Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Posing With The Bunny

Either I'm a bad mother or I haven't scanned all of my photographs because I cannot find one of Ian with the Easter Bunny.  Actually I only have these three so maybe there are others in the photo box.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dying The Eggs

For those of you plodding along with little kids who need your help every step of the way, here is the light at the end of the tunnel.  One day your children will be able to read the directions on the Pas box and make their own egg dye.  They will be able to command the entire kitchen, leaving you to man the camera (and three eggs for you to color - hello, I never grew up).  

This was four years ago and the last picture is totally worth a post on PhotoBomb, don't you think?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An All Star!

This was Ian's third year playing floor hockey.  I'm really happy he took to this sport, he has grown so much as a result of it. 

His first year he thoroughly sucked and unfortunately his coach didn't do much teaching - most of the other kids had been playing for several years and were seasoned players not needing much instruction.  Last year he went into the draft and landed on a different team with a coach totally dedicated to teaching the game and what a difference.  Ian scored the "Most Improved" award.  That pumped him up to stay with the sport and his confidence sky rocketed.  Since most of the kids on this team were younger than him, Ian moved up to the next division and was recommended to join yet a different team.  Again, he's landed a coach dedicated to teaching and inspiring and having fun.  He moves the kids around to different positions.  He also selected the newest members to be on the All Star team, including Ian!

Since this team was the youngest of the division they were SMEARED, losing every game.  That said, these kids LOVE  playing that losing really didn't matter.  They played hard all the way up to the final buzzer. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sewing With Kids

All three of my kids have had at least a few rounds with my sewing machine.  They have all attempted a thread and needle and I even taught them the basics of embroidery.  The bottom line is kids are interested in what you're doing, they want to learn.  Granted playing with mom in the sewing room didn't spark any talent, but they aren't foreigners to it either.  Dabbling side by side with my own mother was enough that when quilting fever struck me I wasn't intimidated to sit down at the sewing machine.  I'm still not a great seamstress, but I found a hobby I enjoy.

Ian wanted his own quilt.  He accompanied me to the fabric store (I find it odd that all three are EXCITED when I announce I'm going to the fabric store and BEG to tag along.  They want to voice their opinions on my fabric selections and meander through the other craft projects offered in the store.)  So Ian picked out his colors - red, black and orange.  Then he spotted a dark blue fabric with Chinese writing.

When we got home I showed him how to measure out and cut 4" squares and then to stitch them together.  The squares were wonky and the seams wildly uneven.  He lost interest about half way through, frustrated with the unevenness of the project.  He tossed it up as a failed project and sulked off.  I ripped apart only one or two sets and then finished it up for him.  Yeah, I should have let him finish it but the despair was too great.  He was certain this was a failure, I wanted to prove him wrong.

For the backing I selected sweatshirt material someone had given me several years ago.  I didn't use any batting as the jersey fabric was sufficient.

He has finally outgrown the quilt as far as length, but it still gets pulled out for his bedding and he tries pretty hard to curl up under it.  While I may have finished the project, this is his, he made it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rare Moments

Siblings fight.  If they don't then I need to know what you're putting in their Koolaid, because everyone I know has had a showdown or twenty thousand with their sibs.  So when you catch them being nice to each other, cooperating, you either need to worry because they're up to something or grab a camera because it's not going to last very long.
This lasted about ten minutes before one taunted the other and honestly I don't know who started it and if I speculate here I'll be accused of favoritism toward the other.  Sometimes the only answer is to close the door, walk away and let them fend for themselves.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taming The Toddler

Toddlers = tantrums

We're led to believe it starts at two, but really it starts much earlier.  We just overlook it or mistake it for something else.  By two, when they're able to really verbalize wants and needs, then we get it and understand they're just being assholes.

I was just over at Motherhood Uncensored and the poor thing is dealing with a tempermental 18 month old.  My deepest sympathies.  Truly. 

On the morning of Amanda's 2nd birthday she woke up in a bad mood and stayed that way for a year.  My happy, jubilant, carefree baby turned into a raging bitch.  She screamed, cried, pouted, fought, hit, bit, ran wild and was basically horrible.  That's not to say she didn't have her bad moods before turning two, oh no, she definitely did, I just didn't understand that it was foreshadowing for things to come.

Keith was moody to start off with, probably because he had a screaming, bossy, big sister always taking his toys away.  It didn't help that his mom was worn out and just couldn't cuddle him like he wanted (the child was a serious cuddler).

