Sunday, August 29, 2010


We brought baby Skye home yesterday afternoon. Momma Brie and baby settled in fairly easily, and it was good to be home and sleep in my own bed last night. i must say, I slept really soundly!

Brie came home on blood pressure meds because she has developed pregnancy related hypertnsion. The med seems to be working for her and she seems better. She remains limited in her activities for the coming week or so and will be on the med til her six week checkup. We need to go back to the hospital tomorrow to get the baby's bilirubin rechecked, as well as to get the safety check done on the car seat. We also need to pick up Brie's laptop from best buy.

It was wonderful having Eric's parent here for the weekend. They headed home this morning. Eric's vacation came to an end as well and he went back to work today. He also has an overtime shift tomorrow. I personally am enjoying sitting outside on this lovely summer day. We have been very blessed this week and I have much to savor and be thankful for!
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skye Noel is here!

She was born at 3:41 a.m., weighing in at 6 lbs, 9 ozs, and 19.25 inches long. Brie and Skye are both doing well.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The wait is almost over!

We are gonna have a baby in the next 24 to 48 hours! Brie's b/p remains high so they have decided to keep her and start the induction process. She and I are in labor and delivery, getting situated, and we are already a little bored. It will probably be early tomorrow before much really starts happening, but we are in the final countdown now!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still status quo around here...

I am happy to report today was a fairly quiet day.  No changes in Brie's condition at all.  We head to the clinic for 10 a.m. tomorrow for her blood pressure recheck and they will assess again where she is at.  I did put the new app on my smart phone so I can now make blog entries from it (along with posting pics etc.) so we will see if that improves my posting numbers.  Until tomorrow, that's all that I know tonight.  Now I am headed to bed.   It's gonna be a busy next few days regardless!

This is a test of my phone blogger app...

I am making chicken enchiladas for dinner and trying out this new app on my phone. Thanks Liisa for the idea!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Just some random pictures...

Justin Anthony with his handsome haircut and his two loosed teeth...
Alexis Rose (and Auntie Liisa) with her new haircut too...
Anthony James in his class A's at the Memorial Day rememberance ceremony, where he was a part of the honor guard.
Most of the kids when we went peach picking when Liisa was down here (Reimond was out with his girlfriend).
Eric and I at Hidden Lakes Winery with Liisa.
Reimond's handsome haircut for school's start.

Okay, that should do it for random, recent pics from here.  I will post pics when the baby is here too!

Just another update on the baby front...

Brie had her appt. today and she is showing signs of readiness.  Her weight has stabilized (in fact she lost 2 lbs), the measurements are at 40 weeks now, and her blood pressure is high.  We were sent over to the hospital for a fetal non-stress test, to measure fetal well-being, as well as track her blood pressure for a few hours (we ended up being there almost 5 hours).  The baby is doing well, and Brie has been told her b/p is good so long as she is lying down, thus she has orders to be a couch princess until active labor commences.  She is dilated to a one, she is about 40-50% effaced, and she was contracting about every 20 mins, although we had to laugh--she really wasn't noticing them except when they got really strong--and she felt like she needed to pee...  They did find she has the start of a UTI, so she is now on pregnancy friendly antibiotics, and we got that filled tonight.  They toyed with inducing her but decided to let her come home and see what she does on her own.  We have to go back on Wed. to get her b/p rechecked, and then Thursday to start the inducing process (unless mother nature takes it's course prior to that).  We came home, and Eric ran to take his final (he is now on his way home, saying it was very easy).  We will have a baby sometime in the next few days!

On a totally separate subject, my good friend in Minneapolis left me a sad voicemail today.  Her beloved Aunt is not doing well.  She has been undergoing chemo and radiation therapy for lymphoma.  If you would, please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.  I wish I could be up there with her to help her through this, but I am needed here too and can only send my love and prayers right now.  I may need to plan a trip up there sooner than I anticipated though, just to be a support.  I don't know any real details at the moment because we are playing phone tag, but good wishes for J, D, and M would be appreciated.

Ok, now to finish catching up on my emails--there are 54 in my inbox at the moment cuz I have not been on my laptop since last night!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brief update

Nothing is really new on the birthing front.  Yesterday Eric, Brie, and Aurora were at the bowling alley for the bulk of the day (Aurora is trying out for travel league for the Scott bowling team), and Brie started having more "regular" contractions, which continued at intervals through the evening, but they seemed to abate and she has slept most of the night.  We have bags all packed and ready to go, as I suggested that they *may* send her over to the hospital after her non-stress test tomorrow, dependent on how that goes, and we need to be prepared, but thus far we are still doing the waiting game.

