Friday, April 22, 2016

Baby #2!

(Didn't include my children's names, because, well...the world is a creepy place.)

Well, our dear 2nd daughter, you had us fooled just like your sister did. I called my mom and Devery on Monday night swearing I was in labor. Daniel and I were at Truetts trying to distract ourselves from irregular contractions. I had three right in a row that were six minutes apart. Your daddy was FRANTIC trying to get the bill! We ended up finishing dinner at home. Daniel and I slept in my room with contractions continuing almost all night but with no pattern while Mom and Devery slept on the couch. We headed to the hospital around 2 maybe, but turned around 1 minute from the hospital because as SOON as I got in the car, the contractions stopped. Way to mess with us!!

The next day, we took  our eldest to Kathy at school so we could sleep. When we picked her up in the afternoon, we bought me some new running shoes and headed to the track to WALK YOU OUT! From the time I woke up from my nap, the contractions were about every 30 minutes. But I KNEW these were the real thing and that you would probably come in the middle of the night like your sister.

We went to bed that night with me hopping up and rocking myself back and forth whenever I had a contraction. I kept waiting to call Devery and Mom because the times were SO IRREGULAR. 30 minutes, 4 minutes, 12 minutes, 6 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. It was driving me bonkers! Finally I couldn’t do it on my own anymore, no matter how irregular the times were! Dev and Mom got there around 2 again; Dev took one look at me and said, “Oh, Kiley, we’re doing this tonight.”

MIL came to be with our daughter, and off we left. The contractions were every 5-ish minutes the whole time up there, but nothing unmanageable. When we arrived, they took Daniel and me to a triage room and checked me at 5 cm (that’s it?! Last time I arrived at 9 cm, so I was a little bummed.) I’m so glad we got there when we did. I was in triage until sometime after 4, and then I walked to the delivery room. Then the hospital staff essentially left us alone except for periodic visits, which was AWESOME. I got to rely on my mom, Vickie Mantooth, Daniel, and Devery to help me through the last leg of labor.

Dev went into full midwife mode, and I can’t imagine doing it without her. She had me switching positions every 20 minutes or so to keep moving. With our eldest, I was in the bed the whole time and it was TERRIBLE. With Cor, I was squatting, walking, lunging sort of, sitting, etc. (how attractive, right?) all during contractions. WAY better than being confined in a bed to just think about pain. Eventually the nurse came in and checked me at 10 cm. I said, “Oh, so that’s why it hurts so badly!”]
They got the water tub filled up with hot water and it was GLORIOUS to sink into. The midwife said, “Whenever you feel like pushing, just push.” Then she pretty much backed off and Dev took over. I had three contractions, and told everyone, “I just don’t have the urge to push yet…at all.” That’s all I really remember about my eldest's birth—the urge to push is unstoppable and uncontrollable once it happens.

They told me once my water broke, I’d feel the urge. After the third contraction in the tub, my water broke, and they were right. Immediately, my body took over and I screamed, “PUSHING!!!” I heard Daniel laugh and I would have laughed too had I not been too busy, you know, pushing. It really did sound funny, I suppose—I just wanted everyone to know that I finally felt like working!

I don’t know how long I pushed. 20 minutes? We talked between contractions. About how much hair Dev felt on baby’s head, whether Daniel could get a vasectomy while we were there, why on earth Ina May calls them “rushes” instead of “contractions”. But man when it was time to push, I was LOUD. Not screaming, just grunting like a football player?! Not very feminine. Whatever. 

This time was so much better because I was in the tub and got to actually see what was going on. A woman’s body is AMAZING. I’m jealous of midwives that get to watch it work all the time!

Devery did everything. She coached me through each push, told me when to push gently, when to push hard, how to breathe, everything. Big thumbs up to Atlanta Medical for letting her do it all. She caught baby under the water, unwrapped the cord (nothing serious), and handed her to me. Awesome sister bonding time. 

Vickie said the look on my face when I was finished was one of intense relief. It WAS instant relief! 7 pound, 4 oz of squishy baby. Baby Girl came out WIDE awake and stared at me for at least 30 minutes before she fell asleep. It was the best birth experience. A perfect one to end on, because we’re done!!! :)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cooking lessons.

Some people pay to take cooking lessons.

