It was a hot & sunny August day and we were celebrating Jeff's 25th birthday by
going to a Mariners Game in Seattle. I hadn't felt very good the previous few weeks. One quick trip to the bathroom confirmed what I had suspected. Happy Birthday Jeff! We are expecting another baby! A Spring baby, what could be sweeter?
At the time I JUST started a job as a church secretary. It was perfect because our other baby, Jarrod, attended the daycare there. I loved watching him through the office glass as he joined his class marching in a single line to the lunch room. Like little geese following their mama, the two year olds would waddle by. There were two other women I worked with that found out they were expecting at the same time. Ironically, our babies were all born within days of each other.
At about 22 weeks along I found out I had gestational diabetes, and was put on a special diet. We did not know if we would be having a boy or girl, but we knew the name would begin with a letter "J". Now on a healthy new eating plan, my blood sugar was under control and I actually lost a few pounds (don't worry, I'd gained 30 by 22 weeks!) My stomach expanded as my extremities shrank. I felt amazing and looked pretty darn good for a pregnant lady.
By April, Spring was emerging from our first long, dark winter in Washington. The church I worked for surprised me and the other expecting mothers with a group baby shower. Not knowing what we were having, we received a lot of green and yellow outfits. The anticipation was building.
We had moved into our first home just a month before finding out we were pregnant. It was a little 960 sf bungalow. We moved Jarrod to a big boy bed and filled the crib with baby stuff. The bassinet was in our room...we were ready!
April 14th was a beautiful day. I woke up full of energy and decided to rearrange my bedroom. That should have been my first clue. As I lifted the desk I felt a surge of pain that radiated from my back to my abdomen. It wasn't enough to foil my plan for the room. A while later it became clear to me that something was going on. I used the restroom, and without getting graphic, nature had made it clear that the time was close. I decided to make dinner. I threw together some hot enchilada's, and I mean HOT. Then I took a little nap while Jarrod took his.
I must have slept well, because when I woke up I was having strong contractions...consistently. No need to become concerned, Jeff would be home from work in an hour and besides, I was in labor FOREVER with my first baby. By the time Jeff's carpool dropped him off I was on the floor with my face in the couch cushions. "Hurry up and eat! It's time!" He devoured a plateful of those enchiladas and we took Jarrod to our friends.
The contractions came hard and fast. My back never hurt so bad. When we arrived they told us to walk around the parking lot to speed things up. With each contraction my legs went limp. We only made it around the hospital once before getting admitted. At that time the Navy Hospital didn't administer epidurals. I received a shot of Stadol and was told I was experiencing "back" labor. About that time, the HOT enchiladas decided to make an appearance in the most unpleasant way...in Jeff. He kept blaming it on me, and I was too out of it to care.
Midnight came quickly. April 15th. This baby had decided it was NOT going to be born on any other day but it's DUE DATE. Only 5 hours of labor and it was time to push. A beautiful, strong cry. It's a Girl!!! We were soooo excited. We got our girl. Due to the gestational diabetes, the placenta had broken apart during delivery. As dad followed our beautiful daughter, Janelle to be weighed, I underwent a D&C. I think I kicked the doctor but I KNOW I said "Hey, what are you doing? Trying to put her back!?" Ouch.
When Jeff and I would talk about future children, I always said I hoped for a girl with fair skin and dark hair. This 8lb 15oz baby girl had a full head of dark brown hair just like her daddy. I couldn't wait to put some bow headbands on her precious head. At just over a week old we noticed that every time we lifted her arms to change her clothes she would scream. At her check up the doctor discovered that she had broken her collarbone during delivery because she came out face UP. I remember feeling so sad for her. So little and a broken bone already. My goodness, she was eager to see the world!
On this date, exactly 20 years ago, God gave us a daughter with the strong will and strength to do amazing things in her life. As I reflect on the past 20 years I can see how much her personality as a toddler carried through into adulthood.
She crawled at 5 months old, walked at 7 months old, and she was crawling out of her crib by 10 months old. When she was 11 months old I "lost" her. I found her outside, barefoot and in her diaper, climbing up the ladder to the slide on our new swing set.
When her little brother was born 2 years later we moved into base housing. One afternoon the 5 year old girl next door was teasing Jarrod. Janelle, not about to let anyone be mean to her brother, marched over to her and pushed the little girl down a hill. And to make sure the point was taken, she put her hands on her hips and yelled "Don't pick on my Brother!" About the same time, when she was 2 1/2 years old, dad tucked her into bed one night, only to see her 30 minutes later hand in hand with a stranger walking down the street towards our house. She was determined to get some candy. She snuck out the back door, walked in the dark about a block through the neighbors yards, crossed a busy 2 lane street, went through a parking lot and into the mini-mart. She proceeded to take candy to the register, when the cashier asked her where her mommy and daddy were, she said at home. A man in line said that he thought he knew where she lived and the cashier let him take her! I think of that now and I cringe. Gods hand was certainly on her then, and it is still today. Thankfully, she is no longer pushing girls down hills!
Her laughter is contagious and her heart is full. Watching her grow into the beautiful (inside and out) young woman she is today has been one of the greatest joys in my life. Janelle, your daddy and I are so incredibly proud of you. We love you very much! This song has a special meaning, and so I will close with this video.
In one of my earliest childhood memories I am lying upon my mothers lap, nestled against her, with my favorite blanket draped over me. I remember the fresh scent of her lotioned skin, the muffled voices of my parents having a leisurely conversation, and the lull of the car motor as I drifted off to sleep. Perhaps we were on a Sunday drive, or moving to another town, as we did both quite often over the years. But at that moment I felt safe and at home.
