Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sleepless Nights and What to Do with Them.

This is a phenomenon of one woman who is 57.

Insomnia has never been something I've dealt with. Also, I'm not a worrier. Not to say I never worry - but it doesn't describe me. Obviously there are things that are big enough in my life that might weigh on my mind - but I don't "own" worry. Not one of the weaknesses I deal with. So - worry doesn't keep me from sleeping.

So...... at this stage of my life.....I will go along my usual pattern - daytime/awake - nighttime/asleep - good sleep - but all along, even after having fallen asleep on the couch and waking long enough to stumble to bed - eager to return to my slumber - my brain's eyes slowly come fully awake and there is no falling asleep. Weird. It is either hormonal or it is God keeping me awake to commune with me. (that is my 57 year old phenomenon I was talking about - very unpredictable)

An aside - I want to come clean with all of you young women who are believers and read all about the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. I know one thing about verse 15. It says that "She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens."
Well - I'm thinking this lady is a mature woman and I now, too, rise while it is yet night - but it's because I can't sleep....sometimes, and I get a lot done when I "can't sleep". If I'm sleepy, I sleep - unless I'm helping one of my girls with their newborns. I know that Ann is a young woman and that right now she, too, rises while it is yet night - to feed Andrew. She definitely provides food for him - but she has no maidens and if she did, well, she would have them providing their own food - and probably telling them to forget the food - could they please hold Andrew and burp him between feedings.

Back to if I sleep or don't sleep.

Last night, after many many many nights of being able to sleep - well, I couldn't - when my head hit the pillow. I had already been asleep on the couch and couldn't wait to get to my bed. I now know NOT to get up if I need the sleep - because I certainly wouldn't fall asleep if I'm up and about - I mean, I would get up if there were things to be done - but I needed to fall asleep - not knowing what this new day would hold. So - I lay there with some weird secular song in my brain - not sure where that came from unless it was from my blog. Probably. So - I began to think about God - of course(and I prayed earnestly for wisdom - asking would it be better to get up and read His word or to lay there and pray the scripture I know, in order to soon get sleep as He enabled me) - I've always done that on my pillow at night - focused on God, in a personal way - way back into earliest childhood memories. I believe it is the way He has always spoken to me and what led me to my salvation - another post - okay - so last night - wanting to get that stupid song out of my brain I began to remember praise verses in scripture - majestic ones - but not knowing the complete passages, I determined that I MUST memorize this stuff - something I've never been able to deliberately do - memorize scripture. It's only in studying it over and over that I memorize it without planning to. So - there I lay - and I just want to say that at age 57 - God has done that thing in me - that I now know there is no peace in anything but focusing on the complete holiness of the God of ALL Creation. It dissolves any fears, any worries, any distractions, any worldly wants regarding things one can't have at the present, it pales all other things and answers all needs and prayers. What got under my skin was not knowing the entire passages - so I purposed that I would begin the project that I have so often meant to start.

I love to type. My eyesight is getting worse and worse. I use reading glasses and magnifying glasses to see small print. So - today - I've been working on putting in print my best and most faith strengthing praise scripture and prayer scripture. I need this collection for when I'm really really old and can't see a thing and need really large print. and at that age, the only thing I will need in my life is God's word and someone making me comfortable - but if I don't have someone making me comfortable, then I will only need God's word.

I hate taking scripture out of context - but I've done my best to include the entire passage that wouldn't misrepresent the verses - if that makes sense. Praising God - how can that ever be out of context - and the reality of His Kingdom - it stands alone.

I've said all of this to say, that when I can't think of a single thing about "this world and this life" to post about - then I'm going to share some of that scripture that praises the Eternal God - and encourage anyone reading this to take hold of it - for whatever you are facing on a daily basis.

To be continued. You won't get the verses at this moment. I have run out of "typing time" and will post a praise and prayer passage in the next post. Unless I've thought of something to write about regarding "this world". :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night.

Saturday night.

Andrew is working on being 3 weeks.

Mary Ann was just here for a visit, to see Andrew.

She came on Thursday and left this morning.

Ann and Steve and Andrew are at the church tonight for a little outing. Younger couples, (Scott's class), are watching the movie, "Fireproof".

Ellie and Luke are here at our house.

I have nothing memorable to post - but not wanting the same post to remain -

Perhaps Monday I'll have something to write.

I miss Laura Beth and Ada and Sarah and Kate - That leaves Scott out - awwwww - I wish that Scott and Laura Beth and Ada were close by - and Sarah and Kate. My whole family I want close by. Seems like anything is closer than Albuquerque - I'll never get over how far away that was. Except that Kate is going to China during her Spring Break. I'm just not cut out for so much distance.

I need to close.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday and no time to post!

I really can't post much, but things are rather active around here.

