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Ode to Summer

Summer...my favorite time of year...and it's slipping away fast, too fast. Summer has always been my favorite time of the year because it has barbeques, lemonade, my birthday, popsicles, squirt guns, beaches, and the fourth of July. But most of all I love summer because of swimming! When I was younger growing up in Phoenix I pretty much spent every summer in the water. (Ask my parents if you dont believe me.) In fact to this day, Taylor says that I remind of him that big fat kid who when you were little tried to do everything to get invited over to your house to swim. (I just hope its not because he thinks I am fat but because I always want to go to the pool.)

Well... that is where the kids and I spent most of our time this summer, at the pool. Abby began the summer barely being able to swim 6 feet and finished being able to go wherever she wants including diving off the diving board. In May, Parker wouldn't leave the steps but now he wont stay on them. He is pretty much swimming on his own (well about 10 feet or so including breaths), and it is a big relief not to have to be so worried about him all the time. (Dont worry grandma, I still watch him!) Taylor, who was a pool-boy when I met him, will rarely get in, but when he does we all have a ball. Here are some photos of him playing with my baby barracuda, whom I affectionately call Parky.

The fish.


And Away....

First Day of School

Monday was Abby's first day of school. She was so excited. I think she came into our room around 5:30 am bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take out her sponge rollers and get ready for school. Curly hair doesn't sleep in!

When we arrived at school she was not nervous at all. She immediately found her desk and sat in it ready to begin. Watching all the kids come in, and Abby interact with them made me a bit teary eyed. Not because I didn't want to leave her, but it all of a sudden hit me that my little girl is growing up way too fast. It seems she was only a baby a bit ago, and now we are starting kindergarten. (On a side note, I remember my mom taking me to college, and her crying when she had to leave me. I can remember thinking how silly she was. Its funny how we all turn into our mothers.)

Well, apparently Abby was not having the same "deep" thoughts about this day as I was having because she was all smiles, and had no problem blowing me a kiss and sending me on my way. From the small tidbits I can get out of her (obtaining specific details from a kindergartner is almost impossible) everything went great. When I picked her up she was still smiling and told me about how she is in the elephant group (I guess each table has an animal name???), that she met the security guard, and that recess was the best. No word on if they actually learned something, but oh well.

Oh, and later Abby's teacher congratulated me on Lucy's belly button "nub" falling off. The crusty nubbin fell off earlier that morning. Apparently Abby had told her all about it and even included it in one of her pictures of our family she drew in class. Yes, that means Lucy was drawn in our family portrait with the "nub" lying next to her. I wonder what other things Mrs. Alexander (her teacher) hears about from a class full of 5 year olds. Must be pretty interesting!

Father of the Year

A day or two before Abby's first day of school, Abby was telling Taylor how she wished she had beautiful curly hair. She went on and on about it to him, and was actually a little upset that it wasn't curly enough. I kind of just laughed it off. A few hours later Taylor came to me and said he was going to Wal-mart for something. I said okay not thinking much about it.

When Taylor returned, he had brought home something that melt my heart. He had went out specifically to get Abby some sponge rollers to use the night before the first day of school so she could have the beautiful curly hair she wanted on her special day. He didn't buy anything else, just the sponge rollers. Abby was so excited, she could hardly contain herself.

That definitely earned Taylor father of the year in my book. Not bad for someone who swore his daughter would not wear pink before she was born. P.S. First day of Kindergarten pics to come!

Our Baby Story

I know its been three weeks since Miss Lucy made her debut, but I feel I need to write down her birth story before I forget the details. Here is her story.

At 7:00 am on July 20th, Taylor and I reported to labor and delivery to have the amniocentesis. After filling out paperwork, they put us in triage, to wait for the doctors performing the amnio. In the meantime we were approached by one doctor, in which she asked me if I would be willing to participate in an experimental test for a study on labor. "Sure" I thought, I have had enough testing done in this place, whats one last test for old-time sake. The study tested labor contractions with an EKG monitor in addition to the regular contraction monitor. The EKG measures the electrical impulses of your uterus, which begins to happen before a contraction, so thus you can tell that your contraction is coming, before you can feel it, or before a normal monitor can feel it. They believe that this more highly sensitive equipment will one day help diagnose women who are in pre-term labor faster than the normal monitoring they do in the hospital.

