Monday, August 23, 2010

Pod Alert: Something Besides a Bath

I had started to wonder if my sweet little Pod was going to wash away, with all the baths her parents have insisted on giving her. Imagine my delight when Pod's mother posted some pictures of Paisley doing something besides being scrubbed (I'm also glad Mandy is keeping her photography skills sharp!).


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pod Alert: Her First REAL Bath

Paisley finally has a real belly button now, so her parents decided last night that it was time for her first real, full-fledged bath. Since Paisley’s grandmother wasn’t there to protect her, poor little Paisley had to face the dastardly deed alone. Mandy even took pictures to document the atrocity.

(Totally unrelated, here she is in her official “1 week” photo -- just beautiful!):

Here’s Paisley’s dad, all smiles as he assembles his devices of cruelty for THE BATH:

My poor Paisley, snoozing in her tub, innocent and unsuspecting of the water and suds which are to come:

I do not have photos of the actual deed as it was being perpetrated, but I have heard that there was much crying and carrying on (just as it was with the sponge bath). However, after the trauma was over, she was positively radiant:

May she always recover so beautifully from all of the little traumas in her life!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pod Alert: No Place Like Home!

Paisley and her parents went home on Monday.

Ready to go home:

I am told that once they got home, Bacon and Turco were curious about the squeaky little creature that had invaded their house, but not aggressive. They became quite concerned when Paisley cried, but by Wednesday morning they had better things to do:

I received a call on early Monday evening, wondering if I might be available to come spend the night, just to make the transition easier. Are you kidding? I just needed a little time to finish some catching up at home and I was on my way. The first night was mostly spent trying to start establishing Paisley’s feeding schedule and taking turns getting some sleep.

This is just a “Pack and Play”, not even a full-sized crib. Look how tiny she is:

Tuesday was the big adventure, as her parents decided to give her a sponge bath. She did not like it at all:

Later, after being wrapped in a towel, all sweet and clean, the poor little thing was comforted by her grandmother. Paisley glared across the sofa at her mean old parents (giving what is known as the “stank eye”):

By Wednesday afternoon, it was time for me to come home, and Pod had her first doctor’s appointment. She had not quite made up the weight she had lost (she’s now 5 pounds 6 ounces), but everything was looking good. (I am a little worried about her mother, though. I think her blood pressure may still be a problem and I’m hoping she will get that checked out today – hint, hint!)

However, Mandy did feel good enough to whip out her camera and capture the beauty of Paisley Grace:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pod Alert: Paisley Grace

“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39, The Pearl of Great Price

Parenthood is a unique opportunity to assist The Lord in His work and His glory. As we bring children into the world, we give them the opportunity to enter mortality. As we teach those children about Jesus Christ and the power of His atonement, we help them to hopefully enter a path which will prepare them to eventually travel back to their Heavenly Father at the end of their mortal journey. In return, we have the opportunity to draw closer to God by learning about service, sacrifice, and unconditional love – all of the qualities that He has. As we watch our children’s’ trials and triumphs, as well as woes and weaknesses, we can gain a sense of how Heavenly Father must feel as he watches each one of us.

Yesterday I had the incredible blessing of being there as my daughter and her husband accepted the sacred privilege of stewardship over one of Heavenly Father’s children. Paisley Grace is here!

Mandy had struggled with swelling and blood pressure all week. On Friday she was not feeling well and Jeromy took her to the local fire station for a blood pressure check. With the bottom number of her blood pressure being 124, they headed to the hospital. Sure enough, there was no doubt then that preeclampsia was the culprit. The first night was spent trying to get Mandy’s blood pressure down, and she was scheduled to start the induction of labor at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. All of the stories that we had heard led us to believe that it would be a very long day, so Robert and I returned to the hospital around 9:00 on Saturday morning.

Mandy was lying on her side when we came into the room. She was in a lot of pain, and kept talking about “the pressure”. A nurse walked into the room as she was talking about “the pressure” and informed her that the pressure was there because she was ready to start pushing. Ready to start pushing? “Mandy, honey,” I exclaimed, “If you are ready to start pushing, that means you are almost there!”

It was somewhere in this conversation that Jeromy informed me that they had learned that they were allowed to have one other person in the room not only during labor, but also during delivery. I was actually going to get to see Pod being born!

Besides having my own children, it was just about the most exciting time of my life. Jeromy was on one side of the bed holding Mandy’s right hand, and I was on the other side holding her left hand. Together we were “Team Lackey”! During contractions Mandy worked hard, pushing with all that she had, while Jeromy and I cheered her on, reminding her to hold her breath as we counted to ten. I had forgotten just how much work having a baby is (is that why it’s called “labor”?), but Mandy did great. I was so proud of her! It wasn’t too long before you could see the top of Paisley’s head.

Lots more pushing, and then suddenly, there she was! Paisley Grace! The most beautiful baby ever! Here are some pictures to prove my point:

Here she is not long after having been born (they had just finished cleaning her up a bit):

Getting inked up for footprints:

A first family portrait, with two VERY tired parents and their beautiful daughter:

In the nursery: “Ouch! What are you doing?”

Taking measurements, getting shots, and getting her temperature taken – how much does she have to endure?

Here she is, in all of her scrawny, 5 pound 13 ounce glory!

