Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcome Nicholas David!

I have a new personal best record: 17 days early! Imagine my shock when my water broke during the middle of the night 5 days before my scheduled c-section! I was ecstatic to know that this would be my last pregnant day ever and that my son would have an even birthdate (of all 10 first cousins, the boys all have even dates and the girls all have odd dates, so I didn't want to mess it up with #10!), but having him come on the 24th did add a level of complexity: namely that my parents were traveling up that day to help with the baby, thinking that 5 days before my scheduled surgery would be plenty of a buffer! Of course we had no plan B, other than keeping Sean home from school to watch the girls while Don and I went to the hospital.

We got there around 5 and the nurses assessed me to see if I would need a c-section right away, or if I could "hang in there" until a more reasonable hour. After all, they'd hate to gather all the nurses and doctors in the middle of the night for no good reason!

The nurse couldn't find a heartbeat for awhile. And then when she did find one, it was faint. Yeah, that was a little unsettling. So she brought in an ultrasound machine and scanned me and found the little buggar baby at the very northern most point in my uterus, and sideways to boot! She had been looking for the heartbeat much lower, like near the birth canal. At that point she called in the doctor on call and let us know that the c-section would most likely be a.s.a.p. although not an emergency. With my water broken and the baby not down plugging up the hole, there was a threat of the umbilical cord prolapsing.

So the obstretician on call came in and started rallying the troops. She called our family doctor, Dr. Morgan to come in and assist. He did : )

We were wheeled into the operating theatre at about 6 and I was given the spinal. Langley hospital has an excellent anesthesiologist...I've had two spinals from him (Patience's birth and this surgery) and it really wasn't uncomfortable at all to get. They set up a drape (thank you, Lord) so I couldn't see what they were doing, and I couldn't feel any pain, but I could feel the pressure and the tugging involved in evicting Nicholas from my uterus's "penthouse apartment." Because he was so far up, the surgeon had to make the standard lateral cut along my bikini line, and then start cutting vertically from there until she could reach something on the baby. The vertical cut was only through the uterus, not the skin.

They delivered him at 6:37. He was 6 pounds, 13 ounces and about 20 inches long. He was very bloody when we first saw him, but I guess this is more standard with c-secion deliveries. Shortly after that, the baby nurse, Don, and Nicholas all went up to the maternity ward.

They took almost 90 minutes to give me a tubal ligation and repair all of the incisions. I bet Dr. Morgan wished he'd taken a pass on this morning's surgery! I was in recovery by 8 and they told me I couldn't leave there until I could move my feet. I was able to move them sideways and up and down the bed and begged for some water, some ice chips, anything wet! I think they saw me for the difficult patient I am and decided by 8:20 that I could go ahead on up to the maternity ward!

We still had some logistics to deal with...Don had to be at the Bellingham airport at 1:30 to pick up my parents! Don's aunt Dorothy came and spent most of the day with me and Nicholas at the hospital. Don took Sean to school and lunch hour and sprung Dylan to stay home with Jordyn, and Pam was so kind as to let Patience come and play with Danica for the afternoon. Phew!

We were in the hospital until Friday morning around 11. I've been home under the care and very watchful eyes of my mom, dad, and Don. My job is to sit or lay, preferably with my feet up (what's with the swollen feet/ankles? Good grief, they were never this bad when I was actually pregnant! It was actually difficult to walk on them on Friday and Saturday...), and hold and feed the baby. I feel really good right now. I can't imagine not having this support system in place, though. Imagine the women who come home from a c-section with a passel of children already at home who have to hit the ground running! I am so thankful for my family : )

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Playing with the band...

Dylan, in an attempt to make himself look like a phenomenol scholarship recipient, has been trying to find a good "volunteer position." Last night he went to the Sea Cadets' band practice to see if he could be of any use to them. It looks like it might work out well. There are two new band members playing the trumpet who actually don't really know how to play the trumpet.

The first 30 minutes are practicing marching and playing their repertoir of like 7 songs, and the second 30 minutes are where the instrumentalists get instruction. Dylan did march with them, while sight-reading the music for an instrument that he hasn't played very much in the past year, so it was a learning experience for him, too.