Ian was a cranky, crying, puking newborn that by the time he turned two he was pretty much done with the screaming and transformed into a running heathen.

Sooooooo.... how do you cope?  How do you tame the raging monster living inside your beautiful child?

My first piece of advice is think long and hard about when and why tantrums erupt with your child.  Is there a pattern?  Is there anything you can do to circumvent the meltdown before it starts?   You can't make these observations and come up with strategies in the midst of a tantrum, you have to be armed going in.  What is in your arsenal?

Grandmothers everywhere are tsk-tsking and will tell you the child is just tired.  BAH HUM BUG!

Or maybe they're right?  Of course tossing your child into a bed the moment the hissy starts is bad because you're setting yourself up for a bigger bedtime battle.  But maybe it's time to re-evaluate the sleep needs of your little monster?

You should also look at yourself.  What's going on with you?  Are there some things that don't usually get to you except after work?  Or during shopping excursions?  Or when your spouse is working late?  Basically, is it really YOU that is the asshole in this equation?  I'm not pointing fingers because this was a huge aha moment in my own life.  It was ME being the unreasonable bitch, especially in the mornings as I was trying to rush everyone out the door.  I made a few simple adjustments to my morning routine and suddenly my blood pressure dropped and my kids stopped whining and crying and fussing and fighting (for the most part).

This was my comment on Motherhood Uncensored:
I swore my older two were tag teaming me. As soon as one ran out of new tricks the other stepped in. You have to stay on your toes, pull in other adults and stay creative. Yes, pick your battles, but sometimes what to pick isn't crystal clear.
Kids are screaming? Scream louder, mimic their tantrum. The WTF look on their face is totally worth it and it feels great. Next time? WHISPER (actually it's speaking really quiet). In fact, keep that whisper tactic in your back pocket, it even works with big people. Try it, it's amazing. Another time sit directly across the table with a very straight face and stare at the kid. They will get louder and louder but it will register that the screaming isn't affecting you and they shut up in like 2 seconds. Keep staring until you are sure the screaming won't start up again.
Basically, quit being predictable. I think that's a complete opposite of what all of the parenting experts say, but they're not sitting with a wailing child pissed off about the color of the floor tile. You are. Mix it up.
 So, what is in your arsenal other than time-out?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ballet of Cars

Get a pad of paper, you might need to draw a few diagrams to get through this.

We were a three car family.  A little over a year ago our Maxima was totaled.  Instead of getting a new car, The Husband was happy for a while with his little mini van.  But not for very long.  He came across a $300 wreck and with a few dollars (like a lot) he fixed it up.  I hated it.

Remember the cash for clunkers last summer?  It was a killer deal and he saw another Maxima.  A very pretty Maxima.  He sacrificed his minivan for the deal and suddenly the fixer-upper sat unused.

Enter Amanda's car.

It was previously owned by my grandmother.  Grandma admitted when she could no longer drive and allowed my mom to sell it to Amanda.  That was nearly five years ago and it was over ten years old back then.  It was in pristine condition and still smelled like my grandpa's cologne.  It's no longer in pristine condition.  In fact, it's on it's last leg.  But it still smelled like Grandpa.

We struck a deal with Amanda to buy/take our fixer-upper and park Grandma's car.

Enter Keith's car.

He had bought it from his old girlfriend and decided he needed something new and sold it to his new girlfriend (ex and current are friends so I guess it's cool, I don't ask).  He bought a van dug up by his father.  Basically it's a piece of crap.  He needs something else.  Hey, maybe with a few dollars he can fix up Amanda's old car.  He towed it to the shop and it NEVER STARTS EVER AGAIN.

Guess that sale is a dud.  We decide to donate the dead car to charity.  Keith is still looking for a car.

Amanda's new car needs brakes.  But we swear we had brakes put on it during the summertime overhaul, so we need to get it to the shop that did the repairs.  But the shop is out in the boonies and the girl with a part-time job, an internship, a full load of classes and trying to graduate in May oddly enough doesn't have any time to take care of this.  Oh but wait, Keith happens to be doing a little side work for us very close to this auto shop out in the boondocks, maybe he can grab Amanda's car for the day, get it checked out and return it to her?  Nope, she would be stranded without a car.


On Saturday, Amanda and I attend a planning meeting for a fundraiser (happens to be 2 weeks before she graduates, like she has time for this crap), hey follow me home, pick up our other car and we'll run this one to the shop.

