Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Adjusting to motherhood

I'm not sure why some people strongly disapproved of my decision to take my daughter to church Sunday.  One woman told me my child would die and it would be my fault.  I know it's winter and flu season, so I didn't bring her to Primary and I kept her covered.  Today was her first doctors appointment, and I'm pretty sure the pediatric waiting room is more dangerous than church.  I kept her covered there too.

She now weighs exactly seven pounds.  All infants loose weight when they are born but typically gain back to their birth weight by two weeks.  Andrea still a little shy of her birth weight so the doctor will check her next week just to insure she's still gaining.  She's in the 13th percentile for weight and the 76th percentile for height.  Tall and skinny, just like her dad.

Adjusting to being a mom was more difficult than I thought it would be.  Although I'd been told it'd be exhausting and demanding, the reality of motherhood seemed clouded over by my overactive imagination.  I pictured lots of cuddling, cooing, rainbows, and ponies.  There is some of that.  But between cuddles and rainbows, there is lots of worry, paranoia, nursing, and poop. Our first three nights home Andrea and I spend the entire nights awake and wrestling to understand each other.  I picked her up for every squeak and grunt, interrupting her sleep and causing her to be overstimulated.

The fourth night was a breakthrough thanks to some needed advice from my mom.  We finally got some sleep and my mothering confidence, which was in the toilet before, started to rise.  A routine formed shortly after and I discovered I have a pretty good little sleeper.  Thank heavens!

Breastfeeding has been hard which I was anticipating, but not quite in the way I thought.  I had heard so many stories of painful latches, bleeding, blisters, bruises, and babies starving from lack of milk.  Well, Andrea is a natural and aside from a little soreness the first day or two, I've had no pain.  Her latch is perfect and she's not a biter.  As far as milk production is concerned, I'm a cow.  Go figure.

The difficult part about nursing is my overinflated sense of modesty.  The first few days home I'd be sitting in my rocking chair feeding my child when spontaneous visitors would knock on the door.  Paul would scramble to find a blanket to cover me with whilst I panicked.  I had a friend give me a nursing cover that has saved my life over the holidays.  However, because it has a little U-shaped boning at the top which allows to me to peek adoringly at the bundle of preciousness in my arms, anyone else standing above me can also see down my business too.  I typically nurse sitting down so I feel very self conscious as people walk around and behind me.  I try to avoid nursing in public even with the cover because of how uncomfortable I feel.

My whole world currently revolves around Andrea's eating schedule.  That has been quite the adjustment.  If I feed her and leave her with Paul while I grocery shop or whatnot, I find myself watching the clock the entire time I'm away from her wondering if she is at home wailing for her cow mother.  Going places with her is insane fun.  I try to feed her right before we leave, giving a good two hours before she'll want to eat again, but by the time I pack the diaper bag, search for my phone, strap her in her car seat, re-find the diaper bag, calm her car seat protests with binky, head to the front door, I have to use the bathroom and I've wasted a good half hour or 45 minutes of the between feeding time.  We haven't even left the house.  So, I'm learning to do the baby prep work beforehand.  I have to do some deep breathing just thinking about this.

I've spent a few moments crying, feeling so inadequate, wondering if my imperfections will ruin this little dependent person.  We brought her home and I spent hours staring at her, believing if I blinked my little elven child would disappear.  When she cried I picked her up awkwardly and slowly, afraid she would shatter in my arms.  I've lifted up her little bum during a diaper change only to have her pee all over herself.  I've sat on my bed across from Paul taking his turn soothing Andrea at four in the morning asking myself why I ever thought I'd have something to offer as a mom, and I thank heaven that she won't remember how clumsy and inexperienced I was when she came.  I've wondered if there was a mistake made and if my little blessing was intended for a better mom who wasn't quite as Kayla-ish as I am.

But then. . . she looks up at me with her shiny eyes and crinkled forehead and I fall madly in love all over again, and my heart fills with gratitude for this chance I've been given.  I need her now, just as much as she needs me and I wouldn't change that for the world!

Whoa, enough of all that sap.  Enjoy some Christmas pictures!

 It was Andrea's first Christmas and I helped her open her presents.
Some good looking dads, Andrea, and her cousin Jax.  He's four months older than her.  It's crazy to think she'll be that big in a few months.
 Andrea wearing the Christmas bow they gave her in the hospital.

