Sunday, December 14, 2008

Letting down my "fans" (Yeah right )

Well...I have been avoiding this. Coming to my blog cause Im so guilty of not blogging since the first week in July, its now the second, nearly third week in December. LOL. Five months since I blogged. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this.

Oh boy where to begin. Ok with Hannah, my favorite subject. She is now 10 months old. In my last post I talked about her rolling over. Well the awe of that skill has been replaced by the awe of a whole cast of new and improved, amazingly cute, somewhat useful--Kid Tricks!! Yes, I did say "kid tricks". That is not a typo, because at this point her newest things such as Pat-a-cake (adorable), and How Big is Hannah? (complete with her dramatically sighing as she raises her chubby arms above her head) are not so useful, but cute little things she does on "command" LOL.

I try. I really really do. I try not to train her like a dog. I try not to tell her to do things like a dog. I try really hard not to reward her like a dog, especially with food. I really really try. Are you convinced? Well its true. And in the end, saying "No" to her like a command (well, isn't it a command?) and telling her what a good girl she is tells me that Im doing the right thing with her. Eric and I give consistent rewards and use distraction techniques to teach her not to eat pine needles off the floor or to listen when we tell her the dog water is not a wading pool.

Hannah is crawling like a champ, cruising about the furniture, and playing with the animals. She can share her food, feed herself a whole meal. Drink from a sippy cup, fetch her own pacifier and apply it thusly. She can wave hello and good-bye, and even whistle :D. She plays in the bathtub and tries to play in the toilets. She recognizes a stranger, but makes friends quickly. She has seven, thats right!! seven teeth.

I say all this with happiness. And yet...with a heavy heart because my baby is starting to sound like a kid. That little bundle we brought into the world a mere ten months ago is growing, maturing, learning and changing DAILY. Slow it down a bit Hannah, Mommy needs you to. I'll try to remember the sincerety of that thought the next day I have with her when she is driving me crazy cause she is teething and all she can do is hang on my leg all day and whine/cry and Im wishing away the days.

more later.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Roll-Over Saga

Today she made me laugh. She compromised her sleeping arrangements with me. Nawww...actually she fell fast asleep mid-roll. This is the picture I got of her sleeping like this, she never even flinched as the flash went off.. Read below to learn why this was funny.

My little darling Hannah is now a roll-over machine. She started two days ago with my Mom and Dad here. She woke up and started making noise and both my parents went in to see what she needed. If her eyes are open she's awake, if she's making noise wit her eyes shut she is not. But Hannah had rolled-over and was sleeping on her back fussing. My Mom rolled her to her tummy and she promptly flipped herself over again. Now this is a girl who knows what she wants, I guess! Eric and I were still sleeping.

I got up about 30 mins later when I heard her fussing for food in earnest. My Mom had managed to get her to go back into a deep sleep on her tummy. I learned of the rolling and was excited (*note: how the 'excitement' wains as this goes on*). I really wanted to see her do it. And thus started our Saga.

Since then we've had two nights of increasingly difficult sleep, not only for us but for Hannah. You see, now that she can turn herself she does it in protest to tummy time every single time she is to go to sleep for the night, and sometimes naps. We wait until she is showing signs of getting tired after he last feeding. Rubbing her face, red rimmed eyes, and deep yawning are all sure signs of impending slumber.

Now, this was the way things used to go: Hannah is getting sleepy, hold her with binky until that glazed look happens, change her diaper, lie her in bed on tummy, apply binky and she's out!

Now it looks like this: Wait until she's ready to go to sleep as before, maybe wait until she's even more tired. Change her diaper, set her in her crib on her tummy, apply binky. Then apply pressure to her back by her shoulders and her butt, at the same time try and hold binky in with binky from the hand that's on her shoulders. Pat butt in attempt to distract her from her goal of rolling onto her back. This does not work, though we keep trying to find a magic combo of distraction and wrestling. Now we give up and think she's going to stay on her tummy. No. She flips herself over, spits out the binky and grins at us. We leave the room quickly and she either screams or plays or a combo of both.

The playing and crying goes on for some time, maybe 15 minutes. She's on her back, cant find her lost binky and I'm sure sometimes feels disoriented. I go in and try to roll her over,but its just a physical battle of wills and I'm not going to frustrate her like that...she's also so strong that if I force her over she's gonna get hurt fighting it. So, I've picked my battle there and chose to apply it to something else later.

Eventually she is tired enough to allow us to roll her onto her tummy and she does not fight it. Only then does she sleep. Last night I let her cry for over five minutes before going in, I listened to her tone and could tell when she was tired out. I gave her her binky and did not put her on her tummy. For the first time in months she slept on her back. She woke up two hours later and I thought we'd have to go thru the whole thing again, but since she was not fully awake I turned her tummy-side and gave the bink and she went back to sleep until 6AM. She used to sleep in until 8-9 every morning. I think I can kiss those days goodbye. *sniff,sniff* I feel quite sorry for myself. LOL!

I am happy to say that yesterday I got to see her turn for the first time. I felt like she just graduated college, I was sooo proud. Then later, not so much. I'd rather that she just went to sleep without the new accomplishment. And at the very same time I'm excited about it still because she's growing and changing so fast and every stage, even the bleary-eyed one we're in now is fun and interesting. I love every minute of it, even when I'd rather be sleeping than wrestling her to sleep.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Who's Problem is This?

I have three neighbors fairly close to my property. One is the Clover Valley Riding Center including their stable managers who live on property in their own house. The Stable Managers home is quite close to ours, but above our house on the bank slope. The other neighbors are the one's I've written about before with the two young boys. Then we have a new neighbor, just bought the property bordering ours on the West side of our land. I'm really liking her, she's an Equine Vet and just graduated from WSU. She's my age, nice and very friendly. She has two horses and a dog. All nice animals.

I have had some issues with two of my neighbors in the recent past. Some of which are on-going. First of all my neighbors with the two boys let their kids out all day unsupervised, even to the smallest degree. Sometimes I don't even think they have a parent at home. They decided our driveway is the very best place to ride their bikes. Normally this would not be a problem at all, however, I do dog training with my own dogs (and am getting new clients right now) in my yard everyday. Not only are these kids too young to be polite about their riding habits, but Foenix does not like either kid. They've approached him with sticks and yelled at him, teasing him from a tree on many occasions. His dislike is warranted. So now I have to deal with the two boys riding up my long drive way on their bikes, interrupting on my dog training at all times of the day. Its a real nuisance to say the least. Yes, we've asked the kids nicely not to come all the way up our drive. Unfortunately the younger one (nearly four years old) is too young to really understand our reasoning or remember it for too long. Their parents are hardly ever home or visible for us to talk to. At one point I had to write out my concerns a couple years ago and pin it to a tree in their yard--that's how hard it is to get to speak to them at times.

I don't dislike these kids, they are two polite and sweet kids. But I think that we should be able to have our dogs out and generally do our thing on our property without the intrusion. They also like to leave their bikes on our drive, I have to fetch them all the time.

This brings me to my next, and more pressing, issue. D-O-G-S!!! The nearby barn has many clients. Those many clients all seem to have one or more dogs that they allow to run lose all over the barn property and incidentaly run our property as well. I'm getting really sick of all the strange dogs running up to our house (sometimes even on our porch). A couple days ago I was out with Hannah. She was on a blanket in the shade and Foenix, Zeke and I were playing and just enjoying the nice whether. I was alternately playing with Hannah and throwing a ball for the dogs, plus doing some training (at my house every play session also involves training of some sort). We were all having a great time until...I was about 10 feet from Hannah and had just thrown the ball for Foenix when I turned around and saw a large, aggressively moving dog coming up on me and Zeke. The dog rushed Zeke (only a 10# dog) and challenged him in his own yard.

What's more? I nearly had heart failure when I realized, very thankfully, that he had chosen to go after Zeke and not Hannah. I was livid and would have hurt this dog had he not ran away when I moved towards him. I just reacted, not really thinking and wanted the dog, well, to be honest to be dead. It scared me so badly that Hannah could have been attacked and damaged before I could have even intervened. My "Mother instinct" was on high alert. Needless to say that ruined my time outside. And now I constantly feel the need to be looking over my shoulder for this to happen again.

I think, as the laws say in my state, that I'm entitled to be able to enjoy my own yard without frequent threat from the neighbor's dogs. There is a leash law. I follow it. My dogs are either with me or in our securely fenced back yard. They are both trained very well and are under control 99% of the time. They have never, ever been allowed to roam about or escape our property. So why do I have to put up with this from others around me. I know that fencing our land is the only permanent solution to this problem and one we are planning on doing very soon. But in the mean time why should we put up with this?

We should be able to have our daughter out in our yard without worry that a dog is going to come in uninvited and interact with her, even on a friendly level. I DO NOT WANT STRANGE DOGS NEAR MY DAUGHTER OR MY DOGS, PERIOD.

