Monday, September 7, 2009

My Heart Melts for Jags

I know I promised that I would talk about my scary postpartum experience this week, but that was before I spontaneously bought the car of my dreams a couple days ago.

On Friday I was working from home to take my 95 Corolla in to get the check engine light diagnosed. I was quite agitated at the time because no one could read my check engine code because my car was too old! Three places ensured me they had the right connector, but when I got there, they discovered they didn't. I spent hours driving around before finding someone that actually could read the light. When I got it read, they said it probably wasn't a big deal and not worth looking into the exact cause. So that was that. I'd been planning on getting a new car in March anyway, so I resolved to let the light stay on.

On the way back from the dealership, I spotted a black Jaguar sitting out front the BMW dealership with a sticker price of only $8950. As I continued to drive home I looked up the number to the dealership to ask them about it. I assumed it probably had way too many miles on it or was too old to consider, so I didn't get my hopes up. When they called back, I was ecstatic to learn it was only 10 years old (the same age as my old car when I bought it) and had only 96,000 miles on it (I bought my old car at 107,000 miles).

Well, I was ecstatic, but my husband tends to put a damper on things, so I reluctantly mentioned it to him, expecting a quick "no way" to come out of his mouth. To my surprise, however, he started looking at reviews and blue book value prices on the car. Thirty minutes later, we were headed to the BMW dealership without a word of complaint out of his mouth!

When we got there we both test drove it. We then took it to a trusted mechanic to see they could spot any faults. Aside from the rotors, they said the car looked to be in great shape. Next thing you know, my husband was negotiating prices with them! He talked them down to $7000, and with my trade-in we were down to $6200. About an hour and a half later, I drove home in my new car!

I was in shock that whole day, that night, and the next day. The biggest shock was that my husband let me buy it without one word of complaint. He was quite pleasant through the entire thing, even though we spent about 5 hours at the dealership with a fussy baby. He knows my heart melts for jags, and he always laughed whenever I would stare enviously at one because we both knew we'd never be able to afford one.

This car is GORGEOUS and I still can't believe it's mine! It drives like a dream. It's a family car that drives like a sports car with it's V8 engine. V8!!! It just looks like a classic, and even though I've only driven it a couple times, it's already turning heads. The interior is plush leather with wood paneling, it has power everything, memory seating, heated seats in both front and back, sunroof, 8 speakers, 6-disc cd changer, and so many buttons and features that I've yet to figure them all out. How this beauty is mine, I still don't know. But it's gorgeous, and I'm in love with my car!

Tune in next week to learn about my scary postpartum experience ...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome, Tristan Alexander!

What can I say? I've been away too long. The only excuse I will give is that the longer I stayed away the harder it was to come back. I also went through a very mundane period where the only thing I wanted to write were pregnancy complaints. I have trouble writing the mundane. Many people can write daily blogs about their lives and keep people begging for more, but I am not one of them. But I do have some good stories saved up. The first being the birth of my son, Tristan Alexander. He is now 3 1/2 months old.

My due date was May 11th. I've had two children before Tristan, and each one went past due. Therefore it was no surprise when my due date came and passed me by. A visit to the doctor's office that morning yielded no hope that the situation had changed. I had been dilated to 1 for a few weeks by that point. The next day, May 12th, I awoke (if you're a male or someone squeamish, read no further, and apologize for TMI, but that tends to happen in pregnancy tales) with a bit of bloody show. That had never happened to me before, so I spent a lot of the day googling it, wonder what it meant -- would there be a baby soon? Anyone who's been nine months pregnant knows those last days and weeks are long and full of impatient waiting for any sign that you won't be pregnant forever. I was excited to find that bloody show usually indicated labor could begin with hours, up to two days. So I gritted my teeth and thought, okay, two days, I can handle this! Amber, my eldest, went TWO WEEKS overdue. I'm still traumatized by that one!

That evening was business as usual. I laid down and read for awhile. Only, shortly after I laid down, I felt contractions. Not unusual -- I had tons and tons of contractions the whole way through, so I waited for them to stop. To my delight, they weren't stopping. I put my book down and tried to fall asleep, but I was too anxious with the hope that I was in labor. I watched the clock -- 6 minutes in between contractions. After 5 or 6 of those, I decided to get out of bed and walk around to see if they would stop. It was 11:30.

My brother was awake, and wondered why I was walking around the house. I told him I was having contractions and was trying to determine if they were real or not. I walked around, and to my delight, not only did the contractions keep going they got closer. When they were about four minutes apart, I had a particularly pressing contraction, at which point I decided to take a shower (which my brother thought was quite amusing, but there was no way I was going to go through labor and all it entails without being as clean as possible beforehand!). I got out of the shower and dressed. It was about 1:30 am. The contractions were 3 minutes apart. I decided it was time to wake the hubby, who had warned me earlier that he was particularly tired so I'd better not go into labor that night! I turned on the light, woke him up and left the room. When I came back, he was asleep again. I woke him up a second time, to which he answered "Seriously?" when I told him we needed to go to the hospital. He finally crawled out of bed.

The kids had field trips that day, and needed drinks for their lunches. Alex had planned to do this in the AM, but since we weren't going to be there, he had to make a run to the gas station then. He's gone for about 25 minutes, at which point he comes back and tells us that the gas station was closed, and Walgreens was closed. We asked him why he didn't just go to quick trip, which was 1 mile up the road, but apparently he wasn't thinking correctly at that point. So he had to go back to the store. Finally, he returned, with the drinks, so we were in the clear to go the hospital.

At about 2:15 am I arrived at the hospital. By that point my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. As I was walking in, a couple walking out did a double take. I heard the guy say "She's going to have a baby!" I arrived at the counter, where the attendant took one look at me and says "oooh, I know what you're in here for." By 2:20 I was changing and settling into a hospital gown. They checked me, I was dilated to 3, and they admitted me. I settled in for a long night, admitting to myself that I wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon!

I informed them that I wanted the epidural as soon as they'd allow, because I'd had fast progressing labors before, I didn't want to be caught without one! By 4:30 am I had my epidural, and was quite happy, even though my legs were numb and I was hooked to a catheter. The only thing I cared about at that point was that the contractions were gone. They were so far gone, in fact, that I asked the nurse if I was still having them! Even though the contractions were gone, I wasn't quite able to sleep, although I did try. I almost fell asleep a few times, but the epidural was making me itchy and twitchy. On top of that, anyone who's been hospitalized has to know that hospitals are the worst places for trying to get some sleep. So, sleep eluded me at that point. That's okay, it seemed selfish of me to try to sleep while I was in labor anyway. My body was pushing out contractions every two minutes, and I was just sitting back, not feeling a thing!

At about 8:00 am my doctor arrived to check my progress. I was only dilated to 5 by that point. He broke my water, and then left to go to his practice. At about 8:45, I told the nurse that either my epidural was wearing out, or I was feeling a bit of pressure. She checked me, and sure enough, I had gone from 5 to 10 in 45 minutes. She called my doctor back, and he arrived at about 9:25. He changed, got set up, and at about 9:32 I was pushing. Two pushes later, at 9:35 am on May 13th, Tristan was born! He weighed in at 8 lbs 8 ounces and was 21 1/4 inches long.

Everything after that was a blur. I had a range of emotions going on. The first thing I noticed was that the nurse was calling him Tristan. For some irrational reason, I was upset that they were calling him by his name before I had gotten a chance to. Then, one of the nurses kissed his forehead. At that point, I was thinking, wait! I haven't even kissed him yet! Why hadn't I thought to his him while he was on my stomach? Now someone else is kissing him and calling him by his name before I ever got a chance to! Yes, I know, all those thoughts were irrational and overly emotional, but those were the thoughts running through my head right after his birth.

