. Fortunately Moby Dick was still on and my doctor couldn't tear himself away from the riveting plot so another doctor was called in to deliver the kid.

Halfway through pushing Goliath out, I told the doctor that I thought my hips were exploding. I swear I heard a crunching sound. He told me I was fine. I told him I wasn't. I told him I didn't think I could continue. I politely asked him if I could go home now. He started a countdown and told me I needed to push as hard as I could. I asked for a volunteer to take over. I begged for a replacement. I pleaded. I whined. I felt another pain coming and pushed. Then I whined some more. Begged for an end. Pleaded for relief and felt another overwhelming pain and pushed again. The kid arrived. It was a boy. A big boy. It took 3 people to carry him to his bassinet. My husband questioned his paternity. He said he looked like an angry hamster. I thought he was beautiful. I still do. I forgot the pain. I forgot the hours of labor. I forgot everything except the miracle of my beautiful child. My son. Our son.

6 years later, after I was convinced by a wonderful doctor that I didn't have to experience pain and suffering to have a baby I had a beautiful daughter. It was a completely different experience. It was easy. It was relatively pain free.

It was worth it. Different stories. Different beginnings. Different in every way except one.

I love them both more than life itself.