Sunday, October 31, 2004

Lions and Tigers and... Stairs - oh my! Posted by Hello

Swifferized

Getting used to daylight savings - just plain sucks.
Rationally I know that it is only an hour - a mere sixty minutes. I also know that although I love my children it is really hard to like them much at 5:30am. Really hard...

Sundays are the day that I typically reserve for laundry and other futile endeavors such as cleaning my house. Yesterday was grocery shopping day but I like to refer to it as $300.00 on juice and dog food day. Anyway - yesterday I deviated from my usual iron clad shopping list when I saw a $10.00 mail-in-rebate sticker and I picked up one of those Swiffer Wet Jet mopping systems. I mean who can resist mail-in-rebate fun?

People - the Swiffer has changed my life.

I was down right giddy while assembling my Swiffer - I actually shrieked with joy upon discovering that you must insert 4 AA batteries in the compartment underneath the solution chamber and that the batteries were INCLUDED - does life get any better?
I just couldn't wait to mop. I cleaned the floors - well they pretty much cleaned them selves - it was fantastic. I am ashamed to admit this, but I also did the goofy little dance that they do in the commercial because dammit I was just that happy.

The effects of sleep deprivation are just horrifying.

Happy Halloween! Posted by Hello

Rowr! Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Disclaimer

So I started this blog because I thought it would be such a cool medium for my family members to stay in touch and up to date with the kids and such.

But now, mhe - I dunno. I feel like I can only update so much about trivial stuff before my mind blows up. The kids are great. They are still cute - they say hi.

Basically -I am going to write about stuff and - I apologize in advance if it offends any of you.

Lexa

Thursday, October 28, 2004

SNOW much fun.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Got Carbs?

** Memo to the Girl Guides of Canada

RE: The crate of Girl Guide cookies that came home with my daughter from Brownies the other night.

The cookies are proving to be quite difficult to unload these days. So, I would like to formally suggest that bacon be endorsed as your next fundraising product. Yeah, that's right - BIG slabs of Canadian BACON!

At work today -

Me: I have Girl Guide cookies for sale in my office - $4.00 a box.
Coworker: Really - what kind?

Me: Chocolate covered mint.
Coworker (shrill): Oh - I LOVE Those! (proceeds to follow me into my office.)

Me (passing Coworker a box of the cookies): Yeah I know, they are good.
Coworker (cradling the box of cookies lovingly in her arms): Yeah - I just love the mint kind.

Me: Okay - so...
Coworker (giving the box a good hard sniff): Mmmmmm...

* Sure enough my coworker proceeds to turn over the box and (gasp) study the Nutritional Contents legend as if it contained an encrypted message from God.

Coworker (desolate moan): Ohhhh... Bummer!
Me: Hmm?

Coworker (pointing to the box): Says here that it is like 42 grams of carbs per serving... I just (voice cracking) can't...


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Shlabby Posted by Hello

The Weasels

At the dinner table -

Emma (excited): Guess what?
Me: What?

Emma: No – you are suppose to guess!
Me: Okay. Your teacher had green hair today?

Emma (huffy): Mom, that is lame.
Me: Okay what then?

Emma: Miranda wasn’t in school today – she is really sick.
Me: Oh – that is too bad, but I am sure Miranda will be better soon.

Emma (louder): No she is REALLY sick – seriously.
Me: She is seriously sick huh?

Emma (aghast): Yes – she has the WEASELS!
Me (trying not to laugh): Erm, the Weasels?

Emma (indignant): Mom, that is NOT funny! You can get really sick with the Weasels – and I am serious!
Me: I know, mommy worked with people who got the Weasels before.

Emma (serious): Mom – will I get the Weasels?
Me: You’ve had all your shots remember? So I wouldn’t worry about it - okay?

Emma: Okay. Mom, did you ever get the Weasels?
Me: No, but I think daddy has. Why don’t you go ask him all about it?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Autumn in Athabasca Posted by Hello

More leaves than teeth = all cute Posted by Hello

Reagis Infection

Conversation with my daughter Emma while driving home from school.

Me: So how was school
Emma (big sigh): ok - kinda boring.

Me: I bet you did some fun stuff in art?
Emma (rolling her eyes): Nope - just coloring.

Me: So what exciting thing happened today?
Emma: Oh! - some kids had to leave the classroom because of Reagis Infection!!