Had to laugh last night though: Reimond had a date at the movies, so I asked Eric if he wanted to go with me to be Mom's taxi, and he said sure.  We dropped the kids off at the theater, then decided to go grab a beer, just the two of us.  We have had NO us time for the past few weeks, what with everything going on, and we needed a chance to just sit and talk, uninterrupted.  Anyhow, we were gone an additional hour to what our ETA had been with the kids...  And we got a phone call from the girls: "Where are you?  Why aren't you home yet? What's going on?" Hmmmm....  Are we not old enough to come and go as WE please and not be accountable to our CHILDREN????  We were gone a bit over an hour and a half...  And they they take offense when we ask them the same questions after they have been gone all day/night....  Too funny! (The worst part was we got home, then had to turn around and go right back to pick the kids up! Who knew the movie was so short!)

Aurora has tryouts again today and Eric is taking his books with him to study there (he has finals all week long, including papers etc. to be written...) Not sure if Brie will go with them or not.  I am gonna work on a few chores here at home, and get a grocery list made up--trying to stay ahead of the curve because we just don't know for sure when we will be at the hospital and I would like to have things taken care of here at home too...  I am also not sure quite what the boys have planned.  Rei spent the night again at Ryan's, and Patrick didn't come home last night--not sure where he landed or if he has to work today.  We are in that wierd sort of limbo at the moment, of trying to plan ahead, and hurry up to wait....

Oh well.  That's my update for now!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Due Date!

Today is baby Skye's due-date.  We are now on the T-minus count down towards induction if she doesn't come on her own.  So far we have had little sign that birth is imminent.  Brie and I went to the pool yesterday afternoon for about an hour and a half, and she started having some stronger b-h contractions, but of course, they calmed once we were out of the water.  Brie and I are basically joined at the hip these days, because of all the unknowns, and how I remember those days well.  I hated that uncertainty then, and I hate it now!  That's what made Rei's delivery the best of all of them--I knew when he would be here, and he was!  Not that I wish a c-section on anyone, but after being through all the works/steps with the first two and ending up with c's, it was just common sense to drop all the in-between steps for Rei.

Today is also the funeral service for my dear friend's mother.  My heart, thoughts, and prayers have been floating over Rhode Island for much of the morning.  I hope that when my turn comes to experience what she is dealing with  I handle it with the same courage, love, grace, and dignity she has.  Fortunately for me, my relationship with my siblings and their families is totally different from hers, which may make things a little less stressful, however, she showed me the way with her dad before my dad died, and now she has lost her mom.  It makes one think about how permanent some changes can be.

Change is another thing that has been on my mind.  How much life is going to change around here with the birth of the baby, even if it is a grandbaby vs. a baby...  My leaving my job has been a positive change so far for all of us, but as I look toward other changes, I see looming in front of me various possible outcomes.  Liisa and I were talking about her broken hopes, plans, and dreams related to her planned wedding date (of this past Wednesday), and how as much as she knows this is was the best decision for herself, there is still pain, loss, and grieving related to it.  Life is like that with choices: sometimes opening one door requires the closing of another, and it hurts.  Brie is seeing that too.  She loves and wants to keep Skye, but it means giving up her dream of active duty in the army (until marriage at the earliest, or giving up custody of her baby).  She understands the ramifications of these choices to some degree, but the loss of hopes and dreams does hurt.  In the next few days our life will be altered unconditionally with the addition of a new person to the family, and it will be joyful, wonderful, and scary too.  The loss of freedom, of some independence, and sleep, however, will balance it out...

I have been looking at, and thinking a lot about growth and independence as I look at the kids all getting older as well.  Patrick and Rei are spreading their wings and want to try new things. They want to be free to come and go as they please, they want to have their needs met without always contributing back, and they struggle for autonomy in the midst of family obligations.  Aurora is too, but in a more subtle manner.  Homework is already kicking her butt as she begins her senior year, and she is stressing out about it, making her short-tempered and irritable with the family.  I AM pleased to report that so far (one week in) Rei has an A average (he showed me his grades online last night).  Lets pray the momentum continues!

