Monday, November 28, 2011

Link lingo

[by Bryce and Shannon]

"I lego sit the red." = "I'm going to sit on this lego box with a red lid."

On seeing a photo of a mermaid- "She has shells on her nurse-some-mores."

Putting a ball under his chin- "I'm a nutcracker."

Link is currently playing hide and seek with Bryce.  He totally picked up saying "Pst" as a hint to where you are and is doing it each time he hides.

Link's current favorite songs are:
Where is thumbkin (aka pumpkin)
The wheels on the bus
If your happy and you know it
Doe a deer

My favorite outfit right now is a snoopy shirt and vest we had in a box that we found a little to late.  It is 18 month and a little short in the sleeves but so cute.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Top Ten- 3rd week November

1. We took link to see Puss in Boots.  He was not familiar with the character but he knew Humpty Dumpty so he was excited about him.  This was the first 3D movie that we have taken Link to in which we bought him a seat and glasses (he was a babe in all the others).  He kept his glasses on until the last 15 minutes.  He did great and Bryce and I really enjoyed the film.  Very funny.

2. We put the Christmas Tree up.  Probably can't tell this far away but we are doing a "Grinch" theme this year.  Link and I made several of the ornaments using Grinch punch outs and stickers.

3. Thanksgiving included great food at Amy and Rex's house and time playing Michael Jackson Experience on the Kinnect.

4. Although it was nice to wear my engagement ring for a week, it is nice to have my wedding ring fixed and back on my finger.

5. Everyone in my family has been anticipating something in the Navigator to rust out.  It finally did and we broke an axel in the process.  Fortunately we were about 3 miles from my parents house going to visit them, so it wasn't a big deal.  Good thing we got that other car last week.

6. A lot of worry this week about my dad, his future, and the dangerous situations he puts himself in.

7. Last year I bought this thing at a garage sale.  A few weeks ago I learned you can cook in them.  So I tried it today.  We had pork chop casserole.  Really good.  No big difference in taste.  It was fun to do though.

8. Slow Death by Rubber Duck  I'm reading this book and I like it as much as I thought I would.  I am already planning ways to help de-pollute myself and my family.  Currently tossing all children's "Flame resistant" pajamas, slowly getting rid of teflon pans, and looking for "fragrance" as an ingredient in products.

9. Last crop of Brussel Sprouts from the garden.  They are tiny (that is a teaspoon) but boy are they big on flavor.  We have harvested them 3 times this year from a total of 4 plants.  I am very happy with the results and it was fun to see how they grow on the stalk.  (Our slow bolt lettuce also just bolted!)

10. Making goals for the new year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top Ten- Nov 13

1.  My parents bought us a second car.  I guess they were sick of having to accomidate when I was at work and they wanted Bryce.  It is a 1984 Buick Cavalier.  No cup holders, cruise control, or power windows, but it drives incredibly well, has low gas mileage, low miles, and has good heat and air.

2. Steve's Birthday.  Had an outing with friends on Saturday night.  Went to Steuben for prime rib and out to some bars.  Not as much dancing as the Rasmussens' anniversary, but it was still a lot of fun. 

3. We have a new vendor at Whimsy Market.  Reality Check from Dubuque brought over body jewelry, bead to make your own accesories, hats, gloves, and sunglasses.  They are a custom skateboarding and snowboarding shop and plan to bring over some of those big items in the future.

4. Link is really into his shapes right now.  Everywhere we go he asks for the triangle pizza and he points out any octagon he sees, which of course is usually a stop sign, but he found some without stop on them the other day in a craft store.

5. Schera's Art Gallery opened for a show a couple weeks ago.  Great paintings by Ben Moore of Decorah, a show of newly illustrated record album covers called 33.3, and a few of Bryce's older works as a last minute addition.  There was a fun opening reception and it makes our shop look better than being by a vacant.