Now, how to get the car back to her?

I swear a million phone messages back and forth between me, the husband, Keith, and Amanda trying to orchestrate this damn car.  She came and picked it up this evening.

On top of all that, I sent The Husband out with Keith to talk to car dealers today.  I know he has a strange effect with people and lo and behold he has managed to schmooze pre-approval with a legitimate dealership.  Now it's just up to Keith to realize that he has a sweet deal sitting in front of him.

***I held off posting this, not wanting to jinx the deal***


But the dance continues.  The car has a recall issue and won't be ready until today.  SOOOOOooooo... The Husband got the dealership to give him a loaner - a new Impala!

Moral of the story: adult-sized children and their vehicles are truly a pain in the ass!  (Mom, I am sooo sorry)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Puzzle Me This

Jigsaw Puzzles.  Either you love them or hate them.  I'm in the love group.  It's something I picked up from my mom who got it from her mom and I think my great grandmother was also into puzzles.  So maybe it's something genetic.  I know I passed it on to my kids, well at least to Ian.  Not sure if Amanda and Keith are as into them as I am, but Ian is certainly up for the challenge.

We're known for leaving a table out with a puzzle going for days.  As someone walks by they add a piece.  We can sit for hours hovering over the table staring at it, slowing pulling a picture together.

The challenge hits when you toss me and my mom together.  It's like high stakes puzzling or something.  Suddenly arms are flying across the table, hands are getting slapped, we're stealing pieces from each other, carefully guarding a set of pieces that will cluster into a significant portion of the puzzle.  The fight is to be the one who puts in the last cherished piece.  I think you could televise this, place bets and have a commentator.  It's worthy of the Olympics.

My grandmother tried to intervene, mistakenly thinking she could play along but she only pulled back a bloody stump.  My kids have tried getting in the action only to be beat down.  This is serious stuff folks.  And yes, it is just a stupid puzzle.

I may need a 12 step program.

So, are you into puzzles? 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Family Night

Do you ever have night where you just play board or card games as a family?  We had a stretch where we were playing cards almost every night.  If it were up to Ian we would play a game of some sort every day.  It's good he likes playing, but it's a bit much at times.  He begs to play Monopoly but we have to talk him out of it, it just takes too freaking long to play.

He also enjoys puzzles however we don't have a decent table set up for it.  Puzzles are a huge thing between my mom and I and it's cool that Ian gets into like we do.  Maybe it's time to set up a card table and get a new puzzle?

So what non-electronic amusements are found in your home?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Diabetes Day

Okay, this is a really long post and I realize most of you won't read it all of the way through so I'll give you the quick version first and if you're curious about the details, read on.  Deal?

The bottom line is diabetes sucks ass.  If you know you have it, follow your doctor's instructions.  Just do it.  But here's the thing, a whole lotta people are walking around with diabetes and fucked up blood sugars and don't even know it.  If you are having weird symptoms that the doctor has never been able to pin point, ask to be tested for diabetes.  It's a ridiculously easy blood test and for lots of reasons doctors don't think to do it.  Ask.  Insist.

Today is the five year anniversary of when my son, Keith, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes - the insulin dependent type.  The one that you can't control with diet and exercise.  This was the single most frightening day of my life, the day unmentionable things could have happened.  So, um, "happy" Diabetes Day!


That nagging feeling that something is wrong.  The tiny voice that screams from the darkness to persist, to keep digging despite being patted on the head and told everything is okay, even by so-called experts.  The knowing something is wrong.  Yes, you know if you dig far enough you're bound to find something, if you ask enough people eventually you'll find someone who agrees if only to pacify you.

But what if you're right?

There is no happy dance, no sweet vindication, no sing song "I told you so."  I know because I was right, there was something wrong.  It was something very very wrong and my son almost died from it.  I was right and I very truly wish I wasn't.

I have long moved past guilt, but it still hurts that we didn't catch it earlier.  The what-ifs will always haunt me in the quiet of night.

So here I am to stand as a warning to follow that gut instinct, especially as parents.  Mother's intuition isn't reserved just for women, because my ex felt it too.  Stand strong, YOU are your child's only advocate.  Take that role seriously and keep digging until you have conclusive evidence showing otherwise.  I scream at the simplicity of one tiny blood test that no one thought to run.  When all else fails, please ask, no INSIST, that your loved one is tested for diabetes.