Yesterday I went up to my other neighbors property (the horse Vet) to invited her to come and get some food, or even stay and visit if she was so inclined. She declined due to being on call. As I approached her to ask she was talking with another person who she introduced to me as a client from the barn, who rides there. The Vet asked me if I knew this dog, pointing to one in her pickup. I said "no, but it probably belongs to someone at the barn'. The barn client told me they had already asked and was not any one's dog from there. I said an off hand remark that the barn dogs are always in my yard and the barn client lady, said, in an exceedingly dismissive tone, that "that's they way barns are, everyone bring there dogs and they are not leashed." She went on to tell me, in not so many words, that I should get used to it. To chalk it up to the barn "style".

Ummmm really?? So I just have to put up with unknown temperamented dogs roaming my property and I should just deal with it because of their idea of how a barn is and does things? How would they like it if I were to call the humane societly on one, or worse have thier dog picked up by the pound for threatening my animals and child and tell them to 'deal' with it because that's my "style"? I have a feeling that would put a new spin on the situation.

The next step is to quit ranting about it and call the barn owner and speak to them about it. And believe me it will be done.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Grandpa Update

Eric and I met up at the hospital today. Grandpa was very weepy and sad looking. He cried as he greeted Grandma and had Eric's Mom and I crying too. It's so touching seeing them greet each other in such a loving and private way. It was such an intimate moment I turned away in respect for their moment. I reflect on the way they love each other so very much and hope that Eric and I grow to love each other that way even in our old age. The way two elderly people love each other is very profound and special, unique to those who've been together for years and years.

Again, without too many details, Grandpa's prognosis is guarded right now. He looks pretty normal, but his medical problems keep mounting and compounding the next issue. It's a vicious cycle that I hope ends soon with him recovering well. I am fearful for him, to be very honest. The only thing we can do is take everything one day at a time and keep praying.

I know this is very hard on Kristie. I cannot imagine how hard. Grandpa is a fighter though and he really desires to get better-- that's half the battle right there.

Flo Finally Comes A-Knock'n

Yup. Having a fairly normal period. I think it's a little short though, it's almost over already, so that makes only two full days...but then again I am taking a different pill prescription than before, so maybe this will be my new 'norm'. Might be good.

I will confess that I did go out and get a pregnancy test. Eric video'd it. No! He did not video me on the toilet, I always use the 'dip' method. Somehow aiming a stream onto that small stick always leaves me with a wet hand and a dry stick--not what I had in mind, so I got smart and use a disposable cup to get my test sample. So, anyway, we were both holding our breath and it came out negative, so we are both relieved and my guilt is relieved greatly. As Kristie said in her comment about my last post "it would have been God's will" or something to that effect. And, to be sure, that is what kept me from freaking out over the possibility that I might have been expecting so soon. I have been taking my pill exactly right, no missed pills, I even take it the same time every day. So if I was preggers again it would not be my error, but God's blessing. So that makes it immensely easier to swallow. It's so nice to be able to lean on God's shoulder that way.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Fears and Joys after Hannah, and Updates on Grandpa

I can safely say I feel pregnant. Even reading this line as I type it makes my heart jump up in tempo. Do I think I'm preggers again? No. Is it possible? Yes. I'm back on the pill, have been for two months now. I have all the symptoms of having my monthy visitor, Aunt Flo. But that's just it...I felt this way for three months into my pregnancy with Hannah. I was still on the pill (at the time I had no idea I was pregnant) and had fairly normal periods for two months of my pregnancy, the other two months before I found out I had all the symptoms of getting my period. Probably the fact I was still taking the pill and going thru the artifitial hormone cycle made me feel like I should start my period. I even had PMS when my pill pack was done gearing up for Aunt Flo.

So, in short, I don't trust my bodies signals anymore. So I'm sweaty palmed because I should have my period by now, or at least think I should. I've been thinking of it frequently today. I even asked Eric how he would feel if I was 'you-know-what' and he said, unhesitantly, "I would be excited". To tell you the truth I would be as well...but also worried, frustrated, scared, a little mad, and happy all in one. Isn't it amazing how God made us so complex? Sometimes I feel an emotion so strongly that I have to take several hours to decide which emotion(s) I'm feeling at the time.

Another baby right now would mean I'd have two diapered kids at once (can you say 'expensive'?), it also means Hannah would have a sibling very close in age. Pros and Cons. It would mean Hannah would not have much time with Eric and I before another child would take one-on-one time away from her. Con. It would mean we are even more of a family. Pro. It would mean chasing Hannah around while I just had another infant. Con. Another pregnancy would mean I could wear my maternity clothes again before they were too out of style, LOL. Pro! It would mean morning sickness and that horrid fatigue while Hannah is a very active, but very needy pre-toddler. Con. It would mean I'd get to love another being the way I love Hannah. Pro. I wrote the paragraph above I found it hard to come up with the "pro's" in the situation. Yes I'd be excited to have another baby. But really my worst fears lie with Hannah. I really want to concentrate on her for a couple years without another child. Could Eric and I balance these crucial early learning months, teaching Hannah and preparing her for life with another baby so young? How does that work? How does one make that work? I feel guilty about the situation and I'm not even in the situation!!!

This whole post could be just a stupid symptom of my impending visit from Aunt Flo. I do realize I'm getting wwwaaaayyyyy ahead of myself here. I'll probably have these fears for several more months untill I get used to the routene of my monthly hormone fluctuations again.


Grandpa is doing Ok, not great but OK. He has some pretty major medical issues, some of which are chronic and we knew about, others are chronic and we didn't know about. Because we are talking about someone other than Eric, Hannah or myself I will refrain from most details. I do realize this kind of thing is private, heck I would not, not, not appreciate someone blogging about my medical issues without expressed consent!!

He may have a surgery but we are not sure if the surgery would help more than harm....

Monday, June 23, 2008

A New Mile Stone

I forgot to say that yesterday morning when I got up to get Hannah up to get ready for Church she was on her back! Why is this significant? Because I put her to sleep on her tummy and she had rolled over for the very first time. Yay Hannah *does a little dance*

**for those of you out there that are about to lecture me on my daughter sleeping on her tummy (not recommended by the governing body for pediatricians) I already know. It was an informed decision not made lightly. Obviously so far she is fine.....**

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Weekend and Stuff

I have had an exhausting weekend for sure!! I've been trying to work as many hours as I can at my part time care giving job and also for this entire past week everyday I went over to my friend Julie's house. Julie was out of town and I went over to help out with caring for her dogs, remember she is Foenix's breeder? Well now you know. Anyway her two son's were there with their dad, but I wanted to go over and make sure that everything was going OK (and that everything was getting done too!). Julie has a couple of very nice kids. Both of them, ages 12 and17, are smart, respectful, and funny kids with great hearts. Neither of them are the 'typical' boys for this time. I really have a lot of fun with them both. Julie will love to hear how they both chipped in with chores, did a great job and got along so well (at least while I was there). Their dad did a great job too!!

On Friday afternoon Eric's Grandfather went into the hospital via an ambulance. He had stopped breathing and was on a ventilator for nearly 24 hours!! Everyone really though his time had come and we were not going to have much time with him left. It was really hard. I went into 'support and nurse mode' and didn't really break down at all. I was thinking so much of Kristie all the way in NZ and her Grandpa on his deathbed, how horrible for her!! I also know this would have been the closest death in Eric's family, Eric has never dealt with a death before so I was worried about him too. Good news!! Grandpa made a truly miraculous turn around and early Saturday morning he was conscious and agitated for being on the machine. He was ex-tubated that afternoon and was move into a regular hospital ward today!! Amazing Grace!!! Thank God for the renewed time we have with Grandpa!!

When I saw Grandpa yesterday and he was responsive and without the ventilator all my facade went out the door and I bawled like a baby in relief. I really, really love Eric's family and Grandpa and Grandma mean so much to me, even more so since having Hannah--they are her Great Grandparents, how lucky is she to have so much extended loving family!! Well, "luck" has nothing, zero, zip to do with it...we all know it's God's Hand blessing her.

I'll keep my blog updated on how Grandpa is doing.

Other than that I'm PMSing to beat the band. Have a headache, want some chocolate. I think I'm almost to the point were I could go on an exercise/diet plan and stick to it....but for now a Hershey's bar sounds like therapy and a spa day all wrapped into one. Geez. *roll eyes*

I have not said a word about the dogs in a long time. Dog training is almost non-existent and I'm not a bit sorry for the moment. I just love concentrating on Hannah and my family right now it just feels like what I should be doing. I will start back with French Ring with Feo when I get some extra money to pay my club dues. I guess that's all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi if....