6. Tribute to Charles at the Museum Annual Holiday Party.  I love Charles.  He wrote for me at the paper, he volunteered teaching art with me at the elementary, he birthed one of my favorite friends (Leslie Schiller) and now he is preparing for the end of his years as he has terminal cancer (and he is in his 90s I think).  He is still a super active community member walking the streets of Elkader.  I learned a lot about his life as his friends toasted him at the party (he has been President of the Museum in Elkader since he moved here from teaching at Laguna Beach High School).  Amazing life, lots of travel and fun. 

7. I returned to work last Monday which has been pretty good.  I certainly missed my daily drives over the Mississippi River.  The river rejuvenates me and seeing it go through the seasons is so beautiful.  Now that we are entering a time of low temperatures I get to slowly watches as it starts to freeze over. 

8.  Brenda visited this week to see how I was doing and check my iron.  We shared several tears, but it was great to see her.  She is going over to Africa for three months to serve as a midwife.  She is super excited and I am for her too. 

9.  Last year I searched the internet over for an online scrapbook.  I was realizing I was no longer tearing from magazines, but saving folders of images online and I didn't want to print them out.  I recently heard about Pinterest and it is exactly what I wanted and it is perfect.

10. John Craig has an art show up at my office.  He is a local Crawford County Wisconsin artist and does some really great collages.  Most people in my generation know him because he did the cover of "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness."  I try to find as many reasons to go down to the mail room that I can just so I can take in more.

Friday, November 11, 2011

More Linkism

Link is really into saying the word "too."  Whatever he is doing he is doing it "too."  Are you reading a book Link?  Yes, I'm reading a book, too.

Link also likes the phrase "It's a kind of..."  Link is that a bird?  Yes, that's a kind of bird.   What are you sitting on Link?  It's a kind of chair.

He also like the SimSims, the Simpsons.

"Excuse me" is morphing from "Goom Zee" to "Scooms Zee" to "Ex Scooms Zee"

11-11-11 Lucky?

 This morning I stepped in a big goppy mess of cat poop.  So I thought it was going to be a bad day.  But then I remember some ubsered article I once read about John Lennon's superstitions and how he stepped in cat poop daily for luck. 

Then today I took Link out for lunch and in a restaurant all to ourselves a former employee of mine from the newspaper walked in.  I was a little nervous because when she left she left abruptly to go work with a competitor and left a nasty note about all my faults as a boss.  She looked at me, pulled up a seat next to me, said hi to Link and then "I have been meaning to tell you this for the past three years but we have never run into one another except in passing.  I felt like I was treated like crap at the newspaper, not by you and Bryce but by the higher up, then I went to work for [other place] and they were exactly the same.  I wanted to say you are an inspiration to me because every time I see you, you're smiling, and I am sure you have been dealt the same crap that I have and you are still smiling while I carry big chips on my shoulder." 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Top Ten Returns

I started this two days before the miscarriage.  I was recapping September and October.  Obviously things have changed dramatically, but I still want to record these past parts of my life, so I left things in.

1.  I was pregnant for 13 weeks.  It was a total surprise.  I loved it and was scared to death of the possibility of raising two little ones.  I was very happy to have conceived without fertility medication.  The loss of our child still hurts but we are gaining strength through the love of family and friends.

2. The after-school program I set up as part of my AmeriCorps VISTA job took off and I was able to start working from home more to help with health during the pregnancy.  Now I'm back into home mode and have no ambition to return to work, despite the fact that I loved the people I worked with, the work I did, and the paychecks.  I just miss being with my family.  I'm not sure what lies ahead for me, even at the end of this week when I am to return.

3.   I was 1 of 8 contestants in the KCTN Pork Cook-Off.  I thought it must because they had few entries, but they said they had 50 or so.  I made bbq pork sushi.  We also had to do a place setting.   I didn't win 1st-3rd prizes, but each participant got 1/5 of a hog which was nice.

4. We finally got our tax return.  Just in time for Christmas shopping.

5. I was in a musical at the Elkader Opera House called Working.  I had a name and lines and singing parts.  I loved it.  It was a lot of work, but tons of fun.

