Saturday, August 15, 2009
Here's something I wrote about a year ago.
(sigh) There is nothing like sitting down at my piano when the sun goes down, opening up my endless supply of sheet music and lead sheets and spending some private time in worship of God. It's my way of talking to Him and letting His Word talk to me. It's one way I connect with God. It's how I make sense of what I've read and experienced. It's how I sing out my sorrows, package my pain, live in the moment, proclaim His praise, and stand silent...musically...before the Lord. I tell you, there is nothing like it.
Tonight I took some time to do just that. I opened up a binder, found a song, started to play and began to sing.
"I've been here before/now here I am again/standing at the door/praying You'll let me back in (music builds now as it moves into the prechorus) to label me a prodigal would be/only scratching the surface/of what I've been known to be (music really builds and is ready to break loose for the chorus)
.....................................(sound of record being scratched) "Mom! Can you help me? I can't find the game."
I could play on and on and totally lose track of time, so unless I am practicicng for something specific, I allow my children to interrupt. So, I get up, leave behind the music, and go help my son.
(sigh) I start over. "I've been here before/now here I am again....(I get to the chorus) Turn me around/pick me up..."
"MOM!" And I turn around to see what my son needs now. Take care of it. Get back to my piano.
"I've been here before/now here I am again..." Suddenly this song is taking on a whole new meaning!
"Mom, ......" and I reply, "Can I just play ONE song?"
(Said with a charming smile) "Mom, I know you are playing a song, but do you want to watch me?"
I can't help but smile back because I know that while I have been at my piano before and that I will be at it again, my son is 5 now and never will be again. I guess piano time is best saved until after bedtime!
Friday, August 14, 2009
I made my second payment to Chevron today. So far I have paid them a total of $50, thanks to all of you reading my blog! Cool! Didn't get to see the owner, but I don't think he likes me anyway. He wasn't impressed by this whole blog thing.
I got the funniest note in my FB inbox today!
"So as (my son) watched your blog with me he said, 'mom, do you think she used to do drugs and they affected her brain?' Of course I assured him that was not the case, but I am not sure that he is convinced."
I suspect it was the sharpies.
I have now had visitors from 11 different countries to my blog. They are the USA, Canada, South Africa, Thailand, Greece, Mexico, Uraguay, Japan, Argentina (did anyone else break into song when they read that?), Egypt and Sweden. 32 of the 50 states of America have been represented, but oddly enough, Montana hasn't and I have relatives there! Hmmm... I have had a total of 289 people visit this blog. I think my friend Monica may be responsible for 250 of them. ;-) Of all the visitors I've had, 63% have come back.
I love Google Analytics.
There was something else I was going to say, but I didn't write it down, so here I am telling you that I was going to tell you something, but not able to tell you what it was. Oh, well.
OH! Yes! Hello to those who are new to this blog. Well, seeing as how this blog is not even 3 weeks old yet, I guess everyone is new. But I mean those who are new new...as in less-than-a- week-old new. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave comments. I like talking to people.
Well, I'm off to finish my Friday. I spent all afternoon and into much of the night thinking it was Friday yesterday, until Monica reminded me that it was only Thursday. Got to enjoy Friday twice!
Good night and I am off to post my next story...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The first toe was my baby toe. I was in the middle of teaching 5 kids how to play the piano and my firstborn (Rebecca) was hungry, so I was rushed to the freezer to get some breastmilk from the fridge. (Did I just lose my entire male audience there?) Away I went and jammed my baby toe into the leg of the couch. OMGOSH, that hurt!!! But, having never broken a toe before, I had no idea. I finished my class and when they all left, I took off my sock and saw the colorful mass of red, blue and purple. When I called the advice nurse, she said there was nothing they could do for it, so I dealt with it.
Oddly enough, this was not long before SuperJosh and Rachel's wedding and I was a bridesmaid. I was worried that I'd have to wear slippers down the isle, but I was able to put on a pair of heels for the first time since I broke the toe to her wedding. Phew!
The second time I not only broke my toe, but also my foot. My secondborn (Hannah) was upstairs sleeping and I was carrying my firstborn in my arms, walking downstairs. (You're nervous already, aren't you?) I slipped on the step, fell on my bottom, and heard a pop. Rebecca started crying, that woke up Hannah, and I had to do the butt crawl up the stairs, get Hannah out of the crib, then do the butt crawl back down the stairs before I could call Travis. I got a fluorescent pink cast for that one. (Thanks, Mom for letting Rebecca pick it out!)
Unfortunately, it was my right foot, which meant I was stuck for 6 weeks, not able to drive. (Shh! I know what you're thinking...)