We have two family weddings in April, back to back, and one involves a luncheon in March. I enjoy this stuff and enjoy projects and planning, yet it does require time and that is what I'm involved in. Mary Ann and I have planned the theme of the luncheon around family - in fact, the guest list consists only of family-female - we are so scattered - and the list consists of 30 - so today I've been working on "sewing" tablecloths for our "tables" - when stumped at what to use, I have a tendency to find an affordable way to get what I need. In this case, sew my own tablecloths - I am sick of renting at a very high price, tablecloths....or buying them at a very high price.

On top of that - Andrew is waking up - that would be Ann's new baby - plus she has 2 others older, Ellie and Luke - and I'm having flashbacks of when my Mom was 6 hours away and couldn't be here in Scottsboro - when I had number 3 and number 4 - so I want to help out as much as possible - but today I have no car. Charlie is going to get off work and we are going out there during the maddening hour - 5:00 until whenever - we were there last night and it does get rather crazy....Hasn't it been called the bewitching hour? Something like that. Church members are bringing meals for 3 weeks following his birth, so that is a huge help. Ann did not get good sleep last night....but perhaps tonight. Andrew is an excellent nurser - in fact, that's all he wants to do and cries if he isn't using Ann as a pacifier. Well - there you are -

In the meantime I'm working on tablecloths and tomorrow Mary Ann, my sister, is traveling to Scottsboro to get a peek at Andrew. So - need to tidy up a bit.

It's really, really raining outside right now - pouring down hard.

Memory of Ann as an infant - it stands out.

All she wanted to do was nurse - and she was my first baby. Nothing else satisfied her - so, one day, I said to myself - FINE! THEN! You want to nurse? We'll nurse!!! I sat in a very comfortable chair - in front of the TV(no remotes then) and nursed her all day long. She slept and nursed, slept and nursed, if she stirred, there I was, very available. It's this baby, grown up, who is now dealing with her little boy who wants the same thing - only she has 2 other children - Of course I couldn't do that every day and I don't remember what I did after that - but it answered my questions - she just liked to nurse, constantly and frequently - and if she was full, I was her pacifier. It can get pretty crazy. I think for Ann, four months was the magic figure - it's when I remember feeling sane again. At six months I began to wean Ann - I was so tired, physically - and instinct just prompted me that it was all the milk I was producing. I don't know, but I did quit nursing her at 6 months.

Laura Beth also loved to nurse and she had what is now called reflux. Bad reflux. Large volumes would project out onto carpet, furniture - clothing - Laura Beth was 18 months younger than Ann - but fortunately Ann was a very helpful, obedient little girl and cooperative - Laura Beth was losing what seemed like large volumes of milk, but she was gaining so much weight!! Therefore the doctor was not concerned - but I was exhausted, cleaning up all that milk and constantly nursing her. The worst night I remember - Laura Beth was desperately nursing - Charlie was sleeping - LB nursed and spit up - even through her nose - I was so frustrated and not knowing what to do. I would try not to nurse her, but she cried so hard - I was spent - I went upstairs, to see if Charlie was awake - I should have just wakened him, but my hormones and personality were mad that he didn't wake on his on - Ann was sleeping - good thing - but I needed help - so I got the rocking chair that was in our bedroom and "BUMPED" it down the stairs - with the intention of waking him - it worked - I was crying - he was coming to life and willing to help - but really not knowing what to do. I can still see little Laura Bessie, my nursing her, she was acting desperate, and I was saying to her, "Just calm down - in a tone as if I was addressing an adult child". She didn't know how to calm down - she would drink the milk with such speed and intensity that she'd get choked, she'd spit it up as she was drinking it, and it would even come through her nose, and then she'd cry so hard!!!. Sad. But my recollection is that at 3 months she became manageable and at 6 months really really fun. and at 8 months she quit spitting up large volumes. That was what my doctor predicted. They didn't call it reflux then. He told me that the valve which holds the stomach contents in was not fully developed and that by 8 months or so it would be large enough to keep her contents completely in. The volumes grew increasingly smaller and more manageable, so I guess that was as her valve was developing and by 8 months it wasn't a problem. I've heard of children who have it longer. By 8 months I was so tired, that I quit nursing her.

Sarah - I don't remember too much unpleasantness with her. I remember being so sleepy, and she was the first one with whom I would awaken in bed, holding her, and nursing her, and not remember getting up to get her to feed her. So - with Sarah I was walking in my sleep and bringing her to bed to nurse her. Scary!!! I do remember one night I was so sleepy and couldn't get her quiet and by then, without a lot of drama, I just wakened Charlie, and he got up and rocked her and they did fine. He and Sarah. She was not my biggest fan of nursing. It might have been my fault. I knew nothing about nipple confusion - so I was going to get her used to the breast and bottle at the same time. She preferred the bottle, so I said, "Forget that" and only nursed her. But at 4 months she got a bit of a virus and I fed her pedialyte in a bottle....after that she screamed when I tried to nurse her - it hurt my feelings, but I relinquished. So - beginning at 4 months I began to wean her. I hated doing that and it made me very sad to let go.