I suffered a moderate tear, but that was the worst of it. Well, that was the worst of it for the actual birth. I had a huge, scary postpartum experience, but that's a story for next week. Check back here next Tuesday for the rest of the tale! In the meantime, I'll work on stopping by everyone's blogs and catching up a bit.

Tristan, a few hours old:

Whatcha Want? One Week Old

Little Teddy Bear! 3 Months Old

Sunday, January 4, 2009

One Year Smoke Free, New Family Additions, & We're Having A ...

One Year Smoke Free
Hey everyone! Wow. I've been so busy this holiday season that I didn't even sit down to write about all the things going on. I was even too busy to blog about my one year smoke free anniversary! I can't believe I've made it an entire year already. The odd thing is, I've been having a worse time of it ever since I got pregnant. You'd think being pregnant would give me an extra boost, because it'd be like a whole other reason not to smoke, but not even. I think it's that even if I want to cheat and smoke a cig, I know I can't. Period. And that definitity makes the urge to smoke so much more powerful. But oh well ... being pregnant is no time to pick the habit back up! Not that I would anyway. One year, whoot!

New Family Additions
On Thanksgiving day I brought home two new family members. I remember talking about one of the rabbits, but I don't recall if I talked about the second rabbit. I wound up bringing two home, both females from the same litter. The black and white one is Alexia's and the orange and black one is Amber's. They are 3 months old and absolutely adorable. Within a week they were litter trained to pee only in their box. They live inside the house, in a cage, and are let out to play at least a couple times a day. They are extremely tame and have no objections to the kids carrying them all around the house.

Starlight (Alexia's bunny)

Angel (Amber's Bunny)

You might recall Bonnie, the parakeet that we took in last March. She was not quite a good fit for our household (kids & cat were a bit too much for her), so I finally did the inevitable and found her a new (and very good) home to better suit her personality. I then got to do what I've been wanting from the very beginning -- get a hand raised baby bird, one that was tame and trusting of humans, one that could be raised as a true part of the family.

I finally found a highly respected place that had healthy, not overbred, hand raised babies. I drove the 45 miles to get there, all excited, only to be told that they didn't really have anything left. All the babies had been taken for Christmas. The lady then mentioned that they had a few Lovebirds in a cage that were weaned and ready. I stepped over, seeing only yellow lovebirds, when I caught sight of a little green one with blue tail feathers. But still, I was under the impression that lovebirds needed to be kept in pairs, and I wanted a bird to bond with me, not another bird, but when I asked the saleslady she said that you only need two if you don't have the time to interact and bond with the bird. She said if you buy the one, and spend the time with it, it will bond to you, like it would a mate. Well that sounded about perfect. She let the birdie out of the cage and I carried it around the store. It only took a few minutes for me to know that this bird was the perfect one. So I took him home.

Lovebirds are parrots. Although most don't ever talk, they are still very intellegent birds. I've had Yoshi only 4 days, and already I've taught him how to shake hands and turn around. He was a bit skittish at first, but now welcomes my attention and sits readily in my hand, and allows me to pet him.

Yoshi the Lovebird (3 months)

And Finally, It's A ...
I am now 22 weeks pregnant and getting quite large. Two weeks ago I had my ultrasound -- the big ultrasound. It was there that we learned I am most definitely having a BOY. I honestly don't know what to think -- my husband really could care less either way, he has no inclination towards a boy, and I wanted another girl. So at the moment I'm not quite sure how I'll handle a boy. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite sure I'll do fine and I'll love him to pieces, just like my other two. It's just quite a big change, and hard to picture me & Alex raising a little boy, since all we know are girls. But anyways -- we will do fine, it's just going to take some getting used to the thought!

Okay, you know the deal. It will take me a while to catch up on everyone's blogs, but I will get there. In the meantime, I will plan on writing back soon.