Napping with Grandma Rowberry after an exhausting day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Birth on a half birthday

Sunday night was my due date and the thought of having a baby any time soon was fastly fleeing.  With a doctors appointment on Monday I prepared myself for the news that my body wasn't progressing and that an induction might be necessary.  As much as I wanted to hold my daughter, I also wanted to deliver naturally and I'd heard horror stories about the pain that comes from pitocin induced labors.  My best chance to deliver naturally was to labor naturally.  I went to bed feeling sad.

At one o'clock I was awakened by a new sensation I'd not had before.  My abdomen was tightening like it had been for the last few days but this time it was accompanied by sharp cramping pain.  I breathed through it and watched the clock to see if it happened again.  Seven minutes later I experienced what I was guessing another real contraction.  I turned on to my side facing my alarm clock and watched it closely, taking note of the time between.  By two they were six minutes apart and about a minute long.  At three, they were five minutes apart.

At 3:17 I tapped Paul's shoulder and told him that we might have a baby today.  He grunted.  "Paul, I'm having contractions every five minutes and they hurt," I elaborated.  He was instantly awake asking what we should do.  I had a few things left to pack in the overnight bag and I wanted to tidy my kitchen.  Paul showered and between contractions I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.  At about four I called my mom and we loaded up into the car, me in a bundle of nerves.  This had to be it!  Otherwise, arousing my husband and folks to adrenaline-induced wakefulness at four in the morning for nothing was something I couldn't live down.

We checked in at the front desk and were sent to a holding room to be monitored and analyzed.  I was in real labor.  The endorphin rush of such exciting moment was short lived because contraction pain was beginning to seize my body.  I couldn't speak or move and breathing took all my focus.  I was feeling nauseated from skipping dinner the night before and I was given a tall cup of apple juice which I threw up within minutes of finishing.  My body started to tremor.  No one mentioned these symptoms to me and I was unprepared for their arrival.  I knew things were only going to get worse, so I asked my mom if she'd be disappointed if I got help for the pain.  She laughed at me!  "Do whatever you want!" she said nonchalantly, supporting me no matter what I chose.

A nurse came in to take me to a delivery suit and, feeling defeated, I asked for an epidural.

Which was. . . AMAZING!!  With my pain gone I could relax, joke, nap, and enjoy family around me as I prepared to hear the magic pushing news.

Pushing was an interesting sensation.  Imagine the worse constipation possible.  Multiply that by 12.8 and add an indescribably strong urge to excrete the blockage.  That's pushing in nutshell.  My epidural was beginning to wear off a bit and although I had a button to increase the dosage, I chose not to.  I wanted to be able to feel if I was pushing.  This turned out to be very useful.  As the baby moved down into the birth canal the monitors were having trouble picking up the contractions because (apparently) I have an odd shaped uterus.  The nurses called it my funky fundal.  Thankfully, I could feel the building pressure and could let my midwife know when I wanted to push.  I pushed for an hour or so, and then, just as I thought I had maxed out all of my energy. . .

Andrea Jane arrived
on 12/13/10 (my half-birthday)
at 2:12 P.M.
weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz.
20 inches long!

Babies don't like that eye goop.
Our first moment, skin to skin.
I had some minor tearing, so small they were having trouble finding it.  I kept bleeding while they poked and prodded and sopped and stitched.  Thank heavens I had an epidural during that!  Afterwards, I had lost so much blood that I couldn't sit up without turning green.  They monitored my blood pressure for hours, the cuff going off every five minutes, and they pumped me with bag after bag of saline solution.  The family got to hold my baby while I recovered.

Happy first-time daddy!
Wednesday morning we got to go home.  That made it feel so official.  She was ours!

And we like her A LOT!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Waiting must be part of labor 'cause it's hard work

 Due date.  I know it's just a guess and having my baby a little early or late doesn't bother me as long as she's in my arms by Christmas.  At least, that's how I use to feel.  Tuesday I went to see my midwife and I finally let her check my cervix and all the joy that comes with that.  She's been asking for about three weeks now if I wanted her to do it, and I repeatedly turned down the chance.  However, I was getting pretty close to my due date so I caved.  She excitedly put on a rubber glove, told me it was about to feel cold, and there might be some pressure.  He. . . he. . .