Then there was Ben...
He was 2 weeks old. I was starting dinner and holding Ben. I started digging in the freezer, doing that mom thing where you use your feet for hands.
You know those 2-pack for whole chickens you get-or used to get-from Sam's Club? I had one in my freezer. I moved something and down came the 2-pack...on my toe!!!
OMGOODNESS that hurt!!! Much worse than the other two and it was seriously more painful than labor! And I wasn't too far removed from labor! It bled under the nail and that's what made it so bad. At least with labor you have some time of relief between contractions. Not so with a bleeder under the toenail!
When Travis took me to the emergency room, I had to answer every nurse and doctor who asked me what happened with...
"Frozen chickens fell on my toe."
Yeah, they laughed, said, "What?" and I had to repeat it and explain. That was rather embarrassing.
It was 7 hours before they put a hole in the toenail to relieve the pressure. That's longer than two of my labors combined!
So you see, it's true. Everytime I have a baby I break a toe.
In case you're wondering, yes, we are done having kids.
A year or so ago I accidentally dropped the sliding glass door on my toe. When I looked and found that there was no doubt that it was broken...
I was tempted to buy a pregnancy test!
My son, Ben, was born May 1st. May 1st is May Day, which sounds like the distress call, "Mayday! Mayday!"
Benjamin in the Bible was also the youngest son of Rachel. While I only have one son, he is my youngest child. Rachel died in childbirth, though. But I guess that even though I didn't die, Josh almost did! ;-)
Does anyone else find it funny that there are car insurance ads listed with childbirthing ads?
If you haven't done so already, read "My Son Was Born in an Ambulance" (part 1) now.
So, as I said, I'm arranging towels in the backseat when I hear the dispatcher say to Josh,
"Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down."
Now, I've heard women say that when it comes to labor, you lose all sense of modesty. You simply don't care who sees what. All the women I knew who have had children told me this was true.
I had not lost my sense of modesty! I knew I was going to have to bare it all to someone, but it was NOT going to be Josh! Oh, no. This was my third child, I knew what having a baby was like, and I knew how to do it myself. I would leave my modesty intact, thank you very much!
Josh's eyes were dilated to like...10cm and his face was pale. I think he was blushing at the same time. (I don't know how that's possible, either.) I looked him straight in the eye and said the words he was very glad to hear,
There was silence.
I heard the voice again, "Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down."
Josh told her he wasn't my husband and I wouldn't do it.
"Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down."
"Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down."
"Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down."
Over and over and over again!
I kept arranging towels and Josh was pacing, trying to explain to the dispatcher that I wasn't letting him to do this and can they please just send an ambulance. Later he told us that he just kept thinking, "This better be like a pig or a cow...This better be like a pig or a cow..."
Farm boy, obviously.
An employee of the used car lot we were parked in front of came out and said to Josh, "Is she ok?"
"Ummm...she's having a baby."
I don't think the words set in because it wasn't until the second time that the light bulb seemed to go on for her and her eyes also suddenly dilated to 10!
"I have a couch," she said.
Hmmm. Couch? Back seat. Couch? Back seat.
Back seats might be where many babies have been conceived, but I figured a couch would be a better place to actually give birth to one. I grabbed the towels and headed in. I knew I only had a few moments before the next contraction, so I laid on the couch and started telling everyone what to do.
"YOU!" I said to the car lot lady. "TAKE OFF MY SHOES!"
"YOU!" I said to SuperJosh. "Call Travis!" He was all too glad to do this as soon as the Nazi dispatcher would let him go. (I hope you all know I realize she was doing her job and doing it well!)
The car lot lady got one shoe off and then the ambulance arrived. In came the paramedics who started asking questions. I'm in the middle of a contraction and somehow get out, "I'm having a baby."
"Oh, Honey," said the She-Paramedic, "You're not having this baby yet."
If life were like a sitcom (and you might be able to argue that mine is!), everything would have gone silent and it would have looked like time stood still while I gave this lady a hard stare.
Seeing how it was that I was in reality, I managed to get out, "I have the urge to push."
"Honey, I've had 3 kids. I know about this."
"This is my third one. He's coming. I need my shoes off."
I'm waiting for them to...well, like the dispatcher said, undress me from the waist down. Rather, they nonchalantly got me onto a bed and started to wheel me into the ambulance. I start undressing MYSELF from the waist down and the She-Paramedic says, "
"What are you doing?"
I didn't have the energy to argue.
I'm feeling rather annoyed at this point, but I figured that if they didn't know what they were doing, in the end I did and I would just handle it if need be.
They started to lift the bed into the truck when all of the sudden I heard a male voice...
The She-Paramedic laughed and said, "That's why *I* don't stand there! Hahaha!"
My water broke...all over the poor guy who, incidentally, also had never had any children. In fact, the She-Paramedic was the only one of the 3 who had.
Right now I think the Wet-Paramedic wished he could jump in the car with Josh...to help navigate, of course.
Instead, he finished putting the bed in the truck and got in. Now, I've got the She-Paramedic on my left who is completely relaxed and perhaps even laughing at me a bit and a grossed-out He-Paramedic on my right who is now wishing he had not gotten out of bed that morning. Then there was the driver who turns his head and asks,
"Should I turn the lights on?"
Ok. Let's recap. I am a mother who is giving birth to her 3rd child. I have explained to them that I have fast labors, that I feel the urge to push, and my water has just broke. The obvious answer would be...
"No, I don't think we need to. She's got time."
Sitcom moment-all silent, time standing still, I'm giving the hard stare. Well, that's how it would happen in a sitcom, anyway.
I still don't have the mental energy to argue and again, I figure that if they don't know how to handle it, I did.
We travel further down the road, stopping at stoplights, driving the speed limit, when I start pushing. I've now been still long enough that my body figures it better get back to what it was doing when SuperJosh called 911. She-Paramedic looks over and gets concerned. He-Paramedic freezes. Then they debate again over whether they should turn on the lights. They compromised with going the speed limit, but turning on the lights to go through stoplights. I'm beating my head against the wall in my mind.
I think they are taking the situation a little more seriously because it's a little more tense in the back of the truck. It was very quiet, except for me because it was time to push again.
Wet Paramedic looks down and suddenly bursts out with a, "I SEE A HEAD!" She-Paramedic looks, too and then tells the driver to get the lights on!
Lights go on, truck pulls in front of the hospital, I'm pushing, She-Paramedic and Wet Paramedic jump out and prepare for what Mr. Wet Paramedic was hoping would not happen...to deliver my baby. There's really no preparing, though because as soon as they got the doors open, I gave one more push and they were holding the head of my son. Another few short moments later and they were holding my entire baby in their gloved hands. According to Josh, there was a nice round of applause from bystanders in the parking lot.
Only 12 minutes has gone by since SuperJosh called 911.
I am feeling...I don't know what I was feeling. I was too tense to feel relieved, but it was nice knowing I was done with the hard part. I'm still feeling like I may need to take the lead at any moment, and so I demand them to give me my baby so I can breastfeed. Plus, this is MY baby. I want to hold MY baby!!!
"OH MY ***" said Mr. Wet Paramedic.
She-Paramedic and the doctor that had just ran out gave him a stern, "SHHHHHHHHH!!!"
The umbilical cord was wrapped around my son's neck. How bad it was, I don't know. Mr. Wet Paramedic had never had kids, so I'm guessing the site of a newborn-with all that white stuff that makes them look dead-with a cord wrapped around a baby's neck was more than a little frightening for him.
I was wheeled inside and Josh, who had been trying to explain to deaf ears for 12 minutes now that he was NOT the father, now approached me, as I was now covered once again from the waist down.
After what seemed like hours to me...possibly days to Josh, my husband finally arrived at the hospital. Josh was now able to return home to his beautiful wife...
...except that he left his wallet on top of his car when he left to follow the ambulance and in it was our insurance card.
Poor Josh. Poor SuperJosh. Poor, poor DoulaJosh. And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, We-owe-you-one-Josh. :) Love you guys!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Labor stories are always so much fun for women to tell. It IS one of the biggest events of our lives, you know, and people usually enjoy telling any story that involves a significant amount of pain. But I realize that men don't find them quite as interesting, however, I dare you to read on because you might relate a bit to my friend, Josh. AKA SuperJosh. Or DoulaJosh. Or We-really-owe-you-one-Josh.
My firstborn arrived after only 9 hours of labor. That's pretty good for the first one! My second child was born in 3 hours, and the first hour of that I didn't have any contractions, my water merely broke. I was only at the hospital for 45 minutes before she was lying in my arms.
When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd, we knew we better make plans for an even quicker labor, just in case. I read up, several times, on how to deliver my baby by myself and I played it over and over in my mind, just in case.
Travis worked 45 minutes from home and the hospital was 45 minutes away in the opposite direction. Travis also worked out "in the field" at times and that could take him another 2 hours away. Do the math and you'll see that it was quite possible that there would not be enough time for Travis to take me to the hospital.
So we arranged for a friend to drive me to the hospital, if need be. Josh. SuperJosh, DoulaJosh, We-really-owe-you-one-Josh. His wife, Rachel (awesome name, don't you think?), would watch my kids and he would drive a mad woman in labor for 45 minutes to the hospital.
I was so tired that day. So tired that I hardly had the strength to put my two toddlers down for a nap. Being THE brightest and most talented kids on the planet, they knew how I loved to have my hair brushed, saw how tired I was, sensed it was nap time, and decided it was the perfect time to brush my hair. I think I would have fallen asleep, except toddlers aren't the most gentle hair dressers on the planet.
Eventually, I put them down for a nap and then decided that I really needed one myself. So, I laid down and went right out. 15 minutes later I half-woke up with a terrible backache. But I was so groggy that I fell back asleep. Another 15 minutes later, I half-woke up with a terrible backache, then fell back asleep. After an hour, I thought to myself, "Hmmm....every 15 minutes. Could I be in labor?" But it was only a backache and I'd slept through most of it. I'd had two other children and never had ONLY a backache and certainly never slept through labor!
I got up and suddenly I was getting this terrible backache every 3-5 minutes.
But it was only a backache. Can't really be labor, can it?
After half an hour of this, I thought I should call the advice nurse. She asked the usual questions and with some degree of urgency said, "Do you have someone who can drive you to the hospital?" I replied that my husband was 45 minutes away and we were another 45 minutes from the hospital. With a bit more urgency in her voice, the advice nurse said, "Is there someone closer who can drive you?"
This is really happening.
I am really going to have to call Josh.
I called his wife.
Now, neither Josh nor his wife, Rachel, had ever had any children, so you can imagine the courage it took to agree to this arrangement in the first place and you can only imagine the level of "freak out" that must have been going on when I called!
To make a long story a little less long, both my neighbor and Rachel arrived at my house to take care of the kids, Travis was driving like a mad man and talking to me on his cell phone, Josh was probably praying like he had never prayed before, and I thought it would be a good time to clean out the car.
Travis talked me out of it.
He talked me out of doing laundry, too.
I was loopy.
I think he regrets it now.
SuperJosh arrived and away we went in his car. Poor SuperJosh. "Just tell me what you want me to do," he said. I told him to just not talk.
Josh traveled the highway, probably doing 80mph, quiet as a mouse. I'm trying to breathe correctly every 2 minutes or so, when suddenly...
I felt the urge to push.
In true 21st century gunslinger fashion, SuperJosh whipped out his cell phone in less time than it takes to say, "pregnant!" In mere seconds, perhaps milliseconds, SuperJosh was talking to a dispatcher and pulling over. He pulled into a used car parking lot and parked right out front where the ambulance couldn't miss us. I jumped out, grabbed the towels, and started arranging them in the back seat.
Josh is talking to the dispatcher when all of the sudden I hear a voice say...
"Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down..."
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Sunday is our family's day to worship God. Therefore, I shalt not post a funny story for today. I shalt, however, likely create a new story just by getting out of bed, so come back Monday!
I will leave you with a thought from, "How People Grow," by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I highly recommend this book and any other book by them.
"No matter how many times I read that I'm forgiven, I just don't feel like it, " Stephen said. "I know the Bible tells me God accepts me. I know it in my head, but I can't feel it in my heart."
"What have you tried to do to change that?" I (Henry) asked.
"Well, I've tried memorizing verses and focusing on how God loves me and accepts me. I just have to believe it more, I guess."
"So, you think you can't feel it because you don't believe it?"
"Well, I guess so. That's what my friends tell me. They say if I don't feel God's forgiveness, I'm not taking Him at His word. It comes down to a lack of faith, I guess. I need to believe Him more."
"Do you disbelieve Him?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, do you have any reason to doubt God forgives you? Do you not believe it?"
"No, I believe it. He says so. I just can't feel it."
"Well, then, why do you say you need to believe it more? Why do you think it's a 'believing' problem if you already believe it?"
"Because my friends tell me the Bible says the truth will set you free, and if I don't feel free from guilt, then I don't know the truth. That's why I think I need to believe the truth better."
"Well, you're partly right," I said. "The Bible does say that the truth will set you free, but it doesn't say that knowing the truth comes from believing it better. Jesus says it comes if we 'keep obeying my teachings' (John 8:31-32). In other words, if you live out all He said, you will 'know' the truth. That's a lot different from just getting information into your head."
"How do I do that? How do I live in a way that will fix this?"
Don't get caught in the lie that there is an easy fix to the problem of not feeling forgiveness. Don't just read more, pray more, cry more. SEEK.