6. My uncle's Lee and Randy asked me to photograph their wedding.  I was so blessed, happy to see them married in the church since I knew Lee was dealing with feeling unloved by God years ago when he first came out to me.  I hope they have a life of happiness.

7. My niece, Ella, was born the day after our babe was.  We have yet to meet her, but we will soon.  My family threw a baby shower a couple of weeks ago.  I was put in charge of games and soon realized I was basically in charge of the day.  I bought this great little owl hat and sleep sack that I intended for our little one, but passed it along. 

8. My sister Amber completed her stay with us.  Landscaping is basically over for the year.  She is making plans for her wedding next year and I love helping her get ready.  I took engagement photos in October.

9.  My vegan family members can excuse themselves from reading this #.  This weekend we went to the deer open house which was a sampling at a locker of what they could do when you process deer there.  It was basically a free pyramid of meat, no sides.  The maple glazes links were amazing.

10. We missed Halloween (which is my absolute favorite holiday) but my mom took Link  trick-or-treating for the first time.  He was the Flash but kept calling himself Lightning McQueen (He must have seen Cars at Grandma's house).  We did enter the pumpkin decorating contest at Osborne Heritage Days again.  Bryce took a prize based on lack of participation by adults.  Link didn't get anything, but still did a great job with his pumpkin.  Bryce's 2nd place pumpkin is the tiny thing beside the mummy, he did it on the way there with a sharpie.

We were at the pork cook-off and Link saw a man wearing a cowboy hat and boots. He said, "Cowboy!" and then, to the man, "hello, partner!" Either he didn't hear Link or didn't want to play along, so there was no response.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Moving On

After a month of telling Link there was a baby in mama's belly and not thinking her understood last night he came up to me and said "Baby in the belly, mama?"  I said no, the the baby had moved on.  "Oh," he said, "baby in your nose?"

As much as I have wanted to move on, it is still almost as hard.  Link's "Big Brother" hat is packed up as well as the maternity clothes, the bleeding has stopped, the baby is returned to earth. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The results are in, or not

After I wrote my story this morning Bryce told me I had an message on my phone from the hospital.  It was "the other doctor" calling to say that I indeed have antibodies, if I ever got pregnant again to call a specialist immediately, and God Bless.  I am not sure he really understood the devastation this news brought to me and my family.  In one moment several dreams vanished from my life 1) being a surrogate mother  2) completing a live birth at home  3) even the possibility of having more kids.  I am unsure of how willing I would be to go through multiple traumas to have another child.

I lost it.  Bryce called Brenda.

Brenda was optimistic however and told Bryce to help me calm down.  She said she would call my main doctor because she just didn't think that this result was correct.  I had not had any trauma during my first pregnancy that would have caused Link and my blood to mix, and I had gotten the shot immediately after delivery.  Moira also called with the same information and letting me know she has many mom's who don't get the rhogam shot at all, that are RH- and are fine. 

A few hours later I got a call from my main Doctor (Schwartz).  He gave me a gigantic apology for his colleague.  He said that because I had a rhogam shot just 10 days before the antibody check that there would of course be antibodies in the body.  It is like getting a vaccination for something and then checking a day later to see if there was a vaccine in you.  The test should not have been taken for up to three months after I took the rhogam.  So spirits are lifted, except for the fact that I might get the same result in three months.   Let's pray that I do not.

Birth of our Seond Child- A miscarriage

I've been looking around the internet for stories of miscarriage bu not finding any.  Instead I find extreme ignorance and rude remarks like people thinking women are lying because they saw the baby at a few weeks or the stupidity in hospitals treating babies under 20 weeks as medical waste.   So I guess not sharing makes sense, it is a hard thing to go through, but reading others stories and sharing mine is how I process and move on so I don't mind.

As I reported already I was spotting throughout the pregnancy and my midwife told me that it could be a miscarriage in process.  I went on a roller coaster ride of not believing her.  For instance I didn't buy more prenatals though I was running out in case I didn't need them, but I shared the news right away that we were having a baby because last time pregnancy went so smoothly.