She was surprised to find me three centimeters dilated and 80% effaced, and she said my cervix was really soft.  We went ahead and made an appointment for me to come in on Monday (the day after my due date) just in case I didn't deliver over the weekend, but my midwife said she thought I'd have the baby by then.  I was stunned at her prediction.  I hadn't washed baby clothes yet or even packed the hospital bag because delivery had seemed so far away.  I went home-- I called my mom. I told my mother-in-law. I scared my husband.  Something was sinking into me.

Up to that point the reality of my circumstance hadn't hit me, but like a bucket of ice water splashed in my face, I was now confronting the fact that I wouldn't be pregnant for the rest of my life.  Tuesday morning giving birth seemed like some abstract idea from an episode of a sci-fi thriller; Tuesday afternoon it became reality and it was knocking at my door.  Wednesday I panicked and began final preparations.  During my first class I started feel contractions that came at regular intervals but died down by noon.  Thursday I walked and walked and walked.  I avoided sitting down, I crawled when at all possible hoping my baby would turn around so I could avoid back labor.  I did three loads of laundry, packed the overnight bag, nearly finished the baby quilt, and hiked two or three miles on campus.

At about three o'clock contractions started again and continued to come every ten minutes.  While they weren't especially painful, just uncomfortable, all the activity was wearing me down.  My stomach got more achy and tense as the evening passed.  It was like someone was standing behind me pulling the strings to an invisible corset and every ten minutes they gave an extra strong pull.  I was excited, nervous, and confused.  Excited because I could feel things happening in my body, nervous because I didn't know what to expect next, and confused because I didn't know if it was real labor or something else.  I decided to sleep on it.  If it persisted through out the night and intensified I would wake up my wheezing husband and give him the famous line I'd see in all the movies: "It's time!"

I woke up three times in the night from abdominal discomfort.  The contractions were slowing down considerably, and by the time the sun peeked over the mountains. . . That's a beautiful image, but it was actually rainy and dark. . . by the time my phone alarm started beeping at seven the contractions were all but gone.  It is Friday evening; they have not persisted much today.

Five days ago I was patient, oblivious to the fact that I'd ever deliver.  But I've since been plagued with the realization that any moment could be the moment.  It has been my ruin.  This is why I waited for so long to get my cervix checked.  I knew myself and I knew that it would effect me intensely.  This afternoon I have sat alone stewing in my own thoughts and trying not to cry.  I wish I wasn't here alone.  I wish Paul was home.  I made him soup.  At four.  I was too restless to wait 'til eight, which is his expected time of arrival.  And I made him a pie too. . . that I've had to wrestle my sorry self away from all day.

As I sat at the counter this afternoon studying for finals, my little baby played a round of Dance Dance Revolution on my rib cage.  My stomach rolled and squirmed with her movements and I began talking to her, which admittedly I haven't done a lot thus far.  I told her I loved her and I promised to take care of her.  I told her that she was miraculous and how happy she's made me in the few short months she's been apart of me.  And I let her know, as awesome as I am, she has a daddy and some grandparents who would like me to share her.  Just sayin'

We'll see if that conversation does any good.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Thursday morning Paul decided to help himself to a bowl of cereal.  This is not common as he prefers toast or something warm for breakfast and most mornings goes without it completely because neither of us have the time or energy to wake up and cook something.  He must have been desperate that day.  He peaked into the pantry and frowned.  "Do we have any good cereal?"  He asked.  I inquired as to what he meant.  Wrinkling his nose he said, "All we have are fiber cereals."  Poor guy.  I bet he's wishing he had a more exciting wife right about now.  But I believe there is a method to my madness.  I am preparing him for retirement.  As his bachelors program is coming to a close and feelings of accomplishment are setting in, realizing that you've worked for so long only to help you work another 40 years can seem discouraging.  Believing retirement to be boring and full of long days eating nothing but high fiber cereal might help him enjoy working hard for a few more years in order to buy exciting food, like frosted shredded wheat, in the future.  See?  I'm so selfless!