Kate - Ann was 7, LB was 5 1/2 and Sarah was 2. I could do anything with my right hand and nurse her in my left arm. I nursed her a lot and all the time. I was 36 and not interested in losing a lot of sleep. So - as soon as I could I would put her in the bed with me - laying on my side and I would nurse her. She loved it - I slept - and guess who got used to sleeping with Charlie and me. Not a great habit and VERY DIFFICULT to break!!! That was a mistake, but I did it. I nursed Kate for one year. I do remember one particularly bad night with Kate - she wouldn't sleep - she was a newborn - and Charlie came down to check on me - I was so emotional and he couldn't have said the right thing if he had tried - everything he said upset me -and in my distress I made the dramatic comment that "He and I had made a mistake getting married, that we just weren't right for each other!" Imagine saying that, as I'm up at night with our fourth child. That's always so funny to me now - and it proves how crazy hormones get. Charlie didn't take it personally nor did he take it seriously. We'd been married 8 years at that point and he knew me well enough to know I was blowing steam. I can't remember, now, what month seemed doable with Kate - either the 3rd or 4th. It's in that time frame when things begin to make a little sense.

Newborns are demanding.

I've been thinking about that all day, knowing that Ann is entering the really tough zone.

Who watches the Biggest Loser on TV. You know the "last chance workout"? A newborn, and dealing with all of that, reminds me of how hard the "last chance workout" is. Feels so impossible, but the rewards are immeasurable - On the biggest loser they are measured - on the scales - but these babies - The most difficult and the best thing ever.

So - I posted about what I like to remember, my favorite things, and "it's hard to remember it".

As difficult as the infant stage was and is, I still loved it all. I wanted 2 more babies, and still wish I had them - but I was 36 and just didn't have it in me to do another C-Section.

I love these Grandbabies. I love them. I'm already anxious for LB to have another and for Kate and Sarah to get married and start having babies. What is my deal? I love babies and always have.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


quick post. just to get the other one off the leading spot.

I was all in that Troy mentality, but life is so real and so active and so present.

I went with Ann, yesterday, for her week and one half checkup with Andrew.

The pediatrician for Ellie, Luke, and Andrew is Mike Powell who was the pediatrician for my girls. He is an old college friend of Charlie. He actually is the one who shared the gospel with Charlie and Charlie was "born again". He is the one who threw the life preserver out to Charlie. I like to think of it like that. Who threw it out to you? if you're reading this....and if noone did - well - I will - just comment and I'll share the gospel with you. It is life changing and gives you life!!!

Back to checkup. Andrew weighed 7lb 2 oz at birth - lost those few ounces in the hospital - and went home weighing 6lb. something oz. Yesterday he weighed 8 lb. 12 oz. It shows in his tummy. Instead of a "beer gut", he has a "breast milk gut". awwww. He loves to nurse. Yay! That's what moms are looking for when they choose to nurse their babies - but don't always get it. Fortunately for me, all four of mine were that way. LOVED IT!! And the milk was flowing like a fountain. When I took Laura Beth for her first checkup, the doctor said, "her weight gain is spectacular". Those were his words, exactly. She did love to nurse, and spit up sooooo much - what they now call reflux, and she had it to the max. I'm still talking about it. Anyway, inspite of the milk she lost, she continued to gain and be a very round baby.

Ann and I made 2 stops in H'ville and hightailed it home. Steve and Charlie had shared shifts, keeping Ellie and Luke. Returned to S'boro and naps and in the end........Ellie and Luke stayed with Charlie and me. We did a Friday night Triple R outing. Live music!!! It was so very very Jackson County. Love it. Saw folks. Then a run to Wal-Mart - and home. That is Friday night in Scottsboro. Ellie and Luke were spending the night with us. We did baths, dessert, and then bedtime. I slept with Ellie. Luke went down on his own. But later, Charlie slept with Luke.

Saturday. We had them until naps and here I am.

Okay..........What was I saying about Troy and all those old memories??? I can't remember.

Just staying with the present time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Brain Is in Troy, Alabama

The last dream I had before I woke up this morning was about my paternal grandfather in Troy - only in the dream he looked more like my maternal grandfather from Evergreen - analyze that! I was at some conference/retreat thing - spiritual in nature, I think - and having a rare opportunity to "get acquainted with my grandfather". In the dream we were both feeling a sadness over the fact that we'd never had the time to get to know each other(he died when I was about 4 or 5/my mother's dad died when I was 15) In the dream I watched him walk away, I guess go back to heaven - I don't know. How hard is it to describe a dream?! Very difficult. Next scene I'm walking in the front door of his house at 110 Murphree Street in Troy Alabama. In reality, the house actually ended up belonging to my uncle, my dad's bachelor brother who always lived in that house with his parents until they died and then until he died in 1985. Back to the dream, I walked in the very large front door, and a handfull of my friends were there. One was sitting on the couch in the "front hall", another to the right in the "library"; I spoke with them and walked into the dining room, speaking with my uncle Halbert about all the things in there - in the dream I knew that he was about to sell the house to some girl who I knew wouldn't respect the true beauty of the house - I was very sad. He and I walked into the breakfast room and then into the kitchen. From the kitchen I walked out on the back porch and then through the bedrooms and back again into the "front hall". (It was always called that, although it was more like a formal living room.) (Also, the back porch was more of an enclosed room - the back wall was screened with lattice covering the screen.) In my dream I can see everything in those rooms just as they used to be - amazing, the brain and what it records.

