< Upheaval: September 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Don't you love it when you start typing and your fingers are on the wrong keys, so then MSN (SO HELPFUL) pops up and tells you it can't find your website? I do.


Daniel has the night off! I am so excited I can't even stand it! He has worked over 100 hours in the past week. He comes in from his shift in the morning, feeds Dillon while I shower, then sleeps till it is time to go back to work. Now he will get to spend time with us! Now I don't have to increase my meds!

Of course, he has to go back to work tomorrow night, and will probably work through next Wednesday, but this is a blessed reprieve for him and me!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Probably an information overload

I don’t want my blog to turn into my platform for talking nonstop about Dillon. That is boring, and the only people who want to hear about him that much are me and Daniel, his grandparents, and maybe his aunt. So I am making a conscious effort to post about other things, even though he is constantly on my mind and on my boob.

(Okay, not really, because he eats out of a bottle. But close enough.)

It has been almost two weeks since he was born. Happy Birthday, Little Man! Here are some details about his arrival and the subsequent two weeks. Hopefully, all of my mama-pride will be released in this post and you will be spared from future posts like this one.

Thankyouforyourpatience. :)

I went to the hospital to be induced at 7 am on the 14th. I am really tough (!) and I just knew that I could do this whole thing with no epidural (the big scary shot in your spinal column). Epidurals are frightening! I made it until 3 pm when I was dilated almost 8 centimeters. At that point, I was crying for some relief. Epidurals are wonderful!

My sister and Daniel were my coaches. Apparently, that means that while I concentrated on breathing through contractions, they whispered to each other and tried not to laugh too loud. Thanks guys! They have seen more of me than I have even seen! Ew!

At one point, the nurses said it was time to push. Then they left the room. The three of us feigned abilities we don’t have and frantically tried to coordinate our efforts with the computer readout that told me when to push. It was a circus. We were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe. Well, I couldn’t breathe anyway, but I know they were having a hard time too.

I pushed for two hours nonstop. At 10 pm, my doctor said “you gotta know when to fold ‘em” and told me we would have to do surgery. Dillon is a stubborn boy! By this time, he was even “crowning,” which means that when I pushed, Daniel could see his head. Ew again!

So I had a c-section. Dillon was already so far down that the nurse had to push him back UP into my uterus so they could pull him out of the hole in my stomach. Want to feel helpless? Strap yourself to a table, give birth, then let someone take your baby away for nine hours. Sheesh!

But he is home now, and we have both recovered. Daniel says that I gave birth twice, and I think he is right!

What have I learned in the past two weeks?

Dillon likes his swing. He lets me sing to him and he doesn’t even make fun of my voice. He loves his daddy. He likes a schedule, just like his mama. He eats, looks around, yawns, and sleeps. In between all of that, he dirties his diaper within seconds of it touching his cute hiney. He smiles in his sleep. Don’t tell me it is not a “real smile.” I know that, but I am his mama, and I still think it is cute. He eats out of a bottle because he has perfected the art of nipple exfoliation and I can't stand it. But he is eating breastmilk, I just have to pump a lot.

There was a lot of hard work involved in getting him here. His daddy and I have had to learn a lot over the past couple of weeks. The one thing we didn’t have to learn was how to love him. That part comes easy.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Mambo Number Five

This song has been in my head since Hurricane Rita became a main topic of conversation. Why does my brain retain this useless information? Why can I not remember the name of the lady who sits behind me in church, but I know every lyric to this irritating song?

Join me now:

Ladies and gentleman
This is Mambo Number Five!

One, two, three-four-five!
Everybody in the car, so come on let's ride
To the liquor store around the corner (coh-nah)
The boys said he want some gin and juice
But I really don't wanna
Get a buzz like I had last week
I must stay me, cause talk is cheap.
I like Angela, Pamela, Sandra, and Rita
And as they continue
You know they gettin' sweeter.
So what can I do?
I really thank you my Lord.
To me flirting is just like a sport
Anything fly, it's all good.
Let me jump in and send in the trumpet -

A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita's all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I seek
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man.

Okay, I am not putting all the lyrics on here, but I want you to join me in mentally singing this song during every waking moment. I promise, the rewards are great!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lessons learned

1) Things are always better in the morning, especially with a double dose of meds.

2) A girl always needs her mama, even when she thinks she is all grown up and is a mother herself.

3) An encouraging word from a friend can ease a sore heart and bring a smile.

