Weekend Off!

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Sooo… It appears the weekend is going to be a totally horrid mess weather-wise. This isn't hurting my feelings too badly. I may actually get the weekend off! My Christmas tree and decorations could magically appear! Christmas cookies could be baked! I may actually feel human!

Or not. I also feel like I'm getting sick.

We'll see what wins out.

Prematurity Awareness Month

Who knew? Well, Aimee did! She keeps up on this stuff like I can't believe.

Her little boy was a premie, as was my first child. I was very young, 18, when I got pregnant with my eldest daughter. I was good, never drank or smoked or took any kinds of drugs – even the good kind. Early in my fifth month of pregnancy I got pleurosy. Let me tell you, I've been through some painful things before but never where I felt it was life threatening. With pleurosy, it hurt so much with stabbing pain to breath that I didn't even want to – and we all know how sucessful not breathing can be! After a couple of days of hot compresses it got to a managable point and finally went away. Hurdle one was jumped.

In December the ex-husband and I had just moved into a new apartment. The phone company were being stinkers and couldn't come out for a couple of weeks to install a phone line (even though the ex tried to tell them I was very pregnant) and I was sick. Finally it was diagnosed as a kidney infection. Although I wasn't wanting to take medicines, the doctor finally persuaded me I needed to in this case. Another painful ailment, it made it impossible to get comfortable. I wouldn't want anything to touch me, touch the bed where I was, or invade my space. At all. This went on for a couple of weeks, never seeming to improve.

Finally, late one afternoon I was in the bathroom… how do I put this nicely?… trying to go to the toilet. If you've ever had a kidney or bladder infection you know the routine. You constantly feel as if you have to pee, but then can't. It isn't a pleasant feeling. So, I was home alone, sitting there, sick and tired of being sick and tired. Almost exactly at the same time the ex walked in from work, my water broke.

Seeing as we had no phone, luckily our apartment complex was next door to a convenience store. The ex ran over and called the doctor, who proceeded to ask if contractions had started. No, they hadn't. We were told not to get too excited then, but just come on down to the office and he'd take a look. By the time the ex came back to the apartment to give me the news, I not only had started contractions, but had started bleeding like a bad horror flick. The ex rushes back to the store, phones the doctor again, and is told not to waste time but to get me to the hospital.

I don't remember much of the trip except for the fact that it was at least a 15 minute drive to downtown and I'm just sure we made it in about 5, and I was blind the whole time because I didn't have my glasses. To this day I don't understand that. I always put on my glasses. Even in the darkest hour of the night, I'll put on my glasses anytime I get up. Yet? Here I was, evidently sitting on the toilet and then rushing to the hospital without them!

When we got to the hospital it was one of those scenes you find on TV. The nurse took one look at me, wheeled me into an exam room, whipped off my pants, and proceeded to start yelling. It was amazing I didn't give birth in the car, as fast as my daughter was coming! I think she was born within about 3 minutes of them wheeling me into the delivery room.

They whipped her away from me, finished up all the gory details with my body, then took me to a regular room. Because the best NICU in town was at another hospital, they were going to take my daughter there immediately. I remember they wheeled her into my room in the incubator so I could see her, but because I couldn't take her out of it and I didn't have my glasses, I really didn't 'see' her for days… and what a horrible few days it was.

After giving birth, all the pain went away. I mean, instantly. After my ex mother-in-law did a little research, she found out one of the side effects of the medication the doctor had given me for the kidney infection was possibly causing labor! Yikes! After having given birth a couple more times, in thinking back I'm not wondering if I hadn't gone from kidney infection directly into labor – probably back labor – that was causing the latter pain, and that was why it dissapeared after the birth. I'm sure if it was pain from the infection it wouldn't go away that quickly. Because I'd been so sick, though, and had lost so much blood, they made me stay in the hospital my then-required three days. Three hell ridden days while I was in one hospital and my child was in another – and it was not known if she was going to live.

