Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Eyes Have It

The last member of the Jensen family came into the world with the most amazingly blue eyes.. I just had to share! Steve's eyes are green, but the rest of us have chocolate brown eyes. Will this one be the boy to break the trend? Stay tuned to find out!

And he didn't even look back!

This is the second week of First Grade for Parker. We had decided long before the start of the school year that I would drive him and pick him up the first week, and that starting the second week, he would take the bus.

Well, Monday morning, he was still just a bit hesitant to take the bus to school, but was fine with the idea of taking it home. He did great - and when I asked how it was to ride the bus, he replied "It was Stupendous!". No joke - his words...

Tuesday morning came, and yes, he was ready to try to ride the bus in the morning, too. So, Parker, Matthew, Christopher and I walked down to the bus stop. He will get the bus at the end of our little neighborhood. Probably just under 1/2 a mile. We wait, and wait, and then THERE IT IS!! For all his nerves and uncertainty, Parker trotted himself up onto that big yellow bus... and didn't even look back!

Clearly, he is adjusting far better than I am!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Life with Christopher, Day 10

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Anyone who has been a parent can attest to the almost unfathomable depths of love you can feel for your child. You almost cannot describe it for fear of sounding like you work for Hallmark, but I have been overcome by this feeling, three times now.

Before we came home from the hospital, Steve would comment on how crazy he was already about our newest family member. I wasn't there yet. I thought he was amazing and was truly awed by what my body had been able to grow and create, but I was too sore, too tired to be able to fall in love with the little guy.

That was 10 days ago. I'm still sore and tired, but that light has now clicked on for me, and I just cannot get enough of this little creature that has come to share our home and enrich our lives. Right now, he mostly eats and sleeps. Not much to hold your attention, really. He's not like Parker who asks you to quiz him, or Matthew who takes delight in charming you. Chris just lays there. Occasionally he stretches. Sometimes he smiles in his sleep. Not much else.

But we all, I think I can speak for all of us, are enjoying him tremendously. I remember being very aggrivated at the every-three-hour-feedings with Matthew, most likely caused by the getting-up-at-least-once-a-night-and-it-NOT-corresponding-with-my-baby-brother thing Parker went through at the same time. But with this little munchkin, I actually enjoy being with him in the quiet of the night, rocking him, feeding him, watching him dream.

I wonder what the world holds for him. I know he will have a talent, as his brothers do, and I am so curious to find out what his will be.

Possibly, having the ability to sleep through the full-force chaos that exists in a home with three boys. I think he gets this from his Dad!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

First Day of School!!

Parker started 1st grade this week. These were taken on Monday - I cannot belive he is ready to walk down the halls by himself, take the bus, be in the "big" classroom... It has all gone by in a flash! Just last week, he was Christopher's size, and now... I'm so proud of him I am speechless. For those of you who know me well, you will know, that's a rare thing!!  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Gimme a Break!!!

I feel like John Stossel... I have recently been blindsided by the absolute ineptitude of just about all those around me in the service and banking industry.

It was just over four years ago that Steve and I moved to Arizona from Northern California. When we arrived, we were bowled over by how competent and friendly everyone was. Perhaps our view of the world had been warped by the general population of Oakland, and the near hostility that spewed forth from the folks at the bank, grocery store, dry cleaners - name it.

We reveled in the outgoing, customer friendly world of Scottsdale. We needed something taken care of, and Voila - it was taken care of - AMAZING....

Something has changed. Maybe I've grown complacent or jaded, or perhaps immune to the overall good nature and intelligence of those around me here. Or, possibly, we were wearing rose colored glasses for the first few years. Whatever the cause, I've gotta say, things have gone downhill swiftly and without question.

For an example - on July 30th, we closed on an equity line. We wanted to do some consolidation of debt (student loans, an old credit card..) and took out an equity line. Fine - good. We have it written IN OUR CLOSING DOCS that they BANK would dispurse the funds to the creditors. Ok. Works for me.

We then find out that we were mistaken. We needed to pick up the disbursement checks from the bank. We only know this because someone at the bank called because our checks had been sitting there for over a week. WHAT? Ok, convince the bank that THEY can incur the cost of mailing said checks. This was August 12th. It is now the 23rd, and the checks have still not arrived at the creditors. The bank cannot find them. They think they were mailed, but cannot really prove it. Gimme a break!

We ordered a chair and ottoman set from Breuners furniture for our bedroom. They delivered a mis-matched set. Right ottoman, wrong chair. The customer service folks cannot figure out what we have because the computer shows everything to be in order. Except, it is not. They think they can have this solved this week. Gimme a break.