Her mother was mostly bald when she was born, so I was surprised to see so much hair!

Sound asleep!

A grandfather is born!

What a wonderful gift is Paisley Grace! Our sweet Pod! May I always be mindful of her mortal journey ahead, and may her grandfather and I be adequate to the task of doing our part in assisting her with it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Hole in My Heart

There’s a hole in my heart today…our darling Chewka Marie Woodbury has gone over the rainbow bridge. We found her when she was about four weeks old and she lived in our house with us for four years (which is quite a good run for a squirrel from what I understand). (You can read her full story in “A Squirrel’s Tail”). She had not been feeling well for about a week or so; during the time that she was out of her nest she didn’t run around. There was a lot of time with me just holding her and snuggling her. When we went outside, she didn’t run around the yard either; we just sat on the back porch, listening to the birds and watching the party that was going on at the squirrel feeding station. Mostly, she just wanted to sleep.

I can’t begin to tell you what she meant to me. I once read a saying, “Our friends see the best in us, and that very fact calls forth the best from us.” Chewka Marie had lived with us for quite some time when I was researching something squirrelly on the internet and I read something else: a squirrel rehabilitator warned that you should NEVER, EVER keep a squirrel as a pet. According to this person, squirrels were vicious little critters that could never be tamed. I’m so glad that I didn’t read that in the beginning. My ignorance allowed me to just go forward, building a relationship with my sweet Chewka Marie.

She really was something. She often rode on my shoulder as I walked around the house. She not only let me hold her and pet her, she actually let me kiss her neck and “gobble” on her belly. Even our veterinarian said that he had never seen such a tame squirrel. I loved our relationship, and I must admit that I loved the novelty of it, too. I have always had a soft spot for animals, and I often suspect that I don’t see them quite the same way that a lot of people do. Chewka Marie proved to me that my assumption that animals are more than we give them credit for is right. She was certainly more than just some rodent!

The picture above is my favorite picture of Chewka Marie because it captures the essence of who she was. She was a girl who loved to eat, and this resulted in a soft, cuddly little body which was just perfect for nuzzling (I often called her “My Little Plumpling”). She was a girl who had made herself perfectly at home inside our house. She slept in our family room, and she could snooze right through the noisy washing machine or a raucous debate on “O’Reilly Factor” on television. She loved to hide pecans and milk bones in our sofa cushions, and she could hop and jump from one piece of furniture to another like the best of squirrels. While the squirrels outside have a hard, harsh expression, her face was soft and gentle. She often had a little gleam in her eye and a half-smile on her face, as though she was up to something --and she often was! I'll never forget the look of total shock the first time that Chewka Marie snatched one of Toffee's milk bones, waddling away as fast as she could with her treasure. Toffee was too stunned to even give chase!

I will miss my Chewka Marie. She was the one creature on earth who truly, truly needed me, and she was such a special little squirrel, with a special spirit about her. I will always love her.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pod Alert: Coming Soon!

It’s been “up and down and all around” the last few days with Little Miss Pod, but at last we have a weird kind of normal. Mandy’s tests showed elevated protein, but her blood pressure was good, so the course of action is bed rest until Pod comes. For her wedding photography gig, well, she is going to have one of her back-up shooters shoot the wedding that is scheduled for this coming weekend. Luckily, for her job as an Environmental Scientist, she is able to work from home, with her laptop perched atop what is left of her lap. If there are any changes (elevated blood pressure, headaches, spotting before her eyes), then Mandy is to go to the hospital and Pod will be delivered! (For the whole story, chock full of details, you can read Mandy’s blog, “Lackey Antics”.)

Regardless, the doctor said yesterday that if Pod is not here in two weeks, labor will be induced. So one way or another, Robert and I WILL be grandparents in two weeks! We are so excited and look forward to meeting Pod!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pod Alert: “Not Just Yet!”

“I can’t wait until Pod gets here!” That’s what I said at the end of my last post (I was speaking figuratively, not literally.)

“Be careful what you wish for….” This weekend I was afraid that Pod might actually get here before we were ready (she’s due around August 24th). After months of having not only normal, but actually low, blood pressure, Mandy’s blood pressure skyrocketed, and stayed elevated for more than 24 hours. This came after having to leave work early on Friday because of some major swelling. The fear: preeclampsia. To complicate things further, poor Jeromy, suffering from some really bad poison oak, had gone to a 24-hour clinic and received a cortisone shot. What no one knew at the time was that Jeromy is allergic to cortisone, and his allergic reaction caused his blood pressure to reach the highest heights also. Unfortunately, the only thing that will fix his condition is time (the shot will just have to wear off).

A trip to the hospital for Mandy resulted in some lab tests (results will be back on Wednesday), orders to stay home on bed rest, and instructions to see her doctor if anything changes. If Mandy actually gets preeclampsia, the only remedy is to have the baby. So far Pod is hanging in there, and as much as I would love to see her, we all keep saying, “Not just yet.” However, Mandy is MY baby, and her health has to be considered, too.

I spent a lot of time with Mandy and Jeromy over the last few days, and it was good to have the chance to be there with them. I’m glad that we live nearby because I would have been sick with worry if I had to rely on phone updates. It’s 104 degrees here, and typically days like that cause me to hear Montana calling. However, after this weekend, I also hear a little voice that says, “Not just yet…”