Me: Reagis Infection?
Emma (louder): Yes - Reagis Infection!

Silence...

Me: Emma, did you mean Religious Instruction?
Emma (exasperated): Yes that is what I said.

Me: So it was pretty boring today huh?
Emma (pointing to the cross atop a church as we are driving by): Hey mom there is a PLUS!

Me: Maybe mommy should sign you up for some Reagis Infection.
Emma: Okay! Wait - is that like math and stuff?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The grocer knows...

Mike the guy who owns the local grocery store where I have been going a few time a week for the past four years asked me the other day if we had settled in town (bought a house) or if we were just passing through (renting.)

I responded "Yes, we actually bought a place up on the East hill by the Hospital about four years ago."
Mike responds "Ah, where abouts are ya?"
I told him what street and avenue we were on.
Mike looked confused.
I then provided a detailed description as to the exterior color & style of my house and even outlined the specific roads to take from the exact spot where we were standing to my house.
Mike showed a glimmer of recognition.
Exasperated, I said "I live right across the street from Dave and Stacy McCormick."
Mike looked at me in a knowing way and said "AH! - so you are the people that bought the Anderson house."

I left the grocery store feeling insecure - like maybe Mike KNEW that the Anderson's had done several do-it-yourself projects to the house. The latest discovered March 18th (when it was -40c) involving an ensuite bathroom in the master bedroom with the water lines that were run down an outside wall - just waiting to freeze up and burst. That was fun. Friggin' Andersons...

I fought the urge to storm back into the grocery store and violently shake Mike and scream "What else to you know about my house?! How much will the next thing cost us?!"

Friday, October 22, 2004

Jack's big truck Posted by Hello

Signs of the metamorphosis from city slicker to towns folk

1. You do not seem to use the words hick and hicksville quite so much anymore.

2. You know what a Gator is AND have actually ridden on one to go check on some cows.

3. You have learned that there are regular meat draws at the legion on Fridays and have seriously considered checking it out.

4. Your idea of traffic now is when there is one car in front of you at one of the two traffic lights in town.

5. Upon returning to the big city you realize that you have somehow lost your ability to merge onto a 4-lane freeway. Oh - I could have gone. Oh - I could have gone again... Dammit - I have turned into THAT driver.

6. Your once haute-couture is now Sears Catalogue.

7. You are happy to learn that casual Fridays at work actually means sweat pants with a nicer top.

8. Since you do not have that twice a day 30 min commute during rush hour traffic AND road construction, you have become noticeably more pleasant. (FYI - your friends and family WILL comment on your previous degree of irritability & provide detailed examples of what a bag you were.)

9. Your spouse now drives ¾ ton extended cab diesel truck, has a motorcycle and is now talking you into a quad. (HELP ME! Please...Help me...)

10. You enjoy the convenience of only needing to tell people when asked the last 4 digits of your telephone number - because it is just common knowledge that we ALL share the same first 3 digits.

Signs that you live in a small town

1. You can tell who is in the Extra Foods because you recognize whose vehicles are in the parking lot.

2. Your mail carrier (who may be dyslexic) regularly gives you someone else's mail. Though you don't know the person addressed on the envelope you realize that you work with someone who has the same last name. Sure enough - you have been receiving your co-worker's mother's mail. It also turns out that her mother has in fact been getting your mail. Instead of complaining to the post office you now just swap mail via your coworker.

3. Your neighbor mistakenly believes that you are Jewish and even wishes you a happy a Happy Hanukkah because the first year you moved to the neighborhood you neglected you put up any exterior Christmas lights.

4. You can't be mean to the J.W. who comes knocking on your door at 8:00am Saturday mornings because you work with his cousin.

5. Your mother not only works at the same place you do but is also in your department.

6. Your brother-in-law who is a paramedic and driving through your town in his ambulance decides to stop in for coffee. Because he is a cool uncle - he gives your daughter a tour of the ambulance and even turns on the lights & siren for her. The next day at work, your receive many emails from concerned coworkers inquiring about the "accident."