Their band practices 1 hour each week directly before Sean has Guard practice, so it would be a very convenient volunteer gig. It's not a big band, and it's not even a very good band but hopefully Dylan can lend a hand to their brass section!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lentils and Rice

This was leftovers from during the week...I decided that it would make good chicken food and the hens agree!
It's seasoned with taco seasoning so I wsn't sure how it would go over, but I apparently needn't have worried...
Speaking of hens, ours are still not laying, but we heard some pretty strange cackling and cawing this a.m. so I think their time is near!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

C-section news...

I got a call from the hospital this afternoon and I now have some very important information regarding my surgery. I have to be at the hospital at 6:15 a.m. on Monday the 29th for an 8:00 surgery. I am first in line, so I won't have to deal with any backups (hopefully). And I'll most likely be in the hospital until Thursday morning. 10 more days. Maybe less!

Circle Time...

I got this picture of the girls at "circle time" today. This is where they sit on the circle carpet and sing their "goodbye song." The first day of school Jordyn wouldn't even get close to the carpet...she just stood off in the distance and watched the other kids. So Don bribed her...everyday that she participates in circle time she gets fruit snacks when she gets home. Well, that's an offer she can't refuse!

Sorry for the quality of the picture...I took it far away and zoomed in. But you can still get the basic jist of the situation. You can see how enthusiastic Miss Jordyn is. : )
It was very cute. Patience sat down first and then some other kids came in and sat beside her. When Jordyn came to sit down, there were no spaces left beside Patience. So Patience got up and moved to an empty place so that Jordyn could sit next to her. Warmed my heart right up.

Nathan Called!

Just a few minutes ago I received a call from Nathan! I have been reading the Cape May website and it says in several places, "No news is good news. Recruits are allowed to call home only to deliver bad news." So I immediately asked him, "Why are you calling?!"

It turns out he needed some banking information sent to him. I told him no one had received any mail from him so we didn't have his mail address. He said he's written 3 letters but neither us nor my mom has received any mail from him : (

He was able to give me his mailing address:

SR Murphy
Recruit Company Kilo 180
James Hall
USCG Training Center
1 Munro Avenue
Cape May, NJ

I asked if he could say hi to his dad and he said, "No. This call is strictly business."

I asked how he was doing, and he said, "I'm doing really, really good, but I need lots of mail."

He didn't sound good. He sounded on the verge of tears through the entire conversation. If you can find the time to drop him an encouraging line I know he would be very appreciative (me too).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Girly Girls

This morning I had a doctor appointment. Everything was fine, just like last time and all the times before that! I have one more appointment next week, and then my c-section on the following Monday.

When I came home I started doing some (never-ending) laundry, and then the girls asked if I'd do their nails. They've been wanting their toes painted ever since I got my pedicure done. So I got them onto the bathroom counter and gave them eyeliner, lipstick, and polish. They had a blast. Okay, I had lots of fun, too. And I'm especially having fun because I sent them out to show their father how beautiful they are and I know he's going to come undone seeing his baby daughters in makeup : )

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My volunteer flower bed is overflowing with dahlias, asters, cosmos, some bachelor buttons (but they're mostly gone now), basil, and cherry tomatoes! I planted the dahlias and asters (from seed), and the Sweet 1,000,000 tomato plant, but everything else came up on its own.

I still haven't received Nathan's letter from bootcamp, telling me his mailing address. I'm hoping it will come in today's mail, or that Mom and Lee will receive their letter today and call me with the address.
The boys are doing great in school: Sean is getting an A in Math 8, and as far as I know there are no "problem classes" for him. He's on the Grade 8 volleyball team, so he's busy after school Monday-Thursday. On Monday and Tuesday evenings he has cadets, so he's keeping his schedule pretty full! Dylan has scaled back his music involvement to 3 early mornings and 1 or 2 afternoons each week. We are carpooling with a family that lives around the corner whose son is in the exact same programs, so that really helps. We also broke down and bought the boys bus passes so they can take that if they're going or coming at the normal time. Their bikes have worked great for the first couple weeks of school, but already it's still fairly dark when Dylan would have to leave for an early morning choir or jazz practice.
The girls are quite content with their quiet little routine: preschool twice a week and church on Sunday. They're happy to stay home and play with each's really nice to have them so close in age. Patience is practically shaking with anticipation of her new baby coming in less than two weeks. She and I organized the bathroom cabinet yesterday. She was the perfect partner...she can bend down and reach all the way to the back. Don and I went shopping on Sunday and stocked up on lots of toiletries so now they're all organized and we can see what we have.
We've been having wonderful weather. Sunny but not too hot. Don's been working a little everyday down at Radnai's, slowly getting the work done and the trees sold. He just sold 600 trees to a contracting outfit in charge of the new bridge that's going across the Fraser River, replacing the quaint little ferry that currently takes you from Ft. Langley to Maple Ridge. The nice thing about that order, besides the quantity, is that they want the trees to be more natural, which means Don no longer needs to cultivate them. That'll save a lot of work in the next two years.
He's decided to run a little retail operation this year...just Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10-8. Right out of our driveway. Yep, that's scaling back quite a bit, but that means he'll be able to keep up with this computer clients and wholesale orders while still getting top dollar for some of his better/bigger trees. It's a nice compromise that I think I can live with.
Today after I drop the girls off at preschool I'm going to go have coffee with a friend. I haven't done anything like that in a long time! I have this very little window of opportunity to be kidless for a few hours at a time, so I need to take advantage of it...I think I'm going to try to make a hair appointment for Thursday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Feet!