I cook to learn lessons. Most are humbling. Some are delicious.

Lesson 1: Beauty is in the stomach, not eyes, of the beholder. Because no matter how hard I try, my visual presentation on a plate is sub-par. The taste, however, is (usually) delicious. If I served my meals to a large group of the blind, the meals might be considered culinary masterpieces. Luckily, my husband eats food so quickly, that who has time for admiring plate decoration? And we chop up all the food for the daughter, thereby turning a meal full of decadant colors and textures into something resembling pig-slop. She hasn't complained too much, though I try not to be offended when she drops food to the dog.

Lesson 2: Old habits do indeed die hard. The husband loves RedHot. "He puts that stuff on everything". No matter what I cook, he wants hot sauce to add on top. He used to ask for it without hesitation. Being the loving, dutiful wife that I am, I usually told him to shove it. He eventually learned his lesson and eats most meals sans hot sauce, but sometimes I sense the question is on the tip of his tongue, as his eyes dart frantically to the fridge. Whether I get up and offer him some depends on how long it took me to cook the meal. If it's over 30 minutes, tough luck.

Lesson 3: Rome wasn't built in a day. Just as many meals are not made in a half-hour, despite what Food Network tries to convince me. I can't chop an onion finely in less than 2 minutes. I just can't. (I'm showing what an amateur cook I am, aren't I?)

Lesson 4: A successfull marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Do my dishes, and I love you. Every time I cook, Daniel does the dishes.  Melts this little home-maker's heart, and, thankfully, it saves me from excessively dry hands.

Lesson 5: Don't cry over spilled milk. But do cry over a burnt casserole, egg shells in the batter, and the inability to grate carrots without slicing open an appendage.

I do love cooking. I can't draw, or paint, or sculpt, or even have an intelligent conversation about art, but I consider cooking my one creative flair.

Monday, February 16, 2015

For your birthday, I got you a blog post.

Dear daughter,

I only write you this 'letter' in the assumption that (a) I will one day read it to you, (b) You'll one day stumble across it while facebook stalking your mom ("psh, mom,  facebook in the 2020's? As if..."), or (c) Future anthropologists will stumble across it in their attempt to understand the ancient phenomenon known as the "world wide web"...

In any case. I hope to read this to you one day. Speaking of one, you're turning ONE in 12 days. I have no idea how that happened. Daniel and I often talk about how strange it all is. While you have revolutionized our entire lives--that is, you've made this the best (craziest, most difficult, happiest, etc.) year of our lives thus far--you won't remember ANY of it.

That's to be expected, I suppose, what with your preoccupation in eating everything and chasing the dog around the house (not to mention the limited brain capacity), but there's a few things I hope your dad and I NEVER forget about this first year of your life:

* How hard you laugh at Newman. I think you've given him a renewed purpose in life. Bless his heart, he went from being the "first-born" to  "Newman if you wake up that baby, I swear I'm going to send you to the moon." Well done, little one, in loving the pup when we forget to.

* The first time you laughed, period. All I had to do was make a ridiculous sound while a stuffed animal flew towards your face. Adults do very strange things around babies.

* How much you  love my hair. You play with it ALL THE TIME. When you're nursing, you slap me in the face until I take it out of a pony-tail so you can play with it. In fact, you've pulled out so much of my hair, I'm beginning to resemble your father (no offense, Daniel. Your bald head is a beacon of glory). But don't stop playing with my hair--I love it--and as soon as you have some, I'm going to braid it eight-thousand different ways.

* Your 4 teeth. Especially the top two. That gap is the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.

* How when you finish water, you smack your lips and say, "AHHHHHH". Every single time. I don't know where you learned to do that, but you make your grandma Sutton proud.

*  Our screaming matches. Not mad screaming. Happy, joyful screaming. You take after your mom in this way--we love being loud, loud, LOUD. My favorite time to grocery shop with you is in the morning, when it's not very crowded, because you can tell your voice is echoing, and it only makes you scream louder. It's hilarious, and the only people there are other parents who understand, or the much older, who might not even hear you to begin with.

*  When you were just a few weeks old, and would lay with us on the bed while we read to you. We'd all lay on our backs, and you would just stare at  whoever was reading. Now, of course, you enjoy the pictures, but in the first several months, you just wanted to watch us.

