Friday, May 29, 2009

Givin' a little thanks

I would just like to write a short blog to give thanks to those who have commented on my last post, and especially to Margaret from Margaret's Ramblings for appointing me an award!! (Which i will be passing on to 3 more people in the next couple of days!) It's a great honour to have my little blog recognized, especially the last 2 posts. They were the most difficult ones to write, but I'm really glad i did. My baby will forever live on by touching the hearts of others.

And now for something completely different, a goofball and his new toy.

Thanks again to everyone! Hope you all have fantastic weekends!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby

Today was the day i had no concept of time. And i never bothered to ask. I was given more gel, moved to another room, hooked up to an i.v. and a falling leaf magnet was placed on my door. And everyone that walked in had a solemn look on their face.

A woman came in to talk to Rob and i about arrangements after he was born. She gave us pamphlets on choosing to see him or not. Some people wish to never see their baby and try to forget it ever happened. We couldn't imagine doing that. How can you deny you had a child? How can you deny this little baby that you created? How could you go through life never knowing what they looked like? I guess for some people this is the only way they know how do deal. Even though my baby was gone, i couldn't wait to hold him. We then chose a funeral home. We chose cremation. We chose his ashes to be placed in pendants that we wore around our necks.

Another woman came in soon after. She was the Chaplin for the hospital. Even though Rob and i are different denominations and both have issues with the church, we are both spiritual people in our own respects. She was quite impressed with our strength; Everything happens for a reason. We may never find out the "why", we may never fully understand it. But we are thankful for the time that we had with him. Our little boy did so much for us and others around us, whether it be bringing people closer together, showing what's truly important in this life, or making people realize how precious their own children were. And now we have a little guardian angel to look after all the rest of the babies that we have.

She called in all our family members and we all said prayers for our baby, we cried for our baby, and we laughed for our baby. He would have been such a trouble maker, just like his daddy.

Soon after the contractions began. It was time for the epidural so everyone was ushered out of the room. It didn't work the first 3 times, as my lower back is fused and i was only getting the numbing on the one side of my body. It was the strangest feeling in the world, to have this invisible line down my abdomen where one side felt absolutely nothing, and the other excruciating pain. I was given gas during the contractions and waves of nausea kept hitting me. I remember throwing up into the kidney shaped pan and my doctor saying "What the heck did you eat? It looks like a perfectly shaped timbit!"

Eventually the anaesthesiologist was able to come back and try the epidural again. I had my head nurse and doctor holding me down bent over a table while he tried to get through, having to try higher up my back. My hair was in my face and i could barely breath, tears blinding me, as i tried to ignore the pain of the contractions so i could keep as still as possible while a needle was piercing my spine. This time, it worked. My right side started to numb and i couldn't feel the contractions at all.

It felt like i was lying there forever, in a complete daze from the gas. Remembering my mom there stroking my hair out of my face, giving me ice chips. Remembering Rob there kissing my forehead, holding my hand. My nurse Merle, my saviour, never leaving my side, never a break. Forcing Rob to eat or he wasn't allowed back in. Every once in a while she'd wrap her arms around me and whisper in my ear that i could do this. I was strong and I'd get through. I was doing this for my little boy. He was teaching me, and preparing me, to deliver all my future babies.

My cervix dilated and the pressure began. The 3 of us were a team, Rob, Merle and I. The 3 amigos. Both of them on either side, holding my legs, my back, encouraging me to push harder, telling me i was doing a great job. When i felt i couldn't do it anymore, there was Rob, my strength, my love, hands on my face telling me he loves me, reassuring me that i can do this. Eventually he started to crown, and my doctor was called in along with 2 other nurses. Merle stayed by my side and kept putting my bed down so i couldn't see my baby being born. Eventually one last push while they all pulled and i relaxed. They rushed him behind the curtain to clean him up and asked if we wanted to see him right away, or after he was fully cleaned and dressed. I wanted to see him now. I wanted to hold my baby.