As a teacher, our incentive based pay comes over the summer. We were suppposed to get a check on Aug. 19th. I called the school, as the checks were delivered to the school, at 10:30. Since I had not shown up for a staff meeting, they sent my check back to the district office, who now, cannot find it. They think it will be arriving in the next day or two. HUH??

We wanted to add two boxes to our DirecTV service. Over the internet, we ordered, paid for and scheduled our installation. The guy shows up the day I am coming home from the hospital. We arrange for someone to be here, but NO, it has to be a homeowner. We were literally 6 minutes away, but the guy cannot wait. He leaves. I call DTV and yell. They reschedule for that Friday. Then call that morning to say the install guy cannot make it. (I'm thinking this is fine because Parker's Open House for 1st grade fell into their window of arrival time) The gal asks if it would be OK for someone to come by later on, say, after 5. COOL - works for me.

Someone whose name I cannot pronouce shows up at 2, works until 3:40 (the open house ends at 4:00) hooks the boxes he brought to a satelite that clearly says DISH NETWORK, recognizes his mistake, cuts the cables and leaves. WTF??

We then get Scott to come out, another DTV guy who happens to live near us, on a Saturday to fix the first guys' errors. Only he can't because he needs a taller ladder than the one he has, so he leaves, vowing to return the next day...Yes - he was fine with working on a Sunday. Its Tuesday night and we have not heard from him.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


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Christopher made his Grand Apperance after about 4 hours of labor on August 15th, 2005. He was born at 8:46 AM (The first NOT on a Tuesday, and while the sun was up!!!) He weighed 9lbs, 1oz and is 22 1/2" long - our biggest baby yet! (Parker and Matthew were 8.8 and 8.9 respectfully) He had some breathing issues for the first 45 minutes or so, and some issues with stablizing his blood sugars - all contributed to being #3 and coming into the world SO FAST!! But all is right with the world now - we are home, somewhat battered, somewhat sore, but healthy and happy!!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Cancel that - can I scream now???

I just called to see what time I was supposed to go in tomorrow for my induction. "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but we dont have you on our books". Evidently there are 9 inductions scheduled for tomorrow and another 9 for Tuesday, and realistically the earliest I can get in for my "elective" induction (though its not elective if you ask my blood pressure!!!) would be FRIDAY.

Just when you think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you find its an on-coming train!!!

Just insert your favorite explictive here - many of them, in rapid succession!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Eviction Notice Served!!

According to the doc, my body is just about at the end of being able to handle this pregnancy... Yeah - I could have told her that!! Anyway, if things do not move on their own, then we will INDUCE on Monday!!! That will make 3 inductions, but heck - just so long as he gets outta here, I'm OK with that!!

I'm still here...

I thought for sure I would have had this baby by now... no such luck. He's being stubborn. I guess what goes around comes around, right?? I go back to see the doc today... I am hoping that if I look and sound miserable enough, she will begin talking Induction!

This is my third time going down this road. You would think that I would find it all "old hat" by now, but it still kind of blows my mind that there is an actual human being nestled in that huge expanse of belly. Despite the fact that we've shared such close quarters these past 39+ weeks, I have no idea what he will be like.. will he really be as stubborn as I am, or heaven forbid, his brother Matthew? Who will he look like? I suppose we will learn all this soon enough. OK - not actually soon enough for me, but you get the picture!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The morning after...

First off, I want to extend a generous and warm thank you to all of my friends, in real life and cyber-only, who have sent prayers, positive thoughts and hugs. They are so appreciated, so welcomed and very much needed.

We are all ok... Me, Steve, the boys, and my mom. We spent quite a bit of time over at mom's yesterday afternoon, and there was much laughter, several tears, and a great deal of healing had begun.

You can say that it is nice to be able to prepare for something like this. I've experienced both - long illness as well as shockingly quick death, either by nature or by tragedy, and I will take the longer one because it does give you time to say what you want to, to make ammends if needed, and to get your head around what is happening.

You still can't be fully prepared, though, for how quiet things will be afterwords, or how deeply you will miss the person who is gone. The other downside to illness is watching someone deteriorate before your eyes, and the fear that the only vision you will have of that person for years to come was the whithered body that was left. I still have visions of my poor grandfather, lying motionless in a hospital bed. I wish I could get that image out of my mind, but 15 years later, its still there.

I don't think I will have that, however, with Dad. He was such a vibrant and strong man his whole life and this demise was really rather quick. It was June 9th that he went into the wheelchair. On June 8th, he was walking up the stairs in my house looking at the nursery. 2 months is a very short period of time when you've lived for 83+ years. In my mind's eye, his voice is still strong, his legs still work, and he's just as active as ever.

