Vacation! Part 1

I’ll have to break this up into a couple of posts. Here’s the first installment!

For the first time ever the girls and I were able to take a really real vacation. Usually our vacation time consists of trips to Idaho to see family. Don’t get me wrong! That’s totally a vacation because we’re away from home and life is a lot slower there but it’s not a VACATION! type of vacation. Neither of the girls has ever flown so that was a first. MiniMe has never been any farther than Idaho in her whole 14 years. Beauty has been across the country but she was only 9 months old so she doesn’t count that.

This was our “Pack your suitcases girls! We’re going somewhere you’ve never been!” VACATION! For the last couple of years I’ve tried to plan a trip to San Antonio, Texas to visit my “mom friend” Erica again. I went in 2009 for her college graduation but the girls didn’t get to go with me. This year it all came together. I was able to get airline tickets for a very reasonable price and I got a weeks paid vacation so we made it  happen!

 

All packed and ready to go!

All packed and ready to go!

On the night of April 1st we spent the night at my brothers house so they could drive us to the airport at O’dark O’clock. Note to self: Next time, do NOT book a flight that leaves at 6 a.m. when you live almost 2 hours from the airport. We got up at 1:00 (I think I slept about 45 minutes) so we could leave by 2:00 to get us there by 4:00 for boarding at 6:05. I’m tired just thinking about that morning!

We're really tired

We’re really tired

 

 

 

When we got to the airport we went right to baggage check and got our suitcases checked for the flight and headed for security. Unfortunately Beauty forgot to put the brand new tube of toothpaste in her checked bag so when we went through security…

 

 

 

I was wrong!

I was wrong!

I was expecting Beauty to be inwardly freaking out about flying but she would play it off all calm and cool. MiniMe was the one I was expecting to freak out all over the place.

Obviously I can’t read my children as well as I thought. Beauty was a hot mess and asking for anxiety medicine and MiniMe was cool as a cucumber. I was totally impressed!

 

 

 

Beauty got some pretty pictures from the air.

Beauty got some pretty pictures from the air.

Sunrise above the clouds

Sunrise above the clouds

A mountain somewhere between Seattle and Phoenix.

A mountain somewhere between Seattle and Phoenix.

The flight to Phoenix was uneventful and we landed fine. After finding something to eat it was time to board again for Austin. We landed in Austin at 2:45 and Erica picked us up and we headed for San Antonio.

Everything's bigger in Texas!

Everything’s bigger in Texas!

This gas station  has over 100 gas pumps! For all my local peeps, I agree. We need a couple of these around here! <ahem>

On our way to Erica’s house we stopped at Rudy’s for some Texas BBQ! Unfortunately Beauty had problems eating for a large portion of this trip because she had her wisdom teeth pulled 2 weeks before we left. Lucky for her I found a recipe online for Rudy’s style corn. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I’ve made it twice since we’ve been home!

 

 

Our first full day in San Antonio started with the Zoo!

Our first full day in San Antonio started with the Zoo!

 

 

If you know me in real life you are probably aware of how much I love flamingos. Well, this was totally the place for me! They had 3 different areas with my favorite bird!

 

 

 

 

Totally a tourist shot!

Totally a tourist shot!

Apparently we are speed walkers because we made it through the zoo in about 3 hours. We ended up catching the city bus downtown. We saw the Alamo (from across the street) and all these other cool little shops I didn’t see last time I was there. We found Ripley’s and had a good time checking out the gift shop.

 

Yep, we're cool!

Yep, we’re cool!

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Reality

  • It’s been almost 10 months since my mom died. I miss her every single day and find myself thinking that I need to call her to check in and see how she’s doing today.
  • Just typing that sentence brought tears to my eyes.
  • 10 months ago I experienced my very first ever anxiety attack. I seriously thought I was going to die. I had quite a few attacks that week. They are a very real thing and I don’t wish them on anyone. I still have one occasionally but with the help of my kids I’m able to get through them.
  • Beauty is back home and doing well. She’s going to school and working hard. I’m very proud of her.
  • MiniMe got another Citizenship Award a few weeks ago. I am so proud of the great young lady she is becoming.
  • I thought my RA was pretty under control but after meeting with the doctor a week ago I realized that it’s not as under control as it should be. This means switching medications and dealing with a different set of side effects.
  • I still love my job. I am learning new things all the time and so appreciate my boss and her generosity.
  • For the first time ever the girls and I are taking a really real vacation. Our usual vacations are to visit family, which IS a vacation, but not. This time we are going to Texas! Neither of the girls has ever flown so it should be an experience.