Next scene I'm walking to my car, talking to my Dad(who hasn't, up to this point, been in the dream - and all of a sudden I'm the age when I was still single (I married at age 28 - Ann just had her 3rd baby at age 28) Only in the dream Daddy is Daddy, but he's also Charlie(my husband if you are reading this and don't know me). That too is odd - but he's mostly Daddy - and I'm appealing to him, pleading, I want to own that house and I want to live in Troy - make my life in Troy - because I have a sense that I am just starting out - whatever career I might begin - And he agrees - He says, "Okay - well I'll just have to talk with Charlie and draw up the papers". Then, in that moment Charlie is in my life - but not my husband really - crazy - but the incredible sense of relief - that I have saved that house - it will be mine and always mine and knowing all the work I'll have to do and all the money I will have to earn to restore it - I was so happy and so relieved and I woke up.

That is always a shock - to wake up after a very real dream - and it was 2009, I'm living in Scottsboro - I've lived in Scottsboro for 29 years - but my brain still travels back to Evergreen and to Troy. I got up and had a cup of coffee. Love that first cup of coffee.

With Troy still on my brain, I decided that was a cue to blog about old Troy memories - and I sat in the hall in front of the cabinet where I keep the old Troy stuff - there's so much - where to begin - and I landed on an old letter written to my grandmother from a friend. The letter really has very little interest to me, since I don't know the lady - but it's a slice of life from 1911. I read it - it was important enough to my grandmother to "glue" into her scrapbook - so they must have been good friends. After reading it, I looked at the address and the date. The return address is 486 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA. The extent of the address is:

Mrs. John Wilkerson
The postmark is Atlanta, GA December 29, 1911 - and there are two green one cent stamps on it.
It's 1911, so Daddy hadn't even been born yet. He was born in 1913.
Here is how it reads
486 Spring St
Dec 28th 1911
My dear Net
You have no idea how much pleasure that beautiful picture you sent me has given us. I have it on my bureau and I can't help taking it up and gazing at it whenever I am in my room. I think the older boy is the image of John and the baby (is it a boy too?) is just like you. I wrote to Claire about the picture and wished she had one too. I think it is one of the sweetest pictures I ever saw.
We had a very quiet time Christmas. My children remembered me so generously. You know I have so many children now I am rich & I expect Delmar will marry in the Spring, a lovely girl just twenty yrs old. It has not been announced yet but I suppose it will be in April.
Gordon married a lovely girl and is very happy. Ella is living right across the street from us keeping house in her own home. Nell & her husband & baby are with us. Her husband is in business here & they board with us. The baby is nine months old and is the best baby I ever saw. We have never had a nurse for her. We are going to have her picture taken and I will send you one.
I hope you had a happy Christmas and will enjoy all the happiness and prosperity next year that heart could wish.
Remember me to John & all the rest of my friends
Your Friend
Mrs. P H Baker
Okay - so I was curious - I mapquested that address. Well, I expected it to be in some "scary" part of Atlanta, if it still existed at all - since that was 98 years ago - You know how old nice neighborhoods in cities become the "rougher" areas as people evolve and move into newer developed areas. Actually, it's in downtown Atlanta. The address is still there, but I'm guessing a lot of medical businesses - it's close to a hospital - I-75 and I-85 cross over that street.
Also - funny that while they sound as if they are dear friends, she did not know if my uncle Thomas was a boy or a girl - I'm guessing his hair was cut "long" for a boy - and he had on rather billowy clothing. He was probably only a year old - I think he was 3 years older than daddy. Grandmother must not have put his name on the picture. I wonder if it might have been a Christmas card photo situation. Remember, not only was there no email in those days - the phoning was extremely limited and even postal stuff - well - who could write all those notes to all those people who moved away - but there was no TV - so I think there were many letters written. Either this Mrs. Baker was a good bit older than Grandmother(her children were young marrieds) or she married much younger than my grandmother who actually did marry considerably late for that time. I think Grandmother, like myself, was in her late twenties when she married. Daddy was 34 when he married my mother who was 28. Granddaddy was a good bit older than Grandmother - so our generations are really stretched far apart. Daddy was 38 when I was born - so my grandfather was quite old - hence he died before I could really know him, but I have very vivid mental images of him. Very vivid and he made quite an impression on me. I think I must have been in awe of him and a little curious at his dignified air, yet warm air. I think he was a very kind and caring man - but reserved - which was common for the culture then. My maternal grandfather had a different feel - but equally kind and caring - but such a unique personality - and a bit more "user friendly".
So - that is that letter - and that world in 1911.
I need to do other stuff - but I feel like writing about a lot of Troy memories - that dream really spurred me on -
I've got to end this post. I have a million things to do.
Well, guess what?
Okay, all of this is an edit to the post I just published. Because - I got up from the computer, went to put that very old letter back into the very old envelope which was glued into my grandmother's very old scrapbook - and my eyes landed on another small old envelope which was postmarked Atlanta, GA July 8 1913 - yet different handwriting from the other Atlanta, GA note which I just transcribed above. So, I got myself another cup of coffee and a Fiber One Bar and sat down to read the contents of this next envelope.
This next envelope holds 2 different notes written to my grandmother - It would appear that Mrs. P H Baker died and Grandmother had written sympathy letters to her daughters, who had been mentioned in her 1911 December note to Grandmother. That saddened me, because it's only 2 years later - and she had written so highly of her children - now they are writing regarding their mother.
Here they are:(another little item of interest - this is July 1913 - Daddy would be 2 months old - grandmother adjusting to having a 3rd son)
My dear Nett
I want to thank you for your sweet note of sympathy. I don't know how we will ever live without Mama. She was just as young and energetic when she died as when she lived in Troy. It was a terrible blow and one that will be hard to get over. We miss her in everything we do and everywhere we go for we treated her as a chum more than anything else.
I believe Mama expected to have her little visit with you although she would always put off her pleasures for ours and there was something to keep her at home all of the time, but she often spoke of you and how she would enjoy visiting you and seeing your children.
Sister came down from New York and stayed for two or three days with us. She kind-- in a way just filled Mama's place while she was here.
Mama was digging in her flowers early in the morning and we felt uneasy and went to look for her and she was under a little tree where she had sat down and probably fell back, dead with the hoe still in her hand. Wasn't that a beautiful way to go. She would have been miserable if we had had to wait on her a day - The girls and boys also want me to thank you for your sweet notes.
Most Sincerely,
Ella B. Ruse
411 (or 471) Spring Street.
Other Note in the Very Old and Browned Stained Envelope:
Sunday -
My dear Net,
We are all so stunned and heart-broken for Mama that we can hardly think.
She has been perfectly well and just as active as ever. You know Mama could do more than anybody. Honey spent the night out with us Tuesday night and we all played the piano & sang and Mama was as jolly as any one of us. We sat up till about eleven o'clock and when we went to bed Mama said she was going to get up early and dig around her roses. She does that often and I heard her get up and walk down the drive. I dozed off and waked up at six o'clock feeling awfully anxious about her because everything was so still. I dressed and went out to look for her and found her under a little tree already gone - It nearly killed us all. Her mother went the same way and Mama had always said that she wanted to go that way. But we are so lonesome and miserable without her. We all depended on her just like we did when we were little children.
She spoke of you so sweetly the other day and said she wanted to write you. She was so fond of you, Net, and I do wish that she could have visited you. She wanted to very much, but something always happened to prevent. Sister came down and stayed a week with us. The shock was awful for her.
We all try to be as cheerful as we can because we know that Mama would want us to.
We appreciated your sweet letter so much and I wish you would write to us when you can. I would love to hear from you.
Guess you don't know about Buddie's baby girl. She is a darling and Buddie is so happy over his little family.
Give my love, love from all of us, to Miss Josie and all your family. Sister wished so much that she could see you when she was here.
Nell Baker Strong
(A small aside - on the 1913 envelope is one red 2 cent stamp - instead of the 2 green one cent stamps that were on the 1911 envelope)
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
And while this is true, it was written by a despairing Solomon - and he was reflecting on the hopelessness of our flesh and the fact that we are all a vapor - James 4:14 - "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" - we have the hope of Christ and Eternity and that is what gives our small, repetitive lives meaning if we have truly been born again- He, the God of all Creation is working out His plans in us - when we are yielded to Him - there - we have the supernatural privilege of offering our lives to Him for Him to be glorified in us. OH PRIVILEGE!!
So our best memories, the best of homes and houses and lives, turn to dust - but when we have been raised in newness of life by the resurrected Christ, then the best is before us - in eternity.
I still find it so very interesting to look back into these lives and old cultures and see the same emotions, the same relationships, the delight of the births of new babies and the excitement of living out daily, disciplined lives. God made us that way and all generations do it and continue to move on.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Back to What I Like to Remember + Favorite Things (Hints of Spring)

These pictures are of my still bleak yard, but showing promise of spring.
We are having unusually mild weather and will probably pay for it with severe, stormy weather, but I'll take it. And I hope we don't have too many buds come out only to be killed by a freeze.
But these early shoots are normal and typical for the southeast and it gets me a bit giddy thinking about warmer days and brighter, more colorful days.
All these little bitty green beginnings remind me of little bitty Andrew.
So new and so tender. I love the way they push up the pine straw that Charlie used to mulch our beds. It's amazing how things come to life every year.



Irises or Iris? Correct Plural, I don't know.

