Saturday, March 1, 2008

This is pretty fun

I found this typing test online - it was pretty fun. The best I managed was 67 WPM. Give it a try to see how you do! (Let me know, too - I'm curious to see where I fit in amongst you all.)


Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Alrighty friends, here's the deal. Today is the day for voting in Michelle's contest for the best birth story. If you are so inclined, please go to her site and vote (FOR ME) for the best story out of the ones she's showcased (which would be MINE). It's very easy - all you have to do is go to her site, and leave the name of the person who's story you wish to vote for (that's J-U-L-I-E), and when she announces the winner (ME), I can send you each a note thanking you for your vote.

Okay, so all joking aside - there have been some great stories I've read - some made me laugh, some made me cry, others made me cringe. Please go to Michelle's site and vote for the best one. The winner gets a cool bracelet. And don't worry, if you don't vote for me, I'll still love ya anyway!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My birth stories - the final chapter...

Here is my fourth, and final, entry in Michelle's birth story contest. There's still time to participate - the rules are listed here. You can read my other stories here, here, and here. I kinda cheated with this one - it was originally posted on The Jib's first birthday. I have added a few details to increase the "WOW" factor - hey, I'm trying to WIN A CONTEST HERE, PEOPLE!!

That's right folks, Phil Says Six More Weeks of Winter BIRTHDAY!

Phil's official forecast as read 2/2/08 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

Here Ye! Here Ye! Here Ye!
On Gobbler's Knob on this fabulous Groundhog Day (aka Ande's and The Jib's Birthday), February 2nd, 2008; Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators, Rose to the call of President Bill Cooper and greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths.

After casting a weathered eye toward thousands of his faithful followers,Phil consulted with President Cooper and directed him to the appropriate scroll, which proclaimed: "As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me. Six more weeks of winter BIRTHDAY it will be!"

Okay, he didn't QUITE say that, I took a little bit of "artistic liberty" with what he said...(hey, the media does that all the time, don't they?)

Yeah, right about this time last year, I was begging the doctor to just PULL HER OUT ALREADY joyfully pushing my giant headed beautiful baby girl, The Jib, into the world. I had actually gone in on February 1st to be induced (a full week before my due date) because I had extra amniotic fluid and the doctor was a little concerned that the baby was getting to be pretty big.

My husband, Ande, had joked with my doctor about making it so that I didn't actually have the baby until February 2nd, which just so happens to be Ande's birthday. I was not amused. After the anethesiologist came and did the equivilant of tattooing the entire Constitution into my back (yes, he missed SEVERAL times), I was ready to just say "forget it" to the epidural. He finally got it in, but as soon as the meds started, I started feeling VERY strange. My ears started ringing and I felt really warm all of the sudden. I'm not sure how low my blood pressure dropped, but I do know I got some sort of shot to get it back up again. Once that was under control, Ande was allowed back into the room, and I was still hoping for a Feb 1st birthday. However, apparently God thought The Jib would make the best birthday present EVER for Ande, and she ended up not making her appearance until 11:11am February 2, 2007. There was much hard pushing and crying on my part, and of course by the time she was born, the epidural had worn off, so I pretty much felt everything. When she finally arrived, she was not doing the greatest with her "stats", so the pediatric team took her right away. Ande went with her. I had the same issue with my placenta as I had previously, but we were all prepared (except for the one nurse who stood too close too soon - I think I may have ruined her shoes.) The best news was that I DIDN'T POOP ON THE TABLE THIS TIME!! YEAH!!

The Jib weighed in at an impressive 8lbs 13oz and was 20 inches long. She is the biggest of all of my babies - she outweighed her Bubber by 7oz (although he was 22 inches long), Bug by 14oz, and Puckey by 1lb 7oz. Nans isn't biologically mine, but it seems like Ande told me she was around 6lbs or so, so The Jib outweighed her by at least 2 lbs!

The Jib will be our last biological child. Someday we may adopt or at least do foster care. Right now we're just enjoying being a family of 7!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The birth of a Puckey

Okay, I finally have a chance to sit down and type up another birth story for Michelle's contest. This is the story of Puckey. Well, first a little back story. After I had Bug, (#2), my doctors told me it would probably be best to NOT have anymore babies. "Okay," I thought, "I can handle that - healthy boy, healthy girl. Good enough."

Well, after a couple of incredibly unhappily married years to my (now ex) husband, we got divorced. Not a pretty thing to deal with, and certainly with it's own consequences. I often tell my kids now that I NOW know, and I want them to understand, why God hates divorce and that's why they need to make smart choices in the future. (But that's a WHOLE other topic)

I met Ande one night at a birthday party for a co-worker of ours. We had actually worked for the same company for over a year and didn't know each other. We got to talking, and found out that we were in very similar stages in our lives - both going through divorces, I had 2 kids, he had 1, we were both done having children...blah blah blah. Ande was cute and funny, and we became fast friends. I quickly realized we'd be married someday.

Fast forward 2 years, to 2002. Ande had given his life back to the Lord, and I had gotten saved around the same time. We were allowing God to be a part of our relationship, and wanted more than anything to honor Him. We got married on March 14, 2003 in a beautiful wedding at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Just the two of us, and his cousin & his wife as witnesses. Very cool. Before the wedding, I got the Depo-provera shot, so I wouldn't have to worry about taking the Pill.