This afternoon I totally splurged (not quite as bad as Spa Utopia, but still a pretty penny!) and had an hour-long, indulgent pedicure. Nice....

The esthetician told me she couldn't give me the total foot/leg massage because it could bring on contractions. I said, "please bring them on. I'll tip you extra." But she wouldn't. So I asked her to show me how one would massage my feet/legs to bring on contractions and she showed me. So you know what Don will be doing everyday after my parents arrive!

I was ordered advised to go bright with my polish this time around because at my last pedicure I got a neutral color, because, well, I'm so darn practical. So, how's this for bright pink?

You can see some swelling in this picture, but they actually get worse in the evening. I wear these sandals almost exclusively and I have strap marks in the evening when I take them off.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A relaxed retirement

Here is our old beloved dog, Storm, who is resting on his first-ever, very own piece of furniture! This was the black futon frame that had an unfortunate meeting with 5 teenagers and from then on was unusable. So we moved it under the overhang and put Storm's dog beds and blanket on it. He thinks he is in hog heaven.

By the way, I did something pretty out-of-character for me: I made a pedicure appointment for tomorrow! I've been unable to reach my feet for awhile and I just noticed how much they need some attention. Especially now that I'm limited to sandals when I leave the house. So you know what tomorrow's picture will be!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preschool Day #2...

...was better! Jordyn was again very reticent and wanted me to pick her up and hold her when we got there, but I just held her hand and dragged lead her inside. I helped her hang up her backpack and wash her hands, and then I sat her down at one of the tables that had toys all over it. I kissed her goodbye and then left. I looked at her through the window and saw her playing with the toy. Patience had come over and was playing with her, too.

When I got there to pick them up I looked through the window again and I saw her sitting on the circle carpet with the other kids. Yeah!

One of her teachers, Mrs. Tracy, said that Jordyn was fine all day long although she was pretty much glued to her the entire time. Even when Mrs. Tracy had to leave the room, Jordyn went with her. But Mrs. Tracy was okay with this, and thinks Jordyn will grow out of it, so we're going to consider it progress!

The girls got ice cream with sprinkles when they got home to celebrate Jordyn's progress.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


No, not what we're having for dinner tonight...this is just how my ankles/feet look right now. Ug. Not pretty, and definitely not comfortable.
Did I mention I have only 18 more days (at the most) of being pregnant?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Day of Preschool

This afternoon Patience and Jordyn had their first day of preschool. It was a "mini session" so the kids could have an hour to get used to the classroom and the routine. When I dropped the girls off, I peeked through the window and saw Jordyn planted in one spot, just staring at the commotion around her. When I returned, I peeked through the window again as the kids were doing "circle time," which is songs, stories, etc. I always thought Jordyn would love this part of the day. All of the kids were sitting on the carpet, listening and interacting, except Jordyn. She, again, was planted to the ground, about 10 feet away from the rest of the class. It broke my heart. But when I went in to get them, she didn't cry. She just hugged me. And then she was very quiet on the way home. I'm not sure if she's just too young, or if she's just slow at warming up to new situations. I guess time will tell...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Our beautiful girls

Here are the girls before church this morning in their matching Hawaiian outfits (compliments of Grandma and Papa, of course).

Yesterday Don Sr. came down from Merritt to help Don Jr. grade and tag his trees. This is basically determining if the tree is a "#1," which will fetch top dollar, or a "#2," which is only suitable for wholesale.

