Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And the Randomness Abounds Pre-2009

Can y'all believe 2008 is coming to a close?!?! Wow.

So much has happened this year that I can hardly process it all. WHAT A YEAR!

The year started off relatively normal, but progressively got more difficult, exciting, emotional, etc...

me with Hope in January

Monk and I went on a little mini vacation to Tennessee and Virginia at the end of March and had an OH SO WONDERFUL time together (we had the Hopester with us too). That is when pregnancy suspicions began to arise. Tests kept showing up negative, but Monk kept saying that my emotional state was showing up positive! Oh, he is a sensitive one, isn't he?

Then, on April 1st I got the big ++ sign!! How appropriate. April Fool's is the day a couple of old fools find out their expecting again. Hope was 8 months old. I was only a smidgen freaked out. Really. Just a smidgen.

Then in May we bought Phil the Suburban. We have loved and adored him ever since. I used to scoff at built in DVD players in vehicles until I took a vacation with one. My deep and abiding love for Phil grew even more after that trip. And I am no longer a naysayer of technologically advanced gadgets that mesmerize children into obedience on long road trips.

Phil. The Legend.

June, July and August proved to be some of the most difficult months I have EVER endured in my entire life. We left our church that we had attended for MANY years (Monk over 40 years and myself 12 years). We loved our church and our friends there and it was the single most difficult decision of our married life. I cried for 3 solid months. The pain still resonates strong as ever on occasion, but God has been gracious in the healing process. I've missed my friends the most and frankly, have lost most of them because of it, but I have come to accept that God's ways are not, nor ever will be, my ways. All was not lost though, and through that difficult situation I have learned so much more of God's grace and His plan for our lives. And in the midst of that terrible time God brought new friends into my life that have loved me and blessed me in ways I could have never imagined. God is good ALL the time! Now if I could just remember that in the midst of the storms!

June was also the month that Monk and I celebrated 10 wonderful years of marriage!! I LOVE THAT MAN!! We celebrated by loading of the 3 smallest kiddos of the bunch and headed to Galveston Island for some much needed R & R. It was a GREAT trip!

Four people I love and adore

July was the month I celebrated my 39th birthday. We don't really need to discuss that number anymore although I have come to accept it as some sort of martyred badge of honor. Whatever. But Monk did buy me all the seasons of Reba on DVD and that soothed my bruised, wrinkled ego just a tad. That Barbara Jean is such a stitch!

Oh yessss! Reba goodness!

In July I also made the annual pilgrimage to my mom's in Tennessee. I have a deep love for the hills of Tennessee and it speaks to my soul every time I'm there. Monk and I have discussed moving there on several occasions, but God seems to be keeping us here in the heart of Texas. For now I'll put the beautiful broken down barns and rolling green hills behind me and keep loving and enjoying my life here in suburbia. But I will never love this heat. Never. Or the Cowboys for that matter. But that's fightin' words with the In-laws so I better not go there on such a public forum. Ahem.

July was also the month of my sweet baby Hope's 1st birthday!! Time flies WAY too fast that first year. She was rather antisocial that 1st year of her life, but after she turned 1 something changed. She has progressively become a loud, attention-seeking Monk like the rest of us. Except she's a lot cuter at it than say....Monk.

Too cute! And the little one ain't so bad either!

August would be the month that we acquired The Beast. Harley arrived at our house on August 13th and our lives have never been the same. Nor have my blinds. This 100 lb. lug has made me crack up by swimming in our pool with the girls and has made me nearly cuss by jumping in my blinds. His big, floppy jowls make ya wanna say, "awwww", but his menacing ability to chew anything and everything in a 100 foot radius is quite annoying. Harley graduated at the top of his obedience class, but he's still on probation in my book!

August was also the month that we started attending the church that we would eventually join. We were blessed to find a community of believers that had much to teach us. Our first Sunday there I counted 14 pregnant women not including myself! Finding a church that embraced children as part of the service was important to us and it thrilled us to no end when we walked in the doors to see families worshipping together!

September was relatively calm (that's not sayin' much around here). Me, Monk and Hope took a little jaunt down to Austin (Hook'em Horns!) where we were privileged to attend one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies ever! It was a much needed respite for me with all the emotional turmoil I had been through in the previous months and it was actually a turning point for me in a lot of ways. The cloud of depression that had hung over me for so many months began to dissipate and I began to see God's hand in the midst of our lives.

October was chocked full of excitement. We had a grand time and consumed a grand amount of calories at the State Fair. The Great Barbie Massacre of '08 occurred and Monk and I attended the wedding reception of my wonderful friend Keri (who was also the Austin wedding). It was a themed reception and folks dressed in their favorite era. Monk and I dressed in togas. Not because it was necessarily our favorite era, but because it was the only thing that could accommodate my growing girth! It was, however, a grand time! And Monk can SO pull off the whole Caesar thing! Except I doubt Caesar had bifocals in his glasses.

It would also be the month that My Boy moved from my house to live with his dad. That was, and still is, very hard. I miss him terribly and he's only 5 minutes from me. He's such a momma's boy and I am most definitely an Enabler in that role! But as my only male child....I always enjoy the break from all of the estrogen.

November was a month of preparations for our new arrival. We kept the month low key on purpose. We joined our new church and began making new friends which was a wonderful blessing. This was also the month where an awesome peace came over me concerning my labor and birth. During the month of November I just enjoyed being pregnant and simply put...didn't worry. Little did I know when I took this picture that there would be another little red head to add to the end!!

And December 3rd fulfilled all of our anticipation with the birth of our sweet Charlotte. Her beautiful (and humorous) arrival was the joyous ending to a seemingly neverending year. All of the difficulties melted away at her birth. The year was a long, difficult trial, but I felt SO blessed by God by this time. I couldn't see Him at work while I was in the valley, but now I certainly saw His hand working in every aspect of our life. Charlotte will always be a reminder to me of the refining that God did in my life during the year 2008.

2008 will always be a painful year to remember, but it will also be a year that we were blessed beyond measure. Blessed by a good and gracious God who is full of mercy and grace in our darkest times.

I pray you all take the time to reflect on this past year and thank God not only for all your blessings, but for your trials as well. These are the things that shape and refine us and ultimately make us to be more like Him.

I hope y'all have a safe and Happy New Year!! See ya next year!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sleep Deprivation. Alternately Titled: I'M LOSING MY MIND!

So I was going to post some wonderful Christmas-y pictures on here, but....I've been too exhausted to mess with actually downloading and editing anything these last few days.