Pincushion Flowers and Purple Lilacs
being watched by Mr. Bunny



And those are my pictures showing that spring is starting to wake up.
And now a few of my fifth grade diary entries. I didn't do any of January - on purpose -
They are a little too simple and mindless. My pride didn't want to reveal just what a goofy 10 year old I was - but I guess I was -
I just think that it's fun to see what I was doing that February of 1962 compared to this February of 2009, when my 4th grandchild was born. How could I have known what life would look like to me at age 57? In so many ways I still feel like that 10 year old, and I can clearly and vividly still know some of the ways she thought and felt.
Thursday February 1, 1962: Dear Diary, Today I told Jimmy Bell (a friend of my boyfriend) that Marily Mason liked him. She told my boyfriend I didn't like him. (I'm worried)
(this is what I call ultimate goofy - I remember Marilyn was mad and embarrassed that I told that - and let me just say that none of our feelings ran deep at all in regard to these boyfriends - mine certainly didn't over this particular 5th grade boyfriend - I'll have to say I was a bit "boy crazy" . Never was able to play it very cool in that regard - I needed, quite often, to have been a good bit more subtle)
Friday February 2, 1962: Dear Diary, Today I played with Jeannie Knox Livings. We went for a ride with her mother, daddy, and little brother, Jeffrey.
Saturday February 3, 1962: Dear Diary, Today I played with Jane White. Mr. Hart (a man on Williams St.) found a woodpecker in his car. He gave it to Jane.
Sunday February 4, 1962: Dear Diary, Today I pulled a tooth. It was the 4th one from the back left, on the bottom. I don't have my 12 yr. molar. (There is a tape stain in my diary page where I once had the tooth taped on the page)
Monday February 5, 1962: Dear Diary Today I pulled another tooth. It's the 3rd one from the back on the bottom left.
Tuesday February 6, 1962: Dear Diary, Today Miss McMillan (my teacher) had to get out of school for a while. Mother taught us while she was out.
(Let me just say that I remember that day - and mother didn't actually teach. She was not a school teacher by any stretch of the imagination. She just sat in there for maybe an hour or two. Neither am I a school teacher, and I remember having to do the same thing for Laura Beth's 6th grade class, once. I was so nervous and I went in with bags of candy bribing them to be so nice and in control - I could never be a school teacher.)
Wednesday February 7, 1962: Dear Diary, Today is Mary Claire's birthday. She's my cousin. I went to see her. She is 1 year old. She is so cute.
(Again - amazing - Mary Claire now lives in Birmingham with her husband and 3 children who are now teenagers. Her oldest daughter is about to graduate from high school - Mary Claire's mother is my Aunt Mary. Mary is the youngest of the four Northcutt girls. I've written about them in other blogs.)
Thursday February 8, 1962: Dear Diary, Today Ann Key and Willard Livingston(Ann Key is daddy's cousin) dropped in to see Daddy and Mother.
(I remember that day - I can see them coming in the door - and Daddy was so excited. Apparently this cousin of his, was in his same age bracket and they had been quite close. He called her Ann Key - but I know she was Ann Key Livingston - married to this Willard Livingston. I suppose I wrote about it in my diary because the visit caused Daddy to be quite animated - He told how when they were young, the two of them were really good dancers - probably during the swing band era - and they enjoyed dancing together at so many events. - I loved that story and thinking about Daddy dancing so good.)
Friday February 9, 1962: Dear Diary, Today after school I played with Jane White and Jeannie Knox Livings. We didn't have homework.
Saturday February 10, 1962: Dear Diary, Today I went to the circus. Ella, my grandmother, and Jeannie Knox, my friend, went with us. A lady and a man were shot out of a cannon.
(There are no words to describe that fun fun day. It was in Montgomery at the colliseum. I am surprised I invited Jeannie Knox instead of Jane White. Jeannie Knox was quite attached to her mother and we weren't nearly as connected as Jane and I. Who knows? Or my cousin, Rachel. Why didn't I invite her? There must have been reasons. I'm guessing for Mother and Daddy it would have been much easier with Jane or Rachel.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saturday with Andrew

These pictures were taken yesterday of Andrew -
on his first Saturday after being born into this world. Those 5 day old baby legs.

Andrew - welcome to Saturdays at the Barber home.

Luke's just staring at his baby brother.
(Today at church people were saying hello to Luke, with a hint of compassion in their voice - as if they were well aware that he no longer was the baby - which prompted me to say to them, "Luke is officially the 'middle child' ".
Whoa - all kinds of voices came out of the woodwork - saying they, too, were middle children and it would be okay)

Ellie wasn't liking it that my camera's flash would be in Andrew's eyes.
She wanted me not to disturb him.

Luke placed this little blue guy beside Andrew.

Again, as in an earlier post - Luke's official camera smile.

The Yawn

relaxed in Kate's arms

Those toes, which I've heard described as being like early spring peas.

Again - the bowed legs and feet - after 9 months of being folded up inside mommy.

In Charlie's lap - this is the life, isn't it?

I love this angle. I love it.