He was brought over wrapped in a blanket. Rob and i hugged him, kissed him, and cried some more. My mom was brought in. She held her first grandchild and talked to him like he was there. She quietly said her goodbyes and handed him back. We spent quite a while with him, just the 3 of us. My doctor told us that the umbilical cord was very short, and placenta quite small. From what they could tell, he had stretched and pulled the placenta away from the uterine wall. If we wanted they could do an autopsy to see if there were any other reasons, but we declined. We didn't want them cutting our baby.

He was taken away to be fully cleaned, dressed and had pictures taken. He was brought back in along with the rest of our family. We all took turns holding him and commenting on his good looks. He was to be named Robert James Lantz III, but it no longer seemed to fit. Everyone always called him Robbie J. So that's who he became.

Robbie J McLean-Lantz
Born: 7:37pm, May 23rd, 2008
6lbs 15 ounces

He had dark brown hair. He had my eyebrows, lips and feet. He had his daddy's nose and broad shoulders. Our precious baby boy. You will never be forgotten.

Happy birthday baby.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The day i found my strength

It was one year ago today that i woke up for work and found my cat snuggled up to my side squinting at me. Normally this wouldn't be an odd thing, but for the past 3 months he had hated me and glared at my belly whenever my baby moved.

I was out of sorts that morning. I was getting increasingly tired and sore and looking more and more forward to my maternity leave. 6 work days to go! According to my boss at the time, i was going far too early. With a leave starting June 1st and my baby not due until June 23rd, she was expecting me to leave closer to the 20th of June. But I was so incredibly uncomfortable at work sitting at a desk all day, I couldn't imagine doing that for another 3 weeks. Plus the official due date wasn't accurate since they had no clue when i exactly got pregnant. My doctor said i could deliver as soon as the beginning of the second week in June. And there was no way i was breaking any water at work.

I showered and got dressed and my baby was poking me really hard in the side. I was nervous that morning. He wasn't moving as much anymore. I was assured by family and friends that they don't move as much once they get bigger, and since he was never a big mover, I shouldn't have worried about it. But with it being my first pregnancy, i was worried about everything. I was thankful for my doctors appointment later that day, so i can be assured, like i am at every appointment, that every thing's okay.

Since it wasn't busy at work, i did my best to organize all of my files so it would be as easy as possible for the person taking over my territories when i did leave. I was running out of work to do and the boredom was getting to me. During lunch i continued to sit at my desk and called an old friend Jeff from my last job, to see how he was doing. He was extremely busy and couldn't talk, so he told me he'd call me after i got back from my doctors appointment later that day. I cleaned up my work station a bit until 1pm, grabbed all my stuff, said bye to all the ladies and walked to my car. Little did i know I'd never be back.

I picked up Rob on the way as per usual, he came to every appointment with me which i loved. When the doctor came in he started to check everything out and he asked if there were any concerns. I told him about worrying about my babies activity. He assured me that it was normal as he checked for his heart beat. He quickly put the monitor away and suggested that if I'm worried i should head down to the hospital and have them do an ultrasound, make sure every thing's still okay. There was something about the look on his face as he said this. Something was wrong. He put his arm on my shoulder, said not to worry, just head down there. They'll call him with the results. So off we went.

Once we got to the maternity ward we were ushered into one of the rooms and monitors were brought in. They tried for 20 minutes to find his heart beat. They kept telling me not to worry, sometimes the babies position can prevent them from hearing it with that little monitor, so they'd send me for an ultrasound. But their faces were just like his. My heart started to drop. I was wheeled down to ultrasound and wasn't pleased to see who was going to be taking it. I've had this girl before and she's the most unpleasant woman I've ever met. And she started to be that same unpleasant woman until she turned on the monitor. She transformed into this sweet, soft talking, gentle girl. My heart sank. My baby was gone.