Well, it's this little thing that I have called....a baby.

Oh yes, our little Charlie is quite the night owl, she is. Most of the time our wee party baby enjoys screaming from around 11 pm until 1 or 2 am. Saturday night I had the distinct privilege of being kept awake until 3 am! With the added bonus of Grace waking us up at 3:37 am (I know this cuz I looked at the clock!) with great RETCHING noises! That and she was screaming, "I'M THROWING UP!!" from the hall bathroom.

I had approximately 37 minutes of sleep before this occurred. Oh the joy. Monk, who is in his own sleep deprived haze, was kind enough to get up and let me just lay in the bed in a semi comatose state. This is the man who used to dry heave upon changing a poopy diaper and now he cleans up vomit. I love him so.

I have always been somewhat of a night owl. In college I was the party room (well as much as one could party at a Baptist college. But fun times, right Jill?). When I had a few less children it was nothing for me to stay up until 2 am cleaning the whole house. I usually get a second wind around 11 pm and am good for a few more hours.

But this baby thing? It's kickin' my booty.

I've mentioned before that whoever said the older you get the less sleep you need ~ lied. It is a fallacy from the pits of hell itself. I am an "older" mother and I'm getting a lot less sleep. It has not been kind to me, my friends.

It affects me physically in many, many ways. Last night was the worst yet. I was physically ill, telling Monk that I thought I was going to vomit from being so tired. My stomach was not only upset, but cramping with diarrhea pains as well. I was weepy and felt as if I could quite literally pass out. These are the joys of sleep deprivation.

The other morning afternoon after I showered I was using my eye makeup remover and I just could not get all the mascara from beneath my eyes. After a few minutes I realized that it was not in fact mascara under my eyes. No, I discovered that the deep dark discoloration was a permanent fixture. "New baby" circles. Dark circles. The kind that don't go away unless one gets sleep. I am, in fact, a raccoon. No amount of concealer can completely cover these bad boys. I know. I've tried.

Also, the other night while trying to nurse, I couldn't get my sweet girl to latch on. I, as well as she, was getting more and more frustrated by the minute. It was then that I realized that it would help if I actually put my nipple in her mouth and quit trying to shove it up her nose. This makes breastfeeding a whole lot more productive. I'm just sayin'.

I've also learned that late night screaming babies improve one's prayer life quite a bit. The line, "please Jesus, let her go to sleep" has crossed my lips more than I can even count. It has made me sorely aware of my own inadequacy and just how much I need God in all aspects of my life. Children do that to you, ya know? Self examination becomes mandatory when one becomes a parent.

Am I whining? Nope. Just keeping it real.

So, despite my lack of sleep and feeling like I'm going to lose my mind on occasion, I just want you all to know... is good. Tired. But good.

(p.s. The desktop piece of junk computer did something weird with my pics, that's why there haven't been any. Monk will come to my rescue later)

(p.p.s. We looked at laptops this weekend too!! Wait for it....wait for it....)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hey, Guess What?!?!

Guess what I'm typing on???

A brand spanking new Flamingo Pink Dell Studio Laptop with all the bells and whistles!!!

Guess what else???

It's not mine.

Imagine my disappointment. The Madgirl's dad bought it for her for Christmas and she has given me "privileges".

Ain't I special now.

But I'm not complainin'. It's a laptop that I can use occasionally until I get my new one NEXT MONTH!!

Hope y'all had a fabulous Christmas, I know I did. More to come on that later.

Cause for now....

There's shopping to be done at Target!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The End of the Birth Storee....For Real This Time.

Before we begin let me just say...

I hereby, solemnly swear to end this birth stor-ee TODAY. I will not mess with people's heads anymore lest I be permanently banished from blogdom.

There. Happy now? Today is the rest of the stor-ee. The exciting conclusion to a spectacular birth!

So what are we waiting for? Let's get on with it!

I ended the last installment of this 3 Part Mini-Series with me:

1. getting on the laptop while attempting to rest in bed.

2. giving you a brief history of my fear and how God had given me peace for this birth.

3. sharing one hilarious text message.

4. informing you that the whole evening was becoming rather humorous.

And so. After I laughed until I dilated over Cindy's text message I did what every laboring woman should do when needing a distraction. I got on Facebook. Why yes, yes I did. Nothing like nosing around in other peoples lives to make one forget that their uterus is trying to bring forth life.

It was after 7 pm by now and I was really having to breath through the contractions. Funny enough though, I wasn't really paying attention to the fact that I had started HAVING to breath through the contractions because I was so focused on what I was doing on the laptop. I had jumped on and off of facebook, read a few blogs, and perused the Target website for cute baby clothes. And maybe some shoes. For me.

I actually posted on my blog at 8:11 pm, informing y'all that "I was pretty sure I was in labor". Hello? Pretty sure? I don't know what I was thinking. I blame it on my uterus though. Anyway, after I posted on Ye Olde Blog I finally landed on Facebook again. And that was where I would remain for about 45 minutes.

I had a humorous conversation on Keri's Facebook Wall concerning wine and Ding Dongs. This conversation also included Ann's midwife assistant, Abby. Why wine and Ding Dongs? Beats me, I was in labor.

I realized that my birth photographer was on Facebook as well and I decided to send her an IM (that's fanc-ee lingo for Instant Message) letting her know what was going on. She is actually a photography student and she was having to study for her finals that night. She was SWAMPED with Biology homework when I IM'ed her that I was in labor. She asked me how close I was and after I told her she then typed an exclamatory profanity (of which I shall not repeat) when I told her. She then insisted that I go to the birth center. I told her everything was under control and I would contact her when I needed her. Little did I know just how soon that would be.

(Ooooooo, there's that foreshadowing again.)

And to top off the Facebook evening, I was also IMing my midwife, Ann. I found out that there was only ONE momma at the birth center at the moment and the other laboring momma was still at home. Whew! I just needed that second sign so I could get to the birth center and claim my spot!

(Small detour here....I kept talking about needing that second sign so much that finally Monk says to me, "you know, the Greeks sought for knowledge, the Jews looked for a sign, but WE walk by faith". The man is lucky he still has his lips. This was not the wisest thing to say to a laboring woman needing a second sign. His timing was impeccable.)

While on Facebook, Ann was having to bow in and out of the IM conversation and at one point I was becoming discouraged and expressed my frustration over not having any other signs of labor. She encouraged me to not become discouraged, that it would all happen in God's timing. And while I can't remember exactly what she said, she talked about a verse in the Bible where God purposefully did some things little by little as to not overwhelm the people. What a comfort that was for me! A gentle reminder that God was in control.