Have a wonderful weekend, and try to stay dry! I love all of you for your sweet words, thoughts, and prayers. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

De-pression: This post is really blah!

I am not sure why this is such an integral part of who I am. Why am I someone who has to struggle with this illness? Where is the joy that I should have, as a woman of Christ, and a person who has so many blessings?

I don't know why, but I know that it is there. I constantly monitor my emotional state. Constantly. I have been this way for about 8 years. I don't usually let myself get out of hand, but I am on the verge now. What to do?

I want to go to sleep for a week. I want to take a long bath and have someone take care of me. But who will do that? My throat hurts from swallowing back these tears all day. I feel really lonely, and my house is full of people. I am trying to be energetic and happy, but it isn't working.

These are the events of the last few days: we came home from the hospital, had a rush of visitors, and had some worrisome moments with Dillon, who wasn't eating as much as he should. We worked all that out, our company left and we had a day and a half to revel in our newfound family-ness.

Then came Rita. She is a b*tch. Daniel got called into work, from which he had taken 3 weeks vacation. So all the sudden, it is me and Dillon, by ourselves. Then, all the sudden, it is me and Dillon, Daniel's father, stepmother, and stepbrother. Daniel's brother and sister-in-law are on the way. Maybe Daniel's mother and stepfather, too. They are all from Houston or Beaumont, and have to get out of the way. Our house is full. I am tired.

I think it is called depression because you feel like your whole body is being compressed and squeezed and it is hard to catch your breath.

Please say a little prayer for me. Or maybe a big prayer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Product review

My sister-in-law is in school to be a dental hygienist. She gets lots of cool hookups, apparently, and when they were down visiting a few weeks ago, she brought me samples of Crest Whitening Expressions toothpastes in all kinds of funky flavors. Now, to save you the expense, I have graciously test-driven them for you and am prepared to report on each flavor!

I know, I know - I am so kind!

First, we have CWE Cinnamon Rush. The website says that it has a "bold blast of cinnamon that will leave your tastebuds tingling." My thoughts are that, if I wanted my mouth to taste like Big Red gum, I would forego the brushing routine and chew gum. This is funny because it is a ploy that my husband uses sometimes. I can usually punk him out when he has opted to chew gum "in lieu of brushing."

The second kind that I tried was Refreshing Vanilla Mint. I actually liked this one, because I couldn't taste the vanilla. It was really just Refreshing Mint. But who needs vanilla breath anyway?

Mmmmkay, Extreme Herbal Mint is just yuck! You know when you pop some winterfresh in your mouth, you start producing excess saliva? Then you end up with a mouthful of sugary-minty spit? That is what this toothpaste does. It kind of gives me heartburn in my mouth.

I saved the worst for last. Fresh Citrus Breeze. I think it tastes like kids medicine - something really awful, masked by "orange" flavoring. I had to rebrush with Vanilla Mint after that!

I hope that dental hygiene is as important to you as it is to me. I love to go to the dentist, and I love brushing my teeth. But for now, I think I will stick with my Colgate Barney toothpaste with the bubbly fruity flavor.

Or not.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I can't stand it!

I don't want you guys to think that that is the best picture of Dillon! You arrrrrr all saying he is so cute, and that is SO NOT TRUE OF THAT PICTURE!!! Here are some to make up for it. Sorry sweetie!

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Don't try to look at my privates!
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I am a pretty baby, but when I get older, you gotta say "handsome!"
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Me socks aarrrrrrrr too big!!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Shiver me timbers!

I am a great fan of "Talk Like a Pirate Day!"

That was today, and for the record, I don't think I said anything pirate-ish at all, but it is still so fun that such a day exists!

On another note, I know that people only like to post the best pictures on their sites. The ones where you look skinny. The ones where you can't see the nose hairs on your husband. The ones where your eyes are not half-closed in that "I am SO STONED, DUDE" look. No one intentionally posts bad pictures unless it is to hurt someones feelings or make fun of someone.

I am going to break that rule and post sort of an unflattering picture. I couldn't resist, but please be aware that there will soon be cuteness to follow.

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, take a look at my own little pirate. He can't talk yet, so he is celebrating Look Like a Pirate Day.

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ARRRR, Matey!!!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I never thought I could love "us" more. Daniel is so funny, and sweet, and strong. I think we are perfect for each other and I dare anyone to tell me any different. When we decided that we wanted children, I was in love with the idea. God blessed us by allowing us to become pregnant fairly easily, and I had an easy and enjoyable pregnancy.