Sorry this blog is not supposed to be about my grandchildren, but that is predominant in my brain right now since Ann just delivered Andrew on February 2. The Charlie Rhodes Family has revolved this past week around the Steven Barber family due to the birth of Andrew Bailey Barber. Tonight will be my first night back home in my own bed. Ann and Steve will fly solo tonight - but I'll probably go out there tomorrow to help with house maintenance.
and many other days - plus nights - to help folks catch up with sleep.
Andrew is beginning to "wake up" - and that is when it gets hectic before it gets manageable.
He's not at all fussy - yet - but these are still the "sleepy" days.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Andrew as He Is at Four Days

This is Andrew as he is at 4 days. He's no more beautiful than anyone else's baby, but aren't babies heaven on earth??? What is it about them? He smells as good as he looks. Just had to share these pictures with anyone who is interested. I can't write for now - need to go. I'm being a grandmother which is a tremendous privilege!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Andrew was born yesterday!

Well, if anyone is reading this, then you already probably know that Andrew Barber was born yesterday - I just spent so much time downloading pictures of the big event , but Laura beth uses my computer when she is here - and when I go to the blog spot, it goes to her blog - but I don't usually catch it. Anyway - the post for my blog with all the pictures is on Laura Beth's blog and I just don't have time to change all of that. I have way to much to do right now.

so - if you don't know how to get to her blog, then just look at my list of blogs, it's All Things Ada.
click on it and you'll see my post.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Closing to "Happy Birthday to Ann" - See Previous Post

.....Okay - so I woke up to the nurses telling me I had a baby girl - and I was ecstatic - and then it all came back to me - so I began to ask, is she okay? and all of that and they were telling me to cough to clear my lungs and that was hurting so badly to do that and there were people all around checking my vitals, etc. and then the anesthesiologist said something about the baby giving them a scare - which at that point I began to ask what they meant - and they were all vague - so another nurse asked if I'd like to see her, which of course I wanted to and didn't know I could under the circumstances - because I kept closing my eyes and they kept telling me to stay awake and to cough - it was hard to do either - but then in came a nurse with Ann -

Oh my my goodness! She was crying so hard and so strong and then I started crying and they propped me up so I could hold her - she and I were both crying and I was saying, "don't cry, don't cry" - but it was such a strong healthy cry that I knew she was fine....and she was. It was just the most wonderful thing I'd ever experienced. Also, during those months of waiting and wondering what in the world my baby would look like, when I saw her I remember thinking, "Of course that's what my baby would look like". There was so much in her face that looked familiar to me. It was the best thing.

I always had to stay in recovery for one hour after each C-Section. I always hated that. I always loved it when that hour was up and they could take me to my room and soon after bring my baby to me. Also, in those days they were just beginning to let the mom's keep the babies in the room - but I didn't choose that. I didn't even know to. Especially with Ann - it was all so new to me - so they would bring the carts of babies onto the hall for their feedings and I could hear them all as they came - all those baby cries - I loved that sound. I would get so excited and I would wait until I could hear the nurse's footsteps coming to my door. I loved it - and there would be the swaddled bundle - oh and the way she smelled. It was heaven.

So - Ann was my first and on this night 28 years ago I was in a lot of pain - but had pain medication at my disposal - and I had a brand new baby girl - Mother and Daddy and Mary Ann drove up the next day - I was in the hospital for 10 days - which I can't believe. I was in pretty good shape when I went home - my milk always came in while I was in the hospital with a new baby. Mother stayed a week after I came home. So - tonight feels like Christmas Eve - Laura Beth is here. Luke is asleep and Ellie, too. I am going to bed now, to sleep with Ellie. Ann and Steve are at the hospital and Laura Beth is sleeping with the phone next to her in case anything happens quicker than we expected. Charlie, LB, Ellie, Luke and I will drive over as soon as we can all get ready in the morning - which I expect will be pretty quick. We're all very excited.

Happy Birthday to Ann

Today is Ann's birthday - I wrote about the week leading up to her birth - 2 posts ago.

I concluded that post with "I did go to the hospital that day and Ann was born at 1:58 pm on February 1, 1981."

Here is how it all went down.

After being up all night I called Dr. Aulds and he said to come in. I have a picture Charlie took of me; I'm on the phone with Dr. Aulds and I'm holding a watch which I had held all during the night, timing the contractions.

Anyway, in Ann's baby book I wrote:

Charlie and I drove to Huntsville at about 8:00 A.M. Very relaxed trip. Contractions were mild, yet 5 min. apart.

Well, that's all correct - I had called my mom in Evergreen to tell her I was going to the hospital. I can't believe we had not prearranged for them to be there. It was a first for Charlie and me, and their first grandchild, so none of us really knew the best plan for the situation. They were about 5 hours away - in South Alabama. Our plan was that we'd call when we could - there were no cell phones. I think they didn't want to travel and get too far from a phone. So - as I was leaving the apartment Mom called back just to hear my voice one more time - she asked me how I was feeling about it all - she always remembered this more than I did - I told her it felt the way Christmas morning always felt - that kind of excitement.