  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi can load all frequently used dishes, cookware, utensils and glassware, and have it fit, and have it all come out clean.
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi if....while your husband helps out and loads the dishwasher you can't help but leave your own housework to make a lot of "oh so helpful suggestions" on where to put items (everything)
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi have slight anxiety over hearing the dishwasher running and realizing you are not the one who turned it on. As you approach the sink your fears are confirmed-- half of the things that could have gone in are still in the sink. *sigh*
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi have a list of helpful tips on how to get the hard-to-remove-stuck-on-food-particles to come off in the dishwasher. And then you tell your husband and actually expect him to remember next time he loads the dishwasher, which of course he does not because only you are that particular about it.
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi if....while helping clean up a friends/relatives kitchen you are most happy to do anything but load the dishwasher, after all it's not your dishwasher, it's not your territory and you might look silly-- or worse-- look like as bad a dishwasher loader as that person's husband *gasp*
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi if....when your old, slightly broken dishwasher gets fixed you feel excited about loading it the next time. I mean you are really looking forward to bonding with the improved dishwasher.
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi if....the thought of teaching your kids how to properly load your dishwasher you remember your own Mother getting ticked off at you about how 'carelessly' you loaded when you were a kid. The flood of sudden understanding brings a rush of nastalgia that prompts to you call your Mother immediately, teary eyed, telling her you had an epiphany.
  • You Might be a Dishwasher Nazi those *rare* moments when you load the dishwasher A-la Husband-esque, you make sure to unload it before he sees it. After all, you must maintain your superior dishwasher loader status or risk him pointing out that you didn't put the casserole in it's normal place. The universe might implode if that happens. Yes, you're sure it will.
If you are wondering, Yes! I'm a Dishwasher Nazi. My Mom was too, and now I understand why and how you become one. When I realized this it was yet another moment when I took another step at becoming my Mother. LOL. Not that I mind.

Eric is slowly but surely coming over to the dark side. He'll be second Nazi in command by the time Hannah is old enough to load the dishwasher, and the cycle will start over. Muwahhahhahha hahaa haaa (evil laugh)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Be Smug

LOL. Well maybe not laughing out loud, more like, saying G-rated curse words out loud (that would be GRCWOL, if you were wondering).

I was soooo smug about getting rid of our ants. Yesterday I found two of them in the kitchen. Only two. Not fourty. Just two, I have to keep reminding myself that it was only two. Today I found zero. I also keep reminding myself that the two I found did seem confused, or was that just my out of control imagination again? Well I didn't let the ants go back to the colony--I squashed them on site. Sorry (not really), I just have no patience for them from now on.

In going back to read more about them **More Wonderful Google** I found that some species of these small ants can have a secondary colony and possible multiple queens. Goody gum drops >:( So it seems my seemingly thwarted opposition might have an ace up their tiny sleeves! But, I am not going to wait so long to declare war again. If I find just one more I'll get out the boric acid and honey and let the carnage begin...again.

Is it terrible to admit feeling just a little smug again? Will I never learn? :D

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day :D

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!

We are blessed to have our earthy and heavenly Fathers, we should all give thanks!!

Today Hannah was dedicated to God. Really it's a declaration of our intent to raise her as a Christian and the Church also agrees to help raise her up in the Lord and set good examples for her.

Today was so special.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Won, I Won!! :)

Yup, that's right as of yesterday afternoon I have not had one single ant in my kitchen. I checked outside and not one single ant eating the jam or sugar syrup either. I win, I win. Haha gotta love it when things go your way!!

The War is officially over and peace time reigns.

War Stats:
  • Total Casualties: unknown ant total, 0 human loss
  • Days of assault before War Declaration: 11
  • Days of War time: 3
  • Cost of War: about 5 bucks
  • Victory: SWEET!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The War I've Waged, an Update

Today I mixed 1/4 recipe of the sugar-water-acid solution. It's very thick, actually when first mixed it reminded me of the surprising consistency of my amniotic fluid when my water broke, but I digress. So I took the solution to where I had put the deadly strawberry jam mixture and put it around it. I thought that I'd just leave the jam there, after all who knows what other insects it might prevent from coming in the house--two days ago we had a huge carpenter ant enter the house via the same window that the sugar ants come in. But I guess I'd have to mix it with wood for it to appeal to a carpenter ant? I don't really know...but if I Google it...! :D

Again the little bugs were all lined up like some kind of tiny domesticated animals. Again I found it very cute. One thing I loved to witness today was one ant got her antennae stuck in the sticky, slightly dried strawberry jam. She had to tug really hard to get un-stuck and when she was free she suddenly flew backwards!! Haa Haa ha, LOL. Watching it was so familiar to things I've seen people do, in fact have done myself, that it just made me realize that, in fact, we even have behaviors in common with the very lowly animals on this planet. Probably everyone has gotten something stuck and nearly fallen on their rear ends when it surprises us and un-sticks.

I watched until some of the little guys (girls) had found the sugar solution and started drinking. They were immediately less 'drunk' looking than the one's the day before so I think it might work the intended way this time.

I did more Googleing regarding the time frame to expect zero ants coming into my home and got answere from 24 hours (already passed that mark) to a week. I'll keep the updates as long as there are battles to wage and a war to be won.

Monday, June 9, 2008


About two weeks ago I noticed that I had Sugar Ants in my kitchen. I've seen them before, the first summer we lived in our home, but didn't see them at all last summer--go figure *shrug*

Everyday it seems in the warm(ish) afternoons I have a parade of small black ants to watch. It does not matter how clean my kitchen is, they come anyway. I have to admire their determination and hope they represent. They are determined to come in my house and hope to find food. I know how ants are. They release pheromones as they walk around hoping to find food, they 'taste' the air, ground, and other objects for edible particles. If the ant happens to find a food source they will leave a different trail of pheromones on the way back to the colony to 'tell' the other ants where to find the food and what kind can be expected. The other ants then follow the trail back and --Viola-- they continue to come in increasingly alarming numbers, even if you have cleaned every crumb up off your counters. They still come. I've tried breaking their pheromone trail but they seem to be able to follow it even after I've just bleached the counter. Trying other household cleaners was just as ineffective.

I am a very soft hearted person towards animals, yes, even insects, spiders and bugs. I do not allow the killing of anything in my home, even spiders (they get 'escorted' out the door via a cup limo). So usually I would not wage a bloody battle against any insect in my home. In fact I've had spiders take up residence in my shower, they seem to enjoy the humidity and keep the mosquito's off us in the summer (or maybe that's not it at all, maybe they like the 'view'? LOL). I also enjoy watching cute Jumping Spiders hunt while in my house, they are my very favorite spider!

So, you get the point. I'm nice to creepy-crawlies. But these darn ants...I just cant stand them anymore!!!!!!!! They have to go. I did a Google of "how to get rid of sugar ants" *Lord Bless Google* and came up with over a million hits of different means of extermination. Boric Acid seems to be the very best thing for it. Today I picked up a bottle of it at the Pharmacy and mixed it with some strawberry jam. I smeared it on the outside of my house and waited with glee for the carnage to begin! He he he. I feel a little evil about that.

So I started checking the smear every half hour or so and after about two hours I suddenly found about 25 of my little victims all crowded around gorging themselves. They reminded me of cattle around a large feed trough, they were pretty cute all lined up. I felt a short pang of guilt about it, but, gosh they just have to go!! I also noticed as they started getting full the ones that were moving off were staggering around like little drunk sailors. If you listened carefully you could just about hear them hiccuping and calling out to their friends that they were going home to sleep it off. Ok my imagination is running amok. LOL. I touched a couple of them and they certainly didn't scurry off like normal so I knew the Boric Acid was having the desired effect. Hmmm or was it??

I realized that the whole point of this is for them to take their full stomachs back to the colony, share it with the others and ultimately feed some of the poison to the queen, thus efficiently dooming the entire lot of them. Without the queen, no eggs laid, no eggs laid means no more increased population. But my ants were already feeling high from their meal and I stated to see them freeze and die almost immediately. I over dosed them. I needed them mobile enough to lug it back for the others but and at the same time not kill them right away. So back to Google I went to ask: "recipe for sugar ant killing, Boric Acid". Right away I got a 2/1 sugar-water ratio with 2 Tablespoons of Acid per two cups of water. Wow my original recipe was a Tablespoon of Strawberry Jam to a teaspoon of Acid. Uh yeah, mine was too strong *roll eyes*

Boy does killing ever require a lot of thinking. Sheesh!!

Tomorrow I'll go out and remove my strawberry jam mixture and replace it with a proper sugar water solution. And hopefully this will be the final battle of this war dramatic ant war.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's Ok to be Vulnerable

I have many, many faults. Sometimes I feel like hiding my faults from others, but the older I get the more comfortable I am with others seeing them. In the past I only felt safe with my closest family members knowing that I was not perfect. Being imperfect was not a safe place, ever, when I was younger. I know I am not the only person ever to feel this way. It's also a sad way of living your life. I spent far too much time hoping people around me would not dislike anything I said or did and I counted a day as a good one if I went through the day without a disapproving look from someone. So I did a lot of hiding.

But everyone has to grow up. I'm still in that process, but have come a long way from that fearful little girl I once was. I'm not boasting about myself, so please don't take it that way. I just have some thoughts that I'd like written down.

I think that one reason I have such a great relationship with my Mom is that she sees my faults. I can tell her things about myself that would make others judge me harshly and forever embarrass me because of the judgement I see in their eyes and actions toward me. But not my Mom, she sees my faults and will tell me what they are. That is one of the hardest things to do--be honest with someone enough to see their faults and then be able to tell them what you see and still have respect and love for that person.

