Thursday, December 13, 2012

Every Birth is Unique

Every birth (all two I've experienced) has been different but also similar in many ways.  Which makes sense... I mean how many ways can you have a baby, right?  Avram's birth started out pretty much the same as Jadyn's.  I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with moderate menstrualish crampage - 3am to be precise and spent about an hour timing the cramping and wondering if I were really in labor.  While deliberating I browsed the wool forum on Diaper Swappers and found a really cute pair of girly toddler longies for Jadyn. 

At four my contractions were three or four minutes apart but they still just felt like cramping without any tightening sensations - similar to my experience with Jadyn.  I guess this is my normal.  :-)  So I decided to take a shower and see if that stopped the contractions.  At this point Kenneth's alarm went off and he woke up.  I told him what was going on and he wondered why I didn't wake him up and call Alice.  I explained that I wasn't sure I was in labor and was going to take a shower to find out.    So I took a shower and while that did increase the time between contractions back to six minutes apart they were still coming with regular frequency and intensity. 

Reluctantly I called Alice (I hate the thought of waking her up for a false alarm) and Kenneth went to take care of the barn.  Alice arrived at about 5:00 - shortly after Dad woke up.  Since Jadyn was still asleep in our bedroom we went upstairs to the playroom/spare bedroom so that Alice could check my progress.  I was about three centimeters dilated, fully effaced, and extremely posterior.  More pelvic tilts - oh joy! 

The Birth Supplies
Kenneth and Alice got out the birthing pool and liner and started setting up.  Jadyn slept through the noise of the air pump thing just across the hall but woke up when it quit... crazy child.  I got her out of bed and the second she saw the pool she yelled "Baby!"  I told her, yes, we were having our baby today.  I had explained to her about a month ago that when it was time to have the baby that we would set up a pool and have the baby in that.  I guess she remembered because she knew exactly what was going on.  She was so excited about having a baby that she was shaking as I was changing her diaper.  She then raced back in the room to "help" Daddy and Miss Alice.  

So they finished setting up the pool under Jadyn's supervision.
Inspecting the liner
Kenneth was planning to use the shower to hook up the hose but when he went to hook it up it wouldn't fit right.
Dad suggested the laundry room
That worked but required a second hose to get it to stretch all the way to our room.
    Travis arrived at some point (I decided to give birth on the first day of the Nutcracker tour... very convenient... not) and after commenting that we were either setting up a meth lab or having a baby he and dad left to go set up the ballet in Tell City. 

Well, Kenneth got the hose hooked up and turned the water on.  Dirty water came gushing out into my previously sterile pool liner.  Deja Vu. With Jadyn we had this issue because we hooked up to our water heater - this time it was because he didn't flush the hose.  Oops.  He took the liner out and washed it in the bathtub.  

Finally he was able to start filling the pool.
Then he ordered me to eat.

We learned after Jadyn's birth that it was really important for me to eat early in my labor and to eat something more substantial than a grapefruit.  So I warmed up some leftover broccoli casserole courtesy of the Shinabarger Family and ate pretty much all of it.  I also ate apple slices with peanut butter.  Even Kenneth was satisfied with my food intake.  ;-)  I also drank lots of juice and water which made me have to pee all the time which made the contractions really owie for some reason.

Alice checked me again to see if my cervix had decided to get where it was supposed to be.  Nope.  Still super posterior but more dilated - five centimeters!  She asked if I was up for a walk.  I'm thinking no, not really... what I really wanted to do was get in the nice hot birth pool and relax!  But I had plenty of energy and there was no good reason why I couldn't walk so I said sure.  At this point my contractions were painful enough that I had to stop and kind of catch my breath if that makes sense so I wasn't real crazy about the idea of walking down Mill Road... I could just see people stopping to ask if I was all right.  Yup!  I'm fine... just having a baby!  No, I don't want to go to the hospital... haha

Before beginning my walk I bought those cute longies for Jadyn then headed downstairs and got on the treadmill.  Alice suggested a 30 minute walk so I set it for 30 minutes and started the beginner walking program.  It's really not fun to walk when you're having a contraction, by the way... So I'm walking and the contractions are getting a lot harder and a lot closer together and lasting FOREVER!  At the end they were about a minute and a half long with 30 seconds in between.  About this time something lets loose and I have this uncontrollable gushing thing going on.  I'm like okay.. either my water just broke or I had the pee of my life all over myself.  Thankfully my nice thick comfy sweatpants soaked it all up and spared the treadmill. 

