Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful for our Blessings… one and all!

Well, it has sure been "exciting" around here this past week!!

Our newest little bambino was born a bit on the early side - but, still considered a full-term baby. He was due on December 11, but was born on November 23 at 2:57 AM!!

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not quite a day old
This is his story:

I was sitting in a rocking chair with our little Bump cuddled up on my lap for a bedtime story. We fell asleep like that and Pops woke me and carried Bump off to his own bed for the night. I thought I was having some "Braxton Hicks" contractions as they were not regular, and weren't much to speak of. So, off to bed I went after brushing my teeth. I thought the contractions were weird, but again, not regular or overly painful. So, I fell asleep. About an hour or so later, at just past midnight, I woke up and told Pops, "I think my water just broke." He definitely didn't think that I was kidding, but we were only VERY sure when I stood up and my pajama pants became immediately soaked! 

Well, so much for that labor induction we had planned for later in the week…

The last time my water broke on its own, I delivered a healthy baby girl on the floor of the elevator lobby at the hospital within 15 minutes after it broke! Let's just say, I felt a weeee bit of stress in that we live at least a 40 minute drive from the hospital!!

I had a few strong contractions and Pops visited with my midwife on the phone. She told us to either get ourselves to the hospital right away OR call 911. We got in the van to go right after calling the grands to say, "Please come over, we are heading to the hospital to have this baby and the kids are all sleeping!" Woke up Bud so that there would be someone who knew why we weren't here if someone woke needing something and he waited for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive. We sped away to the hospital and thankfully arrived at the ER (around 1 AM) where my midwife was waiting with a nurse and a wheelchair!!

We made it up to the labor and delivery department and got settled in to wait and see what would become of this labor and baby!! I was feeling great. I had a bed and a room - no floor delivery in the hallway for this go-round!

Things moved along quickly and the paperwork was all tended to and baby arrived within 2 hours. Baby appeared to be less than thrilled with his arrival and screamed and hollered for what seemed like 10 minutes or more! I was thinking that he had better get it all out as we wouldn't have time for this nonsense with 4 other kids running around, too! He calmed down and Pops and the nurse took him around the corner to be weighed and measured - 7 lb. 11 oz., 20.5 inches long (decent 37 week 3 day gestational age)!! My midwife was tending to something a few feet away and an aide arrived to help do some clean-up and walked over to me and alerted my midwife to tend to me… I was hemorrhaging and there was a flurry of activity around me getting my fluids going and pitocin running, a shot of methergine in my leg and all of the blood cleaned up and weighed. I am not sure how they do their figuring, exactly - but, whatever was done, they measured the blood loss to be 1700cc. My blood pressure was at one time 60/40 - ish. Apparently I was the same color as the bed sheets and felt quite weak and woozy. It wasn't long before I was feeling well enough to move on to the postpartum recovery area. It was rather scary, but everything turned out well.

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one week old with a satisfied milk mustache - a western one with serious handlebars, no less!!
Today, baby is doing GREAT at one week old! I am slowly feeling better and gaining energy and strength. I celebrated a very thankful for life kind of Thanksgiving this year. Thankful for the new life that we are blessed with in this teeny tiny baby. Thankful for my life and that I am able to continue to watch and help my beautiful children grow and learn. Thankful. Truly thankful.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ruff Weekend

It was a sad weekend for our family as we had to say our last goodbyes to our old faithful fur-friend, Scarlett Eve. She was just over 12.5 years old and she has lived with us for just over 12 years! That is quite a long time in Boxer dog years!! She was ancient, but had a serious will to live!! I could go on and on about all that she fought through in her 12.5 years - but, I will instead use this ONE blog post to remember her, to chuckle at her funny side and to have a place to go and look at many pictures that bring me joy. I wish that I had more pictures of her from before 2008... this grouping of pictures will be missing those first 7 years of her life with us. I can't remember where I put all those old pictures of her, right now!! So, if you'd like to take a trip down memory lane with me - hang on for a long ride... I took pictures of my fur-kid as much as my two-legged kids!! If not - that's ok, stop back by later when I am moving on to other topics!