It was a good life he lived... and, all things considered, it was a good death. I think once he decides to take the boat in from the sea, he will be racing his old Corvette along Don Lattimer, his dear, close friend for many years, who will be trying to best Dad in his Porsche. Hope you're having fun, guys!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

My dad is gone...

We had a good visit last night. He was adamant about getting up into his wheelchair and getting into the kitchen. He wanted to see the bills and make sure the pool was filled (if you knew my dad, this makes perfect sense!! In some circles, he might have been called a control freak!!) The boys got to see him up, tell him they loved him and he got to make sure everything was in order.

The only thing he did NOT get to do was see his son. However, knowing their rocky relationship, I think that was by design! Scott's plane gets into Phoenix in about 6 hours. Steve and I joked this morning that Dad would do ANYTHING to not have to see Scott! (as long as I've known my Dad, he and Scott have had a less than good relationship. Scott has made an effort of late, but it is a bit too little, way too late...)

Thank you all for your words of encouragement, kind thoughts and prayers. I'm ok - the tears just come, but I'm at peace with the fact that he's at peace. As I told the boys last night - Their Baba was in there somewhere, but what we see when we look at him is not him - its the cancer. All the wonderful things he is and was were still there, just beyond our (and his) grasp.

My dad was a sailor. I know he's enjoying the waves again, wherever he is....

Charles Allen Haine
October 12, 1921 - August 6th, 2005
A life well lived.

Edited to add the following poem, sent to me by a wonderful cyber-friend, Rox. Thank you Rox!!!

The Last Voyage
Lizzie Clark Hardy
[USMAA Memorial Service May 30, 2000, Coyote Point, San Mateo, CA]

Some time at eve when tide is low,
I shall slip my moorings and sail away.

With no response to the friendly hail
Of kindred craft in the busy bay.
In the silent hush of the twilight pale.
When the night troops down to embrace the day.
And the voices call, and in the waters flow.
Some time at even when the tide is low.
I slip my moorings and sail away.

Through the purple shadows that darkly trail
O'er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea.
I shall fare me away, with a dip of a sail
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay
The crafts of those who have sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy Bay:
Some friendly barks that were anchored near.
Some loving soul that my heart held dear.
In silent sorrow will drop a tear.
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In moorings sheltered from storm and gale
And greeted the friends who sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

38 2/7 week update

Saw doc again today - was really hoping to have had this baby by now, but he's being stubborn and staying put. Steve says he comes by it naturally - whatever could he mean by that??????

All the late night contractions are moving me in the right direction - I'm between a 2 and a 3 right now (admitedly closer to a 2) and she thinks about 60% effaced. My BP was slightly elevated - 128/80 rather than 120/80, but still not a cause for concern.

I've been achey and very uncomfortable since my visit to the doc, 3 hours ago... Could I possibly hope this is a good sign??

And, as Murphy would have it, all my care givers and their backups will be away this weekend. Whaddya wanna bet this kid comes at 3am on Saturday??

And, I have the most impossibly insatiable craving for the smell of Vicks Vapo-rub. I swear - this whole pregnancy thing sure makes one feel and act loopey!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stop the ride - I wanna get off!!!

There is a list of stressors out there that psychologists and other such folks use to determine just how close to the edge a person may be, given the number of stressors in her/his life. Among the top 5 are... Death of a loved one, birth of a child, moving, being unemployed, and others I'm too stressed to remember.

At this moment, I am experiencing three of the top five. Personally, I think that's overload. I intend to talk to someone regarding handing me this much, at once...

I've heard it said that God does not give you more than you can handle. I think God's opinion of my ability to handle things may be just a bit overblown. Not that I want to be the one to question His authority or decision making skills, however, He did create the mosquito, so I think many would agree with me that, perhaps, at times, his judgement is clouded.

I think my time with Dad is over. He's still here in body, but what makes him DAD is really mostly gone now. Its not exactly a coma, but he is no longer aware of things. It was time this weekend - he did not know if it was day or night, or how long he'd been sleeping, or who was there to visit when. I did not get to see him yesterday, but went over today - I don't really think he knew I was there. He just lays there, eyes closed, trying to talk but not really having the thought process or the strength. His breathing is sounding labored. I suspect pneumonia is not far off. Of course, if you can believe this, that is the way he wanted to go, so hopefully he gets his wish. There are days like today where I am OK with this, and days like yesterday where I cried my soul out for hours, not being ready to deal with it all.

And while Steve, Mom and I are mouring what is happening to Dad, we are getting ready to celebