Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grandma's Feelin' It!+

I'm feeling every bit of my 60 years tonight! I've been wrestling the 3 grandchildren, laughing, tickling, scolding, bathing, dressing, cooking for and feeding them and ready to drop into bed by 7:30 pm each night. They are amazing little creatures and they keep me hopping. I might (or not) get to post again before I get back home in about 8 days. If my youngest daughter weren't here to help me . . .

Well, let's just say I'd be lost without her! Especially because the 2 year old thinks she looks and acts enough like her sister, his Mom, that he's happy! Whoo hoo!

Grandpa left early this morning to get back to work tomorrow, so this same little one has been calling for him all day: "G'ampa. Where are you?" They all love their grandpa!

Next post????? Next week?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Indefatigable Blue Bird

This is one determined little bird. Isn't he beautiful?

This is the object of his nesting desire . . . it seems. And, don't you just love that word "indefatigable"? Love the way it sounds. And it does clearly describe this little Blue Bird that is still, two hours later, trying to enter my kitchen window. Since he was so persistent, I decided to attempt to capture his hard, though futile, endeavors to find what he apparently considers the best nesting spot.

Here he is as he circumnavigates the yard--trying to avoid me and the camera outside the window.

As I anticipated, having camera in hand--close enough to catch him at the window--spooked him. However, since he was determined to achieve his goal, he simply flew in a circuitous route around the yard/house as I held my ground--camera in hand. I captured him in various spots and he vocalized his displeasure with my presence every moment or two with each new perch.

Since he would not attempt the window with me being 20 feet close, I decide to try from inside. I managed to think of turning off the auto flash feature and actually got several picture of him from less than 2 feet away. Of course. INside, he didn't feel threatened. His mate encouraged him from the wire outside, in plain view of their goal.

Isn't he cute?

I do wish they'd investigate other possibilities. I'm afraid he'll exhaust himself before long.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him, however. Love his tail being splayed out like that.

Blue Bird Activity

Ever have a Blue Bird try repeatedly to get in a closed kitchen window? I heard something odd as I walked from the laundry room, through the kitchen to the living room. I stopped, looked at the window over the kitchen sink, saw nothing and decided to poke my head outside the dining room French doors. There were several birds in the trees--this is spring and they are very active. (Heard an owl last night and hear woodpeckers all the time now.)

A few minutes later, while speaking to my husband on the phone, I noticed a bird at the kitchen window screen. It was a Blue Bird--a female with a speckled breast. A minute later I saw a male of the same species sitting on the outside window ledge and looking in. He hopped along the ledge and peeked in between the inside plants growing on the inside ledge. Then he flew off. Either he, or another male, came next and perched on the side of the window and looked in. Over the next couple of minutes--and I can still hear the poor dear--he flew towards the window repeatedly attempting to get in. I opened the French doors again to try to discourage him and found that I startled him away. But then I noticed a bunch of Blue Birds fluttering in the leaves of the nearby oak tree. I figure they're interested in nesting.

I remember similar behavior--the attempts at flying into the kitchen window--from a few years ago. I hope they find suitable housing/nesting facilities. We do have a Blue Bird box attached to the oak tree. I think Blue Birds are some of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen. I'm very grateful we have them in abundance here.

Humming Birds have returned as well and I saw one at the feeder in front of the house yesterday. They are so much fun to watch.

So. What to do to discourage the Blue Bird from attempting to enter my closed kitchen window? Any suggestions? Ever have similar experiences?

If I were Bush Babe of Granite Glen I'd have about sixty-'leven pictures to document this strange event. Wish I were more like her! Sorry I'm not.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle

If you haven't seen or heard Susan Boyle who very recently was shown on Britain's Got Talent, you've GOT to look and listen. It's a heart-warming experience to listen to this woman.

Susan Boyle on YouTube. Please check this out. www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY You'll be glad you did. Of course, she's singing a wonderful song from Les Miserables. The music from that play . . . more than awesome. Of course, the book, Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo is one of my ALL TIME favorite books. I can't say enough about Ms. Boyle or the music or the book. Just go see her, listen to her sing. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rambling Along

I love reading where (more or less) people come from to visit this blog. And, I find it rather interesting what brings them here: Making chicken and dumplin's or rice krispie treats, and the Cardinal bird and bumble bee. You just never know, do you?

I've been rather out of the blogging posting--as you might have noticed. I've been playing "Dear Abby", it seems. Friends or family seem to call and want to seek my perspective on stuff. And, I'll be the first to say, I'm not expert on much of anything. But, I do listen, and when asked, I do often have an opinion. (Even sometimes when I'm not asked, okay?)

So, other than that--listening for hours and visiting with loved ones on the phone--I don't seem to have accomplished all that much. Well, the dishes have been washed. Meals have been prepared and eaten, but the fridge really needs cleaning out. The clutter that's been accumulating--even though I tossed a lot of paper clutter into the fireplace--and the flames--seemed a lot, there's so much more to go. AND, with the temperature rising to near 80 degrees these days, using the fireplace is only practical when the outside morning temperature is closer to 45 or 50 degrees--which it has been.

I'm rambling. Yes. I know, but it's after 1 am, so don't act surprised.

Easter this year was the first time ever in my life that I was alone for the most part. No husband until late in the afternoon--he'd been on a business trip for four days. No children. Two closest were working. The other two too far away to make it. My Mom and siblings, also too far away to come for dinner.

But I did attend Church, which was very spiritual, deeply meaningful and uplifting--considering how the Resurrection of the Savior of all mankind was the most significant single occurrence in all of Earth's history. Well, I'm eternally grateful to Him for His atoning sacrifice and continued caring and guidance to us here on the earth.

Easter is wonderful, too, with the beauty of life returning so beautifully after the cold and drear of winter. Spring is so symbolic of resurrection, The Resurrection, don't you think? I absolutely love Spring.

Oh. Easter Sunday, just a quarter hour before Church was over, we had a torrential downpour! According to my rain gauge, we received 1.5 inches of rain in about 30 minutes. That's a lot of rain in so short a time.

Another random thought: If I were to post another recipe, what would you find most interesting?

Chicken and Corn Chowder?
Chicken Gumbo?
Broccoli Cheese Rice?
Something else?
(If you have something I might know how to do, I'll even try that. Not that I have an endless list of recipes. And, as one of my daughters pointed out, I do pretty basic kinds of cooking. She's the gourmet!)
Let me know if something here interests you and I'll see what I can do. I'll even consider doing the picture thing as well.
That is, after I get back from babysitting my grandchildren. I'll be leaving next week and gone for about two weeks. It might take me a day or two to recover from the high activity level I'll be dealing with, but hey! It'll be loads of fun. Except for the dirty diaper changing thing. You know.
If I sound like I'm asleep or out of my mind, consider that you've picked up on something that might be close to reality.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's! Happy Birthday

More than 25 years ago, I was expecting my third child. We'd moved into our first home (to own) and that was kind of nice!

My first two experiences with childbirth were kind of wild. #1 was 7 1/2 hour labor. Not a big deal. Then . . . the placenta didn't come . . . for 3 1/2 more hours and was a far more painful delivery that the 7 lb 10 oz baby had been. But at least I didn't have to have a hysterectomy the same day I delivered my first child!!!

Baby #2 was little more than a year after the first. This one was "posterior"--meaning her face was not down--as it needed to be for delivery--but up. So I had back labor. TALK ABOUT A TOUCHY-WIFE-IN-LABOR KIND OF THING. Those of you who've experienced back labor know the kind of pain I'm talking about. (Labor is sort of divided into three stages.) With this labor I had no pains until I launched full-bore into 3rd stage labor. That's when things get tough! Contractions began lasting for more than a full minute with only a couple of minutes between. They ratcheted up to 2 minutes or more with only 1/2 minute between! It was TOUGH! The Doctor was able to successfully turn the baby, but the pain remained. Excruciating pain. The ONLY thing that helped was the Lamaze breathing techniques. Thank heaven for that training!!!!!!!!! 3 1/2 hours, tops, after the onset of labor I had daughter #2 in my arms--all 8 lbs 1 oz screaming at the top of her lungs. (She screamed full force for hours afterwards.) Poor little dear was hurting and didn't mind sharing her displeasure with any and everyone within ear shot, and some of those were half a block or more away.

So, on the lovely April First spring day, when at 3:30 am I felt that initial contraction or two, I assumed that somewhere in the next 3 to 8 hours I'd have another brand new little bundle of joy in my arms. WRONG! My OB knew my history and since I lived a good 20-30 minute drive away from the hospital, he didn't want me waiting for "things to develop" very far before I was to get to the hospital. At about 6:00 am I had another two or three significant contractions and some other evidence that "things were definitely under way." As I watched my husband drive out of the driveway to work, I felt the tiniest contractions begin and continue every 15 minutes. Okay. These contractions were tiny as compared to what I'd experienced with my other two labors. And they were regular! And consistent. A novel experience for me!!

Call me crazy, but I always looked forward to labor and delivery. (I was the second oldest of eight children, so having babies wasn't exactly something out of the norm.) I know. I know! But it's true. I simply love the miracle of bringing a new life into the world. It was one of my dreams as a very young child and I wasn't able to have my first baby until I was only days from being 27 years old.

So, I thought, don't eat. Don't drink because the full onset of labor is bound to happen really soon--judging by how much faster the 2nd labor was than the 1st and the 1st wasn't particularly long--according to some I've heard about. Well, I tend to be hypoglycemic--and especially so during pregnancy--it's pretty much the opposite of diabetic, but you have to kind of eat the same way--frequently, and with higher protein content, etc. be careful about the carbs (which does indeed include sugars.)

My in-laws were already on their way, driving probably 8 or 9 hours to get to us to help with the older two children. I waited to call the Dr. till about 9 am, because the contractions were so mild and the ONLY ones I EVER had that were actually 15 minutes apart. EVER, EVER.

(First child, I had to laugh. My poor husband was so NOT around people that had babies--was totally uninitiated. I had him call the hospital to report that my contractions had begun with my membranes breaking (crazy as this sounds, I HEARD them break. Can't explain. Just know that I did at, 10:00 pm, just as my boss called to find out why I wasn't at the hospital yet--and oh, yeah. He had a question about work.) and to let them know we'd be on the way. He was asked if my contractions were regular and 10 - 15 minutes apart. He quite honestly told them, "No." Period. No conversation. No questions. No telling the nurse my pains were MUCH CLOSER together than 10 minutes!!! My contractions were 5 minutes or less apart, and were, therefore, irregular. So, without further discussion, the nurse told him "when your wife's contractions get to be regular and about 10 - 15 minutes apart, then you can bring her in." My eyes must have rolled to China and back before I very politely [you know better, don't you?] explained that they were NEVER going to be 10 to 15 minutes apart because they were ALREADY 5 OR LESS minutes apart NOW! He, all rational and everything, did, in his own defense, mention that they still weren't REGULAR. He had me on that count. I again most politely (ahem) requested that he call back and give a clearer picture of the reality of the situation. (By this time I'd been sitting in the bathroom gushing fluids for nearly 45 minutes.) That was #1 baby, labor and delivery.)

Back to Baby #3. Where was I? Oh, I didn't call the doctor until about 9 something am. I first had to round up a babysitter, get one of my neighbors to look for my in-laws to give them a key to the house--wait for my husband to drive home (20 minutes) get me, take the kids to the babysitter's and THEN drive me to the hospital. So, remember, it was April First, right. I finally got to the hospital after 10 am. The Doctor came in worried that it'd been over an hour since I called. He was just about ready to call out the paramedics to search for me on the side of the freeway in process of delivering my child. They got me all hooked up (this was prior to the marvel of ultra-sound stuff, ladies) and guess what? No, I repeat, NO contractions. Zip. NADA. However . . . there was all this seismic looking activity on the printout from the monitor they'd strapped around my bulging belly. Dr. said: "Well, you're NOT currently in labor, but something is definitely going on. I'm pretty confident that this baby will be here soon. BUT, since you're NOT in labor currently, we're going to send you back home. Go home get some rest."

RIGHT. I'm excited about giving birth. And I KNOW FOR SURE it's about to happen. How am I going to gear down to rest? Now as I said earlier, I LOVE giving birth. (Yes, I DO know I sound like I'm out of my mind, but thus it is.) So we left. I have no recollection of how my husband got back to work. I do remember going home. Trying not to eat. Trying to rest. What a joke! NO CONTRACTIONS. A few teasers here and there, but nothing concrete. This child was pulling the biggest joke ever! I made supper--since my husband and children would need nourishment and his parents would be getting to our house close to supper time. I went to pick up the oldest two children and, guess what! Driving/riding caused contractions to occur. Nothing serious. But contractions. I must have driven down to pick up my husband from work, but then I don't really remember that.

His parents arrived. After everyone (but ME) had supper, his Mom and I went outside to watch the sunset as the girls rode their Big Wheels (tricycles) up and down the driveway while we sat in lawn chairs and enjoyed the spring evening. Then it happened. And I knew it was FINALLY for REAL! Around 9 or 10 pm we left for the hospital. Our youngest daughter (at the moment) was very distressed (I learned much, much later) and cried most of the night without Mom being there.

But, the little bundle of joy and jokes wasn't quite ready to make her entrance, still. After getting into the labor room and answering all the list of everything required, and reiterating that I DID NOT WANT ANYTHING FOR PAIN, thank you VERY MUCH, and I don't care what stage of the delivery I'm in, I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING FOR PAIN. (I'd had a BAD experience with the previous delivery--was given a pudendal block--AGAINST MY EXPRESS WISHES--and it went into my sciatic or some other nerve in the interior pelvic area and I could barely walk for days--which is a real trip with two tiny children to take care of. Not to mention that my leg hurt like the dickens! Pain killers and I don't have the best of relationships. That's mostly why I give them as wide a berth as I can.) This dear, well-meaning nurse gave me a glucose drip--even though I told her I couldn't have a GLUCOSE drip--saline would be okay--because I'd not eaten all day and I was hypoglycemic. She'd had enough of me, (and me knowing what I did and didn't want) apparently, stating that it was STANDARD PROCEDURE AND THE DOCTOR GAVE NO OTHER ORDERS so the IV went in, glucose and all.

After about an hour of that, I lost it. I couldn't concentrate to breathe right when the real contractions began because my blood sugar dropped too low and I was so sleepy I could barely concentrate. I couldn't remember how to breathe properly and the doctor hadn't yet made an appearance. (In California, with my first two, the doctors were with me from start to finish--that was many years ago, and I still love them for that!) My sweet, honorable, brave and tough husband, allowed me to squeeze his hand (into hamburger) as I tried to Lamaze my way through the contractions that were really starting to get with it--now that it was past midnight! The nurse did kind of redeem herself--she got down on top of me somehow and modeled the proper breathing for me to follow. When things began moving along better she checked to see how the labor was progressing. "You're about to have that baby, finally." she announced. "So, are you finally going to call the Doctor now?" "Oh, Honey. We don't have time to call the doctor."

If I could have sprung from that bed, that poor woman would have been strangled. But, like an angel of mercy, the dear doctor appeared at the doorway and asked, "Are you ready to have this baby?"

I was SO grateful!!!!

Then, I was taken to the delivery room. Then, the lovely doctor said something so strange and so weird! He told me to bare down. Can you imagine? I'd never with my first two had the urge to bare down. Never. But I'd done a smashing good job of it, if I do say so. Especially when my husband was right there next to me, breathing in sync with me. And, yes. I'd felt the urge all evening with this baby, but now it HURT! And I DIDN'T WANT TO!!! The Doctor was a gem. He was SO GOOD. He gently explained that the baby wasn't coming out until I did what was necessary to push it out. This whole entire labor and delivery was SO TEXTBOOK first pregnancy labor and delivery. You can't imagine.

So, after a little more coaxing, and with terrible screams of pain and agony, which I NEVER before had resorted to, I pushed for about 5 minutes. Maybe 10 and was rewarded with not the son I fully expected, but with a beautiful, chubby 8 lb 4 oz baby daughter. She was--and is beautiful. She is, however, very skinny now a days. But even though her baby brother (6 years her junior) was 1 lb 4 oz heavier at birth--yes, yes. He was 9 lbs 8 oz. She was the plumpest of all my babies. Her creases had creases, if you know what I mean.

And yes. She still has a deft sense of humor. (She liked "The Far Side" cartoons at the age of 4.) I'm convinced that she conceived the whole April Fool's Day ALMOST delivery joke. I fell for the whole--I-must-be-going-to-have-a-baby-on-April-Fool's-Day thing--and she was born on 2 April a little after 3 am. You never know just what to expect with this girl! She's very sweet and helpful, creative and artistic. And a welcomed gift--as each child has been. I feel very blessed and wish you, Sarah, a very Happy Birthday! TOMORROW!!!