I finish up all but the last minute of my walk (really uncomfortable especially now that I'm all wet) and go to the bathroom.  Then I head back upstairs and announce to Kenneth that I'm getting in the pool and that I think my water broke.  He asks if he should tell Alice (who had a rough night and is trying to rest in the playroom) I told him not to worry about bothering her.  I don my maternity bathing suit top and enter the pool.  Bliss!  It definitely slowed the contractions back down but I was cool with that as I wasn't sure if my cervix was still posterior and didn't want to go through hours of hard labor if my cervix wasn't being cooperative.

Kenneth puts on some music, lights candles, and we chill.  Jadyn pops in to check on me every so often.  She especially liked Mama's "kite".  (the fish net thing)  She wanted to get in with me but I told her the water was too hot for her so she just played with the "kite".  So cute.

I think my contractions started speeding back up again and I was having a hard time talking through them even in the pool and that was what prompted Kenneth to wake up Alice.  At any rate Alice came down and checked me.  My cervix was finally cooperating and had moved.  I was also up to 8 centimeters dilated.

When my contractions got pretty hard we sent Jadyn to the living room where she watched Blue's Clues with Grammy and Micah. 

Alice asked if I was feeling an "urge to push".  No...not really.  But I only got that during the last 10 minutes of pushing with Jadyn so no surprises there.  She told me I could start pushing whenever I felt like it.  So after a couple more really owie contractions I felt a bit of an urge and decided to get this show on the road.  I pushed a couple times in a semi reclining position but then switched to a squatting position with Kenneth supporting me from behind.  I was apparently much easier to support while in the water rather than out because Kenneth wasn't nearly as sore and tired the next day...  I hadn't been pushing very long when Alice said that she thought the baby would be emerging with the next push.  I was super excited and thinking wow that was fast.  So I push really hard and I see this grayish thing emerging and then all of a sudden it pops.  What?!?  "Where did my baby go," I ask.  I'm looking in the water for the baby and then I look up at Alice and she says "I thought you said your water broke."  I'm like "I thought it did, I guess I just peed all over myself..."

This is hilarious now but at the time I was seriously ticked off.  I was supposed to be holding a sweet baby at this point and instead I had to push some more.  I hate pushing.  I think we covered this in Jadyn's birth story.  Apparently I looked really bummed out because Alice quickly assured me that the baby was right there, in the birth canal and that we were still really close to the end, she told me I could feel him if I put my hand down there.  That was pretty cool but I was still irritated that I wasn't holding him so I started pushing a lot harder.  (I thought I was already pushing as hard as I could... apparently not)  I think it was only two or three pushes later when he actually emerged.  I had my hand down there on his head and watched as he came out into the world.  It was sooooo cool!  I think I was saying "ow ow ow!" at the time because once again I was getting that lovely ripping feeling.  That was a bit of a bummer because I was thinking I wouldn't be repeating that fabulous experience with our second child.

Anyway.  His head and shoulders had emerged with that push and I'm staring down in the water at a baby!  I hear Alice say "Go ahead and push again to get him the rest of the way out".  Oh yeah!  Oops.  So we get him out and I'm holding him and I look down and announce that he was a boy!  Kenneth was surprised - he thought for sure we were having another girl.  Jadyn had said all nine months that we were having a girl until that morning.  Alice asked her if she thought she was going to have a sister or a brother and she said, without hesitation, "brother".  That was the first time she had said the word brother - it was too cute.  So yeah, Jadyn wasn't surprised by the gender.  ;-)

So I'm holding him and cuddling and waiting for the cord to finish transferring all its goodies.
I tell Kenneth that Jadyn could probably come in now so he goes and brings her in.  She wasn't bothered by all the blood and mess - thank goodness - and was super excited to see her little brother.  She gives him kisses and strokes his head as Alice instructs Kenneth in how to cut the cord.  Then they get him all wrapped up and Daddy holds him for the first time.

Now it's time to deliver the placenta.  I don't remember delivering Jadyn's but I was exhausted and pretty out of it at the time.  I think hers just came out on its own.  This time around I was wide awake and energetic, almost hyper.  So Avram's had come out partially on its own - probably while we were waiting for the cord to finish but I didn't notice when.  So I give a few pushes and the thing finally finished coming out.  It hurt a bit which surprised me for some reason.  Also, it seemed harder pushing it out that it did pushing Avram.  I'm assuming because I wasn't as motivated - it's kind of hard to get excited about a  huge bloody blob. 

Got a picture of the placenta this time!
Then I climb carefully out of the pool and get somewhat dried off and we go in the bathroom to clean me up a bit, don a depends, and get changed out of my soaking wet bathing suit top.  I'm feeling really good, a bit shaky, really sore of course but still good.  Especially compared to the way I felt after Jadyn's birth.  I get in bed and start nursing my little guy.  My waitstaff brings me peanut butter crackers and juice cubes.  Jadyn climbs in bed to snuggle with us and share my snack. 


After making sure I'm doing okay Alice and Kenneth start the cleanup.  