I'm not implying that I love it when someone tells me that I was wrong in some way or that I've sinned. I'm normal, it hurts and makes me angry at first. I still find myself going back in time to my childhood where I felt that if I did something wrong and was found out I'd lose that person's love. So my knee jerk reaction is to be angry and reject their point of view.

What I am saying is that if you try and see only the good in someone, by putting 'blinders' on you can only ever see part of who they are. People are a whole, not just good, happy, rosy people. Everyone has thought, done, said things that are less than what we know is appropriate or good. People who put on these blinders are very sad to me. They are people who cannot ever know another person because they are unwilling to see the entirety and depth of the person. It is very sad indeed. I also have to ask these questions: Why is it so important to only see the good things about people? Why can't we be more accepting of other's faults? Is it because it they have a need for everyone around them to be perfect because they are afraid of their own faults and therefore vulnerability?

Back to my Mom. She knows my many faults. I have found it rather cathartic to be vulnerable with her by telling her and accepting her telling me my faults. It was a weight off my shoulders to be so open with someone and learn that she did still love me. And the same applies to her faults, I love that I know that she is and will never be a perfect person. Sometimes I've complained about that, but in retrospect if she were perfect I don't think I could love her as I do because I would not feel ok to be vulnerable with her over my own shortcomings. It is give and take.

My husband tells me all the time that I 'share' too much with people, I over explain things. I think part of that is me trying to take others guards down and show them I'm not perfect because I wish that I could have a vulnerability with most everyone I care about. I laughingly will tell people embarrassing things about my past, or tell them about a lie I told so that I can be open to them in that way. I just wish more people were open to that as well. If we are not willing to be vulnerable to other meaningful people in our lives then when are we going to be comfortable being vulnerable with God?

The really sad thing is that God is the ultimate when it comes to matters of the heart like I'm talking about. He will not reject you in a vulnerable time, he already knows everything any how. So how silly is it to hide from him in the same way we hide ourselves from each other? So maybe it's easiest to start admitting our faults to God before we can practice this type of honesty with other human beings? I don't pretend to know the answer, I would think it would be different for everyone.

In being a parent I hope that Eric and I can maintain a level of honesty and vulnerability towards our children because I never want our kids to think that they have to hide from us. I hate dishonesty, and so I hope to show my children that they are loved and accepted for who they really are and not just for the person I want to see. I want to have my children grow up never having to be afraid of losing love from others like I did. I want to be a vulnerable person for the sake of others.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Having a Bad Day? Listen to a Baby Laughing Will Make it All Better!!

So the last few days for me have been not so great. I'm having major hormone issues, and at the same time non-hormonal issues that seem to get so magnified by the hormones!! I really hope this bad PMS does not keep up for long, I'll have to change my pills.

Eric and I had a long talk yesterday. I'd love to give details, but for the sake of our relationship I'll let those remain private. It was one of those talks that I hope other couples have, I think most probably do. You know the kind I'm talking about, the talks where you actually communicate on a level where you feel you've really been heard and you know your spouse got to get some things of their chest as well. It was a very good conversation and one that has left me a little sad, but at the same time energized. I pray that we remember the conclusions we came to with this discussion. It was good. :)

I've been wondering lately when Hannah would start to laugh spontaneously. She laughs often enough if I tickle her. It's so incredibly cute!! But tonight she was on the couch with me and I started to sing her the ABC's, she loves it when I sing to her. Anyway, I decided to sing the alphabet to her by saying the sounds three time each in order. She really got a kick out of it (don't ask me why) and she laughed at me!! She thought it was really funny especially when I got to "G" and "E". For the first time I was not torturing a laugh out of her, she was just giving them. It was so darling I can't even tell you. What a special moment to cap off a couple not-so-great days.

God has a very special way of telling you to hang in there when you need it and I think that's what he did for me today with Hannah. I'm especially glad Eric was home to be able to see it and have the same joy that I did. It was so special.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Who Am I and Who Are You?

Recently after some unwanted excitement on a dog forum I'm on I've been doing a lot of thinking about the computer relationships that I have with groups or individuals. In the past I've been a member to up to four dog forums at one time. The first one I was on was about three years ago when I met Julie at Vom Banach and was purchasing a pup from her. She invited me on to this forum where the owner lives in the Netherlands. Cool!! And interesting and international place to chat with other like minded people right? Wrong!!

Within a couple weeks on that forum I started to see patterns in people's behavior. It seemed simple enough to me that this was, in fact, these people's personalities. I was caught off guard at some of the bluntness and down right mean-ness I was witnessing. I felt bad for these people's families!! :( I also noticed something about my own behavior. I was being more blunt to these strangers than I normally would have been. I didn't put much though into it at the time but now I realize I was falling into the "its-ok-to-be-blunt or rude-because-you-are-not-in front-of-these-anonymous-people" trap. Another thing to complicate the entire forum board is that we are talking about a group of dog breeders/trainers/owners. That right there should sent up red flags to the general population, my opinion is that most hard core dog people are a bit 'off'. Ha ha. So the forums are basically anonymous groups of very passionate/opinionated dog nuts. Just the kind of thing most sane people would avoid. But not me.

I've learned a lot about people in this process and also learned some about myself. Some of it not very flattering some of it good. I've learned that I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt more than I should...and then again I also like that part of my personality because I find sometimes giving that person a little "leash" is the correct thing to do. At least if I find out I'm wrong I can still feel OK because I feel good knowing I gave the person a chance. I've also learned that, while I give most people the benifit of the doubt, that I can, on occasion, make harsh snap judgements about others. I don't know why that is...just some people clash so much with my own personality that it's hard not to sometimes. The worst part is that because of the bluntness that goes on on forums is that I've been called out for some of my behavior publicly. In reality my 'behavior' was not terrible, but yes sometimes rude and uncalled for. Another thing is that because of a few posts people make judgments about you that are not true at all, but gosh to they stick!! I'm also guilty of this to a degree. The sad thing is that I know that even my worst opinion of some of these people, in the back of my mind I still save room for the idea that I don't really know them and they probably are not like this in real life, or at least I hope they are not.

There are very few people I've ever known in my entire life that I have a bad opinion of that I do not save room for the possibility that I might have them pegged wrong.

So the question stands: Who Am I and Who Are You? The internet is not the place to decide either of those. I cannot convey the whole of who I am to anyone on the intertnet. Their are far too many variables. Same thing goes for 'You" out there. I cannot find out who you really are as a person. Too many variables. Too many egos. Too many bad days, too many off days, too much venting, too much taken the wrong way, too much trying to kiss butt, too much attempting to be a different "you", too much trying to be the authentic "you" but people don't believe it. Just plain too much.

I prefer real relationships with people. I have my best friend Julie, my very good friend Gisela and others too. These people I regularly see in person or speak with on the phone. They know who I am in real life, not the unreal life of the internet.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Today marks one week that Buddy has been gone. I have some thoughts I'd like to share here. People have a wide range of reactions when I tell them Buddy was PTS (put to sleep) and out of his misery. Some people have a strong reaction with lots of sympathy and empathy. Others, those who knew me and him well, react solemnly but seem to know that it was indeed his time to go--they do not have a dramatic reaction to it. I've done a lot of thinking about that and I feel a little guilty for the way I feel about him not being here anymore.

You see, Buddy was with me so long. When he was diagnosed with his disease I think I mourned him more then than now. The last two years have been hard seeing him slowing become a mere shell of what he used to be both physically and mentally. Buddy was not and had not been Buddy for a long time. He slept outside every night, and while he had an awesome set up with a nice bed and a heat lamp, I felt so bad to have to make him be so isolated. He really didn't seem to care however, he'd rather lie under the heat lamp than be bothered by us. I know that is true. So all in all I am not so heartsick over his death as I thought I would be. I mourned him already. And I feel guilty for it, but it's only true. *sigh*

I have PMS. Ugh!! For a few days I've been having lower back pain and headaches and feeling a little on edge. When I went to take my pill this evening I realized I was on my placebo portion of the wonder I've been feeling this way. I'm happy to report that this pill prescription, Ortho Tricyclen Lo, seems to work well for me. I wanted a low dose pill, but was unsure of how I would be on it. I have a long history of very, very bad PMS and I do need the pill to keep me on an even keel. Otherwise I think Eric and I would not have such a happy marriage. I really hate the fact that I have to take a pill to keep me on even. Why does this have to be? But I'm glad for it, I was hoping not to go back on the pill because I hate having to put those extra chemicals/hormones in my system but after lots of discussion about other birth control methods the pill seems to be the very best solution for us. Oh well.

We looked into having an IUD placed. I even talked at length with my Ob-GYN but after reading about exactly how an IUD works I was not comfortable with it. We were going to go with the IUD that does have a low dose hormone in it. But I read that it does not prevent ovulation and I am not comfortable with the idea that I might get pregnant again, have a viable zygote/embryo and have it basically aborted because of the IUD. I want pregnancy prevention, not just embryo protection. The thought makes me feel ill. I can't do it.