During all of these conversations I hadn't realized that my contractions had started coming closer together. They were now 2-3 minutes apart and I needed people to be quiet while I was having one. This whole "quiet" concept was apparently something completely foreign to the Madgirl. She was obviously giddy with excitement that I was in labor, but the fact that she could not SHUT UP while I was having a contraction was becoming quite annoying. I gave her a calm, logical explanation as to why I needed her to be quiet. I told her how I just needed to breathe and concentrate and it was very hard to do so when someone was talking. I might as well have been speaking Polish, for as soon as another contraction started so did her mouth.

"Yip, yip, yip, yip" was all I heard and it was driving me up an ever-lovin' tree! Her gift for gab came directly from her maternal side, but if she didn't be quiet I was going to have smack it directly out of her!

It became too painful to sit in the bed during the contractions and I decided I needed another distraction. So I did what any other sane, laboring woman would do.

I got up to make some Rice Krispie treats. Oh yes, my friends, I did.

I got the pot out, melted the butter - contraction! I leaned over the counter, breathing and concentrating, while Maddie's mouth yammered on in the background. I measured the cereal, counted out the marshmallows and added them to the pot - contraction! I couldn't stir for having to concentrate. I dropped the spatula in the pot and said to Maddie,

"Here, do this."

Then she says to me,

"What do I do?"

It was at this point that I realized I had totally and completely failed as a mother with this child and I said the only thing that came to my mind.

"Just stir the STUPID marshmallows!!!"

She laughed and chattered while I gripped the counter, breathing harder than I had all evening. We poured the cereal in the pot, mixing it and I buttered my hands so I could press the mixture into the pan. A contraction hit right as I started to pour the krispies into the pan and I hollered beckoned to Maddie to do it.

And again, the child reinforced the fact that I have taught her absolutely NOTHING domestic by saying,

"I don't know how!"

Ay, yi, yi. I'm holding myself up over the counter by my elbows, my buttered hands suspended over my head when I manage to sputter,

"Muu-uuunk, (breath, breath) would you please pour these in the pan (breath breath)?"

He comes over and takes the pan from my domestically challenged child and proceeds to empty it in other pan. I get everything pressed down and get my hands washed when I decided that I had had enough of being up and around and was going to go and lie down!

On my way to the bedroom I finally got that second sign I had been waiting for!! Woo-hoo! And no, it wasn't water breakage(Thank goodness, I was like Niagara Falls the last time!). I actually had some bloody show and I knew that I was SO done laboring at home and was now going to go to the birth center.

My spot was sealed!

I called Monk into the bedroom and told him about my "findings" and that I was going to call Ann so we could head to the birth center. He says, "ok, you sure?". Again with the doubt. Had this man not seen me bracing the counter tops, huffing and puffing? I assured him I was sure and then called Ann and promptly had a contraction as soon as she answered. I let her know we were fixin' to head out the door and she told me she would be waiting.

I quickly texted Keri, who is completely and totally stunned at the expeditious progress of this labor, and tell her she might need to get to the birth center. I also ask if she will call Ioana, my birth photographer, and make her aware of the situation. If she hadn't done this we would not have had TIME for a birth photographer!

We gathered our things together, grabbed a beach towel just in case the whole water breakage thing happened en route, and started to head out the door. I had a huge contraction before leaving and had to lean over the arm of the couch and REALLY breath through this one. Things were changing and they were changing fast and I knew that we needed to get to the birth center PRONTO!

(Now see, I could end the story right here with another cliff hanger. I really could because once again it's 1 am as I type this and I am pooped! But no, I won't. I promised and I'm just gonna get one with it. Consider it my Christmas gift to y'all.)

We loaded up in Phil the Suburban and started to the birth center. It was just after 10 pm, ironically the same time we headed to the birth center when I was in labor with Hope. During the trip there, things definitely picked up. I couldn't just breathe through the contractions anymore, I was now having to vocalize in low moans through them. I wasn't timing them, but I knew that my contractions were about 2 minutes apart now. I think Monk may have started to believe me at this point.

We pulled into the birth center where Ann came out and met us. Since Momma #1 was laboring at the front, Ann walked me around the other side to the back. I had to have a contraction at the desk. We walked a few more steps when I needed to use the bathroom. I go to the bathroom and lose my mucous plug. I have another contraction. She walks me around to the birth room where I start to undress and I have another contraction.

These bad boys were really starting to hurt now.

I asked her to check me because I just needed to know where I was in the process. I tried to lay down, but again, another contraction. When she checks me, I am a solid 5 centimeters dilated. Woohoo! I wanted to look at Monk and say, "told ya so!". This is around 10:40 pm. She also gets out the doppler to check the baby's heart rate. We have some difficulty finding it and when she does it around 100 bpm. She thinks baby's head may be pressing against the cord and asks me if I would have a few contractions on the toilet and push just a little to see if we can straighten out the head issue. Even though I have NEVER wanted to labor on the toilet, I agree. I also knew that it was great for dilation and I figured hey, why not.

Even though the contractions were very close and very strong, I was still calm and maintaining a decent sense of humor. Even IF I was laboring on a toilet! After having 4 or 5 contractions in the LOO, Ann tells me to head back to the birth room so she can check the baby's heart rate again.

The contractions seem to be gaining in intensity and are now about 1 minute apart. She checks the heart rate and we are back up to 139 bpm, so the toilet trickery worked. I was relieved for that, but really starting to hurt with the contractions. My chiropractor, Cindy (and the mother of the Christmas pageant's baby jesus, in case you've forgotten!), also came into the room to say hi during this time. She was leaving to go check on the other mama laboring at home, but told me she would be back for the birth. Ha! She did, however, get me through another killer contraction.

Ann was going to check me again at this point, but decides to just get me into the tub for some relief. I get up off of the bed and have another intense contraction. I walk out of the birth room through the kitchen area into the bathroom, where the tub is waiting. It wasn't more than 15 steps and BOOM! another contraction.

I get into the tub, which is sort of a triangular shape with rounded corners, and get on my knees with my arms on the side. BOOM! Another contraction! These contractions were really intense by now and they were seemingly on top of each other. I looked at Ann and said, "you need to talk to me because I'm fixin' to lose it". She said, "no your not, your fixin' to have this baby'.

It was about time somebody believed me! HA!

