Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Foolish Hodgepodge

So you thought I'd be back to recap my weekend before the Hodgepodge? How foolish of you! And with that segway, we'll lead right in to the April Fool's edition of the Hodgepodge--seven questions and a random thought that you would like to share with the world at large. Or at least with your internet buddies. Leave a comment and then click on the link to see what everyone else has to say. You won't regret it! I promise!
1. April rolls in at the end of this week and in celebration of that infamous date (April 1st) answer this question-What is something foolish you've done?
Only one foolish thing? Okay, how about the time I walked off hand-in-hand with a man other than my husband? How about the fact that I did this right in front of my husband? And I thought the guy was my husband? And he was actually a deacon in our church? And we were halfway across the parking lot before he decided to say anything to let me know who he really was? Yeah, I'd say that was kinda foolish.
2. With April comes Easter and that classic edible treat known tell me...what's your favorite way to fix/eat chicken? That wasn't what you were expecting, was it? I 'fooled' you. teehee.
Probably digging some original recipe out of the Colonel's bucket.
3. What's the best museum you've ever visited? Or your favorite? Or the one you'd most like to visit?
I think it would be very interesting to go to a shoe and purse museum. I don't know that one exists, but it should.
4. You know what they say about April showers...what's your preference-a shower or a bath?
I prefer a shower no matter what month it is.
5. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"...fact or fiction? Why?
Fact or fiction? Probably depends on who you're talking about.
6. What's your favorite product made/grown in your home state/province?
We live in Florida. My favorite home-grown product is vacations!
7. What is going on in the world today that affects you the most?
8. Insert your own random thought here.
There is not a dead body in our garage, but it sure smells like there is. How long is that smell going to have to linger before I can get one of the males in my life to discover what it is and take care of it? (I really don't think this falls under my list of duties!)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Springing Into the Hodgepodge

So here we are having a little spring fun. Take a couple of minutes to answer seven questions and then give us a random thought. Nothing's easier. Or harder. Depends on your thought process, I guess. At any rate, give it a whirl. What have you got to lose?
1. Sunday was the first day of spring. So they say. Ahem.What is your favorite outdoor springtime activity?
Well if it has to be an outdoor activity, than I'm going to say it's going to an outdoor mall and shopping for new spring clothes.

2. Who would you want to come into your kitchen to cook dinner for you?
Someone who would also stick around long enough to clean up my kitchen after they were through cooking. And if they also wanted to do some laundry or clean a bathroom, they can stay for the rest of their lives.

3. When did you last fly a kite?
I never fly a kite when someone tells me to go fly a kite because I think that's kind of a rude statement. Not that people often tell me to go fly a kite. I'm just sayin'.

4. What topic puts you to sleep faster than anything?
Taxes. Anything to do with numbers. Unless, of course, we're discussing the discount percentage on a great sale.

5. Which flowers do you associate with specific people, places, or events?
Well I used to associate roses with birth because every time I had a baby, my husband bought me roses. But that was an awful lot of trouble to go through just to get some flowers, so now he just buys them for me on Valentine's Day.

6. What significant historical events took place during your elementary school days?
I went to elementary school for six years. A lot of significant historical events happened during that time but, as much as I love history, if I were to list all the events here, you would probably list this answer as your answer for #4.

7. Do you swear? Do you pseudo-swear? (You know crap, shoot, friggin'?)
I do neither, and I'm so glad you classified those other words as pseudo-swearing. I happen to think that a lot of today's euphemisms are rather crude. I don't use them and I don't allow my kids to use them either. On the other hand, I've been known to say "spit" occasionally probably because I feel like spitting.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Saying "spit" would be better than actually spitting. In most cases, at least. : )

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wedding Fun and Stuff

I mentioned--in my one and only post last week--that I was going to take a chick weekend soon. That weekend starts this coming Thursday, and I positively can't wait! I need this more than you know (I'll explain why tomorrow), but first, a little recap on what's been going on lately.