Diabetes?  Yes.  There are so many people out there with diabetes and keeping this malady at bay that we forget that it is horribly dangerous.  Within a matter of hours fucked up blood sugar can literally kill you.  Period.

And we never knew he had it.

The pediatrician never thought to test him for it.  The gastro specialist didn't test him either before she prescribed medicine in almost placebo-esque fashion for irritable bowel.  No tests, no exam, just a series of questions before issuing a diagnosis.

For ten years my son suffered upset stomachs, sudden diarrhea, vomiting and a general malaise of not feeling good.  Frequently we passed it off as expert hypochondria.  He did miss an amazing amount of school as he feigned illness all the damn time.  He would urgently trot to the bathroom, come out looking like hell and then in hours be fine as pie.  I admit to being confused - believe my child and try to shield him from pain or call him out on crying wolf.  This is what held me from digging further.  I wondered if he was faking it, but that morning trot wasn't made up.  Could he really be THAT good at pulling the wool over my eyes?  At such a young age?  It just didn't seem possible.  As he aged the complaints didn't change, they didn't become any more sneaky.  If anything, his bouts of morning sickness became more inconvenient, holding him from activities I knew he wanted to attend.  He was fourteen when I asked for a referral to a specialist, finally resolving to believe my child.  That is when we were given the prescription to treat IBS.

One year later, almost to the day, we discovered IBS was not the culprit.

Keith had been sick, very flu-like sick, but without any fever.  He had missed school on Thursday and Friday.  On Saturday he went with his siblings to his father's house and spent the entire day on the couch watching cartoons and being pumped with Gatorade and cold-n-flu syrup (know where I'm going with this?  Do you see the problem?  Treating a diabetic with trumped up sugary treatments?)

On Sunday morning his father brought him back to my house as Keith didn't feel up to making the trip with the rest of the family.  My ex nearly carried him into the house he was so weak.  Something was wrong, little did I know just how wrong.  His father and I quickly discussed the possibility of dehydration and we agreed if he got any worse I would take him to Children's Hospital, not the closer ER just down the road.  He suspected something too.  Our collective spidey senses were tingling.

Keith plopped down on the couch, clutching his jug of Gatorade.  I returned to the computer for my regular online fun. 

From here time gets garbled in my mind.  What probably took just minutes played out in agonizing slow motion.

From the corner of my eye I saw Keith crawling to the bathroom.  Not staggering, CRAWLING.  My fifteen year old, six foot tall son was crawling to the bathroom.  A weak call for my assistance came from inside, he wanted his Gatorade.  I promptly slipped it in through the barely open door.  A thud signaled he had dropped the jug of Gatorade.  Another weak request for a change of clothes that again was slipped through the barely open door.

And then another weak request.  He couldn't pull up his pants.  Something is very drastically wrong if a normally shy teenaged boy asks his mom help in getting dressed.  That was it, he was going to the hospital.

I made a silent agreement that if I couldn't manage to get him in the car on my own that I would call an ambulance.  I did get him in the car and drove the 30 odd miles to the hospital barely inside the speed limit.  God and I had a little chat along the way, mostly on my part pleading for my son to be okay.  There was a calm to my frantic movements, a power beyond me that kept me calm, kept my car within the lanes, something bigger than me that delivered us to our destination.

I ran in the ER and just started talking to the first person in blue that I needed someone to help me get my 15yr old out of the car.  I knew to get him on a gurney would guarantee immediate service.  It took four large men to pull him out of the backseat.  Somebody offered to move my car into the garage and I tossed my keys to a stranger.

From that point everything moved like a blur.  He was rushed past the front desk and the official process of checking in.  I never got an id tag.  By the time I gave his name and basic vitals to one nurse I heard the people in the room quizzing him about the previous night ensuring they weren't dealing with alcohol or drugs.  Soon they were asking if diabetes was in the family.  The kid could barely speak and what he did say was severely slurred.

Like a brick they hit me with the possibility of diabetes.  They rattled off numbers to me that made no sense.  After two hours in ER he was admitted to Pediatric ICU at which point I received a crash course on diabetes.   

The rest of Sunday and that night were spent with him getting poked every hour and trying to get him more coherent.  His girlfriend spent nearly 9 hours at his side as the rest of our family filed in and out of the room.  I spent the night in the room with him with very little sleep.  Monday and Tuesday were spent in classes learning about diet and shots and blah blah blah blah....