I'm not sure if I believed her, but it didn't matter because she began to pray for me right then and there. That is always such a balm for me. The prayers flowed with Hope's birth because it was so long and emotional, but this time there hadn't been much time for praying and I needed this. It was also extra special for me because this time Ann was not only my midwife, but was my good friend as well. I can't begin to describe how awesome that was for me. And during her prayer I seemed to get a respite from the never ending contractions which I believe was truly a gift from God.

And a breather for what was to come.

(See, once again a great spot for a cliff hanger!!! )

As soon as she was done praying, another hard contraction hit. During this contraction I started to make a small pushing noise. As soon as it was over, Ann directed me to the other corner of the the tub - just so she could "see" what was going on in the Nether Regions. Ioana, my birth photographer had just arrived and walked into the room with that previous contraction and I was vaguely aware of her presence. I am on my knees with my arms over the tub - so I can't SEE anything! Just then I had another HUGE contraction and felt my body go into pushing mode. For me, I have no control over pushing mode because apparently my uterus wants all the glory and won't let me in on the whole process!

So. My body begins to push and I begin to make a LOUD pushing noise. (This is not a scream, there IS a difference). My water breaks, it is stained with meconium and the water in the tub goes dark. Another contraction hits right on top of the last and again, LOUD pushing noise and my body begins to push. I can feel the baby coming out, but can't say anything because my uterus is now in control and has apparently gagged me. I feel the head come out and then the baby's body in one fell swoop!!!! I know the baby has come out, but NO ONE ELSE DOES!! (Because the water is dark from the meconium stained fluid!)

I reach my right arm down between my legs to try and grab my little one, but my hand can just barely grasp the head (FYI - it does NOT hurt the baby to be under the water for this brief time) because it keeps slipping. It is then that I say the words that will go down in infamy...

"Where's my baby? Where's my baby?"

See, even though it had been literally 3 or 4 seconds, NO ONE had realized that I had, you know, actually GIVEN BIRTH TO A BABY! When they heard me saying, "where's my baby" that was when the excitement began!

Now mind you, I didn't actually see this part because I was turned the other way, but Monk tells me it was highly comical. Since no one saw the actual birth, my "where's my baby" line was the cue that something had, in fact, happened. Monk says that Ann and Abby looked at each other, their eyes got big as saucers and then they both dove their arms into the water fishing for the baby!!!! And sure enough, they pulled out a baby!

The room erupted in laughter! I then ask over my shoulder, "Well, is it a boy or a girl???". Ann says, "It's a girl!!" and the room erupts into laughter once again! My dear, sweet husband then begins to weep at the sight of his brand new baby girl and reaffirms in my heart just why I love him so much! He is SUCH a girl daddy! And such a LOVING daddy! I can't tell you what an awesome experience it was! I also loved the fact that laughter was the first thing my baby girl heard upon arriving in this world! Well, besides the great swooshing sound she heard as she came out the Slip 'n Slide I like to call my birth canal. Good job, uterus!

Charlotte Anne was born at 11:25 pm. Barely an hour after I arrived at the birth center. Talk about cutting it a little close! And I'm not even sure if Ioana got any "before" birth pictures! She barely made it in time. And poor Cindy (my chiro). She missed the whole spectacular event!

After Charlie was "fished" out, I was able to turn around and immediately hold her close to me and talk to her. That is the part I love the most - immediately holding my baby girl, no one whisking her from me. She stayed with me, looking at the crazy lady who shot her out like a cannon, in the tub for about 20 minutes and then she went into Daddy's arms while I was cleaned up and dried off.

Pictures by Ioana Puscas

We nursed and snuggled in the bed until our herbal bath was drawn and then we got back into the water to do some more bonding. Then we watched as she was weighed and measured - never once being taken from our sight. AH! You just gotta love birth this way! It just never ceases to amaze me what a wonderful, wonderful experience it is! Charlie's birth was such a happy birth, filled with laughter and smiles and I can't thank God enough for blessing us that way. He alone receives the glory for such a wonderful, miraculous birth!

After being treated to a meal of IHOP (hey, there's not much else open at 3 am!) in bed, we headed home at about 4:30 am. Just me, Monk and our new little fish of a girl. (Should we have named her Ariel?? Um, no.)

And there you have it, the whole birth STOR-EE! See, I told y'all it was a spectacular birth. Now aren't you just warm and tingly all over?

The End.


Monday, December 22, 2008

The Birth Stor-EE...I Promised

First of all, y'alls comment in the the first Birth STOR-EE post absolutely CRACKED ME UP!! You are nothing if not passionate birth story people! And a little angry too!

So. Where were we? Ah, yes...

In an exhilarating end to the first installment, we found me sitting in the pediatric dentist's office with contractions 3-4 minutes apart with possibly NO ROOM AT THE ...Birth Center!

In all honestly I realize I would not have had to give birth in like, you know, a stable, BUT....the thought did cross my mind that I might have to have an impromptu home birth. This thought did NOT make me happy. Not because I dislike home births or anything, but I hadn't cleaned my bathroom and we all know that I could not deliver this child while thinking about my DIRTY TOILET IN THE OTHER ROOM!

I would have also been apologizing in between contractions for my dusty ceiling fan and the leftover clutter in the corner. That's just how I am. Being a little neater would make my life so much easier.

That and I don't own any plastic sheets.

As Liv's appointment ended I could not have been happier. Not just because there wasn't any worthwhile reading material to consume, but because I really didn't want to give birth in a dental chair. Do you all realize just how hard it is to have a legitimate conversation with the dentist while resisting the urge to yell, "I'm having a contraction and could be in labor, can we PUH-LEEZ just get on with it!"? It is not pleasant I assure you. Anyway, we left the dentist's office with my waters intact and I was extremely relieved to be heading home.

It was now close to 5:00pm and I really needed to know if I was in labor or not. I had not contacted Ann as of yet because frankly I didn't want want to alarm her unless I was FOR SURE that I was in labor. I needed a sign other than regular contractions that were becoming stronger, longer and closer together. That apparently was not enough for me. Monk, on the other hand, made me text her. Apparently he wanted her to have the heads up JUST. IN. CASE. He was not in the mood for any possible roadside births. I texted, telling her what was going on and letting her know that I was going to take a warm shower to try and stop things. She texted back: "Two other's laboring". Ah, such comfort.

