Saturday, September 19, 2015
We still don't know exactly where we're going to be going - they had five spots open to chose from, which we ranked in order 1) WA, 2) TX, 3) LA, 4) NC, and 5) Korea. The assignment in Washington is at Ft. Lewis, just south of Seattle, and is our first choice since it's the closest to family. It's kind of a longshot, though, because everyone seems to want to go there. It's much more likely that we'll get sent back to Texas - El Paso this time (not San Antonio). This is still nice in that it's within a day's drive of family (granted, a very long day's drive, but still. . .). We submitted these choices a few weeks ago, and we probably won't know where we'll end up until November.
So the news that we got this week, though, is more to do with time-frame. Moving in the Army is a big deal - you have 10 days to process into the new post, and 10 days to process out of your old post, and travel time, and 10 days to setup your new house, and any personal leave you might want to take between the two assignments. We heard from a second-hand source that we are currently listed to go to El Paso (again, not surprising). What we hadn't realized, however, is that the person who is currently there is going to have a set date of July 1st that he has to start at his new duty station. So essentially, it means he's probably going to be leaving in mid-May.
What does that mean for us? If we do end up going to El Paso, Lee will need to get there before the other guy leaves, which means we might have to start out-processing from Aberdeen as early as March! That means we have about 6 months left here in Maryland. When we move we are hoping to go see family in Utah while en route to our new duty station. While we thought that would be summer (July), it is now looking like spring (March or April). It might still be later if they send us somewhere else, but since El Paso seems that most likely destination, we're going to plan for a springtime move!
We'll keep you all in the loop as we get more info, but we thought you all might like to have that for consideration.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
For those of you not in on all the drama, Kristin has been having Kidney problems over the last month, which were bad enough that she was in the hospital for a few days and had to have a nephrostomy tube placed through her back. We had to fly all the kids out west to stay with her family for the last month of pregnancy, so she wouldn’t have to take care of four kids and risk overdoing it. We decided to induce because this last week she started having pains in her other kidney, and we finally decided that this wasn’t really a low-risk pregnancy anymore. We had hoped to do an out-of-hospital birth at the birthing center in Delaware (about an hour away), since we’d had such a wonderful experience with Gavin’s birth at the birthing center in Georgia, so Kristin was really sad to see that wish go, but we both accepted that it was for the best. We didn’t want her to start having kidney pains while in labor and not have anyone nearby who could help.
So Thursday we started making calls to transfer care to a different midwife group - we spoke with the midwifes that had taken care of her last month when she was in the hospital, and they said they would be willing to take her (transferring to a new provider in your last week of pregnancy is frowned upon ;-). We were squeezed in for a last-minute appointment Thursday afternoon right as they were closing, and they scheduled the induction for the very next morning. We figured we would do it as soon as could be scheduled, because waiting would only risk kidney pain coming back. It has been very strange telling people “we’re going to be induced and have a baby tomorrow”, and having “congratulations!” as a response. :-) Typically we don’t know the baby is coming until Kristin is in labor, so informing people that we’re going to go have a baby was very odd and a little surreal.
I swear nothing ever happens quickly in hospitals. Kristin got to the Hospital yesterday morning at 7:30am to be induced. She was checked in and put in her room very quickly (before 8am), but then we had to wait around for two hours before they finally got her hooked up to the IV Pitocin. Most of that time was spent waiting alone in long-intervals in the room, in-between very short visits from the nurse, who would check her temperature and then ask a million questions, clicking away check-boxes in the computer to document that she hasn’t been depressed in the last three weeks and doesn’t feel threatened at home. Paperwork <sigh> - a necessary evil anywhere.
