Happy Birthday MiniMe!

Less than an hour old

Less than an hour old

On this day, 14 years ago, I gave birth to my Mini Me. The above picture is the first time Beauty held her. She was so very proud of her baby! It started a few days earlier. I went to the doctor for my last check-up on that Wednesday and he told me things looked great and she could come any time. He also told me he was leaving town for the weekend. I told him not to go because if he did I would for sure have her over the weekend. I don’t think he believed me. I went back to work and called my mom and told her they might want to start thinking about making the trip from Idaho since it could happen any time. My parents left the next morning so Grandma could be there when the baby decided to make her appearance. That Friday my sisters-in-law, my mom and I went shopping. I think they were trying to walk that baby out of me! We did more shopping (Christmas was coming soon!) on Saturday and I started having contractions so off to the hospital we went. They decided she wasn’t quite ready so they sent me home. ::sigh:: As we were getting ready for bed, my step-dad told me that if I went to church with them the next day I would have the baby. If I didn’t go, I wouldn’t have her until  Monday (my birthday). Anyone who’s ever been pregnant or known a pregnant woman knows that by that point, she’ll agree to just about anything to be done being pregnant. I was no different! I slept great that night. Well, as great as you can at the end of your pregnancy. We went to church and of course sat IN the middle OF the middle in a big huge church sanctuary. The singing started…and so did my contractions. They were 3 minutes apart right from the beginning. Grandma went to let Beauty’s teacher know we were headed to the hospital so she could tell the rest of the family and off we went. Once we got to the hospital, they wanted me to lay down so they could check me. I refused because that hurt way to much. So I paced around the room. They called my doctor. He was on his way back from his weekend trip with his family. I TRIED TO WARN HIM! Anyway, once I finally had enough and the nurse pretty much forced me to lay on the bed so she could check me, I was dilated to 8 cm and ready to push. I begged for an epidural (I’ve heard they are wonderful things!) but she told me it was too late. I was devastated! I tried to reason with her and tell her I would just stop everything so she could do it but she didn’t fall for it. My doctor called about that time to say that he was back in town but had to drop off his wife and son at home before he came to the hospital. The nurse told him he didn’t have time for that and to just bring them along. At that point, I really didn’t care who was there, I just wanted to get this show on the road!

He finally showed up and came in my room to announce that he had arrived and was going to change. I told him to hurry up and come break my water because I was done with this business and I was going home. He laughed at me. JERK!

He made it back and as he was opening the packaging of the device they use to break your water, I looked at the nurse and told her I thought I needed to push. She told me “Go ahead. Let’s see what happens!”

I pushed.

My water broke.

I pushed 2 more times.

MiniMe was born at 12:27 pm on Sunday, December 5th. She weighed 7 lbs. 15.5 oz. and was 19 inches long. She was perfect.

Grandma gives the best hugs!

Grandma gives the best hugs!

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, that part was pretty simple. My family was waiting in the hallway to meet the newest little person in our family. They all came in as soon as the doctor cleared me for visitors. Beauty got to be there when they checked out her baby and got to help give her very first bath. They brought me a lunch tray. I remember it was turkey, mashed potatoes, peas and cherry pie for dessert. I really wanted the pie but my mom told me I had to eat lunch first. Unfortunately for me, I listened to her.

Remember the part up there where I said I refused to lay down? Well, it’s pretty difficult to put an IV in when your patient is pacing the floor. So they didn’t. That probably wouldn’t have been a problem if the patient in question wasn’t me. You see, with my whole family there to welcome the new baby and me pushing the peas and potatoes around on my plate, that nurse came in to push on my tummy (I know there’s a medical reason for this but it’s not fun at all!) and found that I had been hemorrhaging for the last hour. They made everyone leave except my mom and they took my lunch tray.  I remember them frantically trying to start an IV. I don’t remember much but I do remember there was figure at the end of my bed telling me I would be ok. I asked my mom later. There was nobody at the end of my bed. I had an angel watching over me that day.

MiniMe and I spent the next 3 days(including my birthday) getting to know one another in a hospital room. I never did get my cherry pie. We were released on Wednesday evening. That Friday we all left for Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Idaho where we stayed for the first month of her life.

14 years later

14 years later

The last 14 years have been an amazing journey. I love you MiniMe and look forward to many more birthdays with you.

Love,

Mom

 

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My Thankfulness Post

I’m a little late, I know. But life has been a little busy. Ya know?