My future daughter-in-law came for a visit again, and I think she staved off insanity for a week. It was so nice having another female in the house! We gave Kylee a bridal shower while she was here, and she received, I'm pretty sure, at least thirty different sets of measuring cups and spoons. Well, she got a lot of them, anyway. I see a lot of baking in her future.

When we arrived for the shower everyone was given a yarn necklace with a few beads strung on it. Then we were told that we couldn't say words like "Matthew", "groom", "wedding", etc. or several other words that we would very likely say at the shower. If you were caught saying any of the forbidden words, someone could demand your necklace. The one with the most necklaces at the end of the evening won a prize. I was asked to pray for the food, and I had to be careful even then because I'm pretty sure some people would have interrupted to take my necklace if I said the wrong word. My caution was for nothing, though, because I lost my necklace before I filled my plate at the buffet table. So I entertained myself the rest of the evening by using the forbidden words often, and then mocking anyone who asked for the necklace I'd already lost. I'm nothing if not a poor sport.

We finished Kylee's visit by spending a little girl time getting manicures and pedicures. Then I took pity on my son and let her spend the rest of her last day with him.

I would show you lots of pictures of her week here, but someone lost the cord to my camera. I wasn't the last person to upload pictures, but whoever that was, apparently they misplaced the cord. No one can find it. I can't tell you how annoyed that makes me.

I can show you a picture of the dress that I ordered to wear at the wedding. Having never shopped for a Mother-of-the-Groom dress before, I was a little unsure of myself. I thought it would take weeks or even months to find what I wanted, especially since I didn't know what I wanted. Instead, this is the second dress I looked at. I got the bride's approval and a 40% off discount the same day, so this is the dress I will be wearing to the wedding.

I'm pretty sure I will look exactly like the model in the picture, and I plan on striking that pose as often as possible, too. I think it will highlight my best features, and doesn't it look incredibly natural? Now shopping for the right shoes? That could take months!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Green Hodgepodge

You knew it was coming. In fact, you probably couldn't wait for it to get here, could you? You've been counting the days since last Wednesday, haven't you? Admit it! You can't live without the Hodgepodge. Seven questions and a random thought around which your life revolves. Okay, your life is a little pathetic, but then, so is mine so I'm not going to say anything. Settle in and here we go. Oh! And after you leave a comment--you knew you had to leave one, right?--click on the link and see what everyone else had to say. You might as well. What else have got to do in your pathetic little life? : )
1. What would you do if you found a pot of gold? Let's pretend this pot of gold is worth exactly $1500 (which would actually be more like a cup of gold at current values). Anyway, let's also pretend you have to spend it as opposed to making a donation someplace. Now tell me what you would do with that cup pot of gold?
To be quite honest, the whole donation thing never occurred to me until you mentioned it. That's my pot of gold, baby! I'd probably hang onto it until my much-needed chick weekend at the end of the month. Then I'd be splurging all over the place. (I'll blog about the weekend another time. For now, let's just say that living as the only female with six males--well, I need a shot of estrogen in my life or I'm going to start scratching and spitting in public soon.)

2. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form?
When I was a kid we would celebrate by asking everyone in sight if they were a) Irish, or b) wearing green. If the answer to either question was no, then we would pinch them. I have a little Irish in me (along with some French, German and Scottish--we're mutts) and I have green eyes so I always got off easy. If the eye answer wasn't enough, then I told them the tag on my underwear was green. I've since outgrown such childish games so I probably won't be celebrating at all--except maybe to ask my kids if they're Irish and wearing green and then pinch them. : )

3. Have you been bitten by the Spring Cleaning bug? No! I squash those bugs as soon as I see them! What spring cleaning job most needs doing at your house? All of them. What spring cleaning job are you most dreading? All of them.

4. lime-shamrock-sage-forest...your favorite shade of green?
Actually, green is one of my favorite colors and I like it in all shades. Except for pea green. That's not a pretty shade whether it's in a soup or in someone's clothing. And since that's the color usually used to describe someone's face right before they throw up ...