My pillow and blanket have been a source of comfort and peace my entire life. I love taking a nap. I never fought my parents when it was time to rest or go to bed. I decorated my bed with all of my babies and often stacked books around the perimeter, as if to remind myself that my bed was my personal sanctuary. A place to day dream and sing and of course, sleep.
My dad was in the Air Force. We moved often as a child. Our belongings would get packed up in boxes and sent ahead to our new base. My pillow and my blanket stayed with me. I knew its scent and texture, and it comforted me during the unknown. On one such trip when I was about 3 years old, I remember staring out the back window of our car clutching my beloved pillow. The foam inside was broken down into tiny pieces. My mom had lovingly recovered it at least once in a soft flannel. As our car was traveling down the highway, I decided to hold my pillow outside the window. The wind caught the pillow and it flew out of my hands into the traffic behind us. I watched out the back window in horror as MY pillow lay in the road. I cried out for my dad to stop the car, but it was too late. I sobbed and sobbed until we stopped at a store to buy a new pillow. It just wasn't the same.
Over time that "new" pillow took on the same scent as my first, and I became fondly attached to it. It too, broke down into tiny foam bits inside a recovered pillow casing.
The blanket lost its hold on me, but my pillow was my main squeeze. It traveled with me across the United States a few times, through childhood and my teen years. When children would make fun of me in elementary school, or a boy didn't notice me in junior high, and later when my parents divorced, my pillow was there to cry on.
Later, when I moved away from home, got married and was about to deliver our first son, I had my pillow with me. When my husband left on deployment, I'd put his last worn t-shirt on the pillow and sleep with it until his cologne wore off. Over time, with the addition of two more children, the pillow became insignificant in the shuffle of life. Eventually, after being the target of sick children and puppy dogs, it made its way to the trash can. I didn't need to find solace in that pillow any longer. The hugs of my children and husband were my comfort and joy.
Now in my 40's, and almost an empty nest, I love to snuggle into my bed at night next to my husband. As I close my eyes and drift into a lull of sweet peace, I hear him breathing next to me. I'm often overcome with the same warm fuzzy feeling that I remember while being held in my mothers arms all those years ago. This is home.
The other day I received the new Restoration Hardware book catalog. Holy macaroni, I felt sorry for the mailman who had to carry it! I live in a neighborhood where the mailman still walks house to house and delivers right to my door. I love it. I cant imagine what a hard job that must be. It's great exercise...I mean, you never see a fat mailman. They walk, walk, walk all day ... everyday. I'm tired just thinking about it, then add that massive catalog to the bag...I wonder if any of my neighbors had one delivered the same day. He might have had like 4 in his sack! Whew.
Ok, bringing it back, focus... As I was saying, I got the magazine and while browsing through it for ideas, I noticed that the rooms I was drawn to had neutral rugs. Sisal or cotton or wool. But all in solid neutral.
We bought the living room rug about 4 years ago from Overstock.com. It's a wool rug, and wasn't cheapy, but wasn't expensive either. I've been real happy with the purchases made from them. Including 4 mattresses. Yes, Four. We have a lot of beds. And shipping is only $2.95 on EVERYTHING!
Here is the rug in my living room. Please forgive the tired sofa, it gets a lot of love:)
Its a beautiful rug, but has more gold than I would like these days.
Its a perfect rug for the winter. It's warm colors hide dirt really well. I thought about switching it with the sisal/cotton rug from my room. It has soft green cotton woven in with the sisal (also bought on overstock!) Then, today as I was vacuuming, the corner of the rug flipped up...and I got inspired! I grabbed that corner, pulled her back farther and said "Heelllllo beautiful!".
See that texture! And amazingly there are no stains on the entire thing. There is a little
hole...from when I staple gunned the rug to the floor...but I hid it under the couch along with the manufacture tag. It took some blood, sweat, and tears to flip that sucker! In the process, I unearthed another animals worth of hair from under the couch. It's a good idea to flip your rug, just to clean under your sofa. The neutral color is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully it will stay clean. My husband may think I've lost my marbles, but that's nothing new. I had him at the drawer hanging on the wall in 1988. It made a great shelf, what can I say. You can pull the girl from the thrift store, but you cant get the thrift from the girl!
So, what do you think?
The dark green walls seem to suck all the light out of the room. It was a gorgeous sunny day and much brighter than it appears. We plan to paint the living room a lighter color this Summer. My Pintrest board is full of lighter inspiration. Don't you love discovering new creative blogs while searching Pintrest. A nice bonus!
Once I saw the change from the rug, I became excited about bringing Spring inside. Spring is just now showing its face in our corner of the world. And I love it. I opened the doors and let the sunshine in. I tinkered around outside today, too, soaking up the rays. My neighbor has several Camillia bushes, and they have been blooming in succession. They are so beautiful. I have been cutting flowers (they hang over the fence) twice a week for a month now.
When I emptied out my antique booth last month I kept several old wood doors to use around here. My favorite is this one.
I brought it into the living room and set it against the wall by the piano. I don't know if I will keep it there, but its fun for now. I'm making a folding screen out of the other doors to use on the back patio. I can't wait to show you when it's finished.
Well, tomorrow I am going to the Apple store to get my laptop fixed. YAY !! Hopefully it's a simple fix. Have a happy SPRING weekend everyone.