Anyway - we got to H'ville - they did admit me - when I'm in H'ville I can still see the entrance and I remember all of that so clearly - so - upstairs in labor and delivery - It was all so different then - not these private rooms where women and husbands bed down as well as other family members. I was actually in a labor room along with another girl - but a curtain separated us. I do remember after I changed into my gown and was waiting on a nurse to come back in, sitting on the edge of that narrow gurney - and looking down at my large belly and having such a heightened stream of consciousness - talking to myself saying, "Well, Elizabeth - this is it - you're in labor - this is what you've thought about so much of your life - and wondered about - you're here and you're going to have a baby". It was all very surreal -

They had whisked Charlie off to get "gowned up" for his assisting - and they brought him back and the nurse came back - I was attached to a fetal monitor - all was well - the poor girl next to me was hysterical - she sounded much younger and alone - I wanted to get off of my gurney and go help her with her relaxing techniques - if she knew any - She was fighting everything and begging for a C-Section. The medical staff didn't sound very helpful either - I've always thought about her and wondered about her situation - So final check before Dr. Aulds went into surgery for a C-Section - I was 7 centimeters and doing good - I remember telling him I was beginning to really have to concentrate on relaxing during the contractions. I was wincing mostly during a contraction - but still - nothing was gripping. He left me with my nurse, named "Fanny". "Pat" was the other nurse who would come in all along to check with Fanny about my progress. (incidentally - I had opted for no pain meds - nothing - not out of some brave, heroic reason - mostly out of having fears that are greater than what I anticipated regarding labor pains - labor pains just seemed more natural than meds that would make me so dopey or epidurals that would paralyze me - I have so changed my mind about epidurals - that's later)

What seemed like not a very long time, after Dr. Aulds had left, the look on Fanny's face seemed like alarm. She was sitting on a stool, keeping an eye on the fetal monitor - and she looked concerned. I asked, immediately, what was wrong; she said she wanted to change the position of the gurney. She lowered my head and raised my legs. Nothing helped. She was watching the baby's (Ann's) heartrate and it was slowing down dramatically with each contraction. She began to give me oxygen. Still - nothing was helping. She called Pat in, who said she was going to break my water so she could attach something to the baby's head to monitor better. Still no improvement. All of this was happening so fast. Almost all on top of each other. It seemed that Pat and Fanny recognized a situation - that with every contraction Ann's heartrate was alarmingly low - She had been fine, but as the contractions got more severe, Ann got worse. So quickly Pat was applying an antiseptic to my very swollen belly and telling me and Charlie ever so quickly that "she had NOT gotten Dr. Auld's permission, he's in surgery, but we're preparing you for a C-Section". Everything had been going at breakneck speed - but when she said that word, C-Section, everything stopped for a second. for a ten zillionth of a fraction of a second my thought was, "I'm going home, I don't want to play anymore". I was the person who WAS NOT going to have a C-Section. It was NOT an option. I just had determined, "I won't be that person who has a C-Section." But then I came back to what was happening and they were ushering Charlie, in his yellow scrubs, out for a while, and they were giving me all kinds of little instructions and wheeling my gurney out of labor and I was headed for surgery. Things happened so quickly, and Ann was in such distress, that they called Dr. Aulds out of the C-Section he was doing(another surgeon had to sew up that lady) and into my situation - and I was in the operating room so quickly - I'll never forget how quickly people were moving. It was if I wasn't even involved. All attention was on Ann. Eyes were wide, expressions were in alert estate, I heard someone ask if the mother had had any food, to which I answered NO - it was all at breakneck speed, something was placed upon my face and it all stopped.

(What I didn't know - was that when they opened me up, the cord was so tight around Ann's neck that they had to "cut" the cord while she was still in my gaping uterus, in the amniotic fluid. I guess it was like untangling something that was so very tight - like a thread - and they pulled her out and couldn't get much of a response. Her apgar score was frightenly low and the second apgar score barely made it - I was asleep - I also didn't know - that while I was asleep - Charlie was waiting for what seemed like an eternity - and he was able to see her shortly after she was born - still lethargic - but alive -and still very messy from the birth - and the doctors just told him they would have to "wait and see". Charlie was very much alone and I was asleep)

This is what I woke up to:

"Wake up Mrs. Rhodes, you have a girl."

I think they said it the second time and I opened my eyes. The first thing I saw, and I can't forget it, is the standard clock on the wall which said 3:00 p.m. sharp. My ears were still hearing, "Wake up Mrs. Rhodes, you have a girl." At that moment it would seem, but I'm not saying that I did, but it seemed that my spirit floated out of my body - I can still feel the way it felt and I later thought about it that that was the way Heaven would feel and that I would no longer fear the unknown of death. I have the assurance of eternal life, but the unknown is what I am always a bit angst about. Anyway, my elation and thrill were so much at the thought of having my little girl, that it seemed as if my spirit expanded beyond my body. And my eyes were staring at the round black and white clock on the wall which said, "3:00 p.m.". I'll never forget it.

I have to go and stay with Ellie and Luke now and will continue this story tonight.

Ann is going to the hospital on her birthday and I have to keep Luke and Ellie.