Kenneth used a sump pump to drain the pool into the bathtub, nearly overflowing the bathtub at one point.  Oops!
When they had mostly finished cleaning and Avram had finished eating we checked out the carnage.  Yup.  I tore.  Yippee.  It was a weird tear.  I tore sideways in a funny spot.  Alice wasn't sure why I tore there.  Perhaps because his head and shoulders came out all at once instead of easing the shoulders out?  I don't know.  Regardless of the reason the end result was the same... stitches.  Remember when I threw up when she was stitching me up after Jadyn?  Or maybe I left that part out.  I don't remember.  Anyway.  I didn't throw up, thank goodness, but I'm such a baby about it it's embarrassing.  Seriously, just three little stitches and I was literally shaking.  "Can't we just superglue it," I pleaded.  "Superglue," Alice asked incredulously.  "Yeah, superglue.  We do it all the time instead of going to the doctor for stitches, don't we, Kenneth?"  I ask, looking at him for support.  He shakes his head.  "We've never superglued anything like that."  I think he had visions of my hooha accidently glued shut. 

So I resigned myself to being sewn up and just about squeezed Kenneth's hand off during the process.  Meanwhile Micah and Jadyn get to enjoy Avram while Grammy takes a shower and gets ready to leave for the Nutcracker performance.


Finally I'm cleaned up and Avram's cleaned up and everyone is happy.  Except for Micah and Grammy who have to leave this adorable little guy to go dance. :-P

Avram Harvest
This little guy weighed 7lbs. 7oz. and was 18.5 inches long - 3 lbs and 3 inches smaller than Jadyn was at birth!  No wonder it only took me 7 minutes to push him out!  Recovery has also been easier in a lot of ways.  I was definitely disappointed about all the post labor contractions.  Didn't really have those too much with Jadyn - I'm told it gets worse with every birth... something to look forward too!  But after my uterus finished its shrinkage I pretty much felt back to normal.  Well, except for being extremely sore... :-)  And since I felt so good I jumped right back into my daily routine.  Which apparently was a bad idea - my tear didn't heal completely before the stitches dissolved and Alice had to put one back in.  "You're resting, right?"  She asked on Tuesday.  Um no, not really.  "I take a nap every once in a while."  "But are you back to your normal routine or still taking it easy."  "Um, I'm pretty much back to normal."  "Well having a baby is hard on your body and you need to rest."  Yeah.  So I'm not supposed to walk around now so that I can give that last little spot a chance to heal.  It's very frustrating not being able to do what you want to do.  It would be different if I felt like crap but aside from some soreness I feel great.  Grr.  The upside is now I have a little more time for things like posting pictures, writing thank you notes, and writing this insanely long birth story.  Oh and cuddling with my amazing husband and kids.  It's so cool being able to say kids.  I'm a mama of two!!!  

Thanks for reading!  

Jadyn holding Avram for the first time.





Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How To Fold A Flat Diaper (according to Kenneth)

I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to fold a flat diaper... we use prefolds... but I don't think this is it...
















Close enough...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Make Plans... and God Laughs...

Okay so I had this whole home birth thing planned out... you kind of have to, I suppose, but I was really trying not to have "expectations" 'cause I've learned from experience that when you have expectations things rarely turn out the way you expected. However, like planning, I suppose expectations are kind of unavoidable. I had to expect something, right? After much discussing with several people I thought I had an idea about what contractions felt like and I was pretty much braced for the worst pain imaginable. I also somehow got it into my head that after undergoing the worst pain imaginable for twelve or so hours that when it came time to push I would be so relieved that the end was near that pushing would be almost easy. Ha. And I know I remember hearing that the baby actually coming out would be nothing compared to the contractions. Ha. Ha.

Anyway, all that to say that, despite my best efforts, I had a few expectations about what this birth would be like. And I was so so utterly completely insanely wrong. :-)

I woke up at 1:30 Wednesday morning with some moderately painful cramping. I've been cramping regularly for quite some time now so it wasn't all that unusual, it's just that it wasn't usually that ouchy. I went to the bathroom, drank some water and tried to go back to sleep.

No luck. I went to the bathroom again and there was blood in the toilet and on the paper and all that. I was kind of alarmed. I'd had blood tinged mucus about a week prior but since I was 3 cm. dilated I figured it was normal. This was a lot more blood than that so I woke Kenneth up and asked him what I should do. He suggested getting online to see how much blood is normal. After assuring us that blood was normal I wondered if I might be in labor. The cramping hadn't subsided like it normally does and though I didn't have any tightening sensations, there did seem to be somewhat of a pattern to it. The cramping would get stronger every five minutes or so though with the constant cramping it was hard to know how to "time it".