She only weighed 3lb 6oz. At the time, she was one of the smallest the hospital had seen. (Just a few weeks later they would have their first one-pound-something.) I could talk to the NICU nurses, who were terrific and encouraging… then I would talk to the ex and my parents (who were allowed in to not only see my daughter but hold her!). They were all gloom and doom and "prepare yourself for the worst". So I spent my days tossing and turning, worrying myself silly not knowing whether she would live or die – or even what she looked like for sure.

Finally, my time was up and I was released and allowed to go see her. She was the tiniest thing I'd ever seen. She had lots of light brown hair with silver frosting… the nurses said they'd never seen anything like it. It just looked like it was frosted! She had fur on her body, too, which was strange… but I found out not abnormal for premies. Of course it went away. When the ex made a fist, it was the size of her head. I mean, she was tiny. At first I was very timid with her, but then you watch how the nurses handle them and you realize they aren't going to break and they are sturdier than they look. I spent hours at the NICU, just holding her and watching her. She was overall incredibly healthy for her size. She had a little bit of jaundice and had to be kept under the special lights, but other than that it was just a matter of letting her lungs finish developing and growing… growing to five pounds. That was the goal. She could go home when she reached five pounds.

She was born two months early, and it took almost all of that two months to get to five pounds. You wouldn't think it would take so long, when as adults we can just look at a pan of fudge and gain 10! Part of it is when they are so small they just want to sleep. They aren't used to getting their nutrition in a way they have to work for it, so they will sleep… until they die. They have to be kept awake in rude fashion (rubbing their heads, snapping the bottom of their feet) until they take at least an ounce. Every two hours. I'll just head something off at the pass here, too. I did not breast feed. I couldn't have even if I'd wanted to.

Finally, she was 'big' enough to go home. The feeding schedule continued and I lived on no sleep. Each feeding took at least an hour, then it would be sleep for an hour or two until the next feeding. 24 hours a day. As healthy as she'd been in the hospital, it wasn't long after she was home she developed an ear infection and because of it she lost a pound. Back in the hospital she went. This time not in the NICU, but in the general childrens' area. She was back in for a week.

I think back on it and know it was a crazy time. The times had not caught up with premies yet and there were no premie diapers or clothing… so newborn disposable diapers had to be folded to work, an aunt of mine gave me some doll clothes for her, and she lived most of her time in the shapeless sleeping 'bags'… just so she could be warm and would kind of fit into something. My heart goes out to the parents of premies who have medical problems… and sometimes have learning problems later on. We were so very lucky. Our little girl had it a bit touch and go at the beginning, but all turned out well.

I forever thank the wonderful nurses and doctors who work so tirelessly for these children. Without them, my sweet daughter probably wouldn't be here. What a blessing she is. Just think, the next time you look at 5 lb of hamberger in your supermarket. That was the weight my daughter had to get to! It puts things in perspective quickly.

Things That Make Me Go Ewwww #27

A partial list. In no particular order.

  • * Men with long fingernails
  • * People who "sniff". Not, as in smelling things, but rather as in they need a kleenex.
  • * Hog poo in confined areas
  • * Garlic breath
  • * Bad breath in general
  • * Foul body odor
  • * Rancid meat
  • * Toilets that aren't flushed
  • * Pierced body parts below the waist, above the knees
  • * Hair growing on men's noses. Yes, I said ON.
  • * Hair growing on women's chins. (C'mon, lady…get out the tweezers)
  • * tripe
  • * Imagining certain people naked (I am not elaborating)

What makes YOU go ewww…?

Sometimes I Creep Myself Out

I think I've mentioned before how there is some ESP in our family. Especially my youngest daughter and I seem to have it more than the others. We've creeped out people in our lives for years, but most of them are getting used to it by now.

Last night I hit a new plateau in creepiness. I got myself a bit freaked. I've been reading a fiction book,  "Blink of an Eye" by Ted Dekker whose main character has some clairvoyance. I read a bit before going to sleep last night. I was only sleeping about two hours when I sat up in bed, wide awake, and realized I'd been dreaming about the book. I don't do that. I mean, I dream. A lot. But I don't dream about books I've read or something I've just watched on TV. My dreams never link up quite like that. Anyway, I got up and was thinking about what I'd been dreaming about and after wandering about the house for a few minutes doing all the normal "up-in-the-night" things (you know, going potty, getting a drink, etc.) I decided to read a bit more. Yeah, you too are clairvoyant because you know what I'm going to say…

I read what I had just dreamed.