So anyway that's probably more information than anyone needs, but this is my blog...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another Creature Enters the House

So, just like with the Shrew episode, I was feeding Hannah when this happened. I had the front door open to catch the odd cool breeze when our girl kitty, Fiona, runs inside. Her body language was not normal and I noticed some grass hanging our of her mouth. She spits the grass clump out and onto the rug in our hall way and what do I see emerge from the grass? A small Garter snake! I said, "oh Crap!!" out loud cause the first thing I see it do is slither into our computer/guest room. Damn. I'm about half way through Hannah's feeding and she usually does not take kindly to being disturbed from eating (read: has a big Hairy Canary Fit).

I took my chances on having Hannah screaming because I need to get the snake before it got lost in the house. I was imagining not being able to locate it just to have it turn up in a few days all dead and smelly inside a shoe or something similar. Gross. I did find the little snake curled up right inside the doorway, ready to strike Fiona. Ha ha, so cute. It was about 7 inches long with a tiny head about the size of a Q-tip head. At first when I picked it up it decided to play dead (yes, real play-dead, not 'actually dead' play-dead like the shrew (R.I.P). I thought it was adorable and took some pictures of it before letting it go outside. And it didn't even poop on me like most snakes do. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Picture me with a mulllet....

Can you? Picture me with a mullet like this one? Ok I'm not a middle aged man, but I fear I'll look like this soon. Why? Because my hair is falling out at an incredible rate, I mean it!!! I was told my hair would to this, but I've found that, like most pregnancy warnings you get, that you really cannot imagine it until you are there. And I'm 'there' with my hair everywhere but on my head. Last night in the shower I rescued about an ounce of hair, not to mention what went down the drain. I've always had very thick wavy hair but I'm down to about half of what I had.

Why a Mullet? Because I'm already no stranger to frizz, you might even say that frizz and I are old friends. So when my hair all starts growing back all the short hairs will stick up all over the top of my head giving me a frizz-mullet. How nice. I think that I'll have to get some Ultra-Guaranteed-Helmet-head Hairspray to prevent the frizz mullet. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my new 'do'. *rolleyes* LOL. I might even take a picture and post of so you all can compare me with this guy. Who knows maybe an accidental mullet just by chance looks better than an on-purpose one. LOL

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Time Has Come

I'm sad to report that tomorrow we will be taking Buddy to the Vet to be euthanized. He is 19 years old now and has been diagnosed with degenerative spinal cord for that past two years. He has done really well up until recently. He did not get out of his be outside once yesterday so this morning I went outside to get him up. I carried him down the stairs to the yard and he was so wobbly and confused looking. I think he may have had a stroke because he seems to be very affected on one side, he head tilts at an unnatural angle and he cannot lift his head laterally above mid leg. He also turns in a circle to move, but usually he just falls over. This is quite sudden as just a few days ago he was running about, albeit not very gracefully, chasing Zeke and play bowing. Buddy did not eat his food last night even though I had placed it in his bed instead of in his bowl as usual. I know the time has come and I am so sad.

I've had Buddy since I was 9 years old. He's been my constant companion for every major milestone in my life, except my birth. He is also the only living legacy that my family still has of my Grandmother's life long career as a dog breeder, she bred Buddy's father and mother, both of which I knew well. Buddy's dad, Tex, was the only tri-color Basenji Grandma every had and I was the first one to set eyes on him the day he was born.

Buddy was also the first dog I ever trained. Poor Buddy, my training techniques at 9 were rudimentary at best, I sometimes wonder how he ever learned anything from me looking back. LOL. Buddy has a huge spirit, one that got him into so much trouble at times. He never backed down from a fight and he used to be an escape artist. A combination that landed him in the sick bed more that once. I can still look at him and remember every incident that each of his many scars belong to. Sometimes he looked like the patchwork dog. But he always bounced back and never seemed to remember why challenging the doberman next door was not a good idea. I was glad when he started slowing down a bit when he hit 13, by that time I had neutered him and he was mellowing out. Buddy challenged me as well and that landed him crated and in some very hot water with my Mom, who threatened to get rid of him more that once...that's what prompted me to train him better and get a better handle on his behavior. To be honest the dog was a big jerk for the first three or four years of his life. But through it all we've stuck together and he and I grew up and learned together. I cannot believe he lived this long. I love you my Buddy-Boy, my Buddah-pup, my Budlocks Boondog. Rest in Peace tomorrow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm a sicko...

Ok the title is a little off-putting. But, really I am sick and so is Hannah. In fact, being sick has given me some time to write this post, so who says being sick is all that bad? Kidding, of course. Hannah started in with some heavy, snotty congestion, a little fussy and very sleepy. I started getting sick the day after she did. I have a bad sore throat and just plain feel crummy. I've been worried that she would start getting what I have. Seems we have different colds, but to be honest I'm not sure. Since she cannot tell me where she feels bad it's hard to know exactly what her symptoms are except the obvious.

Except for feeling like I do things have been going great. I had such a wonderful time with my sister here. I was sad to drop her off for her flight home, she made is safe and I've spoken with her several times since then. And...I need to tell her 'sorry' that I have not sent her the pics of us I promised to get 'right to her'. I have not had the time or energy to do it...but I guess I could be doing it right now. Hmmmm.... Maybe tomorrow I'll do it, my famous last words. LOL.

Hannah continues to amaze me everyday. Her development is so incredible, and I have to brag that she is very, very smart. Ok, so every mother says that, I think somewhere in my "How to be a Typical Mom" book it says that you have to believe your child is the smartest. So far I'm right where my book says I should be. If you are wondering the book is fictional, you know what they say? Yes, parenting is sans handbook. But anyway, our daughter is doing everything early according to the development time lines I read. She's just over three months old and can sit with some balance support, hold her head up easily, reaches and grabs for toys, she can laugh out loud too. Most of these things she's been doing for several weeks already. She just started reaching and holding toys for the last two weeks though, she's way more fun to play with now because she can interact with the toys more and seems to really enjoy it. Hannah is also a chatterbox-- always making some kind of noise. It's so cute. She talks with the pictures of animals on her swing, she loves the blue elephant and will stare at it and have a chat for several minutes. I'm glad she's too young to notice it does not ever respond...or, and this just came to me, maybe she knows it does not respond but just doesn't give a hoot? Yeah that's it, she's playin' it cool. *snicker*

Being a Mom continues to surprise me. I love it more than I thought I could. I never get tired of her and love our time during the day when it's just us. We have a good routine worked out and I really enjoy her so much. It pretty much goes like this: Wake up at 7-8AM- change diaper, make bottle, she eats, burps then we play for a while. Then I go and get some breakfast and I put her in her swing or chair while I eat. Change diaper. She naps, sometimes I do to. She wakes up, make bottle, eat, burp. We play with toys, or read a book (usually several times because they are such short books), somewhere in there she poops, I changer her and some times I have to change her clothes too. Then she naps a short while, she wakes up and I get some house work done or plan dinner. She comes with me from room to room in her bouncy chair. We play, talk and interact while I do house stuff. Changer diaper. She eats again, burps, naps or sometimes she just sits with me and watches TV. Usually by this time Eric comes home from work and I hand her off to him so I can finish dinner. More play, eat, burp until about 11PM and shes down for the night and it starts over then next day. And it never gets old and I love every minute of it. She changes everyday and I look forward to her first morning noises that let me know she is waking up because I know I will be blessed with another day with my baby.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day :)

Happy Mothers Day to all you Moms our there. I know have a small taste of what you all have been going through since the creation of childeren!! I bow down to all the hard work and dedication it takes to be a Mom, and celabrate all those special moments with our childeren.

I've been having so much fun with Heather. She and I are very much alike and we always have a great time together even though we only get to visit every few years. She wanted to go out and try some good sushi so we went to one of my favorite places--Hiro Sushi right here in our own small town. I think they have very good food and we all enjoyed our dinners the other night. We had some octopus and some scallops, yes all raw, and both were delicious. Heather was a little embarassed to tell me how much she wanted to go to eat sushi because she comes from a very small town in Ohio that does not really have much in the way of exotic fare, but she had nothing to worry about with me...trying new food is sort of a hobby and I always want to try something new when I go some place I have never been before.

I was running around this morning getting ready for chruch and when we go to church Eric says to me, "didn't you notice the cards and flowers on the table?". I felt bad, he had put effort into surprising me with my cards and flowers from Hannah and he and I didn't even see them. I laughed at myself and apologized to him, and in typical Eric form he really didn't mind, but was excited to come home and have me see it all. He's such a sweet heart. I got cards from Hannah, Eric, the dogs and the cats-- yes that's right, it's become a silly tradition in our family. When Eric and I got married I found a pet adoption form in a card shop and filled it out and stamped Zeke's and Buddy's paw prints at the bottom. Eric was 'officially' their 'dad', and he has the documents to prove it. Thus started our tradition and I enjoy it, though I do get comments every now and then from people who think it's dumb. LOL, but I don't's our thing and it's just one small thing that makes us smile and put effort into our relationship a few extra times a year. Whatever works right?

I'm on a rollercoaster of emotion lately. I'm now back on the pill and it's really doing a number on me. I hope things even out soon, because I don't know how I can keep from snapping at Eric for much longer. I've just been on edge with the smallest things lately with him, I guess you do hurt the one's you love the most....boy do I ever have to edit my words sometimes, even when I don't want to.