The shot made me SUPER cranky. I talked to Ande about stopping the shots, and we talked about the "what-ifs" if I got pregnant. I talked to my doctors, and they said it would be okay for me to have another child, as long as the delivering doctor knew my history of retained placenta and all that. So we decided to let God do His will in our lives, and just take things as they came. We didn't tell any of our friends or family members, so as to not get the pressure of "so, are you pregnant yet?" kind of questions.

In December 2004, I started feeling pretty crummy. My cycle was never really regular, so I didn't really know if I was "late" or not. I decided to get a test, and sure enough, it was positive pretty much immediately. Being the pessimist that I am, I did another one to be sure. Yep, STILL positive. I was scared and excited all at once. I wanted a creative way to tell Ande without just blurting it out. Since it was December (and almost Christmas) I decided to wrap up one of the tests and give it to Ande as a "gift". Of course, I couldn't stand to wait until Christmas itself, so he got the "gift" that very night. He was a little stunned at first, but then was really excited about the baby.

We didn't tell anyone our big news until February. I will never forget the look on my mother in law's face when we told her. We almost always went to lunch together as a family after church on Sundays. So this particular Sunday, I handed her a card that was addressed to her and my father in law. The card said, "Congratulations!" on the front. She looked at it, a little puzzled, and then opened it. I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but it was something to the effect of "Congratulations on becoming Grandparents again!" I think I might have had my first ultrasound pictures in it, too. She immediately burst into tears of joy, although I think she could have killed Ande and me for keeping it a secret for so long!

Ande was very excited all through the pregnancy, and was really happy when we found out Puckey was a girl, although he thought for sure she would be a boy. (We've since discovered that Ande and his brother can apparently only make girls, which has been a big joke in the family) Ande picked her real name (which I won't reveal here, for privacy reasons), and even made baby purchases occasionally.

Finally, my due date in August came, and went. I ended up being induced a week later. We got to the hospital at something like 6:00am, only to sit in a labor room for HOURS before they actually got to me to start the pitocin. I have no idea what the nurse was thinking, but she set the drip on the bag so that it emptied in MINUTES. Needless to say, I started having some pretty bad contractions REALLY quickly. We were watching weird old black and white movies in my room as we were waiting for things to progress, and Ande kept dozing off. I was starting to really struggle with the pain, so we called for the nurse. I don't know what in the world she gave me, but I started to feel really weird. I would fall asleep between contractions (which meant I would sleep for about 3 minutes, have a contraction, then go back to sleep for 3 minutes....) The few times I managed to stay awake, I would say really odd things to Ande, then I would ask him if I really said it out loud. I didn't like how I felt at all!!

After a while of waiting, I was taken to the delivery room to be given the epidural. That went fine, and I felt comfortable again. It was getting to be late, and Ande was hungry. He called his dad and asked him to bring some food. Ande went down to the parking lot to meet his dad and didn't come back. I thought maybe he was just eating in the cafeteria or something so I wouldn't have to smell his dinner (since I was hungry too, but they wouldn't let me eat). The nurse came in to check me, and she said I was ready to push. Ande still wasn't back. I tried calling his cell phone, he didn't answer. I was starting to panic, thinking he was going to miss our baby being born! I finally got him to answer the phone after several tries, and much to my dismay he told me he was locked out of the hospital and couldn't find a way in. NICE. My nurse called security and they let him in. I could hear him talking as he came down the hallway, and I heard my mom's voice, too. So they both come into the delivery room and my doctor comes in and tells me to push. I push twice, and then he tells me to stop, because he didn't even have his gown on yet, and Puckey is on her way out. One more push and she was born (piece of cake!!). My husband later joked that the doctor nearly needed a catcher's glove because Puckey came "flying" out. Puckey was 7lbs, 6oz, and about 20" long. She was the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. Seriously. Her head was perfectly shaped, her skin was pink, she wasn't all wrinkly...she was perfect. I also remember thinking, "YEAH!! I didn't poop on the table!!" (That makes more sense if you've read my other 2 stories here, and here.) Then probably the WEIRDEST thing I have EVER had happen to me in my life happened. (It's sorta gross, so if you get queasy easily, you might want to skip this part) My placenta wouldn't deliver (again), so my doctor reached in and "swept" my uterus with his hand. He got the placenta out, with minimal bleeding, and ordered an IV antibiotic to prevent infection. The image of my doctor with his arm (which seemed to be up to the shoulder) inside me is permanently seared in my brain. CREEPY. But it worked, so I'm okay with it.

The pediatric doctors wanted to take Puckey to the nursery to do the necessary newborn stuff, so Ande went with them (I think he was terrified that something would happen to her). My mom must have gone with him, because I don't remember her being in the room at that point. As I was lying there, I started to feel nauseated. I asked the nurse if I could get up and go to the bathroom, but since I had an epidural she wouldn't let me. She offered me a shot of something to help me feel better. I said that would be fine, so she gave me the shot. Almost instantly I felt better. For about 3 minutes. (Okay, more TMI coming've been warned) All of the sudden, I felt something happening "down under". Yeah, apparently one of the side effects of this particular anti-nausea drug is uncontrollable bowel movements. Again, I was horrified. My nurse was nice though, and she just cleaned me off as best she could until I could get up on my own. I don't think I had to "go" again for a week!

You'd think after all that, I might be done, but there's one more story coming....LOL