Let me bring you to my state of mind on Tuesday night. I was panicky. I knew that our family dynamic was about to change completely. "What have we done?" I thought. I was really afraid and unsure, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was getting induced on Wednesday, and this baby was coming home with us.

Wednesday was one of the funnest and scariest days of my life. I will long look back on it and laugh at some hilarity that happened, and cringe at the painful moments. I make jokes to get through difficult times in my life, so Labor and Delivery Room 2 was a riot. But inside I was still so scared.

Then, I looked to my side and saw my best friend. He held my hand. He said sweet things and encouraged me. When Dillon finally got here at the end of the day, I saw the pride shining in his eyes. I have watched video of Daniel carrying our son to the waiting room to greet the world, and I see that his feet do not touch the ground.

There is no one else I would want to experience this with. And with this new tiny person to hold in our arms, I have never been more in love with "us."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

With Minutes to Spare

I'll leave the fun storytelling to the brave woman that endured it all day long yesterday, but to keep everyone happy, I'll just give you the quick facts.

After Dillon stayed glued to Amanda's side all day and then on into the evening and night, they decided to do a C-section late last night, and Dillon took his first breath at 11:53 pm on September 14, 2005. Weighing in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces, measuring 21 inches, Amanda says that he is a "mini - daddy."

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers, and Amanda will probably share pictures when she gets back home in a day or so.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Guest Blogger Updates

Okay, it's 8:30pm, and when I left them at the hospital at 6:30pm, she was a little closer, but no real end in sight. Dillon is situated on her right side, and not really wanting to move toward the center and proceed downward. Doctor says that if Dillon doesn't make this move himself, then they may do a C-section.
So, prayers are that Dillon decides to see the world on his own accord, and not with the aid of medical science. Amanda is still in good spirits, just tired of laying down all day, and ready to be done being pregnant. I told her all of you were very interested in her and thinking of her, and she smiled.
Keep her in your thoughts as she enters a long evening, and pray for safety of both Mom and baby.
I'll post more when they call me!

Michelle :) a.k.a. Guest blogger

And a bottle of rum!

**A little something to read while you wait on the edge of your seats for news! Disclaimer: this was written in the wee morning hours after not-much-sleep-at-all.**

Most people, if given the choice, would like to have a cool birthday. It is cool to have a birthday on a holiday, sometimes. It is also cool to have a birthday with sequential numbers, or with rhyming numbers like "seven" and "eleven." A really cool birthday would have been 05/05/05 because it is 1) on Cinco de Mayo and 2) the numbers are really easy to remember!

I am really excited that today is going to be Dillon's birthday. He is late enough in September that he will be one of the oldest kids in his class, which is definitely an advantage for boys. He also doesn't share a birthday with any immediate family members, which makes for sometimes-uncool joint birthday celebrations. Finally, and most importantly, the numbers add up! Fourteen minus 9 is 5. OKAY! That is definitely cool.

I do have one regret though. Maybe next time, we will get pregnant about two weeks later. Or I will be more patient and choose to induce a little later.

BECAUSE THE COOLEST BIRTHDAY EVER WOULD HAVE BEEN SEPTEMBER 19TH! That is because September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day! In case you didn't know, TLPD is a very cool event that happens annually, where a lot of people (approximately 7 of us) go around talking like a pirate!

Talking like a pirate is fun, and Dillon is definitely going to get exposed next Monday. He will only be five days old, but I bet he can say "Arrr!"

I hope you will join in this celebration! Let's increase the number to 8! And, if you need suggestions for what to say on TLPD, check out this helpful list! And start practicing!

Monday, September 12, 2005


Let me preface the story by saying I have very oily skin. My complexion is usually pretty clear, but when it is hot outside and I am 15 months pregnant, my face gets oily.

Because my baby bottle is ready to fall off the end of my chart, and I don't see an end in sight, I thought I would keep myself very busy today. I got up at 9 and showered, dressed, fixed my hair and ate. Then I left for a day of errands and keeping busy.

When I left the house, I thought I looked normal. I saw many people during my day out on the town. I went to the dry cleaner, the bank, the dollar store, the mall, Taco Bell, and Walmart. When I came home, I really had to go to the bathroom, so I rushed in the house and threw my stuff down. I ran in the bathroom, past my mirror to the toilet. I relieved myself quickly, while thinking "Hey! My face looked strange when I went by the mirror!" So of course I checked it out.

Guess what?