Kenneth urged me to call our midwife, though I hated the thought of waking her up. Seriously, I'd been having anxiety dreams about waking her up in the middle of the night for a false alarm.

Anyway, I called Alice around 3:30 and she said it sounded like I might be in labor and she'd be over in a bit to check on me.

Of course this happened on a night that I hadn't cleaned so we frantically cleaned the house and then sat back to relax. Kenneth insisted on taking some final "belly pictures". I just love having my picture taken...


Especially when I look like a whale...


Alice arrived about an hour later and checked me out and said it looked like I was in labor. *phew* So thankful I didn't wake her up and make her venture out in the snowy blackness for nothing!

We started getting out the birth supplies...


Don't worry... we didn't use those vice-grips on the baby...

Kenneth began setting up the pool. He wanted to set it up right after we called Alice but I wouldn't let him 'cause I didn't really think I was in labor.


Then we started filling up the pool. First we hooked the hose up to the water heater, Kenneth had already done that before to make sure it would work. Well when we turned it on it started spewing gritty dirty water into the pool. Not real sanitary.

Kenneth and Alice removed the liner and took it into the bathroom to wash it out in the tub. I disconnected our water filter so we could hook the hose up to the kitchen sink. Didn't work. I reconnected the water filter and Kenneth pulled the washer and dryer out a bit and hooked the hose up back there. *Success!*

The pool began filling up with fabulously hot water. We checked the temp often to make sure it stayed that way.



It didn't.

At some point we ran out of hot water and began pumping really cold water into the pool. We caught it, but not before it had turned the fabulously hot water into not so fabulously tepid water.

DANGIT!

At this point those contractions were definitely headed into more painful territory and I had some lovely back labor going on. Still, not anything near as bad as I expected. I'd had much much worse menstrual cramps.

Also, I still wasn't feeling that tightening sensation, though Alice assured me my uterus was definitely contracting and I was definitely dilating. She agreed though, that I was not experiencing "normal" contractions as they didn't actually have a start and stop point. I was constantly cramping with noticeably more crampage for about two minutes every three minutes or so.

So... to fix our tepid water situation... we started boiling water. Thing is... we only have one pot. One stockpot, one cast iron skillet, one cast iron flat skillet and a butt-load of cake pans... And two crock pots. And now I want to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas song for some really odd reason.

So we filled up our lone stockpot and the tea kettle and got them going. Oh and we utilized the coffee maker as well.

Creative, maybe, but not so effective.

Kenneth needed to take our girls (a golden retriever and golden retriever/black lab mix) to my parents' house anyway so he said he'd grab their stockpots while he was there.



There we go... much better.

After several rounds of boiling water we got the pool to a suitable temperature and I thankfully got in.

The relief was instantaneous. I was seriously shocked. I knew the water would make the contractions less painful but I had no idea it would be so effective and sudden. It was insanely awesome.

At this point things got much more relaxed. We weren't constantly monitoring pans and adding and subtracting water. Kenneth turned on some music pulled a chair up to the pool and we talked. It was seriously amazing. If I'd been in the hospital I'd so have been hyperventilating at this point. Just walking in the Doctor's office makes my blood pressure go up. (not kidding, it's uncanny) I am just blown away with how wonderful that part of the experience was. I was definitely in pain, no getting around that, but it was manageable. Even if we hadn't been able to get the pool working it would have been a relaxing environment... I just would have been more uncomfortable.

Ooo... side note. I'm definitely eating next time around. Both Alice and Kenneth were urging me to eat early on but I wasn't hungry so I just ate a grapefruit. *stupid stupid stupid* By the time I got hungry I was about twenty minutes away from the "pushing stage" and the contractions would have made me throw it up anyway.

Okay... so at about noon I was fully dilated and ready to push. No problem... this is the easy part, right?

So, Alice told me next time I feel the contraction coming on take two deep breaths, hold the third and push like I'm doing the biggest poo in the world. (These were definitely not her exact words, she says things like "bowel movement"... much more refined...)

Okay... I do this.... and it hurts like crazy and I don't feel like I've made any progress. We continue this routine for a while. Poor Kenneth. I'm squatting in the pool (getting gravity to help me out) and he's holding me up so I can put all my pushing power into the correct muscles and not have to expend extra energy holding my own (considerable) weight. I weigh like 210 lbs. by now... yeah... beached whale, remember?

Anyway. We keep this up for I don't know how long and I feel like I'm getting absolutely nowhere despite Alice's reassurances to the contrary. The only thing I feel like I'm pushing out are my intestines... they feel like they're going out my bum.