I decided to take a warm shower. I couldn't be in labor while other mother's were laboring! I needed to turn this uterus OFF! If this were false labor then a warm shower would surely bring it to a halt. I stood in a hot shower for what seemed like and eternity - at least 15 minutes - and then got out. I realized after getting out that my contractions seemed a little stronger - it was now around 6pm. At this point I pretty much figured out that yes, this was in fact labor. I told Monk of my findings and he just nodded. I don't think the man believed I was in labor. It was some serious denial that would continue throughout the evening.

(Um, that would be foreshadowing in case you have forgotten your 10th grade English class)

The kids needed to eat so Monk ran and got us some dinner - Chick Fil-A- because obviously I was in no condition to cook. Upon his return I tried to eat. I knew that I needed to eat for energy, but honestly, I just couldn't do it. I ate a little chicken and a few fries when I started to feel nauseated and so I called it quits. I continued walking around the house trying to keep things moving (boy, did I!), but by 7 pm I just needed to rest.

This was the point in which the evening just became downright humorous.

I received a text message from Ann that read, "Your uterus peaceful?". I told her no, but that the contractions were stronger and I had been trying to walk to get that second sign of labor. She told me that was fine, but I needed to rest to save my energy. This was when I decided to get on the laptop to distract myself.

I then received another text message, but this time it was from my chiropractor, Cindy. She was invaluable to me in my pregnancy and labor with Hope and she was planning on being at this birth too. She had just had her first baby in October and I felt so blessed that she would still attempt to be at my birth. But this text message was Over! The! Top! This is what it said:

Just so u know how special u r & loved...If u call needing me I am gonna pull baby jesus off the pageant stage & come 2 ur rescue :) praying 4 u

When I read this I swear I laughed so hard I probably dilated 2 centimeters! Oh my word, the whole "pulling baby jesus off the pageant stage" just cracked me up! Come on now, y'all stop and just picture that in your head! That there is funny stuff!

Now before I go any further, I need to fill you in on some things. Some history if I may. Hope's birth was not an easy birth for me. It wasn't necessarily long, but it was painful. A pain, I might add, that I wasn't expecting. She was posterior. This made the last several hours of labor very difficult for me. It not only tried my endurance, but it tried my faith in many ways. I do believe some of the first words out of my mouth after she was born were, "I love you people, but I'm NEVER doing this again.". Famous last words.

The beginning of this pregnancy was somewhat fraught with fear. I had fears of another posterior birth, a long labor, Ann not being at my birth and funny enough, having to labor at the birth center with another laboring momma. I was just overcome with worry. Not only with birth related stuff, but with personal things that were going on in my life too. But God, who is ever faithful, took those fears from me. It was only about a month and a half before the birth that this amazing peace came over me. The peace that only God could give. I was just happy and content and seriously trusting God. No more worries. I had purposed that this birth would be different. I would do different things to aid in my labor and I would simply trust God for the rest.

That's what makes the rest of this birth story so amazing.....

(and yes, I'm doing it AGAIN! But this time it's because it's almost 1 am and I have a VERY angry baby screaming in my arms as I type. These babies - they are very needy little things, aren't they?)

(The rest of the story will be tomorrow.....I promise....cause there ain't much left! ha!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Interrupt This Program....

It was never my intention to leave y'all HANGING concerning the birth STOR-EE conclusion. Okay, so yes it was, but still. I didn't intend on NOT concluding the story today. Especially seeing that most of you feel the need to tar and feather me because of the abrupt halt in the story. If I were George Bush y'all woulda been hurling yer stillettos at me! Are internet threats legal? Just askin'.


Today I've had company (and I LOVE company), nursed the baby, closed on a home equity loan (woo-hoo, new floors!), nursed the baby, held a slightly feverish 17 month old (blasted incisors!), nursed the baby and am heading out the door to drop Liv at a friend's house (Thanks Lizard!) to spend the night. Oh, and I'm gonna nurse the baby, head to Central Market (Keri's mecca), nurse the baby, clean the house for Liv's birthday party tomorrow (Ack! She's 6!!), nurse the baby and collapse into bed only to be wakened a few times to nurse the baby.

Anyway, haven't had much of a chance for story tellin' today. I'm sad to say that you will have to wait until Monday for the conclusion. (No throwing shoes!)

Look at it this way though, you all have something to look forward to, right?

And I figure if I don't post then I will quite possibly have to go into the Internet Protection Program to protect me from disgruntled Mommy Bloggers.

There is one of those, right?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The STOR-EE You've All Been Waiting For....The Birth of Charlotte Anne

I mostly consider myself a mommy blogger. I write about mommy things, girly things and I say the word "breast" occasionally on this here blog. But because I respect the male readership of my blog, I would like to offer up something special concerning the birth story.

The male version. I am nothing if not accommodating. Here it goes, fellas. Enjoy.

I went to the birth center, yadda, yadda, yadda. I had a baby. Then we came home. The End.


And now for the female version. Grab a cuppa coffee or some chai tea and one, possibly two Ding Dongs (depending on how fast you read), sit back and enjoy.

I honestly didn't expect to have a baby on December 3rd. There was no secret intuition or Divine illumination occurring on my part. Heck, I was hardly having any Braxton-Hicks contractions, so why think birth was imminent. I was just a bubble waiting to pop.

Besides, my uterus and I were still not on speaking terms after our little skirmish the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I was not ready to let - it - go quite yet.

I had a midwife appointment that morning and went in with no great expectations (anyone having visions of Pip and Miss Havisham?) other than for someone to say, "See ya next week. Hey, wanna go to lunch?". So it came as somewhat of a shock to me for Ann to offer to check me. She's a very hands off midwife (which I love and appreciate), so either she was just plain 'ol curious or she was trying to settle the Uterine Conflict of '08 once and for all.

I declined at first, being the martyr that I am, but ended up conceding because frankly, I just wanted to know if my uterus was being a tease or if it was actually, you know, WORKING. Much to my amazement, I was delighted to learn that I was already dilated to a 2! I was 20% done with labor already and I hadn't even done any heavy breathing yet!

You'll be happy to know that my uterus and I reconciled on the spot.

I did end up going to lunch with my friend Keri and I did have a few contractions. They were nothing substantial so I paid no attention to them. While driving home from lunch (around 1:30 pm) I had a few more, but again nothing substantial, so I paid no attention whatsoever. Around 2:15 I realized there was somewhat of a pattern going on. The contractions were low and in the right place for real contractions, but they were not the least bit painful so my concern for them was minimal if that.