Once she was on the Pitocin, she started having mild to moderate contractions, and they slowly increased the dosing every 30-45 min. After about six hours, Kristin was still happy and kindof bored, waiting for real labor to start. We finally said, “heck with this!” and asked them to break her water, since that has always been what really got her going with all the other kids. After deciding to do that, it took them another hour before the midwife actually made it in to oblige. Once the water was broken, the real work began. Kristin was amazing to watch - I turned on light music and she meditated through most of the contractions. She really seemed almost asleep through most of it. I tried to give her light back-rubs and do anything I could to help her, but there’s only so much anyone can do to help. The nurse and the midwife had never seen anyone deliver a baby like Kristin. The midwife, 40 years old and 8-months pregnant with her first baby, openly laughed at Kristin when she said she didn’t want to be asked her pain scale and wouldn’t need an epidural unless there was kidney pain, saying “I’ll ask you again once you’re on the Pitocin.” I told Kristin later that she really needs to take the instructor course in Hypnobirthing, since it’s made such a difference in her life, and she could really help a lot of people with her knowledge and experiences.
The nurse and midwife came in a few times to ask how things were going. Kristin didn’t speak with them - I told them in a very quiet voice that everything was fine, trying hard not to break Kristin’s focus. It was frustrating, since it’s the hospital and they have to at least come in every so often and check her blood pressure and temperature. I joked with Kristin that while it’s pretty easily to determine whether to check the “dead” vs “alive” checkbox with a simple visual inspection, in the hospital it’s actually the “sick” vs “not-sick” checkbox that requires a little data. They came back every so-often to check that “not-sick” box, and I tried to help Kristin to stay focused through it, and kindof chased them away a little. I know they mean well. Two hours after her water was broken, the nurse happened to be in the room checking to see if Kristin needed anything. She had changed position several times, and at the moment she was on her side with one-leg up on a birthing ball. She was in the middle of a very strong contraction at the moment, so we waited for it to finish, and she said “he’s coming”. Neither of us had noticed that the baby’s head had come out. I saw first, and said, “Baby!” to the nurse, who totally freaked out. I caught little Dalinar Michael at 7:01pm, our smallest baby so far at 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 inches, and laid him on mommy’s chest. I’ve never caught any of my other kids, and it was a profound and incredible experience.
Mom and baby are just fine. There was no kidney pain. We both went to sleep exhausted last night. Dalinar has nursed and pooped, so all of his plumbing is working, and he seems happy and healthy.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Ok, sorry this has taken too long. This is a continuation of the previous kitchen remodel post, Kitchen Remodel, part 1. When I left off, we’d just finished the floor, so today I’ll show off some cabinet construction. Below are pictures of Gavin and I assembling the cabinets. I decided to build a frameless style cabinet, because they’re a little easier to construct and they give you more space (the front face-frame on a cabinet actually makes you lose about 15-20% of your space, especially with drawers).
Monday, April 6, 2015
Saturday was spent between shopping for easter, getting household to-do's done (like any Saturday), and listening to Conference. Kristin went to go buy things for Easter baskets in the morning while I worked in the woodshop. It's a fun excuse to get the kids new Sunday outfits:
Sunday morning was of course fun to watch the kids all run around looking for Eggs, and especially watching the girls going and pointing eggs out for their little brothers to come and find.
All in all it was a wonderful, restful weekend spent together, listening to the words of the prophets. I was able to work on some cool things in the woodshop and feel accomplished. And it was finally warm enough that we could enjoy some time in the swing out on the porch.
The only thing notable that I got for Kristin was a copy of the new movie, Into the Woods. I'll have to admit a little bit of self-interest - Kristin has known the musical well since high school and she frequently listens to and sings it, and I've never seen it before. So last night we stayed up late and I got to see it for the first time. It was awesome, and I totally recommend it to anyone. Although part of me really wants now to go back and watch it four more times and pick it apart, because it's so full of meaning and symbolism.
Anyway, hopefully the next post won't be too long in coming.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Ok, not an awful kitchen, but nothing to shine about either. The linoleum was fairly new, but the appliances were 30 years old. The dishwasher and stove were a little bit frightening, and the fridge was small and missing all its shelves. This whole project began when we decided we would have to get new appliances, and in so doing we said, “what the heck, lets move the fridge and the stove. Makes more sense to have them switched.” Then somewhat apprehensively we decided that I would try cutting a hole in a wall for the very first time, taking out half of the wall behind where the fridge was to widen the window into the dining room and open up the room a little.