Alice suggests trying a few contractions outside of the pool so I get out. (Mega ouch, those contractions were much nicer in the water... still... they were infinitely preferable over the whole pushing bit)

We go in the bedroom so I have the option of the bed or floor. We had gone ahead and bought the supplies for a "normal" birth... plastic sheeting to protect the mattress and floor and such... but both Alice and Kenneth were too busy helping me and didn't have time to get the plastic on the bed. We just put plastic on the floor at the end of the bed and I leaned back against Kenneth and did the whole squatting thing. I tried several different positions but it seemed to work the best.

Finally I start getting the actual "urge to push" thing. Up 'til now my body is not helping me out one bit, silly thing. Alice asks me if I where I want to deliver this thing and I decided on the bed. I'm tired and I want to lay down. We make a mad scramble for the bed, and Alice says she'll be coming out with this next contraction. (thank goodness) Kenneth says she just kinda blooped out but to me it was agonizingly slow not so bloopy... more like rrrrrip. I'm going ow ow ow.

Ninja is half-way out and she starts kicking. OW. I was like screw this next contraction, this kid is coming out NOW so I push her out, ask Kenneth what she is, (human female) and the whole aftermath cleanup begins. Alice gets her cleaned up while we wait for the cord to finish transferring all its goodies then she cuts it and all that good stuff and hands her off to Kenneth so she can take care of me.

I'm having blood sugar issues 'cause I forgot to eat, remember? So they start giving me honey and juice cubes and such. We get me feeling slightly better but Jadyn did a number on me and despite our months of preparations I needed to be stitched up. I'm all nervous about this needle thing... but we get me turned around, which makes me all nauseated again and Alice starts stitching. (ow ow ow ow ow) I tell them I'm really feeling like I'm going to throw up. (after four months of vomiting every hour or so I know the feeling well) Kenneth tells me not to. ha. So I promptly start throwing up. And apologizing. Ugh. I feel like such a wimp.

So now we have a bigger mess to clean up. We finally get me sewn up and cleaned up as much as possible and the fun stuff happens.


Cuddling and eating and looking adorable... (Jadyn, not me... I was not looking adorable in the slightest.)

And Kenneth got to go bury the placenta. (No, we didn't eat it... and I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures of it...)

So that's pretty much the way it went. I'm astonished at how slow I'm recovering. I thought for sure I'd be back to milking goats and such after a couple days. (Alice thought that was funny) And I definitely felt like a huge wimp. I thought I'd be able to handle the pain thing better. I wasn't screaming or cursing or anything, but I was wondering if I'd be able to do this again. (after seeing Jadyn, the answer is definitely yes I can ;-) Hopefully it's not going to take three years to make the next one. Until then we are enjoying every second with our gorgeous girl.



Oh... and if anyone would like to take my hemorrhoids off my hands... er... bum... I'd really appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Missing Cow

Ellen ran away from home... wandered around for a week and came back pregnant...

She was a bad bad cow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bleach makes my head hurt... but it is sooo much better than sewer water...

Wow... I think it's been like six months since I've posted or read any blog of any kind... weird. *singing* Is there anybody out there? Does anybody care? Are the people really there?... *bows*

For some reason I always hear that song by Burlap to Cashmere in my head every time I post something online... yeah... like every time... it's uncanny... I wonder what that says about me and my insecurities?

Do I really want to know what that says about me and my insecurities?

That reminds me of something my MIL told me today... "I had a dream last night that Skittles pooped for me... I was so excited and telling her what a good girl she was and was so proud of her... and then I woke up... that was very disappointing..."

Is that not one of the funniest things ever? Are you wondering why my MIL dreams of my dog pooping? hehe I think I'll just let you wonder... unless you really want to know... and then you can comment and ask and I'll tell you the next time I post... like in six months or so...

Oh and you know you use a laptop too much when you brush your finger over the spacebar instead of using the mouse... hehe

Okay. So there was a point to this... I just need to remember what it was. Um. I'm going to make some chamomile tea while I'm thinking because my throat hurts. I have a cold... isn't that fabulous?

I remembered! Amazing. So I was going to tell you another Tale of Woe but then I thought the Disciple video I watched on YouTube earlier today and I was smacked in the face with my own patheticness. Don't you hate that? I so wanted to feel sorry for myself... but who can feel sorry for themselves after watching this - Wait by Disciple

I'm talking about the message... not the song... although the song is A-MA-ZING... doesn't that look so much more emphatic than amazing? I thought so.

Anyway... what smacked me in the face... what he said from about 6:40 on... and pretty much all of 2 Cor. 4 but especially vs 16-18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Our light and momentary troubles. Momentary. And they're light. Do you know what he was calling "light" and "momentary"?

2 Cor. 11:24-26
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.

Yeah... and I was all feeling sorry for myself over a stupid clogged drain...

Ugh... talk about pathetic!

So... instead of regaling you with tales of poor Spoodles... I'm going to be thankful for some stuff. And then I'm going to make lasagna... and snuggle with my hubby and watch the Olympics...