Okay, the high fiber cereal was bought for me.  I think it tastes good.  And it keeps me regular.  I know, too much information, but my midwife said that staying regular can help me go into labor in a timely fashion, and I'm all about that!

This week I've been really pushing myself to finish all my assignments for the semester, even if they aren't due quite yet.  Yesterday, I printed off the last one and all I have to do is study for finals.  This baby can come anytime she is ready.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our winter wonderland

It's that time of year-- when snow softly falls and blankets Utah valley in muted white.  Plows scrape their way down the streets and cars with little traction, like mine, slip and slide behind them.  Shovels are brought out from summer hibernation and sidewalks are salted in order to keep that shoveling to a minimum.  Paul slips on his trench coat, purchased for his two wet years in Washington, and heads outside to see what kind of damage he can do to the great expanse of pavement that surrounds our house.  I stay in.  We only have one shovel.  I decide to make soup for my hard working man and I chop vegetables until he saunters through the front door, wet and pink.  I smile at him and tell him the soup will be done soon as he heads to the bedroom to warm up.  I find him on the bed fifteen minutes later dozing, and my cooking is not enticing enough to move his frozen bones to the kitchen.  I rub my warm hands on his chilled arms and kiss his still red nose.  He hesitantly joins me in the kitchen and stares at his warm soup claiming his arms are too tired to lift.  I spoon one bite into his mouth and his arms miraculously find their strength and manage to feed him the contents of the bowl.  I smile and marvel at the simple memory that's just been created.

Friday I got a call from my older sister who told me she wanted to buy us our very own Christmas tree.  We braved Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving and picked out the perfect little tree.  Last night Paul and Tessa and I decorated it and sat it neatly in the corner while a evergreen scented candle burned on the hearth.  (Evergreen scented candles make fake trees seem a little more romantic.)

I pulled out my penguins for their yearly debut and positioned them happily on the couch.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. . . hoping that I'd be able to afford real stalking holders in the years to come.  Those lightweight clocks weren't going to hold very well.  (Little did I know that my grandmother had already sent some Christmas money which my mom used for this very purpose.)

The table was outfitted with its festive duds while David Archuleta sang from my laptop carols of Christmas, snow and angels.  Everything felt perfect except it hadn't snowed yet.  I woke this morning to that surprise.

After soup, Paul and I went outside to build a snowman, savoring our last few moments as a family of two.

We decided to build a snow princess, but the more we sculpted the more we realized that it wasn't the best snowman snow.  We packed all around her body and sprayed her with mists of water, strawberry scented from the perfume that owned the bottle previously.  We chiseled and smoothed, added snow and took some away.

But the snow was hardening and she wasn't looking very much like a princess.

In fact, she was beginning to resemble African war masks. . .

Combined with an elderly samurai pioneer woman.
(Which I will tell my kids was exactly what we were going for.)

She turned out pretty scary.

But she was our creation, and I was proud!

Here we are as one big happy family.  I "photoshopped" myself into the picture, and by "photoshopped" I mean I used Paint because I don't have Photoshop on my laptop. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

37 Week snapshot

Today was the first real day off I've had in a while.  No school, no work, no schoolwork.  It was beautiful.  Because this semester has been so chaotic my house has been a little neglected.  Bathrooms needed cleaning, dishes needed washing, and the carpet. . . hadn't been vacuumed in a while.  Once Paul left for work I began "project housework."  I felt so alive and in my element scrubbing around the potty and sweeping away the cobwebs (which I discovered were actually still occupied).

I also spent some time staring into here:
I'm working on getting the baby closet organized and after my baby shower on Saturday I actually have something to put in there.  There is still much we need, but we have a great start!  I love opening the double doors and touching the little clothes while imaging them on the body of my unimaginably precious little girl.  I even caught Paul in there this evening.

37 weeks!

I have more pictures to post, but I'm waiting for my little sister to e-mail them to me.
(Cough cough, hint hint, Tessa, cough cough)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where I'm suppose to be

Certain familiar smells are creeping into the air.  Customers at work are coming in smelling like mall cologne samples and leather.  Christmas shopping has begun.  Outside has taken on its fall fragrance of rich earth, wet pavement, and decaying leaves.  Ironic how the smell of a dying season brings so much life to the one it's replacing.  Upon entering my home, the smell of cinnamon and vanilla wafts below my nose and I long for holiday cooking and family gatherings.  This is a glorious time.