I've also been thinking a lot about where I want to be, what I want to do, and where my gifts can best be used with regard to an internship site, and a career.  I still feel I would like best to work with families, and I love the middleschool age group, but I also have an affinity for the eldery, and there is a part of me that would like to work with caregivers (providing support, encouragement, etc).  I don't know that I have the emotional strength personally to do hospice care full time, although that is an area that I have found to be compelling, and yet I miss working with the geriatric population (from both my time in hospital/nursing home settings and my taking care of my great aunt and other private patients).  I don't necessarily want to be in a case management situation--the paperwork, the distance from clients--is not where I see my strengths as being; and I also don't want to do primarily crisis intervention anymore.  I miss the adrenaline rush that comes from it, but I would also like to see long term growth and success.  Living in a military community I see the need for supportive services for both the service men and women and their families, and feel I could benefit them, but I also feel at a loss because I am so unfamiliar with what resources are available down here (it was so different in MN because I had volunteered with the united way's "first call for help" and was really educated about what was there!).  I also see a huge need for services for kids down here (the local hospital has NO mental health services in their ED for kids in crisis) and I don't have a clue how to go about improving that situation...  I would be really open to hearing what people think I should look towards for internship suggestions.  I am going to begin focusing intently on this process once we get the baby here (so early September, after Labor day). 

Anyhow, these are my thoughts for today.  Will keep all posted on the baby news as it comes!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An update on August...

It's finally a quiet morning that I have totally to myself.  It's sad in many regards, but it's also much needed.  Liisa came down for a visit, arriving last Wednesday night around 11 p.m., and she headed home today, on what was planned to be her wedding day.  I am sad she is driving home, alone except for Rosalee (her puppy) in the truck with her, but perhaps she needs this alone time too, to process, and remember, and give thanks for what was, and to pray.  The only real disappointment of this week is that little miss Skye is being uncooperative, and didn't decide to make an appearance while Auntie Liisa was here to hold and love her.  She did come with us to the Doctor's appt. on Monday though, and she heard the heartbeat strong and loud.  That was really neat to share with her.

It's also sad, because a very dear friend of mine lost her Mother early this morning, after a long and challenging decline.  My heart just hurts for her, because I know the love and devoted care she gave to her mom these many years, and I share in her heartache over some of the family issues that have surrounded this event.  I am thankful her mom is now at peace, whole, and no longer suffering, but I know this is a loss for the family that will take a long time to recover from.  I am sending lots of love, hugs, and heart-felt prayers to the family.

On the baby front, the OB said Skye is ready to launch, and so we now just wait...  We have done all the recommended things to encourage labor: long walks, squatting and standing, eating spicy food, bumpy rides over country roads, eating pineapple...  So far nothing is strengthening or regulating the Braxton-Hicks...  We have the crib all set up, we have all the clothes washed and ready, and Brie is gonna get her bag packed today (if I have to do it for her myself! /heeheehee).  I even have a bag organized for me to take to the hospital, with mindless crocheting, my nook and charger, my phone, my cameras, and my zune player...  The plan as it stands right now, because the "due date" is Friday (8/20), is to take things by ear through the weekend.  Monday, if there is no baby yet, we will go in for a non-stress test to check on fetal well-being.  If all is well, but no labor, then we will go in Wednesday night/Thursday morning for the start of inducement (using a cervical ripening agent), all leading towards delivery by Friday 8/27 at the latest.  Eric is on vacation all next week, starting Friday (8/20) thru Saturday 8/28, so that is all good, and his parents are actually coming down to stay with us over that weekend (for his Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary party).  It is something else to look forward to!  We are as ready as can be to have the baby, and she will be welcomed with open arms!

Aurora and Reimond are in school now, and despite the heat, are managing well.  They are even doing homework already!  No rest for the studious...  Patrick still has not picked up his diploma from the high school, but we are thinking of doing a graduation party for him over Labor Day Weekend.  We are trying to direct him towards a productive use of his days off/non-work time, so far without a lot of success...  I, however, can honestly say I have NOT missed going to work as yet (although I have dreamed about being there a few times and found it exhausting), and I have also dreamt about working in my chosen field with some excitement.  Right now though, my focus has been strictly on family, and to that end I feel like I have been fairly successful.  The house is looking good, the yard is looking good, and I am feeling empowered to keep moving forward.