I'm thankful for~

~ Indoor Plumbing... I don't have to walk outside in the snow to go to the um... yeah...
~ Washing Machines... I don't have to carry my clothes to the river to wash them...
~ Carpet Cleaners... I don't have to get down on my hands and knees to scrub sewer water out of the carpet...
~ My husband... who is too amazing for words... and he's hungry so I'm gonna go feed him...

Would you remind me of this post the next time I start throwing myself a pity party?

Thanks

*singing* Life is good. Eternal life is better. Life is good. Eternal life is better. ~ Stellar Kart

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mood Rings

This song... is fabulous... We definitely need to have a mandatory mood ring rule around here... too much Estrogen... or Progesterone... or whatever it is...


Monday, October 26, 2009

Too much fun is painful... Shawnee 2009

Very very painful... but we shall get to that later... I just like to throw titles like that out there... it makes me feel dangerous.

We (Kenneth, Micah, Angie, Bre and Brishaun) went camping in Shawnee National forest earlier this month. Like the tenth and eleventh... I think... anyway... daytime temps were in the 60s and night time... was freezing... seriously... like 30s and I am not exaggerating... I promise... you believe me, right? *innocent never exaggerates smile*

Anyway. We went camping. We packed up our
little cars (yes little cars... we should have taken a picture... it was amusing. Thankfully it is only a little over an hour's drive away or I think my body would have suffered permanent damage from being crammed in like that...) and we drove around Evansville awhile getting breakfast... then we headed to Shawnee.

We arrived about ten in the morning on Sunday at Pounds Hollow and proceeded to Pine Ridge Campground and picked out a cute little spot. Kenneth and I drove back to the beginnning place to secure it and pay for it and then we drove back. We unpacked our
little cars and began trying to set up the tent... without directions... hehe

Author's Note: Micah will be joining us later. She had a last minute Nutcracker rehearsal so Dad drove her up later Sunday evening.



We're good...



Very good...



Notice how I say "We" even though I'm really just standing back and watching them work and taking pictures...



Of their butts... am I allowed to say butts?



It's hard not to take pictures of their butts... but see only one in this pic... and it's a nice one too... sorry... I couldn't help it... I love you Kenneth!

Anyway...



Isn't it pretty?



At this point Bre goes "Hey, a little help here..." So I dutifully and regretfully lay aside my photography device and help with the construction of our temporary abode. I'm just noble like that.



Then I decide that temporary abode construction really isn't my thing... and I go back to taking pictures.



Pretty good for no instructions, eh? *proud smiley*



Our perfect little campsite had one problem... the thing wasn't level... seriously. The only level place was where the firepit was. So we set up the tent on the next levelest place... we thought "Oh it'll be okay... it'll be kinda like sleeping in those beds that have the head of the bed raised... no big deal. It'll actually be a good thing 'cause we're all sick and we'll be able to breathe better that way..." Feel free to laugh at us naive little campers. I'm laughing. Really. I am.



I love my mountain man...



I love my Bre-Bre... look at her beautiful hair... it's blue and purple and pink... well and black of course... so so pretty...



I love my afro boy... he looks so serious and professional...

I also love my Angie... but it seems I mostly took pictures of her butt... so yeah... she'd probably kill me if I posted a lot of butt pictures... hehe... sorry, Angie!



Then we arranged all our sleepy stuff in the tent... we laid down foamy mattress pads and big thick camping pads... we thought we were oh so clever and that we'd be sleeping comfortably and soundly atop our fluffy things... Laugh with me, people, laugh with me... *hysterical laughter*



Then I took a picture of our fire-ring... it was feeling neglected...

After comforting the neglected fire-ring we hiked down to Pounds Hollow Lake. It was very fun... and steep. But fun. I love hiking.



We met a friend at the bottom...



He had a funny hairdo... all spiky and emo... aint e cute?!



Our little friend shocked Bre... see, her hair's a little... yeah... love you Bre! Don't hit me... please!



Kenneth confiscated my camera... he takes better pictures anyway... see the pretty rock pile?



And the um... butts... again... okay, so Kenneth really isn't any better than me...



Poo... never mind... Kenneth is WAY better than me... *sigh*



Brishaun couldn't wait to go fishin'...



I don't know what he has in his mouth... I'm not sure I want to know...


I wanted to camp right here... but it's against the rules... stupid rules...



Angie and I were a bit tired... and the sun was perfect... and the light breeze coming off the water... sigh with me... *ahhhh* God is amazing. I love God... and Angie. Angie has been, with a lot of help from Kenneth, my sanity. Or the helper of my sanity. Angie has encouraged, strengthened, chastised, and walked with me on the road toward righteousness. It's been an interesting journey. Angie has become a crazy best friend to me. God is definitely good. It's funny the way he brings people into my life at the perfect time. Angie has been exactly what I needed when I needed it. She is precious.