7. There is angle parking on Mainstreet & there is a street called Mainstreet.

8. Everyone - and I mean everyone - drives a 3/4 ton extended cab diesel truck.

9. There is only one radio station - and it is COUNTRY...

10. There is NOT a MacDonald's!!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Skater girl - Emma Posted by Hello

Me Posted by Hello

Daddy & Matthew Posted by Hello

Kawasaki Jack & son Posted by Hello

My not so good - but has potential - puppy Jake Posted by Hello

My GOOD dog Shep - 8 years old Posted by Hello

Sorry - daddy is an Oilers fan - therfore you WILL be an Oilers fan as well Posted by Hello

Emma & Matthew in the little pool Posted by Hello

The last bit - the best part

So....

My new favorite doctor in the entire world Dr. Chen, the “good” anesthesiologist, came in at around 3:00pm with his kit of happy drugs.

I was in too much pain to be scared about the epidural. I was just worried that I would not be able to stay still for Dr. Chen because as I said, I was getting contractions lasting up to 3 min. Just as one would fade away another would start up - it was insane. But I managed to sit up and Jack & a nurse were holding me and I tried to relax.

The first thing I felt was a sting in my back as Dr. Chen froze the epidural site. On a pain scale I would compare it to the Dr. breaking my water - not pleasant but over quickly. Next thing he did was put in the little tiny catheter that would administer the anesthesia. That was the weirdest thing I have ever felt - you can definitely feel the little tube fishing around in there while the doctor locates the correct spot but it isn't painful the way you would expect more achy. Again it was over fairly quickly.The last thing I remember about the epidural was a cool feeling down my back like they were pumping ice water directly into the tube.

Within in I would say three minutes I could already tell a difference in the quality or sharpness of the pain of my contractions. Then, I would say within five to 10 more minutes all I felt were cramps and by 15 minutes I felt nothing but pressure from the contractions. I could still feel my legs and feet but they felt very, very heavy and fuzzy like the way freezing feels in your face after you have had a filling at the dentist. I definitely could not walk and Jack or a nurse would have to help me move them to change positions.

I was down right giddy - just having the pain go away like that made me absurdly emotional (or maybe it was a side effect of the epidural I am not sure) but I now loved the entire nursing staff at the hospital and I worshipped Dr. Chen - of course I told them all how great they were. Jack was laughing at me I think but I did not care.
So it is about 3:45pm - I have 2 tubes in my arm, one in my back, the blood pressure cuff on my other arm and the monitor belts on my stomach. So when the nurse came to put in the catheter I was not surprised… I was however grateful that I would not have to get up to pee and even more grateful that I did not feel a thing.
By about 4:30pm the doctor said I was about 5 cm dilated. Okay. I was doing a crossword puzzle and Jack was reading a fitness magazine. If we were not in the hospital it would have been a nice quiet afternoon.

Jack & I would check the contractions on the monitor every once in a while. The spikes were off the chart and would plateau there for 30 seconds before going back down. I was SO relieved that I was not feeling them - good lord! They were lasting about 2 minutes and were about 30 seconds apart. I kept thinking how bloody stupid I was for not getting an epidural the first time around with DD…

The nurses would continue to check me every once in a while I was slowly progressing about 1 cm every hour.
About 7:00pm something weird started to happen - I was beginning to feel the contractions. I was not happy about this at all - it started to become damn painful. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was and said about 8 cm. I wanted more drugs and I wanted them pronto. The nurse said that I might not want to do that because I was so close and it might interfere with the pushing. I was freaking out and the new anesthesiologist came in to give me a top up.The top up helped immensely.

By 7:30pm I started to feel a lot of pressure and let the nurse know she checked me and said that I was 9 cm and could just feel a tiny but a cervix. They called in my doctor and set things up.
7:50pm - the doctor said I was ready to start pushing anytime and had me push once. She said that the baby was right there!

I was exhausted, but when they told me I could start pushing I was so relieved. It was almost over...
I could feel the pressure of the contractions so it did not interfere with the pushing at all.
Jack held on to one leg and my doctor was pushing up on the other. Jack and my doctor coached me through some tough pushes. I pushed like a son of a bitch for about 8 minutes. At one point I was yelling for the baby to come out. It was very intense.

My doctor told me to stop pushing. She was easing out the baby's head. Then after a small push Jack was saying that the baby's head was out. The baby's shoulders were a little difficult to get out but after one big push my doctor eased them out as well. A few more pushes later and my beautiful son was born. Jack cut the cord. It was 8:13pm.