I held myself together until they brought me back up to the maternity ward. Once Rob and i were alone i started to cry as i told him how nice she was and that's how i knew. He told me not to worry yet. We didn't have the official news so we can't assume the worst. I knew he felt the same way i did, but was trying to make me feel better, trying to calm me down. He held my face in his hands and said "Whatever happens, happens. We can't change anything. If he is gone, whatever you do don't blame yourself. We couldn't have changed this outcome." We hugged for what seemed like an eternity and when we pulled away I kissed him and said "And if he is gone, we can't let ourselves be one of those couples that breaks up over this. I can't lose you too." I laid back down, with Rob sitting at my side, still waiting for a doctor to give us the results, when i hear quick footsteps down the hallway. Then i hear my dad asking for me. I immediately lost it. He called my parents. There was no denying it now. My baby was really gone.

The 4 of us cried together. My doctor walked in, tears streaked his face. He hugs me and apologizes over and over again. He knew. He couldn't hear his heart beat either but he couldn't tell me there. He needed me to get to the hospital first. Soon after another doctor entered the room and took a seat. Together they started to discuss the next step - delivery. I was shocked. How could i deliver a baby that was already dead? I wasn't strong enough for that. I couldn't do it. My mother hugged me, and i lost it again. I can't do it. I just can't. I wanted them to do a c-section.

They explained why they wouldn't. Not only would i hurt my chances of another full term pregnancy and delivery, but i would be scarring myself. I will forever be living with the emotional scar of losing my baby, but i would have a physical scar as well - the constant reminder of when they cut my baby out. I'll be stuck in bed after the surgery and i may never get out of it. Depression may overtake me. In more ways than one, i wouldn't recover from a c-section. They left the room while I took in reality. I can't cut him out like a cancer. He deserved to enter the world the way he was meant to. He deserved to be born.

I was transferred into another room, changed into a gown, had gel inserted to start the induction, and began getting teary eyed visitors. Robs parents and sisters and my own sister with my parents, all around us in the room. Taking turns leaving the room to break down with grief out of my sight, so i don't get upset even more. Eventually they all forced themselves to go home, so Rob and i could have the night alone together. They gave me sleeping pills but it didn't work. I was so overcome with sadness i couldn't succumb to sleep. Rob turned on the TV to try and clear our minds and i eventually drifted off. I awoke soon after to screams and grunts from the next room. Then a baby crying for the first time. I lost it again. That's what i was supposed to hear. Rob crawled into the bed, wrapped his arms around me, and we cried together. Eventually i passed out from pure exhaustion. Tomorrow would mark the hardest day of my life.

But it was a day i would survive.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wild West

I've been meaning to take pics of the 3 wooden "buildings" i was hired to make and i finally did that yesterday! My ma'am's been asking on a pretty much regular basis. So here there are.

Issues i had with these puppies... First of all, when i was handed the pictures and told they were for the young sons room (They decorated his room using the theme of Woody from Toy Story) I figured they'd be oooh i dunno, at the most 12 inches tall for the jail, and maybe 24 for the sheriff's office. Uh, no. Found out later on, that the doorway of each building had to be atleast 12 inches because that's how big the Woody doll was, and they were putting these on the walls close to the floor so they can be congruent to the size of the doll. So that made them alot bigger. So i estimated which size boards i needed at Home Despot, bought 2, and went home. But the one board had to be cut in half as it would be housing the school and the jail, but in order to cut them in half, i'd need to use a table saw. We have one mind you, but i'm not all too comfy with using it, plus my ma'am pretty much freaked out when i said i had to use it, and asked if this project can wait until they come home in June so my Daddoo can cut it. And that just wasn't happening. So i asked my cousin Dan if he wouldn't mind helping out, and he was happy to since Rob was over there a few times trying to fix their computer.

But i'm getting too far ahead of myself here! First, i had to draw out the buildings on the boards. I took the original pics that were given to me, and made a ratio of 1cm=6in and in that sense they'd be big enough for the doorway to be 12 inches. Redrew them onto graph paper to make things a little easier. But when i worked out how many inches they'd be, the sheriff's office - for example - would be 36 inches wide and 49 inches high. Hmmm.. Considering my board was 24x48, that ain't happenin'! So i had to stretch the pictures in such a way that i'd get a 12 inch door, with a building under 48 and thinner than 24, but keeping some integrity on the dimensions so it wasn't all blown out of proportions. That was fun! And man did i use alotta math that day.