For the record, this book has been published before under the name "Blink", but I have never read it.

Suggestions Needed

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I need some gift-giving ideas. We also have birthdays in December and early January. (Age range is 10 on up to adult.) What do you want for Christmas? World peace will not be accepted as a legit suggestion – this is Christmas, not a beauty pagent. What are you giving? If you are afraid someone you know will read your answers, you can e-mail me your suggestions also. sesnyde at gmail dot com.

Thank you in advance~~

Random Meme #478

I stole another one from Kapgar. I'm not sure if there is any rhyme or reason to this one. They seem to be rather random questions, but some are interesting, so here we go again: 

1. What were you afraid of as a child?
My parents. Harsh, but true.

2. When have you been most courageous?
When my daughter was born two months premature and I had to stay in the hospital for three days in a different hospital from her – before I could see her. Those were very rough days, not knowing if she was going to live or die and not even being able to see her.

3. What sound most disturbs you?
Animals or children that you can tell are in pain. Not necessarily in that order.

4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you’ve been in?
Besides childbirth (four times)? I had pleurosy early in my first pregnancy. It hurt just to breath – I mean, you just wanted to hold your breath forever it hurt so bad. I couldn't take medication because of being pregnant, so suffered through. Other pains you can suffer with, but if you can't breath… well, makes it kind of hard to do everything else.

5. What’s your biggest fear for your children? (or children in general if you don’t have some of your own.)
Having to bury them. I know it's cliche to say this, but no parent should have to bury their children.  (Kapgar said this but I agree perfectly so left it). I would have to say my second biggest fear for them is that I will lose my mind and they'll have to pick up the pieces. I've put them through enough along those lines to last a lifetime.

6. What is the hardest physical challenge you’ve achieved?
Hmmm… I am not a physcial person so it isn't like I've climbed a mountain or anything. I guess just getting through all the medical stuff I've been through, including my back surgery. It's pretty scary when they tell you they're going in through the front of your neck and you may never talk again.

7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?
No preference. I like them both and live near neither.

8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?
I am? Keeping it together? Mwhaaa haaa haaa… 

9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?
Yes. Too many to count.

10. What are the things your friends count on you for?
I don't know. Honestly. I'm a bad friend… I guess you'd have to ask them that.

11. What is the best part of being in a committed relationship?
Oh, where do I begin? Having someone who, when you are having a bad day, can honestly say "I'm on your side" and you know they mean it. Who can wrap you in their arms and not even say a word and make you feel safe and loved and have a tremendous calming effect on you. So many other things – too many to list.

12. What is the hardest part of being in a committed relationship?
Oh, where do I begin? Kidding. I think the hardest part is the same as the kid question. I fear if he dies first… I fear if I die first. I have kind of a death phobia. I've lost too many people at a young age. I don't feel as old as I am and I think I should be taking better care of myself and he should be taking better care of himself and we both think we'll live forever… or at least we think we'll die together. I kind of think we should be a little more concerned about it.

13. Summer or Winter? Why?
Winter. Absolutely. It is my season. The season of the fireplace and the homemade bread and the stews and soups and the curling up with a book and not having work as hard or worry about the crops in the field or the flower beds needing weeding or watering or de-bugging.

14. Have you ever been in a school-yard fight? Why and what happened?
No. I was witness to one. Once. In junior high. Scared the crap out of me. It was broken up before it got too bad, but I don't respond well to violence.

15. Why blog?
Why not?

16. Did you learn about sex, and/or sex safety from your parents?
I remember my mother telling me about it when I was pretty young, then we had sex ed in school but I already knew it by then. Mom said she told me early on because she didn't want me to be "surprised" when I got my first period. She could have saved her breath. I was a 'late bloomer'.