 

  • Not every day is easy but every single day is worth it.

Parenting, the hardest job I’ve ever had!

Being a parent is hard work. Yes, there are lots and lots of rewarding times thrown in but when you get right down to it, it’s tough. Being a single parent is doubly tough. In a 2 parent household, in theory, you have a partner to help you out with those rough patches. You have back-up. When you’re a single parent you have no back-up. It’s all you, baby! I have all the respect in the world for military families who have one parent deployed while the other is manning the home front. Those are a different kind of single parents. Having to parent without your partner and having the extra worry for their safety would be unimaginably hard. I can’t imagine the stress that would add to a family and I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart for each and every one of those who are defending our country and making the world a safer place. Please don’t think I’m discounting those parents in that situation. I’m not! It’s just different.

You see, when you’re a single parent, whether by choice or by circumstance, you don’t have back-up. Ever. You have one income that has to work for everything. Food, clothes, housing cost, medical bills, utilities, transportation, repair bills, hair cuts, toothpaste. All of it costs money. Lots of it! When you’re a single parent you don’t have the luxury of an extra income coming in to help with that. Some are lucky enough to get child support from the absent parent. Not everybody is. Sometimes the amount of money you get in child support is such a small amount that if I told you what it was I’d be laughed right off the internet.

In the last 20 years I’ve done it all. The 2 a.m. feedings? Yep, that was me. The 4 a.m. run to the E.R because your child won’t stop throwing up and you can’t get the fever down? Done that, too. Sleeping in a chair for 3 nights with your 2-year-old who has the chicken pox and won’t lay down? Been there. The preschool assessment lady asking your 3 1/2-year-old her name and being told “My name is Shark Bait Hoo Ha Ha!”? Not my finest parenting moment. Really funny and a great story now but at the time? Not so much. The call from the school that your child was in a “situation” on the playground and they are considering suspension, IN KINDERGARTEN? Yeah, that really happened.

When you’re a single parent with a single income trying to raise a family sometimes you have to make a choice between eating lunch (even one you brought from home) or putting gas in your car. Wearing the same coat for 3 years just so you can get a new one for your child at the thrift store is sometimes just the way it works. Losing your job can mean losing your home. I’ve been very lucky that I have family around that has, more than once, taken in my girls and I so we could get back on our feet. I’m lucky. Not everybody has that kind of safety net.

Being a single parent has also been the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Now that Beauty is almost 20 (How the heck did that happen???) I look at the beautiful young woman she is becoming and I am proud. I did that! I look at MiniMe who just turned 14 and I know that even though some days she still makes me crazy, she’s a good girl who loves her family and cares about those around her. I did that too!

Yep, being a parent is the hardest, most rewarding job I’ve ever had.

 

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

 

A new reality

I haven’t posted much recently because everything I’ve written is sad and depressing and that’s so not what I wanted to do with this blog. Unfortunately that’s just the way my mind is working right now.

I want to be funny but find myself struggling not to cry most days. And that’s not funny.

I’m still adjusting to this new reality. You know, the one where my mom died and Beauty is in another state? Yeah, that’s been a lot of fun. NOT! I can’t help it. I miss my mom and I miss my girl. We talk on the phone almost every day which helps but it’s not the same. We have gotten to Skype a few times and that’s a little better but still not the same. I can’t touch her and give her a hug.

MiniMe and I will be going on a long weekend trip to see Beauty in a week and a half. I’m so very excited!!! We haven’t seen her since August when we went on our epic adventure and it’s been a looooooooooong 3 months. MiniMe misses her sissy a lot and can’t wait to see her. She’s not the only one! I’m also happy because I’ll get to see my sister who I haven’t seen since mom’s funeral.

With the holidays fast approaching we will have a whole season of firsts. I have Valium for the worst rough spots but I think I’ll be okay because I have the love and support of my family.

Oh yeah, and I’ve decided after almost 25 years to quit smoking! Please pray for MiniMe and I as we try not to kill each other during this time.

 

Our grand adventure

Our epic adventure started innocently enough.

Months ago I received a Facebook event invitation for a family reunion in August for my mom’s side of the family. My cousins try to do a camping trip every year to the town where my mom and her siblings grew up. I click “Maybe” as my response because life happens and really, I’ve clicked maybe pretty much every year but something always comes up and I’m unable to make it. The last time I went MiniMe was 3. It’s been 10 years.

