Introducing, My Second Youngest

Lenore, age 9
Lenore, age 9

I do have more than one child. The blog is named appropriately. Since I started with Evangeline, I’ll just work my way up the sibling chain. Our next oldest child is our lovely daughter Lenore. She just turned 9 last month, and is an interesting mix of girlie-girl and tomboy. Well, I find it interesting anyway.

Oh sure, she loves animals, Littlest Pet Shop, American Girl dolls, surfing, manatees, and soccer. That stuff is all pretty common girl stuff. In addition to the girl stuff, she loves dirt bikes and playing D&D with her teenage brother. Her passion, however is music.

A few years ago when Lenore turned 5, we threw a “Rock Star” themed party. It had all the bells and whistles…pink guitar party favors, backstage pass invitations, guitar cake. Lenore was decked out with purple hair, and carried a blow up guitar around all day.

This was taken before her 5 yr. old birthday party.
This was taken before her 5 yr. old birthday party.

After the party, she still carried the guitar. My husband and I started to wonder what would happen if we actually bought this kid an instrument? Little girls who like to belt out their favorite Katy Perry song and post on YouTube are a dime a dozen. But how many little girls like to really play with an actual electric guitar? Although we don’t know any, I’ll wager there are quite a few little girls who fit this mold and Lenore wanted to be one of them.

We found this amazing child on….you guessed it…YouTube. She was six and we were blown away with her mad guitar skills. Lenore was inspired. So by the time she turned 6, (she asked for a guitar for a full year) we bought a second hand Washburn and Estaban amp. The entire set up cost only $80. Honestly, we thought she would lose interest when her fingers got sore.

But that never happened.

Surprisingly, she gutted it out and stuck with it for a full year. We didn’t have a teacher, so she just learned what she could with online lessons. After a year, we upgraded to a Fender Squire Mini. She’ll get a full scale when she turns 13.

Now her passion is playing. She opens for a couple of local bands, and practices every day. A few weeks ago, she brought the house down when she played with the teenagers in her schools Christmas performance. She’s not a special snowflake, and she’s no prodigy. Everything she knows came with hard work, and plenty of blisters. And there is always room for improvement.

I included a small clip of her playing below. This was filmed a few months ago, and she has greatly improved since then. But it’s a taste of what she or any kid can do when they are determined. We’re quite proud.


She plays acoustic too.
She plays acoustic too.

Not all of my posts here are going to be this gushy-braggy. I promise. But when one of my kids does something kind of cool like teach herself to play guitar, I’m going go yell it from the rooftops with unabashed pride. I think we parents are allowed to do that once in a while, no?


My Belle Evangeline, 10 Months

Ma Belle Evangeline
Ma Belle Evangeline is 10 months old now.

Short post tonight.  I just want to show off an updated picture of the baby from the boring, long-winded birth story in the previous post. Sometimes less is more. This is one of those times. All I can add tonight is that we’re crazy about her and cherish every minute…..well…most of the minutes anyway.

It’s a day late, but Merry Christmas.

She Has Arrived (The Birth Story)

First 5 minutes of her life.
First 5 minutes of her life.

She’s here! She’s here! She’s…well-ok she has been here for 10 months now. Ten months! I know! I haven’t blogged at all in Ten months.  Wait…it was longer than that. Eh….it has been a while. On February 18, 2013 Evangeline Jade made her grand entrance. And OH MY- was it ever grand. The evening started out as any other. Jon was painting his miniatures for a game with the kids on his end of the table.  My half of the table was cluttered with sewing and beading supplies. I was weaving a pearl and Swarvoski crystal bracelet for Lenore. It was a special bracelet for a special event…First Communion.

I remember that I didn’t want be there, in a hard chair weaving a bracelet. My back was tired, and I honestly just wanted to take a shower and crash. But I remember thinking that I had to complete the bracelet before the baby arrived, and this may be one of my last chances.  In hindsight this was a crazy thought because my due date was still a full month away. Or was it? No…actually it wasn’t crazy. My water broke as I was reaching for a 4mm crystal bicone.  Say what?!  A 4mm crystal bicone is a popular style of bead to make bracelets and jewelry like this:

This is what I was working on for my daughter when the night got interesting.
This is what I was working on for my daughter when the night got interesting.