17. How do you plan to talk to your kids about sex and/or sex safety?
Well… seeing as the youngest one is 24, I think hope suspect my job is done.

18. What are you most thankful for this year?
I've too many things to claim just one… I guess I'll just say, go back and review my last week's worth of posts. I hit the high spots.

Klutz

In case you missed it, that is my middle name.

I've never broken a bone, but how I managed not to is not from lack of trying. I'm not counting the endless times I tried to intentionally hurt myself. I'm talking about all the times it has been a genuine accident. I have fallen down the stairs… and up the stairs. Yes, up. I've tripped on my own feet, on sidewalk cracks, on curbs, on steps that are brightly marked as being a step, and have slipped and slid on ice and snow and gravel. I've fallen down walking through a grassy field…and stepped in a hole playing volleyball in a friends' back yard. I've fallen down when my hands were full…and when they were empty. I've fallen or tripped when I was actually focusing on trying not to fall or trip. (No, I don't have an inner ear problem.)

Yesterday morning was one of my stranger experiences in the world of klutzy-ness.

I have a big master bathroom. I have a big enough bathroom that I have a pen for my pups in it. When I first brought them home it just made sense as it was a linoleum floor and I figured it was handier than having them sitting in the middle of the kitchen. They like their pen and now spend a great deal of time in it. When I am getting ready for work in the morning we have a routine. I generally give them a treat before I start drying my hair or they bark at the hair dryer. Why, I have no idea… but the treat keeps them occupied and seems to help keep them quiet (sometimes my husband is still asleep in the adjoining bedroom, so having them barking at 4:30 or 5 a.m. isn't a great idea.). Until we built this house we had a very small bathroom (one. for six people.). When we designed this house we did the double-sink thing in the master bathroom and in-between is a space for a vanity and a small stool which I've come to like when putting on my face. So, anyhoo… I had turned around this morning to give the pups their treat, leaned toward them, and THUNK! I am suddenly sitting on my backside on the floor. The little stool (on wheels) slipped right out from under me… of course, popping my bad shoulder all wonky and whacking the back of my head on the chair.

Stop laughing.

I mean it.

I had a headache all day and the sore shoulders are more so, the neck now hurts worse, I'm feeling stiff and sore and stupid. Very, very stupid.

I don't even want to think about the next klutzy thing I'm gonna do. Seems I'm running out of new and different.

Black Friday

What a horrible name for a day, huh? I know where the retailers are getting it from, but still… sounds a bit morbid to me.

I'm used to hearing of stores opening at 5 or 6 a.m. to get the 'early' shoppers in, but one of our nearby malls opened at 12:01 a.m.!! Isn't that nuts? I missed it, but a co-worker said he saw the tv coverage of the event and it was jam-packed wall-to-wall. Ugh. That sounds like a version of hell to me. The once or twice I went with my MIL on an early black friday shopping excursion, we actually didn't run into any crowds and that was just fine and dandy with me.

Have I mentioned I'm not really a fantastic shopper? I'm not one who really likes to arrange shopping trips places, and although I've gone on some shopping travel weekends in long-past years, looking back I can't say that it was really all that fun. Guess that female gene must have been recessive. I generally figure out ahead of time what I want and where the most likely place is to get it and if I'm not getting it online, I try to just zoom in and get it and get out in one piece. Occasionally, there have to be some looking around but I chalk that up to research and I do try to avoid it.

So… you ask. What am I doing today? Why working, of course! I'm paying the price for being gone three days this week. Although I sent out two notices to everyone that I would be gone, I still ended up with emails requesting things to be processed on Tuesday and Wednesday. *rolling eyes* Although I do have a program that I could have fulfilled their requests from home, I chose not to. I didn't feel their requests were emergencies and they had enough notice that they were out of luck. (Also, they don't know I have that capability and I'm sure not gonna tell 'em!) Yeah, I'll probably be working all weekend to make up for being gone, but it's okay. Most of the people who bug me will be gone for the long weekend so it could be pretty quiet and allow me to catch up in peace.

