Friday, March 30, 2007

Ruby: She's A Gem

Ok, so Ruby has been with us for a week and a day now. Sunday we will go down to the Alternative Humane Society's Adopt-A-Thon at a local doggie daycare and pay $120 to adopt our newest family member. She gets along fabulously with the other dog (my best friend's dog) and our cat and loves the kids--even the three year old hellion (also my best friend's). We figured out that she's yellow lab and pointer, so she's really smart, playful, loving, and loyal. She's awesome.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I wanted to share this photo. I took it on Apollo's birthday. It's a picture of his mom and dad an hour or so before he was born.



There's nothing like a woman in labor.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Glorious Morning

This is what the lake looked like during my walk on my birthday. What a beautiful morning! I'm loving this weather.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Welcome Apollo!

Today is my birthday.

Today is also the birthday of Apollo, born at 6:15 this evening.

My birthday began last night with dinner with a great group of friends. I was careful to only have one drink because I knew that my doula client was more than a week overdue and I was sure the baby would be born on my birthday. I met a friend at 8 a.m. this morning for a walk around the lake, then my husband and I met my dad for coffee and a bagel. I spent the bulk of the day running around with my husband, doing random things. At some point we decided to drive south to a movie theater in a nearby town.

I got the call at around 2:00 that my client (let's call her Suzy Q) had taken some castor oil and contractions began about 15 minutes apart. James and I bagged the movie idea and headed back to town. At 3:30 I got a call that Suzy Q's contractions were now 4 to 5 minutes apart and she and her partner were supposed to meet the midwife at the birth center at 4. Instead of heading over to their house as was planned, I decided to meet them at the birth center because I didn't think I had time to get all the way over to their house in time to meet them to go. Suzy Q and her partner arrived at 4:05 and the midwife checked her to find that she was already dilated to 6 cm. Her labor was moving along quickly!

Suzy Q and her partner got into the tub, a large, triangular tub situated in a nice cozy corner of the room, and he and I helped Suzy Q ride the waves of her contractions. With every breath, we held her--he at her knees, holding her hands and breathing with her; and I at her head providing support with my hands planted on her shoulders. She rode each contraction beautifully, always breathing and remaining poised and relaxed and calm. She was absolutely radiant.

After about an hour in the tub, the midwife checked her again and discovered that she was 8 cm, almost complete! She sat in the tub for a little while longer before moving to the bed. Almost as soon as she was situated on the bed, she began uttering these primal noises with a contraction--a sure sign that she was almost ready to push. On the next contraction she could no longer not push. She rolled over onto her back and gave one good push and we could see his head. We could see his soft head and hair through the amniotic sac and fluid. Then the most amazing thing happened: she pushed once more and the baby's body came sliding out, and he was still encapsuled in his amniotic sac! This is known as being "born in the caul," and is seen as a sign of good fortune. There are even legends that children being born in the caul have clairvoyant gifts.

This birth took just over four hours from contractions 15 minutes apart to the birth of the baby. I am honored to share a birthday with Apollo. What an amazing experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kissing Pigs

So, here I sit, on my couch watching Animal Planet. There are a pig and a goat with tennis balls on his horns play fighting. The pig is kissing, the goat is head butting.

So much has happened over the last month and I barely know how to go into it.

My son has run away for the third time in a month. He just got out of juvenile detention last Wednesday and was gone again on Monday. There is nothing I can say about it. If he wants to go out there and get high and pretend like he's a man, so be it. There's nothing I can do. I've tried being sympathetic (why did I just notice that the word has "pathetic" in it?); I've tried being a hardass; I've told him stories about when I was on the street. He doesn't listen. What can I do?

On the next sunny weekend day my little family along with some close friends are going to go out to my poppa's house and create a shrine on Austin's grave. My good friend, Melanie, has some Japanese maples that have sprouted up from seeds (?) dropped from her maple, and we are going to plant one where Austin is buried. I'm excited to make a real memorial. We're also going to have a stone carved--two of them, actually--and put one out there with her. I can finally think about her and not cry. I think I'm ready to move on. And so...

Monday James and I took the kids to meet a 10 month old golden lab mix through the Alternative Humane Society. She's a real sweetie and so we're going to bring her home tomorrow (Thursday) for a couple of days to see if she can get along with our cat and learn a few things about living with us. She has lived her whole life on a two-foot leash in a Shelton back yard, so she has no leash manners and she has never learned to stick around. She is also a little skittish because she's never really been socialized with people. However, she was really sweet with James and the kids and I, once she warmed up to us, and she's an eager learner. Her foster "parents" told us that, in the week they've had her, she has learned to sit and lay down, is crate trained and was potty trained in ONE DAY!!! So I feel confidence that it will work out. She's so sweet! They've been calling her Rory, but if she stays with us, we will call her Ruby (knowing me, though, I'll probably spell it in some screwy way like Rubee, or Roubee, or Roubie).