So moving on….I was working on my side of the clutter when…well things got ….wet.  That’s really all I want to say about that. Trust me, that’s all you really want to hear. I must have had a strange look on my face, because Jon looked up from his work and asked, “Everything o.k.?” NOPE! I hustled/waddled to the bathroom for a beach towel. It wasn’t pretty. As I wrapped the towel around my waist, called out something like, “Hey Jon, do you feel like having a baby tonight?”

I’m pretty sure I caught him off guard, because to be fair, we were a month early. A night bag had not been packed. Arrangements had been made for the kids to go to their friend’s house, but that was light years away. Truthfully, my teenage son is more than capable to babysit, but we thought it would be fun for the crew if they could hang out with their buddies. So let me set up the scene here…Jon is busily trying to put away his paints, while on the phone to the doctor. My two oldest are pacing the hallway past the bathroom, while asking me every 2 minutes if “I’m going to be alright.”. My 8 yr. old was so excited she was screaming into a pillow to contain her glee.  Yeah….she was an absolute pill, but it was adorable.

Poor Jon was so distracted. When he called my doctor, he dialed the wrong number. There was some confusion there because he did in fact call a doctor, but it was the kid’s pediatrician. “Who is your doctor again?!”, he shouted out from the kitchen. “Dr. XXXX.”, I replied from the bathroom. “Who did you call?” “Oh!”, Jon shot back. “Yeah…I didn’t call her. I called Dr. ****.” Yep…That’s not my doctor. She is for the kids. “Can you see her number on the fridge?”, I asked about as patiently as I could. “It’s on a big blue magnet.” “Oh yeah…here it is!…….How long has this magnet been here?”

So he calls Dr. XXXX at her home, and thankfully she picks up quickly. There is some sort of brief exchange and then he joins me in the bathroom. After we grabbed a couple more towels, we were on the way out the door. The kids were excited. It was only 7 p.m., so we were fine with the teenager in charge for the time being. The ride was short but sweet on the way to the hospital. I think both of us realized this would be the very last time we would ever get take this ride. Truthfully, I wish is had lasted a little longer, but in a blink of an eye, Jon was dropping me off at the front door of the hospital. The staff was expecting me. Dr.XXXX had called them. I was whisked into a room and several things happened at once.

The I.V. lines were placed. I was in a gown, (still sitting on a towel), and it was established that not only was the baby a month early but she was still breech. We had known she was breech, but thought we still had time to flip on her own.  NOPE! So I was given some rancid tasting liquid to drink. Because I had eaten a half of a granola bar that evening it had to be done. As I downed the foul concoction, my Doctor  came in and asked me if I wanted to “delay the birthing process”.

Apparently, some women like to draw out the experience (REALLY?), and this was an option for me if I wanted to take it.  I declined for several reasons. First, Jon and I were really excited to meet this little one. I had waited 9 long months, and felt it a bit silly to delay meeting our little one….I really don’t have a second reason.

So once some last-minute conversations took place about what a  Spinal would feel like, I was wheeled out while Jon went to go change into a bunny suit. The spinal was uncomfortable, but didn’t really hurt, and wow it worked fast.

The room was full of a busy crowd of people, all prepping for the big event. Everyone was laughing and quite laid back…except me. For some reason, I couldn’t stop shaking. I think it was because my arms were strapped down. They assured me this was normal procedure, but all I kept thinking was, “Why am I strapped to this bed!? I thought I was numb from the spinal. What in the $@#* are they going to do to me that would require me to be strapped!? I’ve changed my mind!“…yeah…I didn’t say anything, but one of the doc’s noticed and let Jon in early to keep me company. I wish I could say it helped, but the shaking of the limbs (my arms) continued.

I didn’t feel the actual procedure, (thank God) but I sure noticed when they had to maneuver the baby into position. She was up in my ribs and that really hurt. It wasn’t like labor pain, I’m used to that. This was like a dull knife in the ribs. At one point, the anesthesiologist looked over the blanket back-drop and said, “Oh yeah…there was no way you were going to deliver this one. She’s SUPER-BREECH.”