Bre is one of the most beautiful people ever. She's stunning! Isn't she? And she is soooo artistic! She's one of those people with this natural affinity for all things art. Even though she's never taken a class, she's amazing at decorating cakes. She does really neat things with spray paint. Her sketches are too cool. She puts together awesome outfits. She LOVES music. Seriously, the woman and her ipod are inseperable. And the swing. She swings a lot. I would say she's a swinger but I've been told that has negative connotations. Please do not enlighten me... I enjoy my naive ignorance... Bre is amazing.



Brishaun, fishing of course. This kid can fish. And hunt. And make weapons. And use those weapons and his crazy ninja skills. And he can dance. And teach himself to play pretty much any instrument. And he has awesome hair. And he's taller than my husband. He's a pretty awesome guy.



Isn't he cute? All camo-ish and such? I could seriously go on and on about how amazing and fantastic and awesome and fabulous my husband is... but I've already done that in my meet Kenneth post so... yeah, suffice it to say I really really really love my husband. In the past few weeks I've been pondering God's timing in general and the timing of our relationship in specific and I've come to realize that God had everything planned down to the last detail and I am so overwhelmed at his love and provision. Wow.



Kenneth's work boots... er... boot. This boot has stuck with Kenneth through thick and thin. Braving the weather bravely, protecting Kenneth's foot from poo, mud, water, snow, ice, tire dressing, and horse saliva... this boot is fantabulous.

Now that I've extolled the virtues of my companions... sorry about that... hehe... I must show you this next picture... it's life changing...



Bre's legs... on a stump... with torn jeans... can you feel your life changing? I thought so.



Bre, Angie and I reading about the history of Pound's Hollow...

After using the restroom we hiked back up that crazy hill... oh my word... the hill was crazy... I think we all nearly died... and we grabbed water... piled into the car... stopped again at a stinky restroom... and drove to...



Rim Rock. I love this place. Garden of the gods gets all the glory, but really Rim Rock is awesome. Aren't these rocks amazing? Isn't the way my arm just disappears for a second and reappears amazing? I'm like Bao Dur! Only without the glowing blue in between my arm segments... and the remote... and cranial horns...



We scaled rocks...



Squeezed through a tunnel thing and got wet... Would someone care to tell me why I post pictures of myself looking like I'd wet myself... explosively... online?!

Thanks... that's what I thought too...



We laughed...



We spelunked...



We contemplated our existence...



We hiked...



We rested...

Doesn't Bre look like a fairy?



We marveled at Creation...



We threw large sticks...

Rather,
Brishaun threw large sticks...



And we came across
this substance... we decided it was deer poop... in a tree... yeah... I don't know either...

After our excursions in Rim Rock we drove back to our campsite. Since we didn't have cell phone reception we had to stop just outside the Pounds Hollow entrance to make phone calls. We called and explained to Dad how to get to our site and then started getting ready to prepare dinner.



First we had to build a fire... Our fearless leader men got started immediately... which turned out to be a very good thing because it took them about two hours. In their defense everything was wet... that made life much more difficult...



Good thing we had a survival guide...



Bre got bored and started playing with the matches...



And I got bored and took pictures of the trees again...



Kenneth's *still* trying to get that fire going... ya gotta love his tenacity... I know I do... hehe



Success!

(Bre and I were actually the first ones to get something to light... we're just amazing like that... but then it went out and Kenneth and Brishaun took back over)



Our fire... See, we've got that log on top to dry it out... did you know that wet logs foam when they're burning?! It was crazy cool looking!

So after we finally got our fire going good... I kid you not it took two hours... Micah arrived and we started roasting our hot dogs... and I removed the wet log from the grill so we could heat water for hot chocolate...

We roasted hot dogs and ate s'mores and sang worship songs late into the night... and made several freezing trips to the bathroom... seriously... it was just above freezing that night... not cool.

We read Second Timothy and then called it a night. Micah, Kenneth and I shared a sleeping bag. Micah had her own but she was a little scared and there was plenty of room in our double bag for her. It took another hour or so of giggling in our tent before we managed to settle down enough to sleep. Or try to sleep. I know I didn't do much sleeping. Sleeping on the ground after a grueling day of strenuous exercise is not smart. Few times in my life have I hurt so bad.

For one thing. The pads offered very little comfort from the cold hard ground... yeah... call me a sissy... it HURT. I'm way too old for that sort of thing. Then... because we were sleeping on a hill... our sleeping bags wanted to take off on us leaving us shivering in the cold. Were also on a slope to the side ... Kenneth and Micah ended up on top of me. Apparently pulling the sleeping bag back up makes it unzip... my sleeping fellows squished me out the side... I landed on the cold hard ground. It's a cruel cruel world.