Five Days of Gratitude: Day 5 – I'm grateful I have a job where although I bust my chops this time of year, most of the rest of the year it is pretty flexible. Even, to be honest, this time of the year – if I put my foot down I could be absent. I probably put more of the pressure on myself to get things done in a timely manner than most everyone around me. That's the perfectionist coming out again. I get paid a decent wage and for all my bitching, really do have a pretty good bunch of people to work with. (Don't we all have some people who can annoy us just by breathing some days?…oh, c'mon…sure you do!…or maybe just me?…) I'm grateful not to have to put up with those 9-5 days, 5-days a week, over and over and over with no end in sight until retirement. Or the salaried postitions where you end up working way more than your fair share and have the headaches to prove it. I've been on that treadmill and it wasn't for me. This is much better for my lifestyle and personality and I'm secretly thrilled I have such a good job – less than 10 miles from home! It just 'works' for me.

Turkey Day

Today turned out a bit different than I'd planned. My parents were coming at 11 o'clock. At 10 o'clock the doorbell rang and it was my mother… bearing pies. Turns out, she was only bringing me the pies she said she'd make, then she was going back home! My father is sick and didn't want to come. He's not throwing up, coughing, or otherwise showing symptoms. My guess is depression, but no way to know. He won't go to the doctor and he won't talk to my mom about it. He just refused to come, saying he was sick… and had been saying he was for a couple of days. He told her she could stay, but she didn't want to, and he wouldn't let her call my son to meet her half-way to pick up the pies (it is a 40 mile drive one way, plus they had about 3" of snow when we only got about 1/2"). I'm wondering what is going on with him… and yet? I'm secretly glad they couldn't come. I know that makes me a horrible person.

Also missing was BIL. He decided he was too uncomfortable about his family situation so decided to pass. He never called us to tell us he wasn't coming, but he called MIL this evening and told her he went to a church for supper.

All in all, it turned out to be a smaller group, but we had a nice dinner and now have lots of leftovers. It was a good day with the family who could come.

Five days of Gratitude: Day 4 – I'm grateful that I have a beautiful house to clean and entertain in. I'm blessed to have a big beautiful kitchen in which to cook. I'm thankful to have the means to have enough to eat today as we celebrate Thanksgiving and all the other days of the year. I hope all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful meal and a great deal to be thankful for.

Winter!

Just in time for Thanksgiving, winter has arrived. I can't believe it. It wasn't supposed to snow here, but stay in the southern part of the state. I think we've gotten at least 1/2" already and it isn't showing signs of letting off just yet. I'll wait to see if this changes my parents' plan to come for Thanksgiving. They have to drive about 40 miles and they may feel a bit timid about doing so. They've lived in the south for a few years and haven't quite gotten their 'winter' legs back.

I haven't seen many birds at the feeder lately. Could it be because I've been too busy to fill it? Perhaps…  At any rate, I wasn't worried as I know there is still a lot out and around for them to eat. However, I did fill it a couple of days ago and today I think with the snow, they decided it was time to be lazy and come to the feeders. I've seen lots of different ones that I've not seen for awhile. Then again, it hasn't been many days when I've been here in the daylight, so maybe they've been here I just haven't been.

Five Days of Gratitude: Day 3 – I'm very grateful that we had mother nature on our side this year and harvest went well. We had some times when it could have been a little less wet, but it stopped in time to harvest and we had what we needed (and what we didn't need, as in wind damage) throughout the growing season and the yields were good. Prices for crops are even up some (as well as fuel and fertilizer and land prices and everything that goes along with…) but if I didn't complain a little I couldn't call myself a farmer ('s wife). I'm grateful that we made it another year without anyone getting hurt (fires? exploding windshields?) and things are winding down. I am very grateful to live here in Iowa. I know many people think it is a boring place to live, but for me it is just perfect. I have what I need and I enjoy all the season changes. Okay, back to cleaning and cooking. The turkey is in the oven and the house smells wonderful… If I don't get around until late tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving everyone~~~