After about 10 minutes of flipping the baby, she was out and screaming at every one of us in the room. It was loud, strong and beautiful.  I couldn’t see her, but Jon was there with her when they worked their magic. I asked him how she looked, and he replied, “Pink and mad.” He was right. When they finished with the exam, one of the nurses finally wrapped her and brought her over for my first face-to face. She looked annoyed and beautiful.

My arms were still strapped, and there was some ‘things’ that had to be done on the other side of that backdrop. So Jon, a couple of nurses and “Little Miss Angry” all headed up to the room. I had to stay behind for another 45 minutes for closing, and then another hour and a half in a recovery room before I could go up and see my baby girl. Oh…and then when they finally wheeled me up, there as a fire on another floor so everything was in lock-down. I was stuck in a hallway. Awesome.

By the time I got to the room, Jon was playing with our girl under the warmer and it was time for her first bath. I would have loved to have been part of that, but the nurse did this while Jon filmed. I had these crazy robotic massagers on my legs and was completely immobilized.

After what seemed like an eternity, I was holding my baby girl. We spent some quite time together before I had to hand her back to Jon. I had a hard time keeping my eyes open, and Jon was on baby watch so I could sleep. He was amazing.

We didn’t settle on a name until the third day. There were many trial names floated between the two of us. In the end, we chose one of Jon’s top picks: Evangeline Jade.

So that’s the birth story of “Ma Belle Evangeline”. Nothing went according to the original plan, but that’s ok. In the end we have our healthy beautiful baby girl and that’s really all that matters.

My Belle Evangeline, one day old.
My Belle Evangeline, one day old.

So goes the story of the beginning for “My Belle Evangeline”. It’s going to be a fun ride.

This Child Is A Night Owl.

I am at that stage in the pregnancy where I feel kicks and turns. I love it, and truly cherish every movement. I just wish I didn’t have to cherish so much of them at night. It’s like as soon as I turn in for the night, the baby knows, and then it’s party time. Research has told me that I am not supposed to get up and walk around, because then the baby becomes more active. I’m supposed to lay down, and eventually the baby will quiet down too?

Yeah….That is just not happening here.

Nope. This little one kept me awake in bed until 2:00 a.m. last night, and this trend is growing as fast as my gut. I wonder if this is a preview of what’s to come once “she’s” born? Guess we’ll see.

Now I’m off for a nap.

Headaches And Kicks In The Gut

I have never experienced headaches in the other pregnancies. This is new for me. It feels like caffeine withdrawal, but I stopped cold turkey 5 months ago. Crazy.

On the flip side, this child is way more active at this month than all of “her” siblings. That’s pretty cool. Actually, it’s VERY cool. Jon can feel a little foot kicking back against his hand-HARD! Sometimes it feels as though she is trying to kick her way out immediately. We’re in the 19th month right now, and I’m a little afraid of what will take place in the following months. 🙂

Going to be an awesome ride.

In The Beginning

Our little one, waving for the camera.

Well there’s always a beginning, isn’t there?

Here’s our newest beginning! I’m pleased to introduce Baby Number Four, or as we affectionately refer to “her” as “Our Little Curve Ball” .  At this point, I’m nineteen weeks along, and we’re not entirely sure of the sex. For he past 2 appointments, our doctor has leaned heavily toward GIRL. She even took the time to type it on the last picture, so that I’m going with it until proven otherwise.

My hopes for this blog is to chronicle the pregnancy and first year of life of this little one. As the children have come, the effort to keep a Baby Book have dwindled. The first child, my son, has a book brimming with photos, journal entries, locks of hair….you name it-it’s probably in there. My first daughter came 18 months after her brother, and although I was late on some milestone entries, I managed to go back in fill in the blanks over the years.

Our youngest child (another daughter) really got the short end of the stick. We don’t have anything for her. There are lots of photos, mind you, but no book, journal, or folder. I feel pretty bad about that, and she’s going to be 8 next month so I really have no decent excuse. She keeps a blog  here, and she updates it often. Still, its’ no Baby Book.

I’m realistic enough to recognize that I will most likely not have the time to keep a traditional book for this little one. Four kids, we home school, and all of the activities that go along with kids will make it impossible for me. I’m just not that good. So as an alternative, I hope to keep this baby blog up until the first birthday. Our hopes is that we can print it out after a year, and we’ll have a not-so-traditional Baby Book, but it’s better than nothing.

So let the games begin.