Just a few weeks away from giving birth and the reality of becoming a parent is slowly nestling itself into my bones, radiating from my core and pulsing down to my toes.  People tell me I still look so small, but I feel BIG.  I feel on top of the world and full of a life I've never experienced.  I feel like I'm home staring in the mirror at a person I barely recognize yet have known forever.  She's always been there, this strong presence, but I've been afraid to see her.  But when I was so weak, the little one inside me pulled that strength to the surface as if to say, "It's about time.  You may need this!"

I don't fear labor and I don't fear pain.  I've been called crazy for wanting to give birth naturally, but I feel so in-tune with my body right now that I can't imagine going through such a transcending experience and not feeling it.  I want to know.  This curiosity burns inside me begging for me to satiate its desire to have such a mortal experience.  I could be crazy after all.

I also know that a birth plan and the actual event can be quite different.  My sweet mother didn't plan on a c-section with her first two, but it happened that way.  So, I'm praying for an opportunity to give birth as I've outlined, but I've told God I'm up for alternatives if it means getting my little girl here safely.

Saturday was my last day of work.  The bittersweet experience did not make me cry as I thought I would.  Yes, there will be people I'll miss, but my heart has been so full of a peace that I can't seem to shake.  Not that I want to.  I feel I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be in this moment.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween aftermath

With Halloween out of the way I thought I was all done with spooky things.  November is for turkeys and pilgrims and overeating, none of which are too spooky.  Unless that turkey is alive and chasing you.  However. . . spooky is what I've dealt with all week.

I am terrified of crickets.  They are scarier than spiders.  Spiders are creepy but most of them just crawl and I can get close enough to them to kill them without them touching me because they just crawl.  Crickets. . . jump.  I don't want them to touch me and I can't get close enough to kill them because I have this irrational fear they will attack my face.  So I usually solicit the help of some wonderful person to dispose of the beast.

Just look at this guy.  I think I just peed a little.

Just kidding, but barely.

I have a couple of these bad boys living just outside my door and I do not like them.  They have tried to follow me inside before, and with my ninja skills and my amazing good looks (or something) I've managed to keep them out.  But Monday afternoon as I sat at this very laptop typing a paper about facebook killing social competence in adolescents using my studies in a preschool as proof (don't ask, weird assignment), I heard an occasional ticking noise behind me.  I ignored it at first, assuming something was clinking in the dishwasher.  After twenty-three minutes the wash cycle ended but the clicking did not.  I turned around.  Behind me, staring up with beady black eyes, was a large cricket

It looked like this.

I didn't like it.

I cannot confirm or deny that I may or may not have screamed.

I picked up Paul's shoe and whacked it.  It's bigger than mine so I could maintain some distance.

I lived.  Barely.

Can't say the same for the cricket.

"Ha ha!" I thought.  That must have been my Halloween scare, just a day late, but I was wrong.  Wednesday I walked into my dark apartment after morning classes and closed the door.  It smelled funny, like old shoes and vomit.  Like someone vomited in an old shoe. I sat my backpack down before hearing a strange noise.  Drip.  Drip.  Drip.  I turned on the light to this baby:

It was sitting in a pile of it's own fluids which had puddled on the counter and were dripping on the floor.  While not as scary as a devil cricket, it was much nastier to clean up.  I wrapped it in a garbage bag, laid it in a box, and drug it to the front door leaving behind me a trail of slim.  I picked it up, trying to hold it away from me and, stopping every three feet or so to set it down and pant, I walked around the house and chucked (up-chucked, nearly) this bad boy in the dumpster.

I think Halloween is officially over now.  Bring on the turkeys!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The week of Halloween

Sorry I've been a little MIA.  The past couple of weeks have been. . . challenging.  There's been lots of financial uncertainty and worry (not exactly new), but after failing my Family Finance exam I'm feeling less confident dealing with money right now.  I won't even count the change in my purse, sure I'd find a way to mess that up somehow.  Lately it's felt like someone is pulling a rug out from beneath me and in my desperate attempts to stay upright I'm knocking over the delicate things around me.