* Your face when either Mickey Mouse or "Baby Signing Time" comes on the screen. While we're on that topic, you recently have become a master at signing. It just clicked with you one week.
Up to this date, your most common signs are food, eat, all done, more, water, dog, bird, please, brush teeth (one of your favorite activities), thank you,  & daddy  (which you actually confuse with the sign for lettuce, but we get what you're trying to accomplish).
Some of your more random signs are car, lion, cold, and most recently, a new favorite: gorilla.

* When you first learned to flip, crawl, stand, etc. Walking is in the the very near future, I'm sure, but no rush. We have a few more cabinets we need to baby-proof first.
* How you have made your father become emotional. Before you were born, I saw a misty eye from him maybe once a year. But when you popped out, tears were his first a good way! Since then, he can't think about you growing up without getting teary eyed.

* How you continue to wake me up AT LEAST once a night to "nurse" (but really, it's because you just want to cuddle). I know you won't do it forever, so I'm not going to worry that you're not sleeping through the night yet. I know I'll miss the sleepless nights one day.

There's so many other memories you've created for this family. Little one, we didn't know what we were missing before you got here. Thanks for letting me name you after my favorite singer. Thanks for letting me dress you up. We can't wait to teach you all about Star Wars and Superman and Middle Earth and Harry Potter and other dorky things we can't get enough of.

You are the best thing that's ever happened to us, and we don't ever want to go back.

Friday, March 7, 2014

We had a baby...