We also got to sit back and laugh at all the ridiculous women in triage. Taylor and I were almost in hysterics behind our curtain listening to one lady. Apparently she had been there 2 times already thinking she was in labor. When the nurse came in to tell her that she was again not in labor and that she needed to go home, she started arguing and swore that she was going to have the baby in her sleep because the hospital was sending her home.The nurse assured her that was not possible.

At 9am the doctors finally came in to perform the amnio. I was nervous, but in actuality it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing fun about having a huge needle stuck in your belly, but the pain was tolerable and only lasted a few minutes. We were told that it would take about 2-3 hours for the results to come in. If her lungs were developed and had an adequate amount of surfactant, we could be induced. If not, we would be sent home. At about noon, the results came back. We were going to have a baby!

At 1:30pm, they moved me to a delivery room. The funny thing is I had already started to have contractions. Although they couldn't confirm, the amnio might have sent me into labor on my own. Instead of waiting out to see if I was in real labor, they hooked me up to pitocin anyway at about 2 o' clock. It would help speed things along. Since I was already at a 3-4 when they started, I thought that I would have the baby by my nurses shift change at 7. Unfortunately, by shift change I was only a 5, and couldn't believe things were taking so long. After all this was my third time doing this.

I do have to say one thing, if you are going to get an epidural, get one before they break your water. I asked for one right around 6:45 or so, but was only having mild to moderate pain at the time. So after I got my epidural things were calm and I felt good, unlike my last two labors where they broke my water first and I got to feel the agony for a while before I got my drugs. They broke my water around 7:30pm or so, and that is when labor really started going. My mom also arrived around this time. This was to be the first birth she was going to be present at since my sister was born. I was excited to have her there with me.

At 9:15 I was at an eight or a nine. The nurses told me to hang in there, but call them when I feel like I should be checked again. Probably 10-15 minutes later, I told my mom, I dont want to call the nurses in vain, but I think they need to check me. I think I feel the head or something. When the nurse came in she checked me and the head was almost crowning! She told me to hold off until we can get a doctor in there.

Two young medical residents, both female, came in to help but they were still not officially supposed to deliver my high risk delivery, so again I was told to not push and wait until an experienced doctor arrived. After about two contractions of waiting, I pretty much told them I was sorry and that the baby was coming so they had better catch. I pushed through only a few contractions, and as I did, the "real" doctor walked in. He basically went to the back of the room to watch and let the residents finish. It was so nice to have a room full of women, plus Taylor, helping me. (Not to be sexist or anything.)

Lucy came at 9:39 pm and, I could not hold back the tears. She was beautiful and healthy. After all we went through with this pregnancy, she was fine, and my labor went perfectly, more smoothly than my others. I felt like a miracle had happened in that room. Everyone was in awe. I remember one of the residents saying, "Wow, what a special birth." Later my mom told me it was one of the best moments of her entire life. I have to agree, that moment was unbelievable.

A couple minutes later it was time to deliver the placenta. With one small push, out it came along with the tumor. The "real" doctor earned his big bucks here by stepping in and washing it off so we could all examine the monstrocity that caused me so many problems. We all sat around and stared at it, and of course took that famous pic you have already seen. It was then wisked off for examining, never to be seen or heard of by me again. Good riddens!

The next day Lucy was diagnosed with jaundice. She was treated all evening and night (in my room mind you) naked under the blue lights. (Note to self, newborns dont like to be naked, and should be treated somewhere else besides the moms room. I think I slept maybe an hour that night.) They finally released us at 5pm on the 22nd once her billyrubin was at an adequate level. Here is a pic of her in her cool sunglasses used during her treatments.
And that was how my little one came into this world. One baby, one tumor, and much-a-do about nothing.