When i finally got them all drawn out, and the original cut done by Dan, i was ready to go. But hmm.. Jigsaw only has so much room on the left side. And these boards were so big, and the surface of the jigsaw so small, i had to first build up a flat area to hold up the sides of the boards. So then i was ready to cut. But alas, getting into the fence area, as well as just corners in general when the boards are so big, i had to continually flip the board over to make one cut, flip it back to make another, and so on and so forth. I got a little creative at one point and had to make cuts repeatedly in one directions to cut out where the fence is, because the board was too big to maneuver it around to cut. But then i had a really jagged line. And alas, my belt sander wouldn't fit in their either! So, i got a file. I was pretty proud of myself for thinking of that one. (Although i only thought of it whilst searching for some chisels to use - which is good i found the file first, cause i probably woulda ruined the thing trying to do that!) I was out there for atleast 4 hours doing this, and i was sneezing out sawdust for another hour. Was gonna use a mask, but unfortunately, it had been sitting out and well, was full of sawdust. Which i breathed in immediately and proceeded to have a coughing fit.

Anyhoo... once they were all pretty and sanded, i brought them in and started painting. Which took me freaking forever. Usually doesn't take *that* long, but i guess i was out of practice since it's been so long. Plus all i had were complete crap paintbrushes, because i gave ALL my good ones to my mother in law because she was taking an art course, needed us to buy all the supplies which we couldn't afford, so we pretty much gave her everything of mine. Nice. Anyways!! I have nice new ones now, Rob bought me 2 sets for Mothers Day. Awww. He even made me breakfast in bed! (well, i didn't eat it in the bed. I'm quite clumsy y'see. I woulda dumped it somehow. But i did wake up with eggs in my face. )

Then after they were FINALLY done (to get back to the original rant) I had to spray seal them. We didn't have any. So Rob bought some after work one day, and the next afternoon i went to spray and well.. My fingers just didn't seem to be strong enough to press that damn nozzle down! so i hadda use two hands, and it was dripping everywhere, and i practically ruined the school! So Rob came home with another sealer (cause i knew i'd need 2) and started to seal with the 2nd bottle he bought and said he couldn't figure out how i'd have a problem. So i made HIM use the first bottle, and AHAH! He had the same problem. This time it WAS the product and NOT the operator! Thank you very much.

So now they're finished.

And i can stop my rant. Which is good 'cause now i'm tired. And i have alot of work to do today, so i must be off! It's so tiring being unemployed. Yeesh.

Later peeps!

Monday, May 11, 2009

For your entertainment

This picture could have so many titles. And it just keeps making me laugh. Have a good day everyone!

Happy Mominska Day!

Okay so yes, this is a day late. I didn't get a chance to talk to my ma'am yesterday 'cause we were down in Fort Erie for pretty much all of it. I didn't get a headache so therefore it was a good visit.

But to make it up to my ma'am, I'm sending her a virtual bouquet!! Well, not really a bouquet, but more pictures of the flowers around her house!

I know i already posted a pic of this one, but alas, this one's better.

The white lilacs are starting to bloom.

And here's our plum tree... we have yet to have the usual every year the plum tree blooms huge wind storm so all the buds are still there!

And i found these little diddy's at the side of the house hidden by foliage!

And now for something not so pretty. The tree... is nearly dead. It does have some buds on it, but not nearly as much as the others. So here's some views of what it looks like - and it really astounds us that with all the crazy wind we have been getting lately, that it's still standing.

Our only hope is that when we finally do cut down this tree, all the birds and insects that it houses doesn't take refuge in the house instead. Hmm...

You might wonder why there's a spoon sitting outside. So was i.

And look who's back! Ug... sooooo sick of the construction. They've presently torn up our street again in order to repave it. Can't wait. And lemme guess, right when i need to leave the house to pick up Rob, *that's* when they'll start to pave and i won't be able to exit my driveway.