 On Wednesday, February 26th, I had just returned from an appointment at Intown Midwifery with Vickie Mantooth, and Daniel and I enjoyed a breakfast dinner at her house with the sweet family. That night, around midnight, I started have contractions. They varied in time, from 10-20 minutes apart. I just tried to keep sleeping, but they woke me up frequently.
   The next morning, the contractions slowed down, and I left for work. I was taking the middle schoolers on a field trip to Fernbank for the day and knew it would be perfect to walk out my baby. Contractions came throughout the day, intense, but only once or twice an hour. After school, I came home and forced myself to make a veggie chili--anything to distract me!
   Later that evening, I told Daniel we should spend the night at my parents house, because I felt like the baby was going to come that night. We got to my parent's house around 8, and my mom helped me go through some breathing techniques, just in case. I got in bed around 9, but was awakened every ten minutes with intense contractions. I'd just lay in bed and squeeze Daniel's hand until they passed. Then we'd try to keep sleeping. Around midnight, two painful contractions happened, and I felt my water break. I got Daniel out of bed, and we went out into the living room to sit by the fire and play with the dogs. After about an hour, I could tell I was losing my focus, and went to get my mom.
   She helped me breathe through contractions in her living room for about an hour and half. Finally, I said I thought it was time to go.
   The hour car ride consisted of me sitting in the back, and my mom continuing to time the contractions and breathe with me from the front seat. I was almost completely silent the entire ride up there until about 10 minutes away, when I couldn't help groaning. When we finally pulled into the parking deck around 3 am, we still had to walk a good five minutes in freezing temps to the hospital entrance. There was a lot of stopping as I went through contractions, but I made myself keep walking, refusing the offered wheel chair.
   By the time we finally made it to Labor and Delivery, the pain was becoming unbearable. The poor nurses, used to women coming in screaming at 2 cm, tried to have me fill out paperwork, but I could barely sign my name to a paper. When they took me back to a triage room, they had me get in a bed and started fetal monitoring. I could barely sit still as the waves of contractions were almost unceasing. I looked at my mom at one point and said, "I don't think I can do this!" It was a terrible moment. I just knew they were going to check me at a few cm, and all my prep for natural labor would be for nothing. Finally, the midwife came and checked me. "You're at 9 cm!" she said. I was in agony, but it was such a relief inside to know I was almost there. My mom got so excited and said, "Unbelievable. Kiley you are so awesome. You're there. You are GOING to do this!"
   My dad and Daniel's parents were called and told to hop up to the hospital quickly.
Even though I was relieved by how far along I was, I was starting to go a little out of my mind by this point. They began to wheel me to laboring room, and I was loudly moaning down the whole hallway. They then told me I had to scoot myself to the other bed , a feat which, at the time, seemed impossible. Finally I hoisted myself over to the other bed. Then the screaming started. I kept saying I needed to push, but it was like no one was ready for me to do it because everything was happening too fast. I think one nurse said, "Your midwife isn't back yet." As if I really cared who was there. I was ready to PUSH!
   Finally, Lindley came back, and I asked if I could start pushing. She said, "Absolutely!" and I got to work. Pushing is the greatest feeling in the world. Time kind of disappears, and you just exist from one contraction to the next. The pain is essentially gone when you can finally start pushing. Vickie Mantooth arrived somewhere during this time, and she stood right at my head while I pushed. I squeezed her hand so hard, that I vaguely remember thinking I was breaking some bones, but it felt so good just to have something to hold and someone talking in my ear. I pushed in several different positions, not feeling any concern about the baby, because I felt everything was going along smoothly.
   At some point, I looked up , and saw the room had filled with a lot of medical staff. I looked at my mom and asked what was wrong, and she said "Nothing, you're doing great."
   I knew something wasn't completely right, but I still wasn't concerned. They had me start taking oxygen because the baby's heart rate was dropping. This was really not a huge deal because it's normal for fetal heart rate to fluctuate while it's moving downward. The midwife, concerned with the heart rate, asked me for the next three contractions to stop pushing. She called a doctor in to make sure it was ok to continue. This is when I really lost my mind. Not pushing during this time was the worst part of the whole experience--there were several times I could not help myself and my body kept pushing regardless. My voice started to go at this point, because I just needed to keep going!
   When the doctor came in, she said she was fine with the heart rate dropping some, but she would watch me push a few more times before maybe using the vacuum to assist. Time to get back to work, thank goodness!! I was given a sheet to play tug of war with Daniel, a fantastic method when pushing. I've never felt so strong in my life. I pushed through several more contractions, and heard Daniel, my mom, Lindley, and Vickie saying the most encouraging things and hearing them all get excited at the same times, so I knew things were happening. At one point, I asked, "Is there any hair?!" After several contractions with the head not quite coming out, the doctor used the vacuum to briefly assist. No complaints from me!
   It only took a few pushes and out came the head! What a relief. The doctor stepped back, and let Lindley come forward to catch the baby. I think it took two more pushes for the body to smoothly come out, and I threw my head back with an audible sigh of relief. It was 5:50 am.
   I kept staring at the ceiling, because I wanted to give Daniel the opportunity to tell me if the baby was a boy or girl. It felt like forever, because his emotions were going crazy, but I'm sure it was only a few seconds. He said, "It's a girl! " I started laughing and looked down at our daughter laying on my stomach. Daniel cut the cord, and I pulled her up to my chest for some sweet skin-to-skin time. I thought I'd be boohooing, but I just kept smiling and talking to her. The hospital was great in allowing us to stay like that for probably 30+ minutes---enough time to begin feeding her and just stare at her.
  Family came in, pictures were taken, and we were totally smitten with our new, 7lb , 1 oz, 20 inch long baby girl!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Something clicked...

Topic 16 of "A Year of Blogging Ideas"( go here )  

Something clicked...

Or rather, someONE clicked. On too many stupid Pinterest pins.  (It's a stretch, but stay with me...)

Now I am the first to admit that I am a full-fledged Pinterest lover. It's so bad, in fact, that I wish I could hide my pinning from my followers, especially on days like Spring Break, when the repetitious pinning I'm guilty of boarders on a severe case of addiction.

But man, some things that people pin are so lame. I'm NEVER guilty of pinning anything less than awesome because all MY pins are the best and I have better taste than EVERYONE ever. I digress...

I've even thought of creating a "Laaame" board on my page, but I'm too afraid whomever I repinned the idea from will be offended, because, let's be honest, we all think our pages are the best. 

(picture origin)

The quote really is a wonderful concept, minus the two split-infinitive phrases. Hope this lady doesn't hang this up in her English classroom.

(picture origin)
This is, hands down, the most terrifying looking food I have ever seen. There is nothing more unappetizing than food that looks like a cross between intestines and man-eating worms. Don't make this for your kids just to convince them to eat. Seriously. You're not even convincing them to eat anything healthy.

(picture origin)
Why? I mean, why bother? These are the same things that touch the floors of public restrooms. Why?

