Saturday, April 25, 2009


I really like having things established, fixed, predictable, standardized. When I make a plan I want it to stay put. I don't want it to move, shift, or change. Spontaneity is great, when it is planned. Last minute ideas are marvelous, when they fit into my pre-established schedule. I am flexible, when it doesn't make me bend.

God is working on showing me the need to stay a little more open to change.

I was under the impression that my cesarean date would be sometime during the week of April 20-24th. I wasn't sure exactly when, but several conversations with my OB, as well as my understanding of my gestation all pointed to this timeframe. I even told my mother in law that she could purchase tickets based on this window. Then, at an appointment just a few weeks ago things were turned upside down when my obstetrician said that she thought waiting until the 27th was a better option. After looking more closely at my chart, my typical gestation, and the need for me to avoid labor it became apparent that letting baby bake until the beginning of the next week would be best. I called Christopher, he called his mom, who in turn called the airport to shift her tickets. I called my childcare providers, made new plans for care starting on Monday, adjusted my schedule for another week of commitments, appointments, and to-dos.

Things were set.

Or so I thought.

My spreadsheet was finalized, friends had taken off work, we had all begun to trust the "planned" cesarean date. After all, if you have to know the date of your baby's birth you may as well take advantage of it... until the rug is pulled out from under you. I received the first phone call yesterday afternoon that the charge nurse from the hospital I was scheduled for delivery with had called to say she was uncomfortable with the pain management technique I was choosing. My OB and I had worked so hard for this opportunity. I was disappointed, to say the least. One of my biggest goals for this delivery is to be free from intravenous narcotics. But even more important than that is the freedom to bond with my baby during those initial moments after birth. After discussing the options with my OB we both believed it would be best to change hospitals. After all, I had 3 days before my cesarean. 

After several more phone calls back and forth between my doctor, the new hospital, its staff, and me again we were confirmed for delivery, but as an added bonus the date for the cesarean would need to change. Of course. Now, rather than delivering on Monday at noon I am set for Tuesday at 8am.

I am now in the middle of changing all those established plans - again. Time off work, childcare options, and final preparations have all been revised. My spreadsheet needs to be completely reconfigured. But, I am working to embrace the freedom that comes from accepting change. Apparently God is trying to teach me that it is inevitable. *wink*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday's Tip (aka Tuesday's Tip done the week before a baby is coming)

Learn to cook frozen meats in your crock-pot.

I JUST learned this incredibly valuable tool (thanks Carolyn!), and am tickled by the ability I now have to throw a frozen chicken, pork tenderloin, or pot roast into my crock and have dinner some 4-8 hours later. In my hectic life it is just one more thing I can check off the list. I used to think crock pots were for stews, or stroganoff - in other words fancy dishes that required prep of several ingredients, and just used the slow cook aspect of the crock to marry all the flavors. But the real genius of this workhorse is its ability to slowly defrost, bring to temp, then cook without drying, burning, or the need for oversight. Throw your whole frozen chicken into a dry crock, turn it on low or high (depending on how long you have to wait), and in 4-8 hours you will have a perfectly cooked, tender, falling off the bone bird.

I can handle that. I thought you might be able to handle it too, so I made it my last tip before this babe is due. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coming Soon...

I am really excited that several loose ends are finally coming together, and just in time! I am a smidge over 36 weeks pregnant, and until several days ago was still up in the air about a few, rather important details - like the date of my cesarean. Well, the much anticipated arrangements are set, and I am scheduled for delivery on April 27th at noon. I am thrilled that it isn't at 7am, like some of my other babes!

More good news is that my OB has finally made significant headway with the new pain management system I requested. After 5 cesareans the 2 things I detest the most are the administration of my anesthesia, and the postpartum pain management procedures which include intravenous morphine - basically putting me into drunken stupor for the first 36 hours - then the frustration of staying on top of which nurse initiates my pain meds, and which ones wait for me to call. Breakthrough pain on an abdominal wound approximating 10 inches long is really not something I enjoy. I learned about an older, but incredibly overlooked method of administering pain medication directly to the incision site through a soaker-line sewn into the incision, and attached to an external pump. A representative from the company making the product is scheduled to come to my doctor's office next week, and teach her the procedure for utilizing the technology. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh?