I’m thankful for my boss. This year has been a difficult one in a lot of ways but my boss has been understanding in ways I didn’t expect. She is also currently laying on a beach in Hawaii while we freeze our butts off here at home.

I’m thankful for MiniMe. Yes she’s a teenager now and that brings all kinds of angst but she is still my sweet girl and I love her.

I’m thankful for my girl Beauty. This has probably been the most difficult year of her life so far but she still continues to amaze me with her caring attitude and the love she shows her family.

I’m thankful for my brothers and sisters. Without them I would be lost.

I’m thankful for my nieces and nephews and cousins and aunts and uncles and all the rest of the extended family. They were so supportive when my mom passed away. Without them I’m not sure I would be here today.

I am thankful for all of my friends. You know how to make a girl feel loved.

I’m thankful that even though my mom is gone from our everyday life we know we will see her again.

I’m thankful this year is almost over. My birthday is in a couple of days so I can officially be done with this year. Turning 40 was painful a year ago but I’m happy to turn 41. Maybe it will be a lot less stressful!

 

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I’m such a follower

I’ve been following a couple of blogs for a while and they have inspired me to step it up. Thanks Lily and Tim!

The writing prompt this time is sleepovers. I actually have a really good one for this!

When I was 13 my mom decided to throw me a big “friends” party. When you have a December birthday that doesn’t usually happen. But my dad had died a few months earlier and my mom wanted to do something fun. Plus my sister had done something similar for my niece 6 months earlier. Huh, mom was a follower too!

Anyway, I got to invite 4 friends over and we had a DIAPER PARTY. It’s not as kinky as it sounds, I promise!

It was a way to say goodbye to childhood and hello to being a teenager. My mom searched the city and found the old-fashioned diaper pins. You know, the ones with the little bunnies and ducky’s on them? Yeah, those ones. She also found receiving blankets to use as cloth diapers. Imagine 5 giggly tween girls all dressed up in diapers and t-shirts. My mom was a brave woman!

Everyone received a 4 oz. baby bottle when they got there and all liquids had to be drank from that. Carbonated soda in a baby bottle was a lot of fun. For games we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and this one where you were blindfolded and had a big bowl of cotton balls and a spoon and had to transfer the cotton balls into a smaller container. Mom made up a bunch of finger foods and we watched little kids movies. Well, we watch The Care Bears Movie and one that was recommended by the movie store clerk called Zapped! Mom wasn’t overly impressed with that one! We also got to eat Pudding Pops! We didn’t sleep much but had a blast and all in all, it was the best birthday I ever had!

Best childhood treat EVER!

Best childhood treat EVER!

How about you? Do you have any sleepover memories?

Zebra Garden

Beauty and MiniMe

Beauty age 9 MiniMe age 2

This photo was taken in I think 2002. Back then my children liked each other. Minnie is actually the principal of the elementary school both girls attended. We love her!

When I found out I was pregnant with Beauty I knew my life was going to change. I was 20 years old and in what I thought was the perfect relationship. Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t realize sooner how very wrong I was. But things happen for a reason. If I hadn’t been in that relationship I never would have had Beauty. My pregnancy was very difficult with her. You see, I didn’t handle stress very well even before I got pregnant and during, I couldn’t handle it at all. My relationship was incredibly stressful and every time things would get bad I would start having contractions and end up at the hospital. When I was about 5 1/2 month I fell and landed on my stomach. That was another trip to the hospital but they checked us out and everything was ok. My doctor put me in the hospital overnight about 6 weeks before my due date because the contractions weren’t stopping. Thankfully we got them stopped and I was able to go home. All in all, I was in the hospital 13 times during that pregnancy, the 13th time was when I had her. That Saturday we went dinner at a local steak house. I went to bed early because I was feeling a little off. My contractions woke me up at about 9 that night. I had moved back to my mom’s house due to some things that were happening at our apartment. I got my mom and let her know that I thought this was the real thing. She had me go lay down on the couch while she made me some chamomile tea. She sat a cup of boiling hot tea in front of me and I grabbed it and sucked it down (scalding my throat in the process!), set the cup on the table and said “Ok, can we go now?”