Aaaaand, my personal pet peeve, any pin like this:
(picture origin)
There are way too many pins of little girls dressing like 20 year olds. What exactly is the goal of dressing your child like this?

There's a thousand other pins that I see regularly and I think, "Man, that's dumb"...but of course I couldn't remember what they were.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Within My Reach

Remember that one time, when I said I was going to write every day for a year? I guess my 3 month blogging sabatical has ended. Since I'm hardly creative and/or wound up enough to come up with my own topic, I'm back to the challenge...this blog is made possible in part by Cynthia Louden's prompts, and viewers like you.

Topic 15 of "A Year of Blogging Ideas"( go here )  

Within my reach...

 The world. Yes, the world is within my reach. Since my last post, I upgraded from the archaic-yet-practical flip-phone to an iphone 4. My students have hassled me about my phone for years. In response, I always proudly held my head high, and with chin pointed in indignation, boldly declared that I had no use for something as snobby and expensive as an i-phone.

Sooo...when the ol' faithful flip phone could do little more than flip anymore, I knew I had to get a new phone. Verizon was "selling" (?) the Iphone 4 for free, so I hopped on the band-wagon of western culture and got one for Daniel and me.

When I brought it to school the next day and pulled it out of my pocket, the enthusiasm from the students was so profound (and LOUD!), that one would have thought I'd just announced a pregnancy, or pulled a winning lottery ticket out of my pocket.

So, yeah, now I'm guilty of relying on a piece of glassy goodness for my every need and curious whim.

Things I've "discovered" from my I-phone:

-- It's fantastic to look something matter where you are! That's why I claimed that the "world is within my reach". Can't understand a Nicki Minaj lyric on the radio? No problem! Want to know more about your state bird? Wikipedia that bad boy! Trying to remember the lineage of Taylor Swift's boy-toys while driving down the road? E-News right at your fingertips!! (True story, BTW).

-- "Temple Run" makes my heart race just as much as if I was actually running myself. Who needs exercise when your fingers can run like the wind!

-- "Ruzzle" makes the world feel dyslexic.

-- And lastly, and most certainly importantly, Instagram is popularizing the "duck-face" at an alarming speed. Sure it looks stupid, but I mean, come on...EVERYONE'S doing it. Old people with no teeth, you have got it going ON now! Ducks don't need teeth, and neither, apparently does the human race!

All joking aside though, my concern is that micro-evolution will yield a new species of human that no longer has the use of teeth anymore. We'll be "homo-Sapeduckians". Or "Neanderthalsducks".



Thursday, November 1, 2012

A moment

Day 14 of "A Year of Blogging Ideas"( go here )  

A Moment

Oh, how badly I wish we could take pictures or videos from our memory and input them into the digital world. That's the thing with those random "moments", though. They sneak up on us, & wait expectantly for us to, ironically, not expect anything. These special moments refuse to submit themselves to the paparazzi of camera phones or video chat, because then they would just be blurbs that may or may not go "viral", when really, they prefer to lurk in the recesses of our minds. There, they patiently wait behind the mental lists of groceries, dates, and to-do's, and pop-out when they feel like we most need to recall them.

More importantly though, the "moments" most worth remembering cannot be captured in their entirety by camera. Pictures and videos can't fully depict the smells and sounds of these moments. They can't fully remind you what you touched, what you felt. Everyone has these moments. Times in our lives that we wish we could bottle up and keep forever, because they so quickly come and go. We forget about them for a while, but they faithfully return to us when we least expect them.

Some of my FAVORITE moments from childhood were what my mother and I STILL like to call our "soccer naps". These were naps taken in the Spring time before Brady's soccer games. While the team was warming up, and dad was painting the fields or prepping to coach, mom and I would roll the mini-van windows down, lean the seats back and close our eyes.

 "Soccer naps" are very different from normal naps. During soccer naps, you teeter on the line between consciousnesses and slumber. Conversations around you are incorporated into your semi-asleep dreams. I can still remember what it felt like taking those naps, and hearing the parents cheering on their kids, and sounds of the gravel parking lot, and then there was that briefest of moments when the sun would go behind a cloud, and I wouldn't have to close my eyes as tightly.

Strange moment to remember, I realize. But a few months ago, my dad mentioned something about having the "best nap", and mom and I BOTH said, "No, no, the best nap is a SOCCER nap."