5. Thomas Jefferson once said, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." you believe in luck or do you believe we make our own luck?
I don't make my own luck. I don't have the recipe. 

6. Monday (3/14) was Pi Day. Get it? Pi =3.14. Those math types are so clever aren't they? Since I'm not one of them tell me what's your favorite piE (the edible kind).
The edible kind is my favorite kind of pie.

7. That same date (3/14) happens to be the birthdate of the late physicist Albert Einstein. I bet he knew the value of Pi. So...what do you think is more important and or valuable in life... intelligence or common sense?
There are a lot of people who have intelligence who have never shown one lick of common sense. However, I don't think I've ever seen someone who exercised common sense without at least an average-sized dose of intelligence. Unfortunately, there's also a great many people who never seem to have been blessed with either intelligence or common sense. Most of them apparently decided to make their living in politics.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
As thrilled as I am to be one of the first ones to link up, I'm more than a little annoyed that I'm still awake this late!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gutting A Deer

This story is beginning to seem like the labor itself--never ending. But I promise to wrap it up with this post. After all, if I go any longer, I'll never convince you to read the posts where I talk about the labor from my other five children.

Just kidding. I'm not posting about that for awhile. I can only relive just so many happy memories at one time.

By the time the doctor started talking c-section, I had been in Pitocin-induced labor for over ten hours. They had giving me pain-numbing (re: muscle-numbing) medication in an epidural twice. I had pushed hard and uselessly for over an hour and a half. I cried when the the doctor said the dreaded term, c-section, but he explained he just couldn't let me go on any longer as things were. Over my sobs--and my groans of pain--he explained that he would call the anesthesiologist back in to give me a much bigger dose of medicine through the epidural in order to completely numb me from the chest down before the surgery.

As the import of his words sunk in, my tears dried up. Did this mean I could stop feeling the contractions immediately?

I always focus on what's most important.

It turned out the anesthesiologist was in surgery and it took a while before he could get back up there. I had a few unkind things to say in the meantime, but the release from pain was so blissful, I wasn't worried about the impending surgery. Instead I was able to focus on much more minor irritations.

For one thing, you'd think that when you're numb you'd feel nothing. Not true. Instead, you kind of feel the last thing you actually felt. In my case, the last thing I had felt was that my left leg was bent. And it still felt that way. After they wheeled me into the operating room, I pretty much lay on the table feeling ignored while everyone around busied themselves with their jobs. My leg felt uncomfortable, and since I could no longer move by myself, I asked someone to straighten my leg for me. To my annoyance, no one paid me any attention. I demanded asked several more times for someone to tend to my leg before someone finally told me it was already straight.

Now I was really irritated. If it were straight, I would know it, but it clearly felt bent. I continued to argue until one of the nurses pointed above me. "Look up there, honey. You can see that your leg is straight." Above me hung the large light they would be using when they operated. It was not on yet, and had been pushed out of the way up above me. In the polished chrome I could see a slightly distorted reflection of myself, and sure enough, my leg was straight.

I could also see that I was buck naked.

I don't know which was more disconcerting--the fact that I was lying on the table, naked, in a room full of strangers, or the fact that no one was paying the slightest attention to the fact that I was lying naked on the table in a room full of strangers. Not that I wanted them to pay attention. Before I could say anything, a rather large nurse came up to stand behind me and placed an oxygen mask over my face.

I was already feeling a little claustrophobic because the rest of my body would no longer move when I wanted it to. Plus, they had a small curtain fixed just below my chin so I couldn't actually see when they operated on me. (And they pulled the light away so that I could no longer see my reflection either--thank goodness!) The pressure of the mask on my face was the final straw. I tossed and pulled my head as I struggled to get away from the mask, and begged the nurse to remove it. She told me it was for the baby--something I didn't believe for a minute--and promised to move it as soon as the baby was born.