On Saturday we had another busy day (so this weekend was pretty much shot when it came to actually relaxing) as it was Chloe's 4th birthday. It was a good time had by all, but i have to say i haven't seen *that* many presents in a really long time. It was nuts. Becca has asked me to take lots of pics since her camera battery died, and lemme tell ya my arms were sore. But i got a few really good pics, so here's a bit of a show...

So we got Chloe a birthday hat that looks like a floppy cake. It was pretty hilarious.

Okay, can i just ask, WHO gives a 4 year old 2 huge bags of chips, a bunch of chocolate bars and chubby pops?!?! Seriously.

Okay yes, a huge box of smarties that's almost the same size as her, that's acceptable and here's why. 1) It was from her 10 year old sister, and 2) It's funny.

Here she's holding out her hands waiting for her surprise present. A new bike!

And this one just makes me laugh. Just about to blow out the candles. (There was actually one lit in between the sparklers)

You may wonder who this kid is. This is Robs cousin (the *bad* kid) But I've been assured that he's alot better than he was before. Okay. Anyways, i couldn't help but notice how much he looks like Rob and I was informed by Rob's aunt Lilly that yes, spitting image of him when he was a kid. Including the look on his face. My hubby was a bad kid too apparently. But i kinda figured he was since he chooses his bars of soap according to taste.

Alright well, off i go. I know, not very substantial, but hey. I've got things to do. But, i will be posting one more blog right after this one. "For your entertainment". Rob and I decided that once a week we'll take a funny or interesting pic. And now for our first instalment.. hehehe...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flowers flowers everywhere

So this'll just be a short one, i just wanted to hop on here and show the ma'am pictures of the flowers around the house that may not still be alive by the time the parents make it back in June. I couldn't take pics of the dead tree or the plum tree because there's yet more construction at the corner of the house, and i didn't want the guys to think i was taking pics of them. Maybe tomorrow...

Oh and 3 others i took that i find funny....

Okay so, this is a stain that is on our front porch. We have no clue what it was from, but hey, it's a heart. And it just won't go away.

I always find Kermit funny and he was getting quite frustrated with me when i was taking this. He wasn't understanding what i wanted of him.

Guess what this picture is titled?!?! HA ha ha ha... Oh ya.. good times. I didn't put the actual title on the pic, but if you click on it to enlarge, it *may* give you a clue. This is so getting printed and framed. Too funny... It goes along with other kitchen pictures I've been taking that i can't put up here, because well... our sense of humour has quite a large range, so there are some people who may be offended.

Alright off i go, back to painting the wild west. Hopefully today i will FINALLY be finished. I'll take lots of pics of those too once they've had their final seal.

Have a great day everyone!! Oh and Bab, Nikon called, and who has rug burn!?

Friday, May 1, 2009

The bird bird bird, the bird is the word.

Look who's back! Well, besides me. This is the 5th attempt at a nest by these morning doves that come back *every* year and build a nest in the same *stupid* place. At the top of the pillar outside our front door there's a ledge. And that said ledge is seeked out year after year by these same morning doves. And year after year, the wind whips around the pillar and blows down the nest and/or egg that happens to be up there. Obviously these morning doves haven't clued in yet that this isn't a good place to settle in. I personally feel bad, since more than once a year there's been a smashed egg on our front stoop. But then i think, maybe since these doves are so stupid, they really shouldn't procreate.

As for my absence... As much as i loved the fact that i was now on the pills, it took quite a while for my body to get used to the new meds. The mere thought of sitting down at a computer and moving my fingers was absolutely exhausting. And on top of that i spent most of the 2 1/2 weeks in the bathroom. I won't indulge on that subject... you're welcome.

When i was starting to feel better, i had to get real busy since there was so many projects i had on the go that i *really* needed to work on and pretty much lost almost 3 weeks. I cleaned, organized, cut wood, painted, stamped and in the process moved my computer back up to the craft room where it should be, therefore out of sight and out of mind. It's amazing how much work you can accomplish when the laptop isn't sitting there staring at you longingly from the dining room.

