January 26, 2012


Today my grandmother would be 101 years old!

Happy Birthday Grandma Bogue!

Love this picture of her with my mom.

I miss my grandmother a lot. Both of my grandmothers, actually. I'm sad that I was a teenager when they both died. I didn't fully understand the importance of grandparents at that age. But I have a firm belief that we will all have the opportunity to see and know our loved ones again (see here for more info). For now I can try to preserve their memories through pictures and stories. Its easier for me since my girls are named after my grandmother and her best friend, Eleanor and Evelyn.

My girls are sooo much fun. In some ways they actually remind me of both Grandma Bogue and Grandma Dorris. Ellie is actually more like Grandma Doris than she is her name sake because that girl is s-a-s-s-y. Among Grandma Doris' many famous stories is the tale of her interview with the head of a retirement village she was looking into. The director asked her if she knew how to get help in case of an emergency and Grandma put her hand to her head and started swooning and eventually fell onto the floor. After a moment of confused panic on the part of the director and suppressed laughter/embarrassment on the part of my aunt, Grandma stood up and informed the director that absolutely does know how to get attention when she needs it. I can definitely see Ellie pulling something like that one day.

Evelyn, on the other hand, is a little harder to read since she can't talk or make intentional movements yet. But she does smile at me and make me feel loved. Grandma Bogue was not a woman who  liked to be messed with. She enjoyed sitting quietly in her chair and watching Lawrence Welk or doing a crossword. But she definitely made me feel loved. She always had treats to share (sugar free of course) and she had the most fun dresser full of cool jewelry and the occasional rogue cigarette for me to explore and discover (I'm not sure I was supposed to know about the cigarettes but I definitely remember coming across one or two... though I'm sure she didn't smoke). My favorite memory about my Grandma Bogue though is the way she talked about her husband, her Charlie. From her I developed a sense of what I wanted in my marriage: undying love, timeless devotion, willingness to wait decades to see each other again. I never knew my grandfather, he died a few years before I was born, but Grandma still talked about him as if he was in the other room. And because of their love for each other I've spent my life looking for a man that I can love as much as she loved her Charlie. I'm pretty sure I've found him.

Anyway, part of the reason I've made it a goal to write in this blog at least once a week this year is to help me develop a bit of family history. My girls won't get to meet their great-grandmothers for a long time but I hope that I can still ensure that their legacy is part of their lives.

So happy birthday Grandma Bogue (and to Grandma Doris in September). I love you both and I'm grateful for the memories I have of you.

Here's a picture of Grandma Doris too:

January 23, 2012

Thanks elmo

Scott and I have been working on teaching Ellie to count to three for quite some time. She has been having trouble getting past two. This is how most of our counting lessons went:

Mom/dad: what comes after one?
Ellie: two!
M/d: what comes after two?
E: one!
(repeat this conversation a thousand times and you'll understand our frustration)

For a while we thought the problem may stem from our disciplinary tactics. Like many parents we often tell Ellie we'll give her til the count of three to do whatever we're asking her to do before she goes in time out. Unfortunately we, like most parents, don't actually want to get all the way to three (putting a toddler in time out is such a production). Here's how many of those conversations went:

M/d: Ellie, I'm going to count to three. If you don't do _______ you're going in time out.
E: no!
E: NO!
M/d:seriously Ellie, don't let me get to three! One...
(repeat a hundred thousand times and you'll start to understand our frustration)

So you can imagine my surprise and joy when I overheard this conversation this morning:

Kids on sesame street: one, two...
E: 3!
K: 4, 5...
E: 6! 7!
K: 8...
E: 9! 10!

Turns out our inability to teach Ellie wasn't rooted so much in our disciplinary shortcomings but more in our lack of youthful energy and the fact that we're humans and not muppets. So thank you, Elmo and friends, for teaching my toddler to count. Now please get started on potty training because that is definitely a lesson we're having trouble with...(and just so you know, we'll be turning to you in a decade or so when it's time for the birds and the bees)

January 13, 2012

one more thing

I also read a book this week about a taxidermist who turns out to be a former Nazi. I highly, and I mean highly, advise you to avoid the book "Beatrice and Virgil" at all costs. Seriously people just take my word on this one.

6 things

1. I'm out of ground beef so I guess we'll just have to order a pizza tonight. rough life.

2. I died my hair yesterday and attempted bangs a la Zooey Deschanel. The jury's still out on whether or not I'm going to chop it all off in a couple of months...

3. Jillian Michaels has been KICKING my booty. But hopefully she'll help me lose the last 30 pounds of baby weight. Yeah, I said 30 pounds. And I've already lost 30 so you do the math: pregnancy=enormous weight gain. But its worth it.