I'm tired so this is going to be short. I'll get back in the next few days.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My May Excitement So Far

May has been a strange month and it's only a few day in. What's in store for us this month? I know what our schedule looks like, but I can't tell the future so I am happily looking forward to some interesting things to blog about this month.

A couple days ago I was just getting Hannah settled down for a nap on the couch when I saw Foenix in his crate getting startled every few minutes. He would jump up and look at the edge of his crate intently for a few seconds, look at me and then settle back down. I though there must be a spider or something on his crate. Wasn't too concerned about it. A few minutes later I saw what he was trying to tell me was in the house. ~~A Shrew~~ I saw it scurrying along the wall between the coat closet and front door. I'm an animal person as one could guess, so I wasn't too freaked out by it so I calmly went over to it and got a good look, it did not seem to notice me at all and didn't try to run away. I know they are almost blind little creatures, and they are really cute too. It made it's way under the closet door so I opened it hoping my cats would catch it and I could get it outside.

But, wouldn't you know, my cats, the G-R-E-A-T hunters they are did not seem to know what to do with a prey item in the house *roll eyes*. So I sent Zeke in after it and he got it and brought it to me *roll eyes* *giggle*. He'll fetch anything. It was not hurt but I didn't want to touch it for fear of getting bit by it (they have nasty teeth!!) So I let Foenix have a go at it...the only thing that accomplished was he chased the little creature into Hannah's room. Uhh. So then I spent about 20 minutes taking everything out of Hannah's closet and then found it dead under her rocking horse. I thought at first it was playing dead, but I scooped it up into a container and set it on the porch. I fully expected it to be gone in a few minutes after it realized it was safe...but no, it was dead. I think I stressed it to death, poor little thing. :(

My sister, Heather, is coming for a visit from Ohio. She has a husband, two daughters and two dogs, and two cats. Hannah is her first niece and she's too excited to meet her and put on her auntie role. Eric and I went about 2.5 years ago to visit them and we had a wonderful time going to Cedar Point park. Heather put on a huge bon fire with lots of good food, a few drinks and friends. I was a really fun time, so we are putting a bon fire on for her this Saturday. She arrives on Thursday--I can't wait to see her!!!

....I just got off the phone with my MIL and she told me that Kristie might be further along in her pregnancy that at first thought. Oh!? I never did mention that she is preggers did I? Well there it is, Kristie and Scott are expecting their first child in October, but seems this little bundle might decide to come in September instead. LOL!! Good luck Kristie.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring is here...finally...

I'm so glad that we are getting some better weather. Our spring, here in Western Washington State, has been cold, cold, cold. We even had snow a about three weeks ago!! The leaf buds on the trees are swelling and some trees are even getting a nice amount of foliage. I love it!! I don't love the allergies that come with it though... *sniff, cough*.

I'm so excited to say that I've made a training appointment for Foenix next week. I cannot wait to get back to training him. Lately we've been working on his retrieve and his heeling work, both of which are very good. Heeling needs some work with more constant eye contact but he's really very good for the amount of time I've had the past few months. I am really looking forward to showing my Training Director how Foenix has matured and how well we are doing. I really am curious to see how his bitework will be...with his more mature age and drive level I think he's gonna hit harder than ever. I'll post some pics of our training session when I get them next week!!! :D

This week we had a run in with the naked neighbor's kid. Foenix and I were playing Chuck-It! outside and the kid came down the road a bit. He's about 4 years old and was completely nude except for some cowboy boots!! *rolling eyes* Why exactly is he allowed to go around like this? Anyway Foenix was oblivious of him because he's so focused on chasing the ball, but when I stopped for a second and didn't throw it he became too aware of this little kid suddenly and barked aggressively at him. It scared me and I corrected him for it, but at the same time this little boy should not have been allowed to follow us around!! Anyway it turned out fine, but it really bothers me that some people allow their kids around strange dogs like this!! It could have been a very bad situation for both the boy and Foenix. I'll have to keep a very close eye out for this in the future since it seems the kids parents are not going to step up and do it. I did talk with the boy's Mom and she didn't seem at all worried or concerned. I don't want to make my dog sound dangerous so I didn't get into the lecture I wanted to give her. I will have to come up with a very tactful way of educating them about it, since they are our neighbors I can't burn a bridge.

Eric is looking into different work. He's applied at the Shipyard and for another job (can't say what it is yet....I'll post more later about it). I'm hoping the Shipyard comes available soon so Eric can get out of Sears. His job has been good for us, allowed us to buy a home and property, but it's not what Eric would like to be doing. Eric wants a job where his daily job description involves helping people and really making a difference. If he gets in with the shipyard he'll be taking a second job because initially it will be a pay cut. So that means less time to spend and home with Hannah and I. I am sad for this possibility but as the old saying goes: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!"......

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here's my Girl

Hannah Lee at at 11 weeks old today. How time does fly Oh my does it ever!!! Look at my precious girl, she is the light of my life. She has made me a different person. I'm a Mom and that means I can no longer roll my eyes at my own Mother's motherly-ness, because I am just like her. I cannot tell you how many times lately I've thought or said things that I never used to understand and now I can't help but think that someday Hannah will think I'm just being a "Mom" and won't understand me. It truly does take a walk in a parents shoes to understand.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

More ramblings

I was really hoping to be able to log in and finish my last post...but I figrured it had been too long to tack more stuff onto it and my thoghts now are different so I'm posting anew.

Like I was saying Hannah is doing great. I love her poo because it means her system is working properly. She has at least one 'number two' a day and plenty of soggy wet diapers to change as well. I was against the Diaper Genie at first but I see the two I have unopened in their boxes and they call to me ever so softy to use one, or maybe both. The thing is, that I just don't see the point in them. I have a perfectly good garbage can in my kitchen, why to I need yet another usless item taking up space in Hannah's room? But, alas, I'm coming to see why it might be nice to have it there--It's just so darn hard to wrangle a screaming, kicking, hungry baby and remember to throw each diaper away after each change. So what happens is (and I'm not the only one who does this..) that the diapers get set on the changing table until I have several to throw away. Yucky. So either I demand that everyone throws them away in a more timely manner or I use the Diaper Genie. I'll let you know what wins out.

The dogs are doing fine with the changes in the household. Foenix does get on my nerves with his constant needing something to do...I knew it was going to be like this but sometimes it gets to me. I've taken to putting him on the treadmill and he now will walk nicely on it. He does not paticularly enjoy it but he puts up with it and it gives him some good exercise and me some time to do some training with him after.

Foenix needs a grooming really bad. I got around to grooming Zeke the other day and found that he had twice the undercoat that he normally does. I raked so much hair off of him that if filled my bathroom garbage can nearly half full and he's only a ten pound dog too!! I use the best grooming tool ~The Furminator~ hands down the very best grooming tool I've ever come across, in fact I think it's one of the very best pet products on the market in the last 15 years. It's awsome!! I can get a dog stripped of dead undercoat in about 20 minutes without much fuss. It's more comfortable for the dogs than a slicker brush. There are two cons I can think of 1) the price!! 2) you need to clean it every stroke or you can't get more undercoat out so it can be a PITA at times.

Well I thought that I would have more time to write but Hannah is telling me she's no longer interested in her swing, or her bouncy chair. She's fussing up a storm, I have no idea why. Sometimes I just don't know why she fusses or does anything. Other times it's really obvious. Right now she should be content to swing, she's fed, she's changed....hmmm back to Mommy Time. See ya later.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I love baby poop and some other Motherly things

Nearly two weeks ago we switched Hannah over to a hypoallergenic formula to ease her allergies. It's made such a positive difference in her and therefore in both Eric and I. She's a much happier and easier to deal with baby. In fact, she smiles so much I think sometime her face will crack in half with one of her huge grins, LOL. She's just too cute. Anyway, with her diet change came some trouble pooping. I thought at first the diet change was not working and got really upset about it, but then I realized her straining to poo is different than her fussing used to be. Sure enough she would take a couple days to go 'number 2', but afterwards she was more content. For the past four days she's been going everyday. I can't tell you how much I rejoice at seeing (or smelling) her diaper full!! No joke!! I'm finding that I am so relieved for her when she has an easier time pooping because she's all round more pleasant and comfortable and that makes me happy and more relaxed as well.

Right now she's sleeping!! It's 6:32am and I'm blogging and the sun has just come up behind me out the window and it's so peaceful and beautiful. Foenix, Zeke and Buddy are all out and relaxing in the dim morning light. As I look out the window Foenix sees me and he gets excited thinking I'm going to run over and let him in.

-----Ok Hannah just woke up so I'll post more later, hopefully soon...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just some updates..

Oh gosh it's been too long again since I signed in and updated my blog. It's been 10 long (and short) weeks since Hannah was born and I've learned so much. Having a baby and raising a baby is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. This is not a compliant, just a fact. It's also the best and most fun I've had as well. It’s truly a roller coaster of emotions. Elation, self-doubt, fear, guilt, anxiety, love, love, love, happiness, contentedness, exhaustion, and at times anger, did I mention love? cheerfulness, and finally some confidence too. :)

In the first three weeks after having her I had some major anxiety. The cause? Lack of sleep coupled with too many people and not enough privacy. At first I felt scared that I was going to have bad postpartum depression. But as the days ticked by I started feeling 'normal' in the evenings and slowly that feeling grew longer and longer until I had a full day of feeling like myself. I did a lot of crying during this time. It was hard on Eric to watch me go through this without knowing how to help me.

I've learned so much about myself through this time as well. I learned that I needed to be allowed to do things on my own without too much intervention from others. The first two weeks after Hannah was born I had a lot of 'help'. I appreciated it all...I really did and I feel bad even for writing this because everyone had the best intentions. But the truth is everyone coming over to help with the baby and house made me a little nuts-O. At the time I could not put a finger on it. When I would try and take a nap I could not sleep because every time I heard Hannah make a noise my adrenaline would flow and I could not relax-- it did not matter who was handling her or how competent they are. My sense of responsibility kept me from relaxing and I didn't even know it. As the help from everyone started to trickle off I got even better. Being faced with Hannah by myself was the very best therapy!! I started to gain confidence and started to feel like her Mom and not just "the booby person". Now I am fine with family watching her and can relax and I am so appreciative for all they do and all they did because I could not do it alone...but being allowed to learn how to take care of her by myself was the very best thing.

Eric is amazing with her and she gets so excited when he comes home from work!! As soon as she hears his voice she looks for him and when they see each other Hannah starts kicking and flailing her arms and panting and smiling at him. They've had a strong bond from the moment she was born. I am so grateful for Eric that he is such an amazing father. I, myself, did not have the greatest father figure so I really appreciate how blessed Hannah is to have him. I hope to teach her that she should be grateful and appreciative to God that she can have a real Dad in her life to fulfill his obligations and teach her what a man is supposed to be. Two parents is a great gift that I wish more children had. It makes me sad to think of all the little one's without both parents to balance out the childhood and life lessons along the way.

A question: Why am I so blessed to have a family like Eric and Hannah?

The answer: God's Grace!! Because I don't deserve them, but He saw fit for me to have these blessings. And God always has a plan.

When Hannah was about 2 1/2 week old I started to suspect she was colicky. I was a very colicky baby and was nervous from day one of my pregnancy that I would get a baby just like me. Well guess what? I did. LOL. Hannah's digestive problems started with her being very hard to burp, she would get very gassy and uncomfortable. I knew we were in for it and immediately started on the internet to see what I might be able to do to keep the colic at bay. Colic is diagnosed from the symptoms of hours of crying and obvious cramping, and gassiness. One of her most dramatic symptoms was she’d get really hungry but when she’d start eating she would literally fight eating. She would thrash around kicking and scratching me and could not keep a latch. It was so awful; she seemed in so much pain as soon as the breast milk would hit her system. Hannah has only a few nights of the crying but her abdominal cramping, constant diarrhea, restlessness and gas were terrible and kept her from sleeping. And kept Eric and I from sleeping too. I took her to the Doctor several times, finally her Dr. prescribed Zantac to help with stomach acid (or rather reflux). I don't know if it really helps or not. I also started giving her a homeopathic “Gripe water” that is supposed to soothe the tummy. I stopped giving it after about 5 weeks cause it did not seem to help at all—but it did get rid of hiccups nicely so it does have a purpose.

Hannah’s problems started to get really, really bad and her Doc told me that her problems might be allergies to some foods I eat. So I went on an ‘elimination diet’ and stop eating soy or dairy. So I did and it did seem to lessen the problems a very small amount, but it was hard to find food without those things in them!! I did the diet the very best I could and she had some good days but mostly bad. I had some very bad days as well, because when your baby is sick, it affects you as well. I cried a lot, got very frustrated and angry at the circumstances at times. I felt like I could not take much longer, the nights without sleep and a baby that seemed to be in almost constant pain was very, very hard to deal with. I did a lot of internet research still and found out that there are some hypoallergenic formulas for babies that have allergies. I took Hannah in yet again and without me even suggesting it her Doctor told me that I might try them. I refused for a week more that then one day I just could not put her and I through it anymore and went out and bought some Alimentum formula.

What a difference it made!!! She’s been on it for a week now and she’s only had two bad days and is so much happier and is sleeping well. I can’t tell you how happy I am that she is no longer fighting eating like she used to, the poor thing.

This is long enough, I’ll write more soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm a Mom now, really.....

So I have not posted anything for a long time, about over a month now. I guess that means I have no more audience for my blog...oh well maybe Kristie will be kind enough to comment.. :) Anyway as the title says: I'm a Mommy for real. I still think it has not sunk in yet. Or maybe it has and I'm just waiting to feel something different than I feel? Don't know.

I had my baby girl on February 10th at 7:08pm. I had one heck of a labor and delivery which I will enthrall all of you with now: My water broke while in the shower on the 9th at about 3pm. I was not sure if it was my water breaking at first. But after I got out and was toweling off every few minutes I gush of clear fluid came out and pretty soon I was walking around the house with a towel between my legs. I called Eric and told him I thought my water broke and I would call him back to come home when I knew for sure. He got a second call about 45 seconds later as right after I got off the phone with him I had a large gush and left a puddle on the floor. I knew then and he was on his way home. I was nervous and excited and lots of other feelings all at once. I felt like crying a few times but did not.

Eric got home and we were waiting for my contractions to start. But they were just the Braxton-Hicks I'd been having. I called my Mom and called the Dr. to see what she wants me to do. I was told to wait until after I ate dinner and then head on up to the hospital. So thats what we did. Still no contractions of note.... We arrived at the hospital at 8:30pm and waited and waited for labor to begin.... I walked the halls and visited with my family. Eric's Mom and Dad came and it was fun to have everyone there. Still no labor pains.... I started to realize that I might have to go on the dreaded Pitocin to move things along. After your water breaks they want to deliver the baby within 24 hours and it was now 8+ hours since my water was confirmed broken. I was getting nervous. Finally at 3am and after no sleep Eric and I decided to get the Pitocin because my Braxton-Hicks were not getting any stronger. I was told to get some sleep but I could not sleep at all!!

On and on they kept upping my Pitocin until I was getting about 17 an hour. It was working according to the monitors but I could not feel the contractions as anything much different than before. This went on and on for hours. Still not much progress was made.

I had them check my cervix at about 11:30am, and was found to be 3 cm. and still 70% effaced. Finally at about 12pm on the 10th I went to the bathroom for the umpteenth time. While reaching for the toilet paper I heard and felt two large 'pops' down low in my belly and felt a huge rush of fluid. My water re-broke!! Wow how crazy was that? (Come to find out later they think that Hannah broke my water high up so it was not really putting me into labor.) I said to my Mom and Eric, who were right outside the bathroom, "hey my water just broke again!" And within about 25 seconds I felt the first real, honest-to-goodness contraction. And let me tell you, this was no picnic. It lasted a long time and once it was over I was nervous as I could be. I told myself to relax just in time for the next one to come on. It hit me so hard that I could barely sit still and keep from moaning my head off. And then the next one hit harder than the other two. They were coming fast and hard with only about 45 seconds to one minute between. I was totally unprepared for the amount of pain. It's crazy painful. Eric and I realized that I had hit "transition" labor without the build-up contractions. In other words I went into the hardest part of labor without any time to learn how to deal with the pain.

I felt at times like I was going crazy with pain. I do not know how I dealt with them except for Eric being there with me. I cried for the first few minutes and then got myself together. I moaned, panted, grunted and over all made lots of noise. At one point I got on the labor ball but that was a no-go and did not help me at all. The rocking chair was the only place I could deal with the contractions. The contractions came in sets of three, the first one was bad, the second was horrible and the third on in the set was the "I'm going out of my mind" kind of pain. Then they would start over. Pretty soon I got so I could anticipate the less painful ones (less painful here is quite relative!! LOL). After about 45 minutes and watching my Mom and Sister crying watching me labor I asked for an epidural because I thought I had still hours and hours of this to go. So the Anaesthesiologist came in and placed the epidural and I was in so much pain...and then about 10 minutes later was still in the same pain. He was concerned about me a little and I was too....I knew somehow that I was going to be one of those people who have complications with it. And I was right!! He kept giving me dose after dose of the meds and I merely had one leg numbed and could pretty much feel everything still. He asked the nurse to check me as he said I might be farther along in my labor than they thought.

Now mind you...this was only about an hour after they checked me and I was 3cm. The nurse checked me again and to every one's surprise I was 9cm!!! No wonder my contractions were so intense!!! My epidural still was not working so he came back in and gave me a second kind of drug for it...still did not work. Back he came and talked me into letting him replace it. So I had a second one placed, meanwhile my IV stopped flowing and so I had to have that redone as well. The second Epidural was slightly more effective though patchy and I could still feel about 85% of my contractions.