We got to the hospital and they said that while it appeared that I really was in labor this time I wasn’t very far into it and needed to “walk the baby out”. I walked all night long, stopping at one point to weigh myself on the scales they had in the hallway. Every single contraction I had while walking almost brought me to my knees. Beauty’s head was pushing on my tailbone the entire time.  I had skipped Lamaze classes so I didn’t even know I could have asked for an epidural. And they didn’t offer! So after 12 hours it was time to get down to business. They finally did give me something that made me see stars but it only lasted about 3 minutes so that wasn’t very helpful. We all knew that Beauty was a boy. Although I had 3 ultrasounds we were never able to see THAT part but every single person I knew said it was going to be a boy. So when the doctor said “It’s a girl!” we were all pretty shocked. Beauty was born at 9:48 am. I should have known because my friend was also pregnant about the same time and her doctor TOLD her she was having a girl. Yeah, she ended up with my son and I got her daughter. It’s ok, we just traded clothes and it worked out perfect for both of us. I ended up with a beautiful baby girl, and a broken tailbone. I also weighed myself the day after I had her and I was 12 lbs heavier than when I was in labor! O.O How does that even happen??? I gained a total of 87 lbs with her. Granted my big craving was baked ribs and lasagna from a local Italian restaurant that I had to have at least once a week. I’m sure that didn’t help matters…

Five years later I got pregnant with MiniMe. I found out I was pregnant at 2 weeks. You’re not supposed to know that early. There’s a reason for that! It makes the next 38 weeks go incredibly slow! I found out I was pregnant and less than a week later I had what I thought was the worst morning sickness in the history of morning sickness. It lasted all freaking day! I was so sick I lost 15 lbs in 3 weeks! Turns out I had the stomach flu. Except when that went away I was still throwing up. Just first thing in the morning but still! Do you know what it’s like to throw up every single day for 38 weeks??? Not fun, let me tell ya! Despite throwing up every day it was a super easy pregnancy. I only went to the doctor for my regular check-ups. When I had my ultrasound at 5 1/2 months they told me it was a girl. I didn’t believe them! My entire pregnancy was so different this time that I thought there was no way it could be another girl. With Beauty, I never threw up one time. With MiniMe, every single day. Cravings with Beauty were, like I said carbs! I also called a local Mexican restaurant and got an order of deep-fried ice cream, to go! MiniMe cravings were fresh fruits and veggies. I seriously had nectarines available everywhere I went. Sometimes they were in the glove box of my car! When we went to the mall? I had one in my pocket! Not even kidding!

I went to the doctor the Wednesday before she was born and he said he thought it would happen within a week. I went back to work (I was Assistant General Manager at a local hotel) and one of my employees was freaking out and wouldn’t let me do ANYTHING! He wanted me to just sit and watch everybody else work! I think he was terrified I was going to go into labor at work and he would have to deliver the baby! I called my parents (they had moved back to my hometown 8 hours away) and they got here that Friday.  On Saturday my mom and my sisters-in-law and I went shopping. I didn’t have much for the baby because I still didn’t believe them when they said it was a girl. We picked up a bunch of neutral color stuff so I would have something at least. I started having contractions and ended up going in but they said I wasn’t far enough into it so they sent me home. I got home and my contractions pretty much stopped. That night my step-dad asked if I wanted to go to church with them in the morning. His exact words were “If you go to church with us you’ll have that baby tomorrow. If you don’t, you won’t have it until Monday.” That particular Monday was my birthday. So I went to church with them and Beauty was down in her little Sunday School class while we were up in the sanctuary preparing for the service. It was the first time I’d ever been to a contemporary service where there was an actual band playing! We started singing and it was stand-up/sit-down/stand-up/sit-down… After the 3rd time I looked at my mom and said “I’m not standing up again! My contractions are less than 3 minutes apart. Maybe we can go to the hospital now?” We got to the hospital and the nurse wanted me to lay down so she could check me. I told her she was crazy and refused. I paced approximately 3 steps back and forth in front of the bathroom until I looked at the nurse and told her “I think I need to go to the bathroom”. She said I had to lay down first so I did. I also asked for my epidural. She said it was too late. I was very close to delivering and there wasn’t time for that now. Yeah, I cried. I begged her and promised that I wouldn’t push and I would just stop everything until they gave me the epidural! Yeah, like THAT would have worked? Anyway, My doctor had gone out of town that weekend for his son’s soccer tournament and was on his way back. He was still a good 30 minutes away and I was about ready to push! He ended up bringing his wife and son to the hospital with him and they went to have lunch while he was delivering a baby. He got there and popped his head in to my room long enough to tell us he was there and going to change. I told him to hurry up so he could break my water. I think my exact words were “You need to break my water right now because I’m done with this and I’m going home!” Well, he made it back in time for me to tell the nurse I needed to push. I pushed. My water broke. I pushed 2 more times and MiniMe was born at 12:27 pm on Sunday, the day before my birthday. After she was born (Yes, they were right…it was a girl!) all of my family came to see us. Beauty was so excited! Some of my favorite pictures are from the first time she saw her baby sister. Everyone had to leave suddenly about an hour after she was born because I was hemorrhaging and bleeding to deal, literally. Lucky for me I was in the hospital so they had measures in place to take care of me. If I had done a home birth or been alive back in the early 1900’s I wouldn’t be here today. Because of the complications I ended up staying in the hospital until Wednesday. We left that Friday for my parents house 8 hours away. Would you like to know how much fun it is to sit in a big pick-up truck for 8 hours less than a week after giving birth? Let’s just say I don’t recommend it.