Olivia had a dentist appointment at 3:10 pm and I seriously debated as to whether I should go or stay home. Not because I was in pain, but because 1. I was tired of hearing, "When are you gonna have that baby?" and 2. if this was labor I was a little concerned that my water could possibly break. Amniotic fluid pooling at my feet while discussing 5 year old molars was not my idea of a good time, my friends. But since I truly didn't think I was in labor and in the interest of good oral hygiene....I went anyway.

While Liv was in the back being tortured cleaned and polished I had nothing to do but sit in the waiting room twiddling my thumbs. This would be because there were NO Martha Stewart Living magazines to read anymore since the dentist got the new and improved, fan-cee office. You would think if they could afford not one, not two, but THREE state of the art video game consoles that they could give the mother's, a.k.a. the Holder of the Checkbook, a little bit of Martha to read! Sheesh people, throw the dog a bone!


While I was thumb twiddling I decided to get out my cell phone and time my contractions. I was more than a little disturbed to realize that my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and about 30-45 seconds long....CONSISTENTLY. For the first time that day I began to think I might possibly be in real labor.

Ann had told me earlier that morning that she had a mother in the beginning stages of labor, so I knew she might be busy. So I sent a text message to Keri (she works at the birth center) and asked her if this momma was still laboring. She informs me that there are now possibly TWO mothers laboring! This is the point in which a slight morsel of panic begins to set in, y'all. You see, the birth center can only accommodate T-W-O laboring mothers and if these were both birth center births (as opposed to home births), then that meant only one thing for me....

There was NO ROOM AT THE INN! be continued..........(and ducking from the things being thrown at the computer screen)

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Lied. It's Not the Birth Story. But Good Pictures Instead.

So, I didn't finish the Birth STOR-EE, but I can explain. I deleted the whole. dang. thang.


I know, I know. PHILISTINE! It just wasn't working for me. I contribute it to the fact that I'm having to write it on the stupid desktop computer. I can't think at this thing. Location, location, location! It's in a converted garage room. It's Monk's makeshift office. It's cold, messy and at any given moment one of the cats can decide to use the uh...ahem....facilities. If you get my drift.

Cat stink is not conducive to exhilarating story telling. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, one day last week I took pictures while lounging about my bed just to show y'all what a fine specimen of a family I have. And to appease any angst y'all might have against me for not posting the birth story yet.

For your viewing pleasure AND as a temporary peace offering.

Fat Otis who regularly takes up residence at the foot of my bed. Or anywhere else he can fit his fat behind. And that can hold 25 pounds of cat lard.

My sweet Charlie (aka Charlie Anne, Charlotte or Chuck - which STILL makes me giggle!)

Only the prettiest, sweetest strawberry blond south of the Mason-Dixon. Oh, and Giselle. We mustn't forget Giselle.

Me in all of my makeup-less, bad hair glory. Ain't I a peach now. Also proof to the powers that be (aka- the midwife) that yes, I stayed in bed (but I thought about Target a WHOLE lot).

Can't get much cuter than these two now can ya? We are gonna be BEATING the boys off of these girls. And Monk WILL do that! Or kill them with bad jokes. Not sure which is worse. Personally, I'd take the beating.

Hope just lovin' on her "Ba-ba". She is a very protective big sister. Until she decides she's had enough and then she ditches the baby with reckless abandon.

And my personal favorite. Daddy gettin' a little drunk on baby. If you gotta have an addiction - baby lovin' is the way to go. I am, however, fighting the urge to draw on his head.

I would say I promise that I'll crank that birth story out tomorrow, but I would be lying. When I get the itch to write I may have a baby attached to me. Or Monk may be attached to his laptop. Or the cat may have just fouled the garage room. Or Monk may have just fouled the garage room.

There are just too many variables to make those kinds of promises, y'all. That and I'm gettin' my tail kicked by an almost two week old. Whoever said the older you get the less sleep you need, lied. Big time. That or they never had a baby at 39.

I will begin again afresh tomorrow and keep you all updated. I've probably hyped it all WAY too much and when I finally get the STOR-EE on here there will be a major coup because you all feel gypped and then you will boycott my blog and shun me forever.

Not that I've thought about it or anything. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Joy Mingled with Mayhem

**note: this was actually written yesterday, but circumstances were as such that I couldn't get it posted until today. That's life with a newborn. Hoping to crank some pictures out later today!**

Let me start off by saying life without a laptop is the absolute pits.

Big time.

And since I'm supposed to be doing nothing but Nursing, Sleeping and Eating ( Lather. Rinse. Repeat.) and staying down as much as possible for two weeks, it complicates things a tad when you have to use a desktop. Not to mention the Wi-Fi receiver is messed up on Monk's computer (which I'm on at the moment) and I am travelling at dial up speed at the moment. Can we say hurry up and wait? Woo-hoo.

I tried to take a few minutes today to download and edit a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. This is usually not problematic. Today it was. After 30 minutes of messing with the desktop I was just too pooped to fidget with it and so I crawled back in bed to do some more baby snuggling.

It's good to have options.

As far as me getting a new laptop...well. I think my most amazing husband is going to get me one! Not sure when, but he realizes how beneficial it would be to my fans sanity. (Maybe the next few weeks?? Honey?? There's a certain gift-giving holiday coming's it called again? Christmas! Yea, that's it!) Blogging, in controlled doses, is very therapeutic for me. Does anyone else feel that way? Am I the only whack job that enjoys telling the masses every sordid detail of my life?


And speaking of sordid details, the Birth Stor-ee is half done. I know, I know, y'all are saying, "half done? HALF done?". You only get one shot per kid at a birth story people, so I'm trying my best to like what I've done, but my brain is like my belly right now....a little flabby. My creative juices are more like creative cottage cheese. Not a pretty sight really. Besides, it's such a short birth story I'm trying to make it interesting with details. Details, people...details!! I promise I'll try to have it done no later than Monday. Depending on the mayhem. In that case, it may be by the time Charlie's two.

And now for some Postpartum Ponderings.

As I sit here typing, I am holding my new breast friend (and no, that's not a typo). And she is doing what she does best. Nursing. I let her do it as much and as often as she likes. Why? It's good for her and it's good for me. It's free exercise. I sit here and she burns all my calories. It's a two-fer. Bring on the Ding-Dongs! Relax, I'm kidding. I'm much more in the mood for Rice Krispie treats.

But while I nurse and hold this Bebe of mine, I'm forced to stop and take a reality check. And here is what I've found.