I am finishing up the painting this weekend! I actually took the stripes planned for the girls' wall down a notch. So, rather than making them variegated and mulit-colored I will alternate equally between the light pink of their other walls, and a darker pink. I can always go back and add more, later.

Christopher is making racks to house our nearly 2 cords of oak he cut down for next winter's heat. He should finalize that "little" project this weekend. He already organized the tools and fasteners that were strewn between 3 boxes in a haphazard manner left over from the move. All the outlets and switches in the house have been replaced with gleaming white new ones. And he only has a few more boxes in our room which need his direct attention.

Yep, things are coming together! It always does.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rescue Heroes

We were given a used dvd of a Fisher Price toy line turned cartoon called Rescue Heroes. The action figures are discontinued, and even the dvds are hard to find, but this gem has become a household name for our home. The premiss is simple - men and women representing the different branches of civil rescue services (policeman, fireman, mountain ranger, etc) combatting life-threatening natural disaster to save humankind. Everyone loves the episodes, Caleb most of all!

This morning we were watching while a sub-character helps the Rescue Heroes save a boy from drowning. The sub-character must perform CPR on the boy in order to resuscitate him. Once the boy is conscious the Rescue Heroes applaud the sub-character for, "saving a life." Caleb instantaneously turns to me and says, "I have saved a life."


Uh huh. Once there was a boy who was skateboarding on this board, and he was going like this, *stretches his arms out to mimic someone working to keep their balance* and I told him to keep his feet on the board, and not fall off.

And that saved his life?

Yep. 'Cause he listened to me, and kept his feet on the skateboard instead of falling off and dying.

Caleb turned back to the episode, full of the grace that comes from humbly doing the duty of rescue work to a world in need of your help.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pet Peeve

I decided to roll the Tuesday Tip into a little lecture on one of my larger pet peeves. Aren't you blessed? I thought so.

Most stores provide a wonderful convenience for our use called a Shopping Cart. This ingenious invention allows us to place items into a secured basket that rolls right along with us as we browse aisles, corral children, and gab with friends. Stores have designed their layouts around these devices, including the provision of specified receptacles built specifically for their housing when they are not in use. These Shopping Cart Returns are placed liberally throughout the parking lots, and along the sidewalks immediately adjacent to the front doors of the store. We pay nothing for this service. We do not rent the carts, pay for their repair, sign them in or out. Nope, the stores generously provide all the administration for the management of their carts simply for our convenience. The one thing they ask is that we return carts to their homes when we are done using them. I don't think this is too much to ask. I find that I am often alone in my conviction, and think that perhaps there is a lack of knowledge regarding this request. Please indulge me while I share what appears to be a misunderstanding between logical economics, and sheer foolishness.

*Stores purchase and maintain carts through profits. When carts are lost, stolen, or damaged as a result of careless use (like when they are left rolling down the street by some miscreant) the cost for replacement or repair cuts into the store's bottom line. Therefore, in order to maintain their profitability stores raise their prices.
*Stores ask customers to help manage their carts so they do not need to hire additional laborers. It takes far fewer workers to collect carts from centrally located receptacles, rather than spending hours wandering around the parking lot picking up carts onsie-twosie every other parking space. This saves them money through a lower overhead of operational costs, which translates to lower prices for us.
*When carts are left outside of their intended return corrals they inevitably cause damage to vehicles in the parking lot. The cost of covering these damages comes out of our pockets.

Is anyone else seeing a theme? Taking care of the carts = savings. But the other point to my irritation is the intangible benefit - things like respect for fellow shoppers. How many times have you been unable to utilize a parking space because it is jammed with shopping carts (which, for reasons I am baffled by, were unable to be returned the 20 ft to the actual cart return). What about coming back to your vehicle only to realize that you can't access your side door because a cart, not present when you arrived, has been wedged between your space and the one next to you? Or, have you ever been detained by a line of shopping carts 50ft long standing motionless while the worker wanders around the parking lot collecting stray carts? These minor irritants wouldn't be so bad, if they were not completely unavoidable!!

So, my Tuesday Tip (on Wednesday) coupled with one of my largest pet peeves is: Return Your Shopping Carts. It saves you money, and it saves my nerves.