So just over 12 hours from the time we got to the hospital I was holding our baby in my arms. Jack & I were laughing and crying at the same time.

It was so emotional and I was SO glad it was all over. Matthew was here and he was very healthy and quite a big guy weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces.

He was just perfect!!

The next bit - pain management

My Doctor, Jack, & I had the talk about "pain management." I was still undecided and thinking maybe I would take a shot of morphine if things got too bad. At this point I was in no pain at all so it was easy to make that call.

I was now hooked up to 2 IV poles a blood pressure monitor as well at the belt around my stomach monitoring the baby & my contractions. The baby was doing great and my contractions were showing up as little bumps on the screen.

It was about 2:15pm and time was going backwards. Jack was staring out of the window at the parking lot with his eyes glazed over and I was watching my pitiful little contractions on the monitor. It was a little hellish unhooking myself from the monitor ad BP machine then trying to maneuver myself and two IV poles to the bathroom and since having my water broken it seemed like I was getting up to pee and change the bedding sheet every 5 mins. It was irritating Jack would no sooner get me all hooked up again and I would have to get back up. Jack was struggling to be cheerful as was I.

By about 2:30pm I was starting to feel the contractions really well. I was thinking - oh yeah, NOW I remember what this is like - this sucks!! My contractions were showing up as nice spikes on the monitor and lasting about 30-45 seconds. This is not good enough apparently and the nurse who I now had come to despise came in again to increase the drip another 6mg. It was now up in the 90's.

At 2:45pm a wall of pain hit me - I don't remember this happening at all during my first labor but I started having contractions one on top of the other and I started freaking out a little. The final time I got up to go to the bathroom with the 2 IV poles and one of the contractions hit me I doubled over and just about pulled out one of the IV's. I was crying pretty hard and Jack was really getting worried.

At 2:50pm Jack helped me back to bed and the nurse informed me that the "good" anesthesiologist was leaving at 3:00. I freaked out and begged that he not leave until after doing my epidural. All composure and self consciousness are totally gone at this point - I wanted drugs and I wanted them NOW!

The first bit

On October 7th, 2002 after dropping Emma & our dog off at my parent's house, Jack & I drove to Edmonton. We spent the night at a nice hotel, had a good meal, and joked that this would be the last time we would ever be alone together... This has turned out to be the truth!!

I was up all night worried about the inducement and very uncomfortable. I had the worst heartburn ever and took my very last (self administered) insulin shot.

October 8th, 2002: We had our wake up call at 6:00am and the hospital called our cell phone at around 7:00am to confirm that we had to be there by 8:00am. We checked out of the hotel ad went for breakfast due to nerves I was only able to choke down 1/2 a bagel. Jack was already getting on my nerves - it was going to be a long day.

We arrived at the hospital shortly after 8:00am. I was admitted and we went up to labor & delivery. After a quick exam I was told that I was not effaced or dilated at ALL and that they would be starting me on the synthocin (sp?) drip right away. I was scared and excited. Jack was a little wired after drinking at least 8 cups of coffee. They started my IV (the nurse I had was a little brutal and not so gentle but whatever) and finally got it going.

There was a little scare with the IV machine as it kept beeping and flashing that there was air in the line. Jack freaked out a little and the nurse came and - I swear to God - gave the machine a whack and said these machines always did that. We made her check the line anyway.

So they started the drip at 6mg and explained that they would then increase the dosage by 6mg every 15 mins until I was in active labor. I was also told that I had to check my blood glucose every hour. It was about 9:00am.

Talk about anti-climactic... By around noon I was starting to feel some tiny cramps ot even comparable to pms... The nurse came to check me and told me I was progressing fine. They provided me a crappy (even by hospital standards) lunch that consisted of beef broth weak tea and lime Jell-O (ugh...) and I was allowed to drink as much water as I wanted.

Time was standing still - Jack kept sneaking out for new magazines and real food... ARGH!! I was starving but the nurse assured me that I would get nauseous and gave me another cup of ice chips. I hated that nurse.

At about 1:00 after my latest glucometer reading I was told that my glucose levels were way too high and that they would have to start me on an insulin drip as well. This would mean another IV. Same arm higher up. I just hate needles.