Being a mom has been the hardest, most rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life. I love my girls more than they will ever know. They are my whole life and although life hasn’t always been easy, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Happy Birthday Beauty!

Dear Beauty,
Today you are 19 years old. Holy Hannah how did that happen? Just yesterday you were a tiny baby looking up at me with bright blue eyes so full of wonder. When I found out I was pregnant with you I was so very excited. I knew my life was about to change and I couldn’t wait! When you were born and the doctor laid you on my tummy, you were all pink and wrinkly, and perfect. I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would have been like without you in it. From the time you were born you gave me a purpose. You made me want to be better. It was always you and I, even from the beginning. Raising you and your sister by myself has been one of the hardest, most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. When your sister was born you were the best helper any mom could ever have. She was your very own little dolly you could help feed and dress and bathe. You were so proud to be the big sister! Then she started getting into your stuff and the honeymoon period was over.

When I watched you fall from the horse and almost get stepped on, it was one of the scariest moments of my life. But you actually did “tuck and roll” that time and came out of it with a trip to the ER only to stitch up a nasty gash on your leg. You were a trooper tho and the next day insisted on hiking around a park on crutches with your class field trip.

When you got to accepted to be a part of the Missoula Children’s Theatre plays 5 years running, I thought I couldn’t be more proud. I was wrong. You topped it of by auditioning and getting accepted to go to acting camp! From the time you were little you have had the coolest sense of humor of anyone I’ve ever met. You have always had a way of making people forget about their sadness, if only for a moment of gut-busting laughter. I love that about you!

Then you hit high school and the world pretty much fell apart. Watching you struggle these last few years has been so hard for me. I want to just pull you close and make all the bad stuff go away. But you are an adult now and I just have to trust that all the things I’ve tried to teach you over the years stuck somewhere and you will get through all of this. I love you more than you can possibly imagine. You are my firstborn and there is no one on this earth who can replace you. I’m proud to be your mom. I love you baby girl.

Happy Birthday!
Love,
Mom

My sister

Today is my sister’s birthday. The same sister I posted about with the “Walnuts in my crotch” thing. This is the sister that basically raised me. I am the youngest of 5 children. There are 12 years between myself and the next to the youngest so it’s like I’m a whole different generation. My sister is the middle child and was 14 when I was born. My parents owned a restaurant at the time and weren’t home much. A lot of the responsibility for me fell on my sister. When I was about 6 my sister moved out and lived in the neighboring town 17 miles away. She taught me her phone number (3-3-“Oh, what’s that other number”-4) so I could always call her when I needed her. I don’t remember there ever being a time that I called her and she didn’t answer. Realistically, I’m sure she wasn’t sitting by the phone just waiting for me to call her but that’s my childhood memory at work. I remember when our parents went on vacation and I got to go spend 2 weeks with her. I remember when I was little she used to make all of my birthday cakes. She’s an awesome artist! I remember when I was 13 I spent the summer taking care of her and my nephew as she was pregnant with my niece and having contractions for 4 months so she was on complete bed-rest. I remember when she travelled 400 miles to see me graduate from college. I talk to her almost every day. Even tho she lives far-ish away from me I still know that if it came right down to it and I needed her, she would be here no matter what. I would do the same for her.

So with that, I love you Hope! May you have the best birthday ever!

Love, your baby sister