I have posted a ton of pics now over on Facebook, but really haven't added any to my blog--which I really need to do.  Maybe tomorrow!  Today it's just me, Brie, and Patrick home, and I have housework calling my name, beds to strip and remake up, and laundry and bathrooms to take care of.  I will keep you updated though as time permits!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I have been neglecting my blog...

not necessarily by choice, but by time and other activities.  The kids and Eric's schedules have kept me hopping! 

Brie had her appointment today (next one is next Monday), and baby Skye is head down and ready to go at will.  Her heartbeat is strong and steady, and we again got to see her precious face on the surprise ultrasound they did.  Aurora was at the appointment with us, and it was so nice she could share in the fun with us.  Brie's doing fine with her progress--weight, bloodpressure etc. are all good, and the swelling she has in her feet and hands is normal (which I knew, but was reassuring to hear), as are the pre-labor contractions and other aches and pains that go with end-stage pregnancy.  We had the shower for her on Saturday and there was a very small turnout, but she got some nice, practical things, and we can now get the crib set up and an outfit ready to put on Skye to come home from the hospital in.  We have a couple of things to pick up for Brie today for her "suitcase", and I am gonna have her get things readied in the next few days so that she has a backpack set to go with her supplies, comfort measure items, and clothes.  We have the last "regular" birthing class tomorrow night, (the last one is on infant care and car seats--we may or may not be there, lol, as that is the week she is due).  Overall, I am satisfied with where things are at, and how Brie is handling everything.  She is doing well.

Patrick turned 19 yesterday.  I talked to the school earlier in the week, and he can go pick up his diploma any time from the office.  He is an official high school graduate.  He is working longer hours here and there at McDonalds, and unfortunately (despite his protests to the contrary), IS using home as a bed and breakfast rather than being part of the family.  I get the feeling he is just feeling his oats right now, but his bids for independence border on disrespect of the house rules at times, and things will come to a head once school starts and the baby is here...So far, conversations about simple courtesies are going no where fast, so we will have to come up with a plan B or even C...

Aurora is excited to start her senior year.  She has dropped both cross country and track from her itinerary for the school year, and wants to focus solely on bowling (along with band, and model UN stuff too--the academics).  She did well at the bowling camp she was at, and heard very favorable comments from the coach from Purdue.  Rei isn't as excited about school starting, but I think he is looking forward to seeing friends.

Liisa is coming down for a few days the end of this week/early next week.  She is in need of some TLC.  Part of me wonders how much her broken engagement and planned wedding date's arrival is weighing on her.  Regardless, she needs her mom, and I am happy to love her up for a few days.  So glad the major stuff is done (as we got ready for both the shower and the baby's imminent arrival), so I can focus on getting some sewing done, and enjoying these days with the kids.

Not sure where Tony is at with his training stuff.  Last I heard he hadn't gotten his formal orders for training in CA, but then he also had a bout of what they think was viral meningitis (ten days of fevers, back and head aches, and feeling really miserable); at least that is what the doctor thinks was going on.  He is getting better though and is working hard at his welding job.  The little kids are "very busy" and Andrea is in the process of deciding whether or not they will enroll Justin in Kindergarten this year, or wait til next year.  I am hoping he goes this year, but will support whatever they decide for him.  HE really wants to go to school.

Eric has a couple more weeks of school left, then his term is done.  It has taken a toll on him to be in classes three nights a week on top of his working days.  And the two weeks of midshifts really threw a monkey wrench into the routines around here!  He's managing though, and I hope he'll do well.

I haven't really missed working.  I have been so busy though, there really hasn't been much time to miss anything!  The kids starting school on Thursday will allow us to get into some sort of a routine, but until then, I am flying by the seat of my pants, from one thing to the next.  This is Eric's long week (works 5 out of 7 days, plus school) and I am on deck with the kids...  Life sure is never dull.

I continue to keep a number of people in my daily prayers.  These include prayers for strength, comfort, financial stability, good health, and patience.  I feel so blessed that my trials and struggles are so simple in the face of what some of those I love are facing right now, and I know God has a plan and a reason for everything...  I pray that they find answers, and relief or support as the days pass.

Anyhow, that is where we are at.  I have pictures to post still on cameras, so it'll be a bit to get everything uploaded from the parade, Mascoutah's homecoming celebration, and the baby shower.  I will keep people posted on Skye's pending arrival, and will add pics of that too as I have them!  I will try to be better at getting things updated the rest of the month as things settle down!