The curtain and the lack of movement and the mask were bad enough, but this nurse was right behind my head, and she was so large, I could see her no matter which way I turned my head. It didn't help when she reached a large, gloved hand over my face and placed it on top of the mask. She was only going to lift and hold it just above my face, so I could have the oxygen without the mask actually touching me, but her actions completely freaked me out. I started jerking my head away, shouting, "Drop it! Drop it!" The mask settled back on my face, and she returned to her station just behind my head.

No one else in the room seemed to be paying any attention to the diva-patient. They were all absorbed in the surgery itself--including my husband. Indiana had been scrubbed, gowned and masked and given a seat next to my head, but when the procedure started, he stood up and watched in fascination over the curtain. The doctor looked up in surprise. "I thought you were squeamish," he commented.

Indiana shook his head. "Only with needles." He answered. "This is like gutting a deer."

My hero.

Luke was born just over twelve hours after this whole ordeal started. He weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces and was over twenty-one inches long. I cried when I saw him, but refused to hold him until the feeling came back in my body, which happened sometime during the middle of the night. The diva attitude wore off about the time the anesthesia did, and I held my baby close about three o'clock in the morning.

He was worth every frustrating, agonizing minute of it. But don't tell him, or it'll go straight to his head. In the meantime, just like I guilt his big brother with the 32 hours of labor bit, Luke hears the "twelve hours of labor and a c-section" line quite often along with the "you're the only one that made me go through surgery." Hey, a little guilt is a great motivator. And he deserves it for giving me frequent heart attacks.

Like the other day when he reminded me that next year, he'll be old enough to vote.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fat Tuesday Hodgepodge on Wednesday

Okay, people. I finally wrote the second part of the birth post yesterday. The third and final post will be tomorrow. I know that for a fact because I already wrote it and scheduled it to post tomorrow. But in the meantime I had to pause for Hodgepodge Identification. Seven questions and a random thought. After reading my answers and leaving what will no doubt be a random comment of your own, click on the link and see what everyone else has to say! What? Like you have so many other better things to do? I didn't think so!

1. The season of Lent begins on March 9th this you participate and if so, in what way?
I have no vices, so I have nothing to give up. : )
2. Traditionally pancakes are eaten on the day known as Shrove Tuesday which is the last day before Lent (March 8th this year). So....butter and syrup? Blueberry? Chocolate chip? ewww, no thanks!! What's your pleasure when it comes to eating pancakes?
I'm beginning to see why the day is called Fat Tuesday. As for my pleasure, I'm on the Atkins diet right now. Pancakes are not in my vocabulary. My boys, however, do their best to make IHOP go out of business any time they offer all you can eat pancakes.
3. Spring is coming. (It is coming, right?) What's your favorite springtime flower and do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Two questions I know, but they're lightweights.
My favorite springtime flowers are the kind that arrive in big boxes, delivered by I'm only allergic to flowers that actually need to be cared for in order to keep from dying.
4. "Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves." Author unknown. Agree or Disagree? Why?
I agree that the author is unknown.
5. Since it's "March" and also the season of Mardi Gras....have you ever been in a parade? What's the best parade you've seen?
I've never been in a parade, but I've been practicing my "Princess Wave" so that I'm ready just in case the need should arise.
6. You would jump up and down and shout for joy right now if someone told you___________?
Fat was the new thin.
7. How clean is your car on the outside? Inside? Is there junk in your trunk?
Outside:  I've seen it dirtier. Inside:  I've seen it cleaner.  There is nothing in the trunk of my car, but I definitely have junk in my trunk, which is why I'm on a diet.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I wonder how many times we give up when success was just around the next bend.

Really weren't expecting something so profound from me, were you?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nineteen in Twenty Women ...

Okay, where was I? Oh, right.  Two weeks ago I was describing the incredible fun I had bringing this handsome, although not exactly small, young man into the world. After false labor, false hopes and a false trip to the hospital, my doctor decided to induce first thing Monday morning. If you want to read more than that incredibly condensed summary, you can click here.