At about 2pm I was checked again and declared "ready to push". So I started pushing on my left side. Hannah was way, way up there and I pushed like this for about a half hour with very slow progress. Then I pushed with my legs in the stirrups, still slow progress. They told me to take a break. So I did....for about 25 mins. Suddenly on my side I felt the "urge to push". It felt like I was going to throw up but the energy was forced down instead of up. Thats the best way I can describe it. It was very primal. So again I pushed on my side. Then on my back for a long time. After 2 hours of push with every contraction I told the nurse I "needed to stand up or something to get this going" so she got the squat-bar out and I made slightly faster progress. It felt much better to be squatting!! I pushed for so long I started to get discouraged and felt disappointed with myself, but the nurse kept telling me I was making progress it was just very slow. I was getting so tired.

They called my Dr. in at about 6:15 and I pushed and pushed some more. Finally I knew I was making progress because I started to feel Hannah's head pushing on my perineum. By this time what little help the epidural gave me had worn off completely so I indeed had my un-medicated birth. Ha! When Hannah was crowing I felt a sharp stinging pain and realized I was tearing and it scared me a little. But I had to get her out and finally after my biggest longest push her head was out. I remember opening my eyes and watching my family around my and taking note of their faces. I was a wonderful moment that I treasure. One more push and I delivered the rest of her without my Dr. having to deliver her shoulders on at a time. I felt every inch of her come out of me, it was a most surprising feeling.

They put her on my tummy and I just started sobbing and looking at Eric and he was crying too. I looked at her and she was so awake and alert and didn't hardly cry at all. She made immediate eye contact with me and I was touching her and holding her head and crying more. Eric and I had a moment that I will never forget. I looked at him and we touched each other face at the same time and were saying how much we love each other and he was thanking me for what I had done. It was incredible. Eric started talking to her and she turned her head at the sound of his voice. He cut her cord and took her in his arms and she smiled up at his face while he talked to her. I fell head over heels in love with them both at that moment. Thank you God for this time and our baby.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All the latest excitement!!

My Mom is here visiting from Bothell. Eric and I drove around to get her on Sunday afternoon after Church. She's a great help around the house, we even made three batches of cookies last night. We made two oatmeal-cranberry and one batch of Coconut Macaroons, which I love. It's been really fun.

Today I had my nearly 38 week check up. I say 'nearly' because it's Thursday that I will officially be on my 38th week of pregnancy. Well I was hoping the doctor would check me for dilation and see if my cervix are changing at all. I asked the nurse and she said the Dr. does not usually check until the 39-40th weeks just because the women get really antsy and are depressed to find they are not dilated. So I didn't expect anything. The Dr. came in and was just doing the routine things and I told her Hannah has dropped really far and I've been feeling a lot of pressure on my pelvis. So she palpated me from the outside and seemed unsure of what she was feeling. She asked me "did I check you last time you were in?" I said, "no." Then she said I can't really tell what I am feeling here so maybe we should check and see. I was so excited I clapped my hands!! LOL.

So she did the internal exam and much to my surprise my cervix are 70% effaced (thinned) and the cervix have also moved down further. Also, not to my surprise but hers, that she could feel Hannah's head thru the thinned cervix. So Hannah is really far engaged into my pelvis!!! I am not dilated at all but really think I will have her very soon. Before the Dr. left she told me "See you in a week, if not much sooner!". Yay, whoo hooo!!

Right now my Mom and I are washing all the baby cloths and covers for the changing pad and the bassinet. I am getting so excited and Eric is also just so excited and hoping for his daughter very soon. I still don't think I'll be ready. I still need to clean the carpets, get the dresser set up, get our car seat, pack my hospital bag, clean the pantry.........

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Continued from last night, plus new stuff from today....

I stopped posting last night so Eric and I could have 'the talk' about our birthing plan. We came up with several questions to ask our Doctor and I was very satisfied with it.

Fast forward to today and we had our appt at 1:30pm. I have to say I just love our Dr. She is a gem and I will stay with her as long as possible. We brought our tablet with our list and she took all the time we needed to answer all our questions. She really put my mind at ease and Eric and I have decided to stay with Silverdale Harrison to labor and deliver our daughter. First off my Dr. is very respectful of our decision to attempt a fully non-medicated birth. She never makes us feel foolish and is exceptionally supportive, yet keeps it real too. We talked about the Pitocin after delivery and she told us she would respect our decision either way. But she also educated us on why they administer it and also about the dosing. I was thinking that the pitocin would be given over time and was in a drip, therefore I would be bed bound for several hours. But that is not the case. They give one small dose, thru the IV and then they take the IV out an hour later--so not really a big deal. She also talked to us about iron levels and told us the small amount of Pitocin helps keep the new Mom from being iron depleted from a long drawn out, or bloody labor. I think it's a good idea in the long run after talking with her about it.

We also talked about the staff at the hospital and how we should approach them with our wishes. Our Dr. said she has never heard of an issue with the staff being pushy or bossy with a patient unless the baby or mother was in real distress. She told us when we do go in and are admitted that we need to tell the first nurse that we are trying for a natural birth and don't want to be offered pain meds, explain how we are intending on dealing with pain thru movement. We don't have to have the IV drip unless I'm dehydrated (so you know that means I will be drinking water like a fish!!LOL). We can just have the IV catheter thingy in my arm in case I need something, but I do not have to be hooked up all the time. Also they have the monitors that can be carried around with us and even go into the tub!! so if I really need the monitor I do not have to just lie passively in bed to do it, I can walk around and use the birth ball or whatever I want. So really all my fears are relieved and I feel sooooo much better about it. :D

Ohhh!! Something exciting! Hannah has 'dropped' meaning she's in the first part of being engaged into my pelvis for birth. Over the last three days she teased me a few times and dropped but came back up. I was not quite sure of what she was doing, I was just thankful for the relief. But as of yesterday AM I have not felt her feet under my ribs at all and I know she is lower because the rib pain is now traded in for pelvic pain. Oh well....I think I'll just try and enjoy the absence of the rib pain as opposed to complaining about the new pain. Try and think positively. I mentioned this to my Dr. today and she felt above my pubic bone and agreed that Hannah was lower than before.

Dog stuff....

I did not go to training with Foenix this week and Eric and I are not sure if I will be back before the big event. I am getting really tired of trying to keep up with my old schedule and was told today at the Dr. to keep my feet up and rest up.

Foenix is doing well with training as you know, and I see no reason why I can't expect to pick up where we left off now. I know going back he will be rusty but that's OK with me. He has a good foundation and will be great.

I've had a lot of boarding recently and that is good for me because my business makes money for relatively little effort on my part. Feed, water, walk, play with the boarding dogs is all I do with them so not only is it easy but fun too. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ahhhh!! I should not have waited this long to update the blog!!

Because I have just so much to write about...come to think of it I might have to do two entries so they don't get too long and boring!!

First of all Baby Stuff....

Where do I begin? Since last time I posted we had our Church Baby Shower. It was so fun and so touching how many people were there to support the family and our new addition. Wow God is so Good to provide Eric and I with so many people who really care for us. Now I just need to get my butt in gear and get my Thank-You cards out to everyone.

The shower was big and we got so many gifts. Lots and lots of clothes, mostly for older babies 6-12 months which I appreciated because I already have a lot of newborn clothes. We got all our baby bedding with all of the matching room accessories. I love the set we picked out it's so pretty without being all Pink. I am not a pink hater- but it does get over done when the whole room is pink, pink and more pink. Another gift we got a lot of was blankets. The Deaconesses gift to us was a beautiful quilt made in Hannah's room colors of blues and yellows. It it sooooo pretty!! We got diapers, wipes, an infant bath chair, hair things, shoes, socks, and lots of other things I can't remember without going and looking at them. I was just such a surprise that we had about 35 women there to share in the fun.

We played two games, one of which got a lot of eye rolling from some of the ladies. LOL!! They had to use a straw, and only a straw and pass a pacifier to the end of the group. It was funny to watch but most were not really into it very much. I didn't blame them and opted out of the games. The other game was fun!! Everyone got a clothes pin and the group was forbidden to use the word "she" in any conversation. Needless to say some were better than others and the one with the most pins at the end of the shower won. It was a perfect game to keep going while I opened all my gifts because I had so many that they entertained themselves by chatting and seeing who would be next to lose their clothes pin.

Since my last post Eric and I have done a lot of discussing our birthing plan. One thing that made me much more confident was my M-I-L's best friend Celeste told Eric and I her daughter and Son-in-Law had their baby natural. Celeste was a great help in answering some of our questions and really put me at ease. I think that we will stay with our plan to have Hannah in Silverdale but we will just be very adamant about our plan and not let them pressure us. Eric has really surprised me with how much he is willing to 'go to bat' for our wishes and I'm sure he will be my first line of defence with any pushy doctors or nurses.

Tonight after I'm done here we are going to write up our plan and talk with my Dr. about it. We will know how much support we can expect tomorrow. I really like my Dr. and feel she will sign off of what we are requesting. After all we are only wanting to be able to have a natural birth, but in the long run we will do whatever it takes to keep our daughter safe. We are not asking for anything unusual...just some patience and understanding. That is all.

OK I need to go now, but I will post more later.....