Thankfully, God gives us handrails when we start to loose our feet.

This past week in particular, as an answer to a prayer for much needed income, my boss asked me to come in a work an extra shift.  I hesitantly agreed knowing my week would already be filled with papers, tests, and assignments.  I didn't think the minor tooth ache I was experiencing would turn into a infection spreading to my jaw and a tooth extraction.  Once I finished at the dentist Tuesday morning, I went to straight to work, sobbing at the mess I was in.  Numb, upset, and depressed, I stepped into the bathroom and tried to calm myself.
After work I drove to BYU and walked to the art museum to work on a paper.  As I sat on a vinyl bench staring at a painting of a dead tree, the numbing I'd received hours earlier finally wore off and a wave of pain engulfed my head.  I began to cry again.  There was no relief-- no medicine I could take.  A security guard walked past the hopeless scene and smiled at me, obviously touched at how moved I was by that stupid painting of a dead tree.  I left the museum and found a soft place to lay down.  Class didn't start for another hour and a half, I knew I was in too much pain to nap, but as placed my head down on my backpack my eyelids drooped and thirty minutes of heavenly relief came to me.  No doubt a tender mercy.

When class finally started my teacher announced that she was pushing back the due date of our papers originally due on Thursday.  It was another tender mercy that could relax and recover for a few more days without having to worry about one more assignment.

Being on the "all liquid" diet was a challenge.  I felt hungry all the time and I worried my baby wouldn't get the nutrients she needed.  I added ground oats to my smoothies hoping it would help keep me fuller longer.  Instead it clumped together in my open socket.  Part of my blood clot eventually came out and with the impending threat of dry socket, which I heard was nearly unbearable, I began to panic again.  Thursday morning my pain was not lessening as the dentist said it should.  When my visiting teacher showed up at 9:30 a.m. she had the privileged of watching me cry at my seemingly hopeless situation.  Once she left my house she called a lady in the ward who knew a lot about essential oils.  At noon, this ward member showed up at my door with a small vile (all natural and pregnancy safe) to help me recover.  Within hours of repeated applications of the ointment I could feel some relief.  Another prayer answered.

I wish I could go on about the other ways I was blessed this week amidst my trails, but this entry would be a little too long.  But I will say this: no matter how hard this week was, there was someone leading me though it by the hand, hoping I would hold on long enough to realize it.

On a happier note, last year for Halloween I was. . . pregnant.  This year for Halloween I was really pregnant.  So I dressed up as a hippie to avoid being the same thing twice 'cause we all know that's just lame (or so I'm told).

Paul and I haven't seen much of each other lately so we decided to celebrate Halloween by having an at-home Sunday date.  I made peanut butter witch hat cookies!


 The first batch got a little burnt on the bottom.  Paul was calling them peanut butter "charcoal-ate" cookies.  I followed the directions on the recipe.  375 degrees for 12-14 minutes but that gas oven is just a little. . . hot.  So I cooked the remainder of the batches at 350 for seven minutes.  That seemed to do the trick.

We ate jack-o-lantern pizza!

 And we finally got to carve the pumpkins we bought weeks ago.  Every year Paul and I have been together we've carved a pumpkin.  This year we purchased two.  One for us and one for our little pumpkin, which we carved for her. ;)  It will be a while until I feel she's old enough to wield a knife.

P.S. We don't plan on eating her.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Steve Irwin proud

Our new apartment is in a basement.  This is good because it stays cool.  This is bad because there's more. . . wild life.  I'm learning to care for these creatures though like Marsha, the spider above the washing machine, and the feral cat from the deck I affectionately call Kitty-kitty.  Often the Kitty-kitty is usually proceeded by a 'good', 'nice', 'stay', or 'please don't eat me!'  But for the sake of blogging, I'll stick to plain ol' Kitty-kitty.  A couple weeks ago our upstairs neighbors asked us to watch the critters while they were out of town.  I was happy to oblige.  This job entailed feeding Kitty-kitty, changing the litter box (which Paul agreed to do for me), and gathering eggs from these creatures:

I've had some irrational fears in the past, but this goes way beyond rational.  It's survival!  Everyone said that these birds are total chickens.  Just walk in the hen house and they'll scatter.  Picking up eggs should be a synch.  LIES!  These chickens like human flesh.  When I approach the pin they immediately perk up and file out of the house, slowly pecking toward me as they squawk madly.  They do not 'bock bock' all cutely like in movies.  That is another lie.  My ankles feel vulnerable thinking about them.

