October 30, 2007

an E.P.T. failure

We had been married just over a year when I got pregnant with our first. Though we weren’t planning a baby, we sure couldn’t say we were surprised.

First: I had stopped taking the pill. I had to or I was going to kill someone . . . and it wasn’t going to be me. The hormonal state that Ortho-novum kept me in played “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” with my emotions. For example, my husband would walk in the door after 12 hours of playing soldier. I would say, in my sweetest Donna Reed voice, “How was your day?” only to follow it up four minutes later with a Linda-Blair-exorcist-like, “Get Outta My Face!”

We figured even unplanned parenthood had to be better than that.

Second: the husband was an Army Lieutenant stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was away doing field training. A lot. For long stretches of time. He was gone from Oct. 18 until Nov. 8, left again on Nov. 10 and didn’t return home until the first of December. Hmmm . . . doesn’t take quantum physics to figure out that one.

So, I found myself pregnant. Entirely too young. 4,000 miles away from my mommy. The first of all of our friends to fail the “E.P.T.” test. And more than a little terrified. I felt like Prissy from Gone with the Wind: “Why, I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies!” My preference: Schedule a C-section, take some heavy drugs, and hope for the best. Oh, but it’s not that easy for a do-it-yourself junkie. You see, I read. And read. And read. And Alaska is not exactly the kind of place where you are encouraged to follow the crowd. Unless, of course, the crowd is a bunch of earth-mother, hippie-wanna-be, save-the-earth do-gooders. (And I mean that in a good way!) So I found myself reading Mothering Magazine and Ina May Gaskin's “Spiritual Midwifery” and Rahima Baldwin’s “Special Delivery” and all manner of natural, wholistic childbirth propaganda. By the time August 13 rolled around, I was enduring a 32-hour labor at home with a couple of midwives.

Now, the birth itself did not turn out exactly picture-perfect. But I did end up with a beautiful daughter, and a passion for pregnancy and childbirth that can only be described as a part-time obsession. More about that at a later date.

The worst part of my first pregnancy: Not having caffeine
The weirdest craving during my first pregnancy: McDonald’s cheeseburgers (ewww.)
The strangest side-effect of my first pregnancy: Sporadic, but uncontrollable giggling (Again, another story for another time . . . )

October 29, 2007

window shopping in the rain

I love autumn! Gorgeous, earthy colors, brisk air, sweaters, campfires, early sunsets . . . it’s the only season that irresistibly tempts me outdoors. Hands down, my favorite time of the year, and I don’t really know why. This is one thing I didn’t get from my mom. She doesn’t like this time of year. Says it depresses her. Everything dying . . . winter setting in. She is definitely a spring/summer person. It’s one of the few places our paths diverge. I love the falling leaves, the chill in the air, even the shorter days. Fall festivals, Celebration, pumpkins and mums, “bouquets of newly sharpened pencils”. It evokes an indescribable nostalgia in me . . . makes me want to window shop in the rain . . . hold hands and walk down brick streets . . . I don’t try to understand it . . . I’m just grateful to God for making life beautiful.

October 19, 2007

turkey day

Yes, Thanksgiving is just around
the corner, but our "Turkey Day"
was yesterday!

First, my son IS a turkey. Enough said.

Second, while on the way to work yesterday, he and I saw three turkeys
in the big field on Hwy. 62.
We frequently see deer in that field, but turkeys not so much.

Third, my son has never been bowling. Never ever. Unless you count video games, which I don't. So, since Kevin is on fall break this week, the wonderful Mike D. (in blog world, that's "For His Glory", but don't bother, 'cause he hasn't posted since January!) took my son bowling.

First game: 67. Okay, that's to be expected the first time out.

Second game: 79. Not a bad little improvement.

Third game: 145. 145!!! Apparently, after Mike gave him some helpful coaching on when to release the ball, Kevin got a TURKEY - three strikes IN A ROW! He was pretty jazzed about it. (Thanks, Mikey!)

October 03, 2007

dissecting frogs in the car

Did you know the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?

My kids love to pick on each other. I don't know where they get it from, but regardless . . . the last weekend Kacey was home, Kevin had her convinced he was left-handed. (Kacey is 21, Kevin is 14) She was so befuddled that she got out of bed, marched into the den with her hands on her hips and said, "He is NOT left-handed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IS HE?????" Of course, he is not, and she KNEW that, he just made it so convincing that she began to doubt herself.

So, Kevin was talking to Kacey, this time on the phone the night before our road trip to Texas. He was moaning about all the school work he was going to have to do in the car. She was telling him to suck it up and do the work like a man, and he said something like,
"That's easy for you to say . . . you don't have to dissect a frog in the car!"
"You don't either, you goofball."
"Kevin, you can't dissect a frog in the car. Why don't you just do it when you come back on Monday?"
"Because I have to label all the parts and make a diagram and email it to ReighAnne (biology teacher) by Friday night!"
"Kevin, you are such a liar!"
"Kacey, I'm serious. I've got to dissect this stupid frog in the car on the way to Texas!"
"Yes, Kacey. Oh, and by the way, I'm left-handed."
At this point, I can hear Kacey giving him "what for" for making her feel gullible yet again. I thought it was a riot! Is it okay to be proud of a kid for being a good liar? Probably not, huh?

To preface this next story, I almost never wear sunglasses. They make me feel claustrophobic. But I bought a new pair for this 12-hour car trip, and I put them in my purse which was in the floor at Kevin's feet. After a few hours in the car he wanted to stretch a bit, so he put my purse in the back seat. I said, "Before you get too comfortable, we're about to turn west so I'm going to need my glasses out of my purse."
"Huh?" was his response.
So I repeat myself, speaking slowly this time, "We're . . . about . . . to . . . turn . . . west . . . so . . . I'm . . . going . . . to . . . need . . . my . . . glasses . . . out . . . of . . . my . . . purse."
"WHY do you need your glasses when we turn west????" he asks with a quizzical look."Well, Kevin, a SMART person would KNOW the answer to that question. Why DO YOU think?"
"I don't know. Do the letters on the signs get smaller in the west?"
At this point I start laughing hysterically, as I realize the whole conversation he thought I was talking about my EYEglasses and I assumed he knew I needed my SUNglasses!

Communication is a wonderful thing, ain't it?