I don't know about you, but I was rather stupid in my younger years. I assumed that my long labors and hours of pushing for my first two pregnancies were somehow my fault. I figured if I had been better at my job, (having the baby) then that part of the process should have been easier. For whatever reason I can't remember, I didn't have an epidural with either of my first two babies. Instead I had pain meds pushed through my IV. After talking with assorted women (good friends, nodding acquaintances, strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store) I decided than an epidural was the answer to all my problems. Everyone I spoke with assured me that, once they had the epidural, 1. there was no more pain; 2. a few pushes and the baby was out; 3. they thoroughly enjoyed the birthing experience.

Since my first two experiences were less than enjoyable, and since they were also only painfully hazy memories, I decided that having an epidural would give me the ideal birthing experience that all the books talked about. (In case you're wondering, I have since thrown those books away.)

Since this was going to be the ideal birth, I was not at all worried when the doctor said he was going to induce. Neither was I bothered when he chose to induce on Valentine's Day. In fact, I thought it was rather romantic that we were going to have our child on that day. Did I mention I was rather young and stupid at that point? And that I hadn't thought ahead to the fact that Valentine's Day forever after was going to be about birthdays and not about romantic getaways?

The only thing I didn't like was the fact that we had to be at the hospital at five in the morning. But since this was all going to go so quickly, what with the inducing at all, we could have the baby and still have most of the day for other things, right? I was even taking a different approach to labor. Instead of focusing on it (i.e. lamaze-style), I had saved a book I was dying to read for the hours I would be in labor. I could always get lost in a book, and I figured that would take my mind off the pain until I had the epidural.

The book worked for a while. I was in pain, but was still able to lose myself in the story. At least until the doctor came and checked on me mid-morning. He said I looked way too comfortable for the contractions I was supposed to be having, and then he told the nurses to push the Pitocin semi-aggressively. After he left, there was a little discussion among the nurses as to just what he meant by semi-aggressively. Judging from the sudden leap in pain intensity, they decided to focus on the aggressive as opposed to the semi.

In no time at all, I was dilated to 4, although the pain level made me believe I was at 7. It was clearly time for the epidural. The end of pain and the beginning of the end. After all, wasn't that what everyone said? Epidural, no pain, a few pushes, you're done. Being young and stupid (did I mention that yet?) I neglected to ask anyone how long their labors were normally. I think I just automatically associated epidurals with shortened, easier labors, although no one actually made that claim. And rightfully so. Here was where all my pre-conceived notions failed me.

And here's where Indiana Jones failed me too.

My fearless husband has faced down terrorists in Uganda. He's stared at the business end of an AK-47. He's almost capsized in a canoe during a violent storm on Lake Victoria. He's boldly gone into jungles in Africa where no white man has gone before. He's earned the nickname Indiana Jones.

Needles make him pass out.

With each contraction becoming more painful, I should have been able to cling to my manly husband while they tapped the needle into my spine and gave me the epidural. Instead, my husband was standing out in the hallway, turning white as a sheet at the thought of a needle being anywhere in the vicinity, while I clung to a nurse whose name I didn't even know. When the job was finished and all needles again packed away out of sight, Indiana returned to my side to resume his role as coach.

A little disgruntled, and more than a little out of sorts, I settled back on the pillows and waited for the epidural to take effect. Pain continued to hit me in waves for the next several hours, with very little relief in sight. This was not the pain-free uptopia I had been promised. When I complained, they told me that everyone responds a little differently to epidurals.

I wanted my money back.

Hours later they brought the anesthesiologist back in for a second tap and additional medication. (Indiana deserted me again to go stand in the hallway during the procedure.) Not only was the epidural not taking care of the pain, but it was also slowing the progress. Contractions were coming in fast and furiously, thanks to the semi-aggressive use of the Pitocin in my IV, but I was not dilating. When they tapped me the second time, I was only dilated to a 6. Many more hours passed before they finally declared that I had reached 10 and I could push.