I had grown a "friend" during my day out on the town. And no one told me! How sad for me. Not only do I waddle and wear mismatched clothes that are out of season, I look like I have not washed my face in a month. Of course, I have remedied the problem now, but all the people I saw today have probably added me to their "people in need of love" prayer list.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11, 2005

I got this in an email several weeks ago, when Cindy Sheehan and W were both still in Crawford. I think it is appropriate to post today, in memory of the tragedy of 4 years ago. I am interested to know what you think about this:

The grieving mother camped on the road outside Bush's home in Texas has company in her grief. Somewhere in Baghdad or Pakistan, maybe at this very moment, a mother in a black robe squats on the floor of a hut, watching the elders of her tribe strap a bomb to her handsome teenaged son.

They cinch up the belts and murmur to him of the car he will get to drive at high speed, his future as a hero of Islam, and, of course, the seventy virgins who await him in "heaven." She sobs as other women try to comfort her. He is such a good, handsome boy. She remembered nursing him as a baby, when she taught him to walk, and when he offered her a fistful of desert flowers from his small hands. Now she can see the fear in his eyes, but because she is a woman in an Islamic country she is powerless to stop the fanatical leaders of Jihad. Her son is to die. She knows it. And, she can not stop it.

They were the same kind of Islamic men who stole four American jetliners full of fathers, mothers, and little children and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. Here in America we were 'living in peace' that day, we and all those people in the upper floors of the two towers - sipping coffee at their desks, and chatting at the water coolers when their world exploded into flames.

The same kind of fanatical Muslim Jihadists who strap bombs to kids, even Downes Syndrome kids, did not care about little children on airliners, or loving dads in business suits whispering goodbye on cell phones in the back rows of jets.

So Cindy Sheehan down there in Texas blames George Bush for her son's death as a soldier in Iraq. But her son was of legal age when he signed his name and enlisted. He made the choice. And though he may have signed up for the benefits the military offers, and which she doubtless approved at the time, he also swore to defend his country. "His country," America. The leader of the free world, and now the foremost defender of Western civilization, Democracy, freedom of speech, liberty to worship as we choose, and the pursuit of happiness. America, the exception to all other countries in the world with our glorious constitution and Bill of Rights. America, the envy of the world.

The men who strap bombs to schoolboys in Iraq know nothing - nothing, of Democracy or civilization. What Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville should know -what Barbra Streisand, Susan Sarandon, and the Dixie Chicks should be mindful of, is that women have the biggest stakes of all in this war.

If Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville really wanted to honor her son's memory and add meaning to his heroic sacrifice, she would be using her pulpit to talk to the women swathed in black and squatting in the huts of the Middle East.

She might say to them: "You have the power to stop this insanity. In order to save your remaining children and the future unborn, you must all become secret agents, seditionists, spies, and soldiers in burkhas. Turn your hatred of the arrogant Arab males who started this mess into action. Use thoseblack robes to secret the weapons needed to destroy radical leaders. Use your jobs - even as street vendors in the markets of your cities - to get information to Coalition Troops about where the next"Improvised Explosive Device" is planted - or the whereabouts of vicious leaders like Abu al Zarqawi. A hollowed out eggplant makes an excellent hiding place. Use your positions as cooks in mountain camps to poison roomfuls of Al Qaeda - or maybe even the big man himself. Use your knowledge of weapons respositories to blow them up yourselves. Use your position as wives to stop a husbandwho is a leader of Jihad in his bed as he sleeps. You who have given life, use whatever you have to stop this insane cult of death."

The women could do it. But they, unlike Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, would have to be willing to die for their efforts.

Cindy Sheehan's family members do not support her efforts as she camps out in Crawford, planting crosses in the dust. Her son's grandparents, along with other relatives, have posted an email message saying that she "appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son's good name, his reputation, and the beauty of her free America."

Her husband, Patrick Sheehan, also disagrees with her. He filed for divorce on Friday, 8/12/05. He says, "I know President Bush is sorry and feels pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith." He adds, "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis."

That, Mrs. Sheehan, is freedom. A wife and a husband can disagree, and she can go on doing what she's doing. She won't be beheaded in the town square of Vacaville. And that's what soldiers like your son are dying for in Iraq.

So what do you think about this line of thought? Too conservative? Too radical? Too onesided? Just right?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Rubber ducky, you're the one

Tux, our sweet, sensitive, neurotic little boy, has a lot of toys. He has a rope. He has numerous annoying rubber squeaky things. He has a chewy barbell that he loves. But his absolute favorite toy is a tiny yellow rubber ducky.