We finally got settled, around two in the morning I'm guessing. Kenneth slept in Micah's sleeping bag which was actually Kenneth's sleeping bag because Kenneth and I had planned to sleep in Mom and Dad's double sleeping bag... make sense?

I finally gave up on sleeping the second light began appearing and left the warm comfort of my sleeping bag to get a start on the fire. Kenneth, Brishaun, and Angie all got up then too. Apparently Micah and Bre were the only ones not in too much pain to sleep.

Getting the fire started took another two hours and looked pretty much the same as it did before so I'll spare you the photo montage.



We had hot dogs and Donut Bank donuts (purchased the day before, unfortunately Shawnee doesn't have a Donut Bank) for breakfast. And Teecino. I later slapped myself really hard for forgoing traditional caffeine filled coffee...



Poor Bre... the smoke seemed to follow her no matter where she sat...



Micah... playing with fire. Notice she is wearing only a t-shirt while the rest of us are bundled up like Eskimos... yeah...



Look at the height difference... I can't believe they're twins...



Gwen's Campfire Friends...



Micah's camera shy...

hehe

I'm just kidding... the kid is a total ham... she's just warding off the tear inducing smoke... we'd thought we were so smart bringing dried onion tops to use as kindling... haha... it just made the smoke that much meaner...



The best thing about our campsite was the giant grapevines hanging over a ravine. Okay, so it was a big ditch... ravine sounds cooler...

Brishaun looking oh so cool and composed. Cool as a cucumber...



Bre... demonstrating the cling with your thighs approach...



I have no idea what is going on... I just like what Brishaun's hair is doing...



Micah demonstrating the difficult one handed swing...



And Kenneth... pictures like these make me want to find that boy and kiss the heck out of him. Sorry! I can't help it! Stop giving me that evil look, Bre!



I have no idea...

Oh, before I forget... the mens found two hibernating snakes... do snakes hibernate? I'm gonna say they do... 'cause these guys were sleepy... pretty cool.



Brishaun demonstrating the pull back as far as you can, jump as high as you can, and hold on for dear life approach to vine swinging...

After the vine swinging exhibition, we cleaned up breakfast and drove back to Rim Rock to do the other trail.



Beautiful... I couldn't get over all the ferns!



And the massive rocks that made Angie Brishaun and whoever that is look like play people...



Oh, that was Bre I suppose. She was the one wearing the blindingly yellow shirt... and Brishaun's funny face is priceless...



One of several amazing waterfalls...



Mushrooms... too cute!



Micah and Brishaun... I love pictures of them together... they make me feel all warm and fuzzy... her protector... and tormentor... funny how the two go hand in hand... hehe...

We then went back, packed camp, and stopped at Garden of the gods to play before we left.



There are several places that form perfect little seats. I love coming here just before nightfall to watch the sunset. Unfortunately we were all (except Micah, of course) too tired to stick around until then.



I'm not sure why it looks so dark, it was a lovely day, but I love this picture... it's moody... like me...



Bre... too cute for words in her purple sweatshirt that matches her hair...



Brishaun and I... Hi Kenneth...



Micah... being Micah... my stars that girl is lovely... even when she's giving you that what the heck are you doing look...



So I thought... Oh what a lovely picture... and then I noticed the upper right corner... my butt with a strategically placed leaf... lovely... that last lovely was sarcastic... just so there is no confusion...



It's like a playground for grownups... and nearly grownups... and almost nearly grownups...



Nuhnuh nuhnuh nuh nuh nuhnuh Bat Girl! Woo I'm scary looking...



There are an inordinate amount of pictures of me... let this be a lesson to you all... do not give your husband control of the camera... unless you are photogenic... at least this one has Micah in it. I think we were waiting for Bre to make it through the tunnel.



God so made all this for us to play on. I hope heaven has big rocks.





Brishaun turned out to be quite the climber. Travis would have been proud.



The only thing that made the day less than perfect... other than being completely sore and Bre having a hurt knee... were all the other people in the park... the stupid people... the people trying to kill themselves... like this girl... do you see her? No? Let's zoom in...



She wants to die.

Now we climb on rocks... and we do difficult things... and if we fell it would hurt... but we're not stupid. We don't do things we aren't sure we can do. We don't try to get on the camel head knowing a person dies attempting that pretty much every year... We don't let our small reckless children stand on the edge...

Sorry about the rant.



It just bugs me, you know? I don't want to watch someone die!



Like this crazy kid! What was he thinking? Now the vultures are going to eat him and his mom is going to cry.

I'm just kidding... Brishaun's not dead... he's just pretending...



You hope...