Frankly, I didn't have much energy left by then, but this was supposed to be the home stretch, right? A few pushes and then we were done. That's what all those epidural-experiencing experts had told me. Of course, most of them also gave birth to normal, 6-7 pound babies as opposed to bowling balls. I probably should have factored that in.

The first few pushes made me realize something was horribly wrong. I couldn't feel any progress. In fact, other than the pain of the contractions, I couldn't feel anything at all. It seems that, although the epidural was a complete failure at numbing the pain, it had done an excellent job at numbing the muscles I needed to use to push. Sometime later I learned that epidurals work well for nineteen out of twenty women.

Meet Number Twenty.

After an hour and a half of pushing that did nothing but drain the little bit of energy I had left, my doctor examined me and said he couldn't let me go on any longer. He told the nurses to prep for a c-section. I was horrified that it had come to this, but then one thought took precedence over everything else:

Did this mean we could stop the pain?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marching into Madness Hodgepodge

Don't you just hate it when someone starts a story on their blog and then leaves you hanging for say, a week and a half with no new post and no continuation and not even an explanation of why they suddenly dropped off the face of the cyberworld? Yeah, me too. Oh, wait a minute! That was me! A week and a half ago I started a completely scintillating story about the climactic entry of my third born child into this cold, cruel world, but I haven't been back to finish it. But if you're annoyed, imagine how I feel! I've been (in storyland, anyway) stuck in labor for the last week and a half! At any rate, I can explain a bit of my absence in my answer to #4 below. And I will attempt to finish my labor story--because who doesn't love a good labor story--tomorrow. But I couldn't miss the hodgepodge, not only because I missed it last week, but because hodgepodge so completely describes my life right now that I had to stop everything else I was doing and spend a few moments celebrating that wonderful word with all of you. So here goes:  seven answers and a random thought. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what I have to say! (How's that for a random thought?)

1. March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday so I'm you like green eggs and ham? Okay-how about this do you like your eggs? Or don't you?
I like my eggs scrambled and served up at Bob Evans, smothered in sausage gravy with a side of bacon and biscuits. But since I'm on a diet, I take them hard boiled. And since the timer usually goes off after I've gone upstairs to take a shower, and since I usually ask the boys to take care of them for me, I end up with anything from soft boiled to extremely hard boiled depending on how well they were paying attention when the timer went off.

2. Is March coming in like a lion or something less ferocious where you live?
March is coming in more like a one and a half year old short hair domestic housecat. Old enough to stretch and sleep away lazy days in the warm sunshine, but still playful enough to romp through your life and keep things interesting--especially if someone forgets to shut the pantry doors before everyone leaves the house in the mornings.

3. Do you work better or worse under pressure?
That would depend on the pressure. And the work. And how I'm feeling that day. And what time of year it is. And ...

4. March Madness-are you a fan? It's college basketball in case you're wondering. And if you're outside the USA tell us-is there any sort of 'madness' taking place during March in your part of the world?
I had no idea what the "official" March Madness was until Joyce told us. In my part of the world, which is technically the USA, but is also Boydland, which is like no normal place on earth, March Madness consists of the Hectic Hodgepodge of my life the past few weeks as we've been working to get ready for the special services we're having every night this week at our church. The past couple of weeks have been very busy leading up to this week, and this week I'm mostly operating on about four hours of sleep a night, and although I'm enjoying the week very much, I'm not sure fan is the right word to use to describe the pace of my life right now.

5. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?
I try to avoid thinking whenever possible. It usually gets me into trouble. Although I really don't have spectacular success when I act without thinking either. Come to think of it. : )

6. What item of clothing from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Underwear. Never leave home without it. (We wear it at home too. It's a family rule.)

7. Do you use sarcasm?
Did you read my answer to #6? I prefer to think of myself as creatively witty as opposed to sarcastic. I'm not sure the people who ended up in therapy because of me would agree, though.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Yeah, I got nuthin'. Sorry.

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