The reality of it is that I'm sitting here still wearing my clothes from yesterday. The clothes I slept in and then stayed in today as well. There is a spit up stain AND a baby poop stain on the front. The neckline stinks of spit up. This would be the same spit up that went all over my chest, rolling down into the front of my shirt, settling somewhere in my once clean nursing bra. Yesterday.

My teeth have not been brushed, nor has my hair, which is pulled back in a really bad bun type thing. I'm trying to recollect the last time I shaved my legs, but cannot. Dirty breast pads along with dirty diapers are littered next to my bed. I've already cleaned them up once today and yet her lies another fresh pile.

If I'm not mistaken, Hope and Olivia haven't been bathed since Saturday. That would be four, yes FOUR days ago. Let me tell y'all, they smell peachy. Their germs are strengthening their immune systems. Or so I like to think. Yea, that's it.

Life with six hasn't been easy (okay, technically five since My Boy is gone). It's been tiring and crazy. Mine and Monk's nerves have been pushed to the brink. And it's only been a week!

But amidst the crazy, messy, stained, smelly, tiring, sleep deprived chaos,guess what? I find joy. Yes, joy.

Joy in kissing newborn toes and cheeks. Joy in nuzzling my face into her sweet smelling neck. Joy in brushing my lips over her soft downy hair. Joy in watching her sleep and touching every feature on her tiny face while she does so.

Pure joy.

Joy in watching my daughters fuss over who gets to hold Charlie. Joy in watching Hope demand her turn to hold the "Ba-Ba". Joy in Monk telling everyone it's his turn now. Joy in getting her back to myself even though she's literally attached to me probably 10 out of 24 hours every day. Joy in her fussing. Joy in changing poopy diapers. Joy in her rooting around to nurse. Joy in her spitting up all over me.

Why joy?

There's two things I've learned in seventeen years as a mother:

1. Time goes way too quickly. I've stopped wishing away my time with my children (I wish she'd sleep through the night, etc..). I blinked and My Boy was seventeen. I'd give anything to have a few days back with my 3 year old little guy. I want to enjoy the here and now. The Bible tells us we're not promised tomorrow and life is but a vapor (James 4:14). The older I get, the more those words mean to me. I'm perfectly happy in the miry days of spit up and breast pads. The here and now.


2.Things don't matter. Family and people matter. My relationship and time with my children mean more to me than a new sofa. The legacy I want to leave for them doesn't involve new cars or a spectacular home. It involves instilling in them a love for God, my love for them and the time I spent with them. I want their memories to be about us going to church and worshipping together, time spent playing games and momma roasting marshmallows to make s'mores by the fire. The more children I have, the less things matter.

My circumstances are as such that joy is not hard to find. Sleepless nights and sticky kitchen floors are inconsequential compared to what others are going through and have been through. I'm nothing special and am certainly not tooting my own horn because I'm finding joy with my sweet Charlie and our chaotic home right now. That's easy. Sissy stuff. Just reminding myself that the Bible talks a lot about joy and finding joy in all of our circumstances. So that's what I'm doing. I'm starting with the small things and training myself to find it in ALL things.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

I pray that you all have found your joy today.

Now if you kind people will excuse me, I'm going to go find some more joy in a nice, hot shower.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Just So You're In the Know....Ya Know?

Hey kids.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I lost access to the laptop this weekend. It is gone. It belonged to My Boy and being the sweet thang that he is, he left it with me as long as possible. But as we all know, all good things must come to an end at some point....and he took the dang thing away from me this weekend!


For the time being I am cursed to life on the desktop computer. OH THE PAIN!!


But seeing that I'm not supposed to be up at the desktop quite yet (per midwife's orders), that means my blogging escapades will have to come to a screeching halt for a bit. And just so you know, I am NOT at the desktop typing at this very moment. Wink. Wink. No ma'am, I am NOT. Wink. Wink.

Anyway, the Birth Stor-ee was almost done when my precious the laptop was repossessed. So I will now have to wait for Monk to let me use his. Which means an evening of thumb wrestling. But don't worry, I can take him.

Since he's off this week, helping to hold down the fort, I might get to finish up THE STOR-EE relatively quick, BUT don't count on it. After this week things could get really ugly around here. Involving me with no laptop that is.

(Think postpartum, hormonal woman with no way to express herself.) {{Shudder}}

So I'm going to send this link (in Spring Green) to Monk daily until Christmas. Think he'll get the hint? And while I'm at it, I'll send him this one too.

Am I asking too much? I mean, I did just give birth to his child and all. I think it's the least he could do.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Here She Is....In Her Monk's Wife Blog Debut...

Our little Charlotte...

(aka The Corn Nut, Charlie, Charlie Anne and most recently added....Chuck, which I find totally and completely hilarious!!)

about 45 minutes after her spectacular arrival (and I do mean spectacular!)

Getting all her stats! That would be my midwife AND my wonderful friend Ann looking all business like. 'Cause she's cool and all.

Abby, the most awesome, funny midwife apprentice/assistant ever!

Fixin' to take our Charlie home. (FYI, this is the room Hope was born in. Charlie was supposed to be born here as well, but she thought otherwise. That would be the spectacular arrival part that I'll write more about later! Pins and needles, huh people?)

Lots more to come! Please be patient and bear with me as it takes me a little longer to compile a post these days. I now have an added appendage that hangs from my breast most of the day and night. This makes typing a little more difficult. Hmpf, go figure.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Who's The Baby?

Well all, we're all home and well and snuggled into bed. Praise God!

I couldn't have asked for a better labor and delivery. God was so gracious and I can honestly say this was one the best, if not the best, birth I have ever had! Not bad for a 39 year old lady, huh?

I'll get the birth story together for your reading pleasure in the next few days. It. Is A. Doozie. Almost downright humorous! It will also explain the title of Monk's previous post!

Anyway, I'll give y'all the vital statistics and then get back to my baby snuggling.

Charlotte Anne Monk
Born at 11:25 pm (only an hour after we arrived!)
7 lbs 3 oz
20 inches long

We had a birth photographer and didn't take many pictures of our own (I know...for shame.), but I'll have Monk download what we have, plus I'll take a few today and then post them a little later.

Thank you all for you prayers (they were surely felt!!) and for your sweet comments. You are some awesome people!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Where's the Baby?

The Mad Monk here for MadMomma. It's a girl. All are doing well. More details and an explaination of the blog title to come soon.

Not To Alarm You Nice People, But...

I'm pretty sure I'm in labor.