This morning they were up early, had breakfast, and then went back to do more of the same. Don found out that he has a lot more Noble fir trees than he originally thought. This is good because Nobles sell well and fetch a good price, but it also means he needs to put on his salesman hat and start flogging those puppies.

The kids and I went to church this morning. The service was great, and the girls both had a great time at their perspective kids program.

After lunch, Sean and I went out to our disgusting freezer/storage room and did some cleaning. Glenda had come over earlier in the week to take all of the 4-H stuff off my hands, so it really wasn't as big a job as it could have been. We threw away a lot of stuff, organized what was left, and then Don came in and swept. It's much improved!

Tonight we celebrated beautiful weather with bar-b-qued hamburgers and pasta salad al fresco. It's a beautiful evening still and the girls are back to their sandbox. Life is good.

Nathan has probably just finished dining with my mom, Lee, my dad, and Carmen at Original Joes in San Jose. That's the favorite restaurant of the San Jose Sharks, so of course we're all hoping he sees some of his favorite players there!

In 22 minutes, he's due at the hotel where the Coast Guard billets their recruits. Tomorrow a.m. very early, a bus will take him and dozens of other young people to be processed and then flown out to Pennsylvania. His adventure begins! I hope my parents (especially my mom) can handle the goodbye. Better her than least she can have as much wine as she needs wants afterwards.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Help! I'm in trouble!

When I hadn't seen Jordyn in 5.4 nanoseconds, I started getting nervous because she can do major destruction in less time than that. So I called her.

"Jordyn, where are you?"

"Help, I'm in trouble!"

"You're in trouble?"

"Yes, I can't see!"

Running to the bathroom, I find this:

I so can't wait for the cavalry to arrive.

Friday, September 05, 2008

My Updated Countdown...

Remember my countdown from the end of June? Well, all of those milestones have been reached except for the September 29th one...

My September countdown looks like this:

September 9: preschool starts for the girls
September 24: Mom and Lee arrive to keep me from going insane help when the baby is born.
September 29: Meet the new baby!

Theoretically speaking, the baby could arrive sooner. The c-section is scheduled for 38 weeks and 2 days, but I always have my babies early...Patience arrived at 38 weeks exactly. I'm hoping he arrives on an even date, to keep the family tradition intact.

And he's off!

The girls and I took Nathan to the Bellingham airport today for the first step of his adventure: spending the weekend with my mom and Lee! We took longer than anticipated to get through the border so we ended up feeling rushed to get to the airport on time. So I didn't even have time to get emotional at all...I was just worried about him missing his flight!

At the airport, he told me to not worry about parking and bringing the girls in, so we just dropped him off at the curb. I gave him a hug, told him I'd call him tonight, and then he hugged and kissed his sisters, and he was off.

Here are some photos we took this morning before we left:

Heather, do you notice who is still wearing her watch? And yes, it's still "3 o'clock" everytime you ask her what time it is...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Not OK now...

I was fine until I heard Nathan saying goodbye to Don's parents on the phone. He told them how much he appreciated having them in his life and how much they mean to him. I lost it. And I'm still crying...

A new do...

I enjoyed Jordyn's long hair and she was really good about letting me brush it, put it up, etc, but it was really thin to be that long so this morning I gave her a haircut in the backyard. It's just like Patience used to wear her hair...short in the back, tapering longer in the front, with bangs. Here is her new look:

I think it'll be a good cut on her while we wait for her hair to thicken up.

So, yesterday Don took Nathan and I south of the border. We stopped at Nathan's bank in Washington and wire-transfered all of his funds to his new Coast Guard credit union account, and then tried to explain the importance of keeping his receipt showing that transaction. I think Nathan is going to have to learn a few lessons the hard way...

From there we headed to Val and Dave's, where we saw the cutest little miniature horse named Stuart Little and then we loaded up all of the baby stuff that we might need into the back of Don's pickup. Now we have a carseat to bring the baby home in plus a million billion other things!

Then Val, Dave, Don, Nathan, and I all headed out to the Richey's new favorite restaurant, Taco Lobo, in downtown Bellingham. It was delicious and we had lots of fun. We headed back to their house to help them at a delicious Key Lime cheesecake that Dave found at Costco. Mom, that would have totally been worth the extra points!