James is skeptical. Austin is the only dog he's ever had a good experience with and they shared a strong bond that he isn't feeling ready to replace. I explained to him that I'm not looking to replace Austin; there will never be another Austin. She was a one-of-a-kind dog--she was special and she'll always hold a special place in our family. But I am a dog person. I love dogs, I've always had dogs, and they're truly the best friends that I've ever had. Austin was the first one that I was ever with for the entirety of her natural life. All the others either were given away, went away with one of my family members or died prematurely. I explained to James that a dog-friend is the most accepting and loving friend I've ever had and I'm anxious to have that bond again. I can cry to my dog and she will never judge me or tell me that I'm being unreasonable, never offer advice or tell me right from wrong. He understands what this means to me and has agreed that we can give this new dog a test-visit.

I am waiting for a doula client to go into labor. Her "due date" passed this last Saturday, March 17, so she is four days postdates. I figured he was waiting to be an Aries and it seems that my prediction is true. Although he is her second baby and subsequent pregnancies are usually shorter, this boy was waiting to be an Aries. OK, little one, you are now an Aries, come out, come out wherever you are! I am very much looking forward to this birth and am axiously awaiting the phone call.

And, lastly, I have decided to put school off until next winter. With all the shit going on over the last month and a half, I got so far behind in my schoolwork that it was going to be nearly impossible to pass any classes. That's all I'm going to say about that right now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Adios Amiga, Te Quiero Mucho

It's been ten days since I lost my best friend. For twelve and a half years this beautiful golden lab accompanied me for walks and hikes, the birth of my last child, on road trips, and was there in my every day. I miss her. I love her. What a beautiful friendship we had. I will never forget Austin B'gaustin Po Paustin from Boston; who was acually from Bellingham. She lived from May 8, 1994 to March 7, 2007. Kisses to you baby girl.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Opposite Ends

Dealing with opposite ends of a huge spectrum...

It seems that I am constantly forced to deal with decisions that have the potential to be like-altering. No, I'm not talking about choosing which route I will take across town; nor what to have for dinner; or even how to go about discussing puberty with my 10 year-old daughter, who happens to be experiencing Tanner stage one (for those of you who know what that is--does anyone read this anyway?)

Over the past two weeks my life has been wracked with grief and despair combined with little bits of hugely good news. I'll start with the good news so that I can think about something uplifting...

First. Hubby and I have been talking about buying a newer mini-van to replace what my son affectionately calls "The Chipper," because the paint (and primer) is chipping off to reveal large spots of rust. So yesterday we were looking on the Internet for used vehicles under $5000 and found a 1991 Toyota Previa down in Redmond that's listed at $2995, which is under blue book value, and Yotas run forever if you maintain them. We got very excited and Hubby called our bank to see if we would qualify for a loan to purchase this van. It was very exciting when he was approved over the phone because we don't have a great credit history and we subsist on one income. When he went to turn in the necessary paperwork and sign on the dotted line, the loan officer commented on how much we've cleaned up our credit over the last couple of years and we should seriously consider buying a house (oh, stars and balloons and smiley faces and hearts and candy fell out of the sky with the utterance of these words). We've been waiting to hear these words for a really long time. So we are going to meet with a mortgage broker next week to see if she can find us a loan that will fit our budget. hip hip HOORAY!!!

Second. I looked over tha booklist for Spring quarter today and discovered that my books are going to be under $100. Fabu-fucking-licious.

Okay, now for the depressing shit...

Although I am very excited about the minimal expense of next quarter's books, I don't actually know if I will be in school then. I am behind in most of my classes and I am dealing with the next bit of suckiness.

My sixteen-year-old son, who has been the focus of a couple of my other posts, is failing in school; skipping school; getting arrested; and running away from home. He doesn't care that he is effecting several lives with the choices that he makes and his only dream is to come and live with me, which can't happen. I have spent the last two days dealing with his shit--wondering where he is, if he's OK, crying, and just being all around depressed. Which is another reason that I don't know if school is the right thing for me right now. I am going to make a phone call to talk to the director of SMS to ask her for some advice.

There you have it. My life is an oxymoron at the moment. And there's not a fucking thing I or anyone else can do about it. Well, I guess my kid could step up and be a man (since he thinks he is one). But that's not going to happen...

Peace out homechickens.