Saturday, March 29, 2008

Aunt Sharla Rocks

I have a child surplus. Most of you already know that. Thankfully, though, with that surplus God has also graciously provided us with lots of help. I honestly don't know what I would do without my precious mom. She's a lifeline and partly responsible for helping me raise these kids o' mine. I am also blessed with lots of friends and other family nearby. We definitely have a great community of loving, supportive people surrounding us. It really does take a village. Or in our case, a couple of counties.

Yesterday, my lovely sister, Sharla, came and picked up Isabel and Josephine for a sleepover at her house. In a 24 hour period, she made them tacos for dinner, watched Enchanted, made them waffles for breakfast, took them swimming at the YMCA, saw Horton Hears a Who at the movie theater, took naps, and were brought promptly home to us by dinner time this evening. That's more than I do with them on any given lunar phase. Needless to say, they had a great time, and Aunt Sharla was exhausted.

Ren and I had a very relaxing, event-free Saturday. Relaxing, because we had two fewer children than we normally do. We still had Oliver around with us, and he was more than happy to be the center of our attention for a day. I can't remember the last time we had such a relaxing, quiet, and peaceful day. Thanks, Aunt Sharla!!! Same time, next weekend, right???

About a Boy

I was sorting through all my posts, and I can't believe that I've never posted Oliver's birth story on my blog. It's a story worthy of a retelling. And maybe even a dramatic reenactment. Trust me.

It was December 2006. 5 days before Christmas. First off, let me just say for the record that having a baby that close to a major holiday kind of sucks. It's a crazy, hectic, busy, stressful, and expensive time of year as it is. Then throw in a baby, and a new minivan. You get the picture. For more of my real feelings on Christmas, read this.

I typically go overdue with my pregnancies. Oliver's was the closest, and by closest I mean that he was born in the wee hours of the morning on the 20th (his due date was the 19th), and by closest, I also mean that we almost didn't make it to the hospital in time to have him. With all my pregnancies I get to 4 cm dilated without even going into labor. Yeah, I know, I'm lucky. But see, there's a problem that we deal with that most women don't have to even think about. As the due date fast approaches, my poor husband and I worry almost daily about the very real possibility that we may not make it to the hospital, and he'll have to play the role of the midwife and catch the baby. Now, as a young couple with no kids, that was at one time kind of exciting. But as we get older, the reflexes slower, our brood of children more numerous, and our drive to the hospital a little bit further, that isn't so much fun.

Once I get to 4 cm, I am like a ticking time bomb. As I was with Oliver, that cold winter's night.

I had an appointment the morning of his due date with the midwives. They checked me and sure enough, I was 4 cm. So we scheduled an induction a couple of days later. But we never got to that. I started to feel yucky that evening. I thought it was just my dinner not sitting well with me. So we went to bed that night. It was late, about 11:00 PM. I started to drift off to sleep.

I woke up suddenly at around 1:11 AM with a contraction that made me sit up and take notice. See, I am the Queen of Braxton-Hicks contractions. I have like 80 or so a day, but they're irregular, and considered pre-labor contractions. They're doing the work of getting me to 4 cm, I guess. This one particular contraction just felt different. I timed it, and the next one came 5 minutes later. I timed the third one and same thing. At that point, I woke up Ren, and told him that we should call the midwife. So we did, and she told us to come on in to the hospital.

We call my mom, who lives 20 minutes from us, and tell her to come over so we don't have to wake the girls. In the meantime, Ren decided to take a shower, while we waited for my mom, and while I packed some last minute stuff.

That's when things took an even more dramatic turn.

I was still timing contractions, when all of a sudden they went from 5 minutes to 2 minutes apart. Yeah. Ren gets out of the shower and inform him of what's happened. We call my mom to check on her status, and learn that she hasn't even left her house yet!!! Ren then moves into high gear, throws our bags in the car, rips the girls out of their beds from a deep sleep, buckles them into their car seats and we head for the hospital at 1:52 AM.

The girls were so disoriented with all the commotion. Ren is doing 80 MPH to the hospital. 2 year old Josephine starts crying saying that she needs a wipe. I asked her if she was poopy, and she said yes. We tell her we'll change her when we get to the hospital. Then, I smell something. It's dark so I can't see what is the cause of the smell. We turn on the light, take a look back at Jo and's not poopy. Our poor little girl is covered in vomit. All the excitement and Ren's Mario Andretti impersonation behind the wheel was just a little too much for her. Are you getting this picture??? I am in hard, heavy labor at this point. My child is screaming and covered in vomit. The smell is nauseating. Ren's still doing 80. We're not even sure what we're going to do once we get to the hospital. But getting there is all we can think about.

We reach the hospital, and Ren literally dumps me off at the ER at 2:10 AM, tells me to check myself in while he parks and cleans up our Vomit Girl. I walk in, check in and they get me to the delivery room in what feels like an eternity. Ren was still not there. They check me, and sure enough, I am 10 cm dilated, and that Oliver's head is right about to come down. You've never seen people fly into action as quickly as you do at the hospital when a women is about to have a baby! Ren makes it to the delivery room with the girls in the double stroller. Josephine is in her underwear and wrapped in a blanket. We totally did not intend for them to be in the room with us when Oliver was born. It just happened that way.

Remember I said we reached the hospital at 2:10 AM??? Oliver was born at 3:01. A mere 51 minutes later.