I did indeed have a very sick child.  He didn't have the flu, he wasn't dehydrated, he wasn't faking it.  Had the doctor we visited a year earlier ran one very simple test, just one blood test, this trip to the ER and expensive stay in ICU could have been averted.  There are a lot of what-ifs.

A healthy blood sugar is somewhere between 60 and 100.  Diabetes is the inability of your body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.  Too low, anything below 40, the person can pass out and the organs begin to shut down.  But we also have to worry about levels too high.  Around 200 people usually feel a little woozy, over 300 and you ought to contact your doctor, maybe even get to the ER.

They told me at the hospital the highest they had ever seen was 750.

Keith's blood sugar that day was 1268.

He was slipping into a diabetic coma right before my eyes.  His size and strength and youth are what kept him going for so long.

His diabetes may not have been caught in kindergarten when he first started clutching his gut in the bathroom, but at some point he would have tested positive.  I am angry no one tested him and his pediatrician got an earful about it.

He has Type I, the sort that requires expensive daily injections and regular testing.  If you don't have a diabetic in the family, you would be surprised how outrageously expensive the supplies are, particularly the test strips.  It's obscene.

Keith is healthy and active and not feeling any repercussions other than carting around a little pack with his injection pens.  He monitors his carb intake and adjusts his insulin accordingly.  He does not suffer dietary restrictions like people have in the past due to the types of insulin and medications he takes every day.

So it wasn't so much a "happy" diabetes day, but I am ecstatic my son has a name and treatment for the beast that tormented him for so long.  And he is very much alive and here.

Take care of yourself and the ones you love.  Get tested.  And PLEASE support the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Time For A New Crib

Most families decide to move their toddler out of the crib and into a big-kid bed when he or she manages to climb out of the crib.  Right?

Well, Keith was moved out of the crib probably earlier than he was ready only because his sister had managed to climb in (and splattered herself on the ground when ready to leave resulting in a goose-egg sized bruise on her eye worthy of a DFS call).

But wasn't it sweet how she smuggled books into the crib before she broke in and then forced him into her favorite pastime?

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Letter TO The Youth Leader

Dear Troop Leader/Youth Volunteer/Sports Coach,

I'm new to this group, what is expected of me?  I would love to help out but you aren't very clear in what needs to be done.  The jobs you are offering require huge commitments of time and I fear, experience, neither of which I possess.  Isn't there something I can do that isn't so.... intense?

Your exuberant enthusiasm for this organization is not nearly as intoxicating and infectious as you had hoped.  In fact, it's a little off-putting.  I am glad to help, but I don't have the time to commit to four more evenings a month.  Are you people meeting crazy or what? 

Thank you for the invitation to be next year's cookie coordinator.  Exactly what am I getting myself into?  Oh there are extra meetings?  and a special training?  followed by more meetings?  I would have appreciated knowing that up front.  Maybe this is why you're not keeping parent volunteers around.  And, uh, can you reign in Crazy Mary?

On a side note, it's great that you are encouraging responsibility in my kid, but can you PLEASE communicate with ME?  Just give me a heads up as to what's coming down the pike.  You want Junior here to show up to next week's parade?  I need to know earlier than the night before.  How about a calendar?  A blurb on the internet?  Oh, and uh, I'm divorced (new concept, I know) and the kid's father would appreciate some communication as well.  He is not the devil, not a total uninvolved jackass like your ex and actually makes attempts to be involved.  Send communications his way too, hell ask HIM to be the cookie-whatever-title!  Thanks.

We, the parents, are just asking for a little communication.  A parent packet would be nice with a calendar, expectations of my kid and of me, a list of volunteer opportunities, a contact list of the other parents... oh you don't have time to do this?  I bet one of the parents could do it.  Just ask.

Please remember what it was like to be new, unsure, overwhelmed and very lost.

Thank You,
Concerned Parent

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Letter From Your Youth Leader

Dear Parent,

Tonight's troop meeting/youth outing/soccer practice is not one hour of free babysitting.  Please do us the courtesy of at least walking your child in and making eye contact with the other adults in the room - do you even know who is entertaining your child for this hour? 

Stick around and hear the details about Saturday's trip to the zoo.  Don't rely on your nine year old's ability to recite the information.  Isn't she the same child who can't remember to bring home her homework every night?  I tried sending notes but I think they're stuck to last week's homework that you never saw.  Otherwise you would have known to bring $2 for lunch and no I can't accept a personal check.