On Saturday evening around four I started spotting again but it didn't stop.  Link was in the bathroom with me and said "Did you pee your pant's mama?"  I told him no but started to cry.  He gave me a hug and kiss and tried tickling me to feel better.  I told him the baby in my belly was not doing well and he kissed my belly. 

I called Brenda, my midwife right away.  She told me to lie down, eat warm soup, drink lots.  She and Moira (midwife #2) called me periodically to check on me telling me they were holding me in prayer and to see how I was doing.  I was getting progressively heavier, but there were no signs of cramping or neausea so I was still presuading myself that it wasn't happening.  I put my hands down on my uterus.  I asked the baby to kick like it had just seven days early (a big hearty one at the top of my uterus).  Nothing.  In fact I noticed something that I had been noticing a little bit over the last few days, the life energy that I had felt early was not there.  I think some pregnant women know what I mean and Bryce does too.  When the baby was alive it almost felt like I could feel it's heart beat and once I asked Bryce to put his hands on my uterus and see if he knew what I meant.  He did and said "Well, I can't feel the heart beat but there is something like a vibration there." 

I didn't sleep.  Early in the morning I passed a 2 inch blood clot.  I told Bryce to call Brenda.  She had me save it and asked if I was light headed and to keep drinking.  Around 5 I had Bryce all my mom and she and Amber came and picked up Lincoln.  At around 6 I lost a blood clot the size of a baseball.  As I was sitting on the toilet with Bryce in front of me I felt my vision and hearing going and told Bryce I was going to faint.  He caught me and the next thing I knew Bryce had put me on the floor with my feet up on the toilet.  Bryce had called Brenda and she walked him through the process.  She also said it might be a good time to call our family doctor and get his opinion.  One of the greatest things about our midwives is they can help you so much and they know exactly when they are at a point that might go beyond their skill set (like blood transfusion, etc.)  One of the greatest things I love about our family doctor (also the doctor who helped Link be born) is that he trust my midwives so much and likes to avoid any unnecessary medical procedures out of the way.  Bryce called him and after asking things like my color and fluids, etc, he said "No, don't bring her in."  He knew that there may be a routine d&c which was not going to be necessary and that the miscarriage was completing itself as many do. 

After I got back to bed I started having mild contractions.  Everyone thought with such a big blood clot passed that I most likely had the baby so this was a good sign that my uterus was clamping down.  I wanted Link back to nurse as I know that right after birth a nursing baby can help with this.  I continued until about 10:15.  When I went to the bathroom another blood clot left, this time falling in the toilet with a littlle bit of a heavy sound.  It was hard to see in the darkness of the blood at the bottom of the toilet but my heart was telling me that the baby was there.  We found a utencil to help bring the clot up and there was the baby still in the sack with umbilical cord and everything.  Though translucent skin showed the brain, heart, and eye I thought our little one was so beautiful.  Bryce placed the baby in a plastic bag and in the fridge.  We were hoping to later find out a gender, but we never did.  On Tuesday we buried the baby in our yard and planted bulbs above the little one.  Hopefully they come out in spring, maybe May, right when our little one was to appear.

On Monday we went to the hospital.  Our doctor was thinking I might need another rhogam shot. We were not able to get to see our doctor, but another one at the clinic and although nice he made me feel uneasy.  He checked me and said my cervix was closing which is good.  But he didn't know if I needed a rhogam shot, called the ob on call and decided not to.  Then he had us take an antibody test to see if I am RH sensitive and went on to describe the horrors this will be if we are.  We are waiting on the results this morning.  It is a 1% chance, but if we are according to this doctor all our future pregnancies will be super high risk, needing blood transfusions for the baby throughout the pregnancy and possibly delivering at Mayo in Rochester.  Still birth and miscarriage, and incredibly sick kids are all on the docket because my blood may have developed an antibody to fight off any baby with a positive blood type and being that 85% of the US population is positive this is most likely what I will have.