His birth story suits his personality perfectly. Our life with him has been a non-stop ball of action ever since. He is certainly the most energetic of all our children, and they'll all give you a run for your money. I've always said he has two personalities--Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Even as an infant, he was either the most agreeable happy baby, or baby Tasmanian Devil. He either has Ren and I laughing hysterically or ranting and yelling like maniacs. He brings us incredible joy and laughter, and also makes us more exhausted than we've ever been. He is a force to be reckoned with. He tears through the house at warp speed, often leaving a trail of demolition in his wake. I often wonder if the world will be ready for this young man when he comes of age. I'm not sure I will be!

Jesus is Coming Soon

That's right, folks. I'm calling it. Do you want to know how I know? Just go here and find out for yourselves. Make sure you're sitting down.

This from the man who has previously denounced blogs and all blog reading. I distinctly remember him saying something about how he didn't "get the whole online diary thing." This truly is a miracle of God. This should bring encouragement to you; that is, if the Good Lord can turn around a hardened, cynical, blog-hating man like Ren Buckland, He truly can do anything.

I am so excited that he FINALLY saw the light and joined the Blogosphere. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to reading future posts. If his first post is any indication, then you can be rest assured that his future posts will be just as excellent and classy. Just like he is.

I am so excited and so very pleased to welcome, Ren Buckland (aka, my better half), to the Blog World. It's been a long time a-coming.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Okay, "Lost" Fans...

If you're a Facebook friend of mine, you might be aware that I've developed a certain appreciation for someone on the TV show "Lost." It didn't occur until recently, I guess because prior to this season, we really haven't seen much more of Desmond Hume beyond his consciousness traveling, crazy-eyed, wild haired, thickly Irish accented rantings of "Yer gunna dyeee, brothah" whenever he appeared in a scene. Anyway, I've really come to look forward to his rantings, his accent, AND his character on the show, not to mention the fact that he's not at all hideously ugly to look at.

So imagine my surprise when Ren brought this movie home to watch over Easter weekend, and lo and behold, I looked at the DVD cover and saw Desmond Hume, aka Henry Ian Cusick, as Jesus Christ. Pretty wild, huh?

Did anyone else know this? I'd seen the movie when it first came out but totally didn't make the connection until just yesterday. After watching it again this weekend, I must say that he does a really good job as Jesus. Even without the Irish accent and the consciousness traveling.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Great Friday

Be not deceived, Wormwood, our cause is never more in jeopardy than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe in which every trace of him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.--The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46 (NLT)

Then Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!" And with those words he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 (NLT)

I read the quote from C.S. Lewis the other day and it shook me to the core. It is, of course, written from the perspective of an older demon, Screwtape, giving instruction to a younger demon in training, Wormwood. The "Enemy" to whom he refers is in fact God. I read it, thinking of myself and how it applies to my life. Serving God, trusting God, even loving God, when, at times, everything around me, and in me, tells me to do otherwise. Then my thoughts turned to my Lord on the cross, and how He must have felt the same way. Probably even more so.

I can get so demanding with God. When things get tough. Like He owes me something. But then I have to remind myself of the King of Glory, who spared not His very life, but gave Himself up, poured Himself out as an offering, so that we all might have life and have it to the full. Nobody had more rights than He. Nobody had more authority than He. And yet, He gave up His rights, and gave it all back to God. All to save a dying world. A worthy cause? I think so.

Lord, help me to do the same. On this holy day, and every day forward.

Praise His name.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Good Laugh

Well, we've all been battling some nasty bug over here at the Buckland house for the past week. Hence my blog posting dry spell. Ren got sick first, and then poor little Oliver followed suit. Ren and the boy spent their Saturday at one of those doc-in-a-box facilities. Although Oliver tested negative for the flu, the geniuses that work there told us he has a "viral infection"...Uhhh...I'm no doctor, but isn't that the FLU!?!?!?!? Fever, chills, aches, sore throats, stuffy noses, me stubborn, but that sounds like the flu to me. Then, as we just discovered, thanks to Google and some good old fashioned trial and error, the medicine they prescribed for my poor guy hasn't been working. It contains phenylephrine. Not familiar with it? That's the stuff with which they replaced all the over the counter medicine containing pseudoephedrine. And, if you've been unfortunate enough to have been duped into buying these products (as well most Americans probably have), you know that it does NOT work!!!

So, a couple hundred dollars later, and my son's still not really able to sleep all that well, and he can't drink his bottle without gasping for air. We've been giving him the placebo medicine along with all the typical congestion-relieving techniques: humidifiers, vapor patches, warm showers, etc., but to no avail. So, yeah, it's been a fun week.

Currently, our house is strategically outfitted with about 52 boxes of the good, expensive (not the Laura Lynn brand, now!) kind of tissues with the lotion squished into them. They feel good on your nose, but leave a kind of greasy residue on your fingers. Isabel just informed me that we've bought Kleenex with butter in it. That gave me a good laugh. I needed it. This is also the child who once informed me that a used Kleenex should no longer be called a Kleenex, but a Dirtynex.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Budding Artist

My husband found this today on our PC at home. Isabel, identified by the long, curly hair in the picture, drew this on Microsoft Paint...with a mouse. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. We haven't verified who the little boy is standing next to her, but we're pretty certain we know who it is.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pregnancy Dreams

Two of my favorite breakfast snacks happen to be Everything Bagels and Boston Cream Donuts (preferably Krispy Kreme). Well, last night I had a dream that I ordered an Everything Boston Cream Donut. I do NOT recommend it, even in a dreamlike state.