So. . . I asked Paul if he'd gather eggs.  He is the man.  It's his job to do yucky and scary.  I volunteered to distract the poultry outside so he could sneak into the house without incident.  This worked masterfully, but one evening Paul decided he could gather eggs on his own.

That was a really bad idea, bless his heart.

He opened the door to the hen house very slowly.  Most of the animals were out in their little yard.  He entered and closed the door behind him.  Two eggs sat precariously on the ground and he picked them up with his left hand.  That’s when they caught a whiff of man scent.  One entered through the little bird-sized door. Then a second and third and fourth and fifth.  The ferocious fowl began marching towards him.  Their cries were piercing and shrill.  "Doom on you," they shouted.  He waved his foot out at them, which deterred them momentarily, but they were not frightened. Paul bolted for the door and continued to nudge them with the side of his shoe hoping he could escape without letting any chickens out.

How he made it out alive, I'll never know.

You may be rolling your eyes right now.  I understand; I use to feel the same.  So I had a “friend” of mine film a documentary to help you appreciate the trauma we’ve experienced.

Complete with deleted scenes:

These clips and more can be purchase on DVD on November 31 at a gas station near you!
($79.99 plus shipping and handling)

This week the chickens went to the "Special Place" probably to become someones stew.  They will be greatly missed, but their memory will live on. . .  in my nightmares.  He he, just kidding.  I really do miss them and all their little quirks.  I miss the aggressive red hen, the self-mutilating spotted hen, and the hen that walked around with poop on it's back for a week or two.  I can't wait for spring when our upstairs neighbors get some new chicks!  They will be so adorable.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sign language

My husband is a sweet man.  He's always thanking me for the culinary masterpieces I cook up for him. . .
(Slightly burnt, but also slightly eatable.)
(I don't remember what this was. . .)
. . . as well thanking me for the trips to the bank I run on his behalf.  But rather than verbally acknowledging all of these things every time I complete one, (that would take too long anyway ;P), he varies his gracious gestures using signals that I've picked up on.

For instance, "Belch!"  Translated that means, "Gee, darling and talented wife, that food was magnanimous!"  Or when he plays with my hair before bed-- that means, "The back rub I got last night was superb as usual, darling.  Remind me how that went?"  My favorite is the lip smacking.  This usually means, "I'm thanking you in advanced for retrieving my water bottle from the fridge and bringing it to me, attractive lady."  Though, I only admit to understanding this signal occasionally.  Often I just smile at him real cute-like and pretend I didn't hear.  He he, the frigde just seems so far away sometimes. . .

I have signals too.  When I pat the couch cushion beside me it means, "Come sit down, kind sir.  I'm cold and I need snuggles."  Or when the alarm clock rings and I rub his shoulder, that means, "The alarm went off-- start wiping sleepies from your eyes."  If the alarm rings again, I rub his chest which translates into, "Get up or I'm turning on the light!"  When I turn on the light, it's my very polite way of saying, "I give up!  I'm going to start telling you about a long vivid dream until you roll out of bed to escape the boring slumber tales of my dad purchasing a donkey and a pig in order to become self-sufficient and how he brought them over to our house and tried to convince us to raise them but the pig kept pooping everywhere so I tied it to a tree and hoped my sister's dog would eat it and. . ."  And I'm quite sure that's where he starts to just hear, "Wah wah wah wah wah," like the grown-ups on Snoopy because he throws off his covers by this point.

These little things make being married so fun-- having our own secret code that only we understand and laughing at how silly it is.  I wish I got to see him more often.  Between school and work, we have very little time together.  Being at school, watching couples coo and goo-goo around campus makes me miss my sweetie a lot.  I’m thankful that life, like weather, flows in seasons and someday the season of being home together will start.  According to my Family Finance teacher that happens at about age 65.  I guess I can wait 40+ years cause this guy. . .

He’s worth waiting for.

In other world news, look what my sister bought for me.  Let the quilting begin!  Thanks Aunt Jelly!