Scarlett Eve

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Always up for a ride in the car. This was when she was starting to turn "grey" and we were becoming shocked by how much less black there was on her face!!
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At Cape Blanco Lighthouse in Port Orford, OR
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My mom bought this hat for Bud for his birthday and we were going to put it away for later. But, we really were curious how it would look "on." Scarlett was our guinea pig for this kind of stuff more often than not.
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She was RARELY amused.
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There was a squirrel up this tree and she was sure she could get to it.
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She loved being on the beach with us!
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It was fun to watch her try to catch the waves, the foam and taste the salty water!
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Sometimes those waves would try to get her...
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But, she was game and ready to attack again!
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A little closer... a little closer...
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Almost got her feet that time!!
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She went with us everywhere. This was a hike in July 2008.
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We were up on a cliff on the southern Oregon coast. (Blossom wasn't too interested in the hiking part!!)
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We were celebrating and memorializing the short life of our Brody,  as we do every year with a balloon release.
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I love those perked up alert ears!
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She joined us on our very first family camping trip in Teton National Park. Surely, she kept the bears away!
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Visiting family at Lake Mac in Nebraska
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One of her very favorite things... a farm pond!
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I wish there were sound effects available for these pictures!
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She is chasing frogs all over the pond and in the field.
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I loved watching her hunt the frogs... all alert and ready to get one!!
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Something must have escaped from the pond!!
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Ah, Scarlett, you'll get it!! Keep after it!!
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One of the only times Scarlett would enter the water of her own desire. Not much of a swimmer, our girl.
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The hunt continued through the weeds and she ran and ran and ran... This is what I imagine for her afterlife "over the rainbow bridge"... It makes me feel happy to think that she is snorting and snuffing and running and jumping and keeping her tail curled up  and ears all perky. 
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As she would trot along the edge of the pond, the frogs would jump into the pond just as she would almost be to them. It was so fun!!
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Pops caught a frog up on the road. But that poor ol' dog never did get ONE frog!!
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She always wanted to be included with whatever the kids were doing, even if it was just schoolwork up on the counter!
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Sunbathing, whether on the sand, curled up on a blanket, rolling in the grass... sunshine made her happy.
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... and tolerating me taking pictures and threatening to shade her from the sun, not so happy!!
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So young with clear eyes. Still a black mask, wet nose, shiny eyes.
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I loved her profile in this picture... and the clear brown of her eye. They were kind, soulful, questioning, loving and knowing eyes. She may have been a "dumb dog" to some but, my companion and very smart even when she acted crazed!
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Oh, how smooth and soft that little spot on her neck under her chin was... 
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Occasionally, Pops took some pictures of her. I am not sure what he was going after on this one, but her tickle-y whiskers are certainly highlighted well!
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Sometimes I would wake up with this in my face!! It always made me laugh!
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Right in the mix of decorating the Christmas Tree... not to be left out of anything!!
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She never chewed on shoes or slippers unless she was provoked. Pops was always provoking her!!
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Barking, growling, and gently chewing on his feet. Anytime was a good time for that...
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She even loved the snow! Her shirt says, "I'm Mama's Dog" -- tee hee! I had to add some elastic to the bottom hem or it would drag. But, the smaller sizes wouldn't fit around her chest!!
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"Mama? Let's go in the snow? Wanna, wanna, wanna??" - isn't that what she was saying?
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Must've been!! I put on my coat and gloves and took her out where I made snowballs for her to catch. 
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She loved eating snowballs - and Blossom thought it was "helping" Scarlett catch them by showing her to open her mouth! 
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Trying to get a picture with everyone looking at the camera has always been a challenge...
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And Scarlett didn't make it any easier, really!
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Many many tries before we ever would have a "keeper"!!
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Santa brought treats for Scarlett most years - sometimes a toy. This particular year, it was "liver treats" (and quite possibly that fancy-pants new sparkly pink collar)!
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And ONE liver treat was never enough.
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She kept her eye on them... 
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and let us know that she was always a willing recipient of a treat!
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She loved treats and was gentle enough to take them from a baby!
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She joined us in the tornado shelter in Oklahoma!
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She thought she was a lap dog and wasn't too picky about the size of the lap she was climbing onto!!
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She did pretty good living in our funny little RV life. But, moving back to the midwest was hard for her. Hot and cold temperatures and plenty of allergens plagued her - not much of a problem out in Oregon. 
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Her dry eye got much worse with the allergens of the midwest and she eventually lost sight in both eyes.
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When we moved into a little rental house in Oklahoma, it was chilly with the door open while we unloaded the moving truck. So, these ones all curled up to stay warm and snooze as we worked into the dark night!
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Scarlett liked a good snuggle... in someone's soft cozy bed! Most often Branch's in her later years since it was lower to the ground. Before that... it was mine, at the end of the bed under the covers keeping my toes warm!!
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Often she would hog the bed. She just wanted up there with ya!
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Not sure if it was good that she lost her sight before her hearing, but at least I could clap and she would come toward my clapping hands when she was straying away. 
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Always enjoying the sunshine outdoors.
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I often wonder what it would have been like if Scarlett would have been able to see Mini and chase around with her!! Probably wouldn't have turned out too well, I suppose!!
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After sitting out in the sunshine and wandering away, we felt so lucky to have found our girl this past July.  And we treasured our time with her.  
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To the last moment, we loved her.