He had a rubber ducky a couple of years ago, but it got lost or damaged beyond repair. Recently, someone gave Dillon a bath kit that had a little rubber ducky in it. Tux saw that duck and thought it was his. There was no convincing him otherwise. He adopted it.

Tux is very careful with his ducky. He carries it around gently in his mouth. It is actually so small, that sometimes, you can't tell he has it in his mouth till he spits it out on the floor. He carefully tosses the duck in the air and romps around playing with it for hours!

All this hurricane coverage about pets has made me especially appreciative of my sweet boy. Today, in a moment of nostalgia, I went by a store that sold these ducks, and bought eight of them. They are all dressed like little pirates, but Tux loves pirate ducks just as well as regular ones! He is in dog heaven.

It makes me think of Sesame Street, when Ernie sings to his rubber ducky. Tux is like that. I imagine, if he had a voice, he would sing this song to his rubber ducky.

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Um, you can borrow it for a second, but I'm gonna need that right back, okay?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Warning: This post is crass and gripey. You will probably like me less by the end of it because I am so darn whiney.

It happens each semester. You are sitting in class the first day. You have your new notebook out, with your new pen. You are listening to the teacher introduce himself. He passes the syllabus out, and now you have something to read. The professor seems knowledgable, and not too boring.

"Good!" you think. "This isn't going to be so bad after all!"

Then it happens. You hear sucking sounds like a giant vacuum cleaner coming from the front row of the classroom. Though you can't see who is making the noises, you can definitely hear them. It is the horrible sound of a student sucking up to the teacher. Yes, the wannabe teacher's pet.

This pet takes many different forms, but he always has these same characteristics:

- tries to make witty jokes with the professor
- does not let other people answer questions
- relays boring stories from his own life to impress the teacher
- sits on the front row
- generally increases the length of lecture time by at least 5% because of his incessant commentary
- is absolutely oblivious to the pain he causes her peers, and sometimes even the professor

Yes, I have one of these. In this case, it is a "she." In this case, she is in two of my four classes. In this case, my hormones make me want to jump her in the alley behind the Human Services Building.

She is in the same program that I am, and will probably continue to be in my classes until we graduate in August.

Heaven help me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Baby bottle

Does everyone SEE that my bottle is at the end of its trip? Apparently, Dillon doesn't know that.

I am kind of sad that this is almost over. Despite my occasional rants, I have loved being pregnant! It is such a blessing to be able to participate in this miracle of life. Such a blessing.

So, I will keep you posted. Soon this little guy is gonna come see us!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

More on the hurricane

I find the hurricane coverage riveting, but am quickly tiring of the news companies' perspectives. Check out Aunt Vanessa's blog for a very interesting letter from someone who is there.


Friday, September 02, 2005

More like it

In reference to my most recent post, I have an addendum.

Daniel was working security at our local evacuee center, which is currently housing about 70 Louisiana residents. I dropped by to see him a few minutes ago, and this is what I saw.

*About fifty volunteers checking people in, taking donations, and asking if they could help the various people milling around the lobby.

*A dry erase board with events posted, like local football games, and the Americana Music Festival. These are things that the evacuees can attend for free and will be bussed to and from by volunteers.

*More cases of bottled water than I could ever count.

*A mountain of donated clothes that was taller than I was.

*A medical clinic, including mental health counseling for evacuees.

*An entire gymnasium filled with other donations like food, toiletries, and shoes.

*Smiles and clean faces because these people are being fed and kept clean.

*A meal being catered and donated by a local Mexican restaurant for free.

I am proud of my little town! We need to see more of this, and less of the looting. More of this and less of the riots. These are things that make me believe that we are capable of surviving tragedy. It is nice to see the good come out in people. I am glad I got to see it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


We don't need terrorists to threaten us. Apparently, given enough rope, we will hang ourselves.

The recent footage of New Orleans is enough to make one ashamed to be even remotely affiliated with the human race. It is so sad that, despite our verbalized intentions since 9/11, we are not united. We are not helpful to one another. Desperation drives us to return to animal survival instincts, which are an every-man-for-himself mentality.

Selfishly, I am so glad that this is not any closer to my home. If my husband had to risk his life to protect people like those on the news, I would be sick with fear.


Is it just me, or are these "word" verification things getting a little out of hand? I spend more time concentrating on typing the right "word" than I do actually typing the comment! What language are those words in, anyway?

I know... gripe, gripe, gripe. That's all I do.