Hey, better yet, hang around and offer a helping hand!  Can you at least help sweep up after our craft activity?  Or maybe offer to be one of the chaperones for the trip to the zoo?  I know Mary over there has an animal look in her eye, hoping to lure you into helping with the cookie committee, but stay over here, Mary is crazy.  Mary has been doing this for fifteen years and her kids have long since dropped out.  We don't want you to turn into Mary. 

Start low and slow.  Set your boundaries and say no.  But DO be active.  Participate in your child's world.  Come and see who is influencing your kid.  Be an example of responsibility and stick around to help out.  Who knows, the two of you, you and your kid, might grow a new bond, one that will overcome the nastiness of the coming teen years.  Maybe your kid will feel a sense of commitment and stay in the group through high school, something they can add to their college application showing what a well rounded student they are, something they can add to their job resume.

Maybe you will see your baby grow into a fabulous person worthy of your admiration.  Maybe your child will see you for more than short-order cook, housekeeper, chauffeur.  Maybe. 

None of that can happen if you stay in your car, pushing your kid out at the curb, so can you drive off to do whatever it is you can pull in an hour.

Your kid's troop leader, youth coordinator, sports coach

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy 22nd Birthday To My Daughter

To My Dearest Daughter,

How dare you grow up so fast!  How dare you make me feel old!  It's been one incredible ride, but I'm very glad back as a little cherub in your heavenly loft looking for parents here on earth you chose me as your mom.

You arrived on your own schedule

Never one to be hurried by others

Shy, but rarely quiet

Loving big sister


Sometimes pissy





Dedicated friend

To the little embryo that turned my world upside down, what on earth would I do without you?  You've turned into an amazing woman and for as much as I would love to claim all of the credit, so much of it is due to a large network of friends and family who love you so very much.  There's also that inner spirit, something you had burning inside you long before you took your first breath, something I knew long before anyone ever met you.

I love you to your very core and am incredibly proud of you - may you always dance.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2, 1988 - A Birthing Story

It was leap year and I was nervous all day February 29th.  I did not want my child to be born on that day.  I mean it would have been cool to be only five years old this year, but then again, no it wouldn't.

Delivery was imminent, I had been experiencing bouts of false labor.  A doctor's visit on March 1st, it was a Tuesday, confirmed I was in fact in labor, but the very early stages.  After the doctor's visit we went shopping where I had a hissy fit and then melted into inconsolable tears - ah the joys of hormones.  I managed a nap that afternoon and then had sporadic cramps, especially in my back for the rest of the evening, well actually for the rest of the time.

That night I could barely sleep and then asked to go to the hospital.  UGH!  I wasn't ready and they made me walk the halls at midnight.  Eventually I was sent home, but I never got much sleep.

March 2nd was the women's final in figure skating (1988 Olympics).  Perpetually uncomfortable, I found that a rocking chair was my only relief.  I would rock like a madwoman during each contraction.  They were getting close to five minutes apart, but the skating wasn't quite finished so I insisted we stayed until the end.  (Ironically, I'm writing this as I watch Olympic figure skating - Thursday night)

At a military hospital I didn't have the luxury of a proper birthing room, but I did have a room to myself as I progressed through labor that afternoon.  It was a blur as I progressed.  By evening I lost all modesty and was seeking comfort.  I was hot so I kept tossing the covers off.  Since there weren't any other women in labor, I was the focus of the entire staff, including penny bets as to the time, size, weight and sex of the baby.

I was wheeled into a proper delivery room and I really don't remember much.  I do recall as I was being cleaned up that the doctor complained that he had just bought his shoes and now they were ruined.  oops!

My little Amanda was born just before 10:30pm, all nine pounds, five ounces of her.  All of the newborn clothes we were given would only last for few weeks for she would move right into 3 month old clothing before she was a month old.

Baby Amanda was no different from fetus Amanda, just a lot louder.  She was active and alert.  I remember her first smile and no, it wasn't gas.  She was a happy baby and as she grew she was quite capable to keep herself occupied, something that was a blessing when her brother came into the world.

With the exception of her toddler years (she sprouted horns, I swear) she was a fun, silly little girl who enjoyed reading, animals, and dressing up.  She was actually a pleasant teen and she's turned into an adult not much different from the baby I knew so many years ago - happy, self content, curious, silly, fun, and loud (surprisingly loud for a shy person).