Contractions started around 2pm, but after last Tuesdays charade, I was not paying any attention whatsoever to my fickle uterus.

We have not been on speaking terms for over a week now.

Apparently, it is trying to apologize and has gotten down to business in the last couple of hours. I'm now listening.

Contractions are between 2-3 minutes apart right now. Breathing through them has become necessary.

The goal is to "try" and update you, but if things get a little, you know, pushy....we may not be able to do that!

Y'all can understand that, can't you? :)

20 Things I Love...Okay, Make It 50.

In no particular order with exception of the first 3.

1. Our gracious God
2. My awesome hubby
3. My children
4. newborn babies - not just because I'm having one either! They're all wonderful, especially their smell!
5. Afternoon showers - I can take ALL the hot water
6. my friends, old and new
7. my Suburban - really, I do
8. my church
9. music, especially the old stuff
10. sunshine
11. rain and thunderstorms - minus the tornadoes thankyouverymuch
12. taking pictures
13. the act of natural birth - it is a beautiful thing, my friends
14. Fall
15. freshly fallen snow - I don't get that anymore...{sigh}
16. Tennessee - would LOVE to live there
17. chocolate
18. Coke
19. my mom's fried chicken and catfish
20. food in general
21. fresh sheets on the bed (400 thread count or higher)
22. freshly ironed clothes
23. a good pair of cute shoes
24. helping people
26. playing softball
27. watching college football
28. Monk working from home
29. being a stay at home mom
30. writing on the blog
31. reading
32. Hope's dimples next to her nose when she squinches her face
33. Olivia's wicked sense of humor
34. Grace's freckles
35. Madison's laughter
36. Isaac's crooked smile
37. Feeling baby kicks
38. Monk playing with his girls
39. a clean house (ha! don't get that one much!)
40. hanging out with good friends
41. air conditioning
42. polka dots
43. peppermint milkshakes
44. good movies
45. breastfeeding
46. my new changing table (never had one until now!)
47. blog comments
48. books
49. good hair days
50. road trips

I found I had a hard time not listing a bunch of food. Hmmm...what does that say about me?

So, tell me 5 things y'all love. Besides me and the blog, of course. (HA!)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Just So You Know...

*Edited a little*

I'm not in labor.

I realize that if any of y'all are like me, you frequently check blogs of women who are about to explode give birth. And, if for some reason, there is no post then one begins to assume things are taking off.

Rest assured, things are at a complete and total stand still around here. Well, besides me trying to scrub gel pen off of my belly.

I'm in Hunker Down and Clean Some More mode, not really thinking about having a baby. I was *chastised* yesterday, via Facebook, by my chiropractor to show more patience. I'm just letting y'all know, it's NOT one of my virtues.

So, I'm just trying to hurry up and wait.

*Please know when I say chastised, it is not in a bad way. It was more of a gentle reminder to be patient. I, in my usual flair for drama, made it sound a wee bit dramatic. But hey, I'm hormonal, give me a break! My chiro is my friend and I heart her very much. I would never want anyone to think she was chastising me in a bad way. She is one of the most gentle people I know....and she can break your back with one fell swoop!! Okay! Okay! Kidding again! Dang my dramatic side! I love you Cindy!

Monday, December 01, 2008

I SO Can't Believe I'm Showing Y'all This.

So me and the fam (even My Boy!) were sitting around talking and laughing last night. We were pointing out and comparing important things like who was double jointed and such. Sis won in that category with freakishly alarming talents. The stuff circus dreams are made of, my friends.

As does so often these last few days, the subject of just when I am going to have this baby came up. Madgirl had wanted me to go into labor ALL day yesterday. Mostly because she didn't want to go to school today, but partly because it is driving everyone a little insane not knowing if this baby is a boy or a girl. That and they're tired of me being a grouch.

(HA! Wait until the postpartum hormones kick in, my pretties! Grouch will look mighty nice compared to blubbering ball of emotional goo!)

She came over, as she so often does and began poking at my protruding belly. Apparently she thinks that if she annoys the baby enough, like she does her little sisters, then just perhaps it might decide to come out. Ha, if only. Then she began yelling into my bulge.

"Come out Charlie, we want to see you!" (Charlie is her pet name for the baby since from the beginning. She has also informed me that no matter if it is a boy or a girl and no matter WHAT we name it, the child will forever be known as Charlie to her.)

And on and on she went, not so much annoying the baby, but annoying the everlovin' snot out of me!

I finally blurted out, "Why don't you just write it a letter, Maddie!"

She got that gleam in her eye that she so often has when she is about to embark on something no good (which pretty much means that gleam is there 24/7). Maniacal laughter ensued and then she begged me to let her write on my belly. Um, heck no. She begged some more.

The begging went something like this:

Her: Please!

Me: No!

Her: Please!

Me: No!


Me: No!

You get the gist, I'm sure.

She finally got the better of me (that and I wanted her to shut-up) and so I agreed to let her write on my belly. She clapped her hands with delight and ran to get her gel pens. This was after she asked to use a Sharpie!! She nearly got a Slappie!

It wasn't enough to let her write on my belly. Noooo! She wanted pictures too! By this time I was putty in her hands and frankly didn't care what she did just so long as she promised to leave me alone when she was done. As so picture taking ensued.

I'll grudgingly admit that by the time she was done I was laughing. So yes, we had a good time. What I didn't imagine though, was that I would show y'all the finished product.

Oh, no, no, no! Belly flesh has never been seen on this here blog. Some things are sacred my friends, and while my belly flesh is most certainly NOT one of them, I still wouldn't ever show it on my Blawg!

Until now. (gulp.)

I will tell you that I changed the pictures to black and white as to save you the excruciating trauma of having to see my belly in color. It's one thing to see the stretch mark lines, it's a whole 'nother kind of nasty to have to see their lovely shade of purple.

Trust me, if I had Photoshop them bad boys would have been long gone. But alas, I'm technologically challenged at the moment and so you all will suffer because of it. My apologies.

Brace yourselves.

In the process....

The finished letter. She circled my mole and then felt compelled to label it as such. She's so kind that way. Shield your eyes from the stretch mark horror.

And an up close of the whole lovely event. Notice her sarcasm. And on her own mother's flesh!

And there it is. I've done gone and shown my belly flesh on the blog. The one thing I said I'd never do. For shame.

Amazing the things you will allow to happen when you're sittin' around twiddling your thumbs, waiting on a baby to make its appearance.

Come on kid! You'd better get here quick before all manner of bedlam breaks loose around this place!!