4. I'm trying to post on my blog every week this year, hence this nonsense post about nothing anybody cares about.

5. Scott is playing in a basketball tournament thing right now which is lovely because it gives my friend Amy (who's husband is also playing)  and me an excuse to get together on Thursday nights and watch awesome movies like Grease 2.

6. I put all of my extra fabric on mini bolts yesterday and now I feel really accomplished.

January 4, 2012

As promised

Here is a brief accounting of how our little Ev came into the world. I will try very hard to keep it short, but seeing as it was one of the best experiences of my life, that may be a little difficult:)

During my last couple of appts, I was really feeling done. My back was killing me, I was swollen swollen swollen and I really missed being able to move without grunting. At my first appt after my due date, my midwife was very understanding and told me that we could consider breaking my water to get things moving if I wanted to. I was very happy to hear this news, but decided to wait a few more days since my awesome sister/doula was on her way. After big sis's arrival, I decided to take my midwife up on her offer. I went in and she checked my cervix for any progress, but I had pretty much been plateaued at 3cm for the past 3 weeks and had made no progress. She said that we should wait another day and told me to continue with evening primrose oil and  to RELAX. This was kind of hard for me at that point because a good friend of mine had just lost her 3 day old that morning (read: we had been going to all of our prenatal appointments together for the past several months and my heart was broken for her). I went home and tried to relax.

The next morning I had had it and called my midwife and told her so. She said to come on in and we'd get the show on the road. I seriously could have kissed her (not really, but you catch my drift). We took our time getting ready, eating some good food, and taking a nap. Then we headed out to the hospital! It was so exciting. Once there, however, all of the sadness I had been trying to keep at bay exploded and I had a big breakdown. The nurse was awesome though and really helped me through it. And my sister was incredible as well. And my husband, of course, was great too but emotional breakdowns aren't exactly his forte. Anyway, after the meltdown was over we sat around and watched HGTV for about four hours while I received IV treatments since I was GBS positive.

Finally, at 10 pm I was checked again and the midwife broke my water (I had progressed to 4 cm, so I'm convinced I was already in early labor by the time they broke my water). Almost immediately the tiny contractions I had been feeling went up about 20 notches. Here’s what contractions feel like to me: really intense sit ups. Basically they feel like all the muscles in your abdomen and some muscles that you didn't even have before you went into labor all decide to contract at the same time. Its not comfortable, but certainly not the worst thing in the world. The contractions got longer and closer together steadily over the next three hours, but between them I was totally able to enjoy spending time with Scott and my sis. And house hunters. That show never gets old.

About 1 am, however, things got a little more intense and I was ready to try the virtue of the big hot tub they had in my room. Unfortunately some brainiac at the hospital had decided to turn off the hot water. I was just so happy to hear that news. From 1 am to about 2:30 am I was mainly focused on keeping my body relaxed and I'm not sure what everyone else was doing. Scott and Michelle (my sis) took turns massaging my back which really helped me relax. At about 2:30 the nurse thought the tub might be warm enough for me, so I asked to be checked before I got in. I was at an 8 and then got in the water. It was definitely not as warm as I would have preferred, but it did feel pretty good. I could only endure two contractions in there though because for some reason the only position that didn't kill me was sitting on the yoga ball. So got back out, had a contraction while the nurse and midwife helped me change back into a dry gown and then told them that I couldn't not push anymore. I seriously HAD to push. They said that they would check me again and got all ready and then said there was no need because they could see the baby crowning. I got on the bed with the yoga ball in front of me and started pushing in the hands and knees position with Scott on the other side of the ball so I could hold onto him.

There's no two ways about it, pushing a baby out of your body hurts. This is the first time during the whole process that I started to lose faith that I could do it. I couldn't stop shaking and I was exhausted. But Scott and Michelle kept telling me that I could and I tried to believe them. I had been very relaxed and quiet through the whole process but at this point I was screaming and growling. Its kind of funny to think about now, but it was like I was a totally different person. I remember Scott telling me not to bite him, which I think is hilarious. I don't really think I was going to, but who knows. Anyway, I pushed for about 15 minutes and then she was out and I laid down and the nurse put her on my chest and I was just so so happy. I think it really made the transition easier to get to hold her immediately rather than when Ellie was born and they first took her to get a bath and everything. Oh, another awesome thing that the midwife did was use counter pressure while I was pushing so the baby didn't come out too fast and it was more controlled which allowed my perineum to stretch rather than tear. And she used warm compresses which almost erased the pain of pushing... almost.

So there it is. I am completely converted to natural childbirth. I think that it is such an empowering and awesome experience. I wish more women had the confidence in their abilities to give it a try. I know that its not an option for everyone, but if you have any desire to give it a try, I highly recommend it.