So now I'll quickly backtrack to the latest happenings in my madcap life. (and just so you're "in the know", i say *madcap* in a way that's dripping with sarcasm)

Easter. Took tons of pictures so the parents could somewhat feel like they didn't miss much! I'll include a few here, because I just have to say again and again how much i love my new camera. A few of them were taken 3 houses away from where the kids were running, yet with my new spiffy zoom lens, it looks like I'm alot closer! Woo!

Rob with Elby. But he's petting her, not choking her. Just realized it looked like that!

Izzy emptying out the lions "body fluid".

Carmen and Jonah playing hide and seek (3 houses down!!!)

Jonah with his helicopter which he kept aiming at the girls when they were in the tree.

Rudy and his plane... these things kept the kids entertained all day!

Brenna attempting to strangle her sister.

Okay, you might wonder why i posted the last pic, but it makes me laugh so much because of the "creepy" guy staring out the screen door. He's not really creepy, just my uncle Phil wondering what's going on.

There was actually over 100 photos i took that day, but i figured that's too many to add in a blog. And i actually refrained from showing all the pics of Kermit!! But wait, I can't do that... he's too cute.

Speaking of Kermit... (as i usually am), he's now fixed!! But there's a story to that. (As there usually is). So we have a vet that I've been taking my cats too (and still take Misha to) for years, but they're across town and there is a vet down the street from us that my cousin takes Elby to, and we figured, what the heck. They're so close, we've heard good things, let's just go there. Things were fine until it was almost time for Kermit to get his junk removed. During his growth spurt (going from 8lbs to 14lbs in one month) he was diagnosed with a heart murmur. Which most puppies have. They only heard it when he was *really* excited. We thought, meh, no biggie. It's obviously not affecting his growth any, and as i already stated, alot of puppies have heart murmurs. So it was a month before we had to get him fixed, and the vet says "Now it's a very dangerous procedure to have with a heart murmur, so before we do the surgery, we should have an ultra sound, and blood work done." We're like oookay, didn't think it was a huge deal, but alright. Ya.. ultra sounds cost upwards of $700. And the blood work they wanted done? Up to $200. Uh, excuse me? That on top of the cost of surgery!? C'mon now, it's not like we were top execs that filed for bankruptcy and paid ourselves millions of dollars here. (who, by the way, thought that was a brilliant idea?!) Anyways. So ya, we decided that if it came to that, we just wouldn't get him fixed because the way they were talking, it was extremely dangerous for him, so we weren't going to risk it by having surgery.

I called my original vet. Told her the situation and she suggested i bring Kermit in. First of all, Kermit was so incredibly hyper since he was in a new place that we couldn't even keep him on the table. So the vet actually had to sit on the floor with him in a headlock to hear his heart. Her diagnosis? Can't even hear a heart murmur, and if they only heard it when he was excited, well, this was as excited as he was ever gonna be. (and how shocked was the vet when she said she was going to attempt to take a pic of him for her files and he actually stopped being crazy, sat down, closed his mouth and posed for the camera. Do i take too many pictures of him y'think??)

So in conclusion... we switched vets and Kermit's ping pongs were successfully taken out. And it didn't even cost us $300! Puh.. And THEN i found out that getting an ultrasound for a pet in the Netherlands is only 20 Euros!!! It woulda been cheaper to ship Kermit to my parents and gotten one done there! Albeit he may not have survived the shipping, and then there's the quarantine issues, but still! That's pretty pathetic.

Alright, before i talk more about Kermit and waste more of the morning typing instead of painting, I'm gonna go! But before i do, Thanks so much to all of you who commented on my blog and most of all to David for making me a "Post of the day"! It was quite an honour, and i do apologize that i couldn't reply to you all, but know i appreciate your support, kind words and advice! And welcome to my 2 new followers! Wow, people who aren't in my family following my blog!

Okay, back to painting the "old west". I'll post pics of that when I'm done! It's pretty nifty if i do say so myself. I'll be back soon!