My Doctor came at about 1:30pm to check me. I was still not feeling any contractions - she gave me the option of breaking my water to speed things up. I said yep let's do it. It was not pleasant at all but over fast. I was assured that this would really get things going.

How it all went down - intro

I thought I would share Matthew's birth story - my baby boy just turned 2 on the 8th of October and I am feeling nostalgic and old and okay a little overweight because I STILL have the 15 pounds to lose - okay, okay the 20 pounds to lose... Whatever...

I had Gestational Diabetes during my pregnancy with Matthew. For whatever reason - the placenta interferes with your pancreas production of insulin and it can cause big problems if not treated. Treatment for me = self injecting myself with insulin four times per day and testing my blood with a little stabby thing 8-10 times per day. Side effects = I was just plain mad for 5 months, I gained a massive amount of weight (70+ pounds = egad!), and I had to follow a very restricted diet. It sucked.

Though I now have such a respect for those who manage this disease on a daily basis and am very fortunate that gestational diabetes just goes away after you give birth. What really put things into perspective for me was after I was diagnosed I had to go buy a bunch of testing strips and pen needle refills for the insulin epi-pen thingy. I was upset and just plain hate needles and was complaining, okay ranting to the pharmacist who informed me - that he could give me the 5mm needles instead of the 8mm ones my doctor prescribed. These he said would probably hurt less and are the size that CHILDREN with diabetes generally use. Yeah okay after that I just sucked it up.

So I was huge, I was grumpy, I was diabetic, and I wanted this baby the hell out of me ASAP. I sure as hell was NOT glowing, nesting, or in any other mental state but MAD - oh right - I was still working full time (right up until the due date - because I am a loser) and I had a 5 year old, Jack and a dog to deal with.

After 37 weeks I was BEGGING my doctor to induce me - PLEASE for the love of GOD!

By my next visit I had gained 10 pounds - which is pretty amazing considering I was on the diabetic diet from hell. The "have as much celery as you want" diet.
At my next appointment my doctor weighed me and just told me to be at the hospital the nest morning. YAY!

So here is how it all went down...


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Shlab problems...

We have two dogs. Our 8 year old German Sheppard cross named Shep. Who IS the best dog alive - I am now certain of the fact that she IS the best dog alive because I have a point of comparison now - a "new perspective" if you will. Well, actually he is a 4 month old puppy we named Jake. He is a Sheppard Lab cross = Shlab.

Jake the Shlab is a terror right now. The word spaz does not even do him justice - maybe super spaz on acid might be more appropriate. Even though he has that gawky teenage four month old puppy look - he is suprisingly agile and fast. It is a good thing he is cute...
Take last week for example:

Dear Mrs. Robins,

Please accept our sincere apologies regarding the following two elementary school library books which have unfortunately been ruined beyond repair by our puppy Jake:

1. McDaniel, B "Larry and the Cookie"
2. Wiebe, T. "Max the Mighty Superhero"

It turns out that the little shit can now reach items on the counter and shred them into little bits including various coupons as well as important "time sensitive" correspondence from Publisher Clearing House and an entire package of Post-It notes.
Please find enclosed $20.00 to cover the replacement costs for the above items as was indicated to me by your school librarian Mrs. Bodner.

Best Regards,
Lexa




Wednesday, October 06, 2004

First post

My first post in blog world:

My name is Lexa, I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada with my spouse, fiance, boyfriend, that guy, my kids' dad... his name is Jack and he is a pretty great guy. We have been together for 11 years now and have two kids, two dogs, a mortgage and all the other ususal commitment fixin's: 'til debt do us part...

Jack and I were both raised in actual cities (with malls and crime and stuff) in Alberta and are still suffering from small town culture shock. The noise, pollution and anonymity we enjoyed in the city is gonzo, c'ya, bye-bye... Everyone here does or will know your business and it turns that they are also willing to then fill in the gaps of knowledge about your business with what ever comes to mind - stream of consciousness stuff going on here it has been interesting. I truly cannot wait to post about adapting to small town living.

I do copyright work for a local University and Jack is a driller on a drilling rig and works all over the province. As a result of sharing my life with someone who works in the oil field industry, I now have a huge assortment of mugs, mouse pads, sweatpants and jackets and a set of sweet highball glasses with the insignia and slogans of various drilling companies. And really what more can a girl ask for?

Lexa




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