We got home around 8:30. Jordyn was already asleep in bed, but big brother babysitters graciously let Patience stay up late and watch t.v.

This morning I had a doctor appointment. Everything continues to look/sound/feel good and we're still on schedule for a 9/29 delivery unless the baby decides to come earlier.

Nathan is multi-tasking...making sure his ATM card works since we changed his bank account from a savings to a checking, and getting in his daily exercise. He's biking down to the Co-op and back...around 5 miles, I think.

In 24 hours we'll be on our way to the Bellingham airport. I'm doing okay, all things considered...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Banking Day...

We spent most of the work-day hours today getting Nathan a bank account at the Coast Guard credit fax, of course. And getting him an ATM card that will work in the states. Yes, we've put this step off too long, and were really up against the wall here. His recruiter even said that if he got audited today, Nathan would be "cancelled" due to lack of a payroll deposit form.
The good news is that as of 3:00 or so today, he is all set. Phew. I asked Nathan what he was going to do when he didn't have a secretary to make endless phone calls, fill out forms, etc. and he assured me he was looking to replace me as soon as he gets out of boot camp. I guess when he interviews for the girlfriend position he'll have organization, phone, and penmanship skills as a very high priority.

Right now Don, Nathan, and Peter are at the movies watching the new Star Wars movie. The animated one.

Tomorrow we have a few appointments and then Don has some suprise up his sleeve. He said that Nathan and I have to be ready to go at 3:30 and that I shouldn't worry about anything (childcare, dinner, etc.). I do know that we'll be heading south of the border...Don told me that when we were trying to figure out our banking options. I'll post a.s.a.p. so none of you die of curiosity.

Don and Dylan worked on the trees today, but Don continues to be discouraged by the amount of work still to be done at Radnai's. Unfortunately, his work force is about to be otherwise occupied.

Sean had school today for a few hours. His new school has all of the Grade 8's come on the first day for a barbeque and an assembly. Then tomorrow will hopefully be not so scary for the new kids. One funny thing is that Sean's Grade 7 teacher, Mrs. Cuthbert, is now teaching at the secondary school, and Sean has her for both homeroom and math. Ha! He won't get away with anything!

Tonight is cadets' first parade night is tonight. Sean is very excited because he is now one rank higher than he has been for 1.5 years and he gets to take new training classes, etc.

A busy Tuesday, now that I write it all down! No wonder we just had pancakes for dinner!

By the way, I asked Nathan what he wanted for his last dinner at home on Thursday night and he requested lasagna. Lucky for me, I have several frozen ones left over from his party. You know, the one with lots of food and guests who had already just eaten? But Nathan was happy to have frozen, commercial lasagna as opposed to a fresh, homemade one. That's my low-maintenace boy!

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Happy Place for Sand

Yesterday afternoon Nathan moved the girls' sand table over under the Magnolia tree and re-filled the sand. I'm hoping that the tree will offer some protection from the rain because even with the lids on, the rain fills the table when it rains hard. The old swing makes a fine shelf for some of the larger sand toys.

This morning Nathan and Dylan left with Don bright and early to work at Radnai's. Don's hoping the boys can work 4-5 hours and that he can last all day long. The weather is finally acting rain in the forecast for the next while, so it's a good time to work outside.

Last night Don, Nathan, the girls, and I went to the last Mexican Farm Worker soccer game/bbq that our church has been doing all summer long. We made it to the first one as well, and then Nathan left for Quadra and Dylan had work conflicts. It was lots of fun and you can see that the farm workers have gotten to know lots of the "gringos" over the course of the summer. Some are even taking English lessons from a woman from our church.

I've spent the morning doing laundry (the story of my life, really, but I want to make sure Dylan and Sean have their full arsenal of clothing for school), cleaning out and turning off the downstairs fridge (we've finally finished the party leftovers), and just generally keeping myself busy tidying up this now-huge house.

Did I tell you all that this winter we'll be hunkering in the bunker? We're going to forego heating the upstairs part of the house at all and do all of our living in the new smaller quarters downstairs. This end is better insulated and has everything we need. We'll still sleep upstairs, but then we'll have to heat only the bedrooms at nighttime instead of trying to keep the entire end heated all day long. We're sure missing the wood stove now that power prices are through the roof. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Don and the boys don't miss it at was a lot of work to get the wood, chop it, stack it, haul it in, build a fire, add wood to the fire, etc. for 6 months out of the year.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day!