This has been a whirlwind year for us. With Beauty’s health problems then Mom passing away in May. Huge change in my job which meant full-time hours, a promotion and a pay raise. Yay me! A month after mom passed I put Beauty on a bus.  Mostly because of mom’s passing and my need to see my girl, I decided that I really needed to go the reunion this year. My cousins were there for my siblings and I in our time of crisis and I wanted to be able to spend time with them for a non-sad reason.

I’ve never driven to the area where the reunion would be held by myself so planned my route out and MiniMe made scores of lists of the things we needed to bring. She wanted to pack her bags 3 weeks prior to our departure! Well, 4 days before our departure date there was a mudslide on the highway I was planning to take. This particular highway would put me about an hour from my destination. Plan B: take the other route that would add a couple hours to my trip. Given that they weren’t able to clear a path the way I wanted to go before our we left I decided to go with Plan B.

We had the van loaded with our stuff for a weekend of camping. It was really full. Tents, bedding, bags, food, coolers, everything we would need for 3 days of camping with family. We left town about 10:00 a.m. expecting to arrive at our destination in about 6ish hours.

Or not…

Three hours into our trip, after crossing a mountain pass on which they were blasting so traffic was slow going, we made it to the town of Leavenworth, WA. Please don’t get me wrong. This is a very cool town. But this trip my plan was that it would a “top off the gas tank, grab a quick bite to eat and get back on the road” kind of town.

MiniMe took a couple of cool pictures while I was driving

MiniMe took a couple of cool pictures while I was driving

Going up the mountain pass

Going up the mountain pass

White Water!

White Water!

Unfortunately my vehicle had a different plan. You see, even tho I had checked all the fluids in my van prior to our trip like I’ve always been taught, my van decided to blow through 6 1/2 quarts of transmission fluid going over that mountain pass. It didn’t really want to move from the gas pump.

The gas station of doom!

The gas station of doom!

Our home away from home

Our home away from home

After lots of tears (I cried. I cried a lot!) and phone calls…

We will be rescued!

We will be rescued!

My brother and another family member made a plan. I had called my nephew and he graciously agreed to let me borrow his car so we could make the rest of our trip! Ginormously HUGE thank you to Timber and Georgia! We love you guys so much!!! The only problem was that we needed to wait. We had to wait for my nephew to get home from work with said car so my brother could go load it on the car trailer to bring to me. We also had the 3 hours of driving time it would take them to get to us. I’ve never spent any time in this little town we were in and it was a Friday evening so my brother suggested we go check it out. Luckily we were only a block from all the very cool little shops and the park.

We found cool stuff like this

We found cool stuff like this

And this! It's purple!!!

And this! It’s purple!!!

It was also VERY HOT!!!  We weren’t really prepared to be walking around town in 97 degree weather! o.O

We found a very cool hat shop

We found a very cool hat shop

I liked this one best! We even found flamingo sunglasses!

I liked this one best! We even found flamingo sunglasses!

We found a t-shirt shop that had this in the window

So true!

So true!

After waiting…and waiting…and waiting…

The cavalry arrived!!!

Do you see how little that car is? I drive a minivan. Remember me telling you that we were going camping for 3 days and had it totally packed? Would you believe that we fit everything in this little car??? Well, my brother didn’t think we would either but we did! So after unloading the car from the trailer, moving all the stuff from my van to the car then loading the van on the trailer, we were ready to go again! I still had another 3 plus hours to drive. MiniMe ended up falling asleep and totally slept through me singing to keep myself awake for the last hour. We got into the little town where my mom grew up and I had to make an executive decision to turn either right or turn left. (My phone was dead, no working cigarette lighters in the borrowed car so I couldn’t use my GPS) My navigator (MiniMe with the map) was mostly asleep. I turned right. Because I didn’t think it looked right (remember, it’s been 10 years since I’ve been there and THAT time it was daylight!) I pulled over. Turns out I pulled over IN FRONT OF THE BAR! Ok, in my defense, the bar was closed! Anyway, I pull over, turn on the dome light and look at the directions.

Let me set the scene for you a little better.

It’s about 2:15 a.m. I’m pretty much lost. There is absolutely nothing moving in this little town. Not even the trees!!! I’m in a borrowed car that is packed to within an inch of it’s life with our stuff. It’s me and my 13-year-old daughter. All caught up now? Good… lets get back to the story.

As I’m looking at the directions trying to figure out what to do next, a car pulls up behind me. Huh, that’s interesting. Next thing I know…

Of course!

Of course!

All I could do was laugh. Because seriously???

So the cop walks up to my side and the first thing he says is “Ma’am, I have to tell you that you’re being recorded.” OF COURSE I am! I have to tell you, it took every ounce  of self control I have not to ask if it was for Candid Camera! All I could do was laugh. Apparently when I pulled over at 2:00 in the morning in a totally dead town with not another car anywhere in sight I forgot to use my blinker.

So he asks me for my license and registration. Ummm… I hand him my license no problem and begin frantically searching for the registration for a car THAT ISN’T MINE!!! Awesome!

As I’m searching I’m pretty much babbling saying “This is my NEPHEW’S CAR that he’s letting me borrow because mine broke down and we just spent 8 hours  waiting for my brother to bring me my NEPHEW’S CAR that he’s letting me borrow and they brought it to me on the trailer and my van is on it’s way home but my NEPHEW let me borrow his car so I can go to my family reunion and this is my NEPHEW’S CAR. I think I must have mentioned that this was my nephew’s car about 17 times. He apparently thought I was a psycho lunatic because he called for back-up! MiniMe looked out her window and there was another cop on her side of the car!!! Really dude???

Anyway, he let me go with a warning and told me how to get to the resort where Beauty and my niece and the rest of my cousins were waiting.

I just love her!

I just love her!

My aunt who lives there came to the reunion on Saturday afternoon. One of my cousins was talking with her and I hear from across the camp “Hey! You’re famous! You made the news!”

I’m thinking, “Awesome! Which part of my crazy adventure made the news?”

Turns out my aunt was up listening to the scanner and when the cop ran my information she heard it. **sigh**

We ended up having a great time and I got to spend time with my cousins and talk with my mom’s 2 sisters and visit with my remaining uncle.

We had water balloons

We had water balloons

And a bouncy house!

And a bouncy house!

MiniMe, Beauty and Me

MiniMe, Beauty and Me

The coolest dog ever!

The coolest dog ever!

The whole motley crew

The whole motley crew

I think she misses her sissy

I think she misses her sissy

All in all, it was a great time and I’m so glad we went. I’m hoping to be able to go again next year but with a little less adventure getting there.

As my aunt was preparing to leave we were saying our goodbyes and she says to me “Your birthday is on the 28th, right?” I replied, “No, my birthday is in December.” She looked up at me and said “Oh, that’s right! I heard that on the scanner!” **sigh**

Now they call me “The Fugitive”

I remember

9114People everywhere are remembering the day our world changed. On that fateful day 12 years ago I remember exactly where I was.

At the time I was working in a call center for a cell phone company. We hadn’t heard much when I received a call from a woman whose phone automatically transferred her to my department. The woman on the phone that day was frantic. She was a stewardess for United Airlines. She was trying to reach her friends and co-workers. She was supposed to be on one of those planes.

Twelve years later I don’t remember her name but I’ll never forget her voice.

Shortly thereafter we received word that if we wanted to leave work we could go and not face any attendance infractions. 21-month-old MiniMe was in daycare and 7-year-old Beauty was in her second grade class at school. I chose to leave. I knew there was nothing I could do and thankfully I didn’t personally know anyone who was killed that day but I needed to gather my children close and keep them as safe as I knew how. I picked up the girls and we went home. Thankfully they were young enough that they didn’t understand at the time what was going on. I struggled to answer Beauty’s questions in a way that she would understand.

Twelve years later they have learned to live in our post 9/11 world.

I have relatives who have served in the military and a nephew who is a civilian firefighter in Afghanistan. There’s a local family who lost a son a few years ago. We live in a small community and the day he was brought home everything stopped. The motorcade from the airport to the high school gym where his memorial service was held was one of the most amazingly heart wrenching things I’ve ever experienced. Beauty and I were on the freeway and every overpass was filled with people. The fence along side the freeway was filled with flags.  Cars pulled over to the side of the road to show respect for this fallen soldier who was one of our own. I was one of those cars.

I am thankful every day for the men and women in uniform who work so hard to make sure that our world is safe. Whether it’s a military uniform or our firefighters, EMTs, police and sheriffs, all of them are working together to make sure that we in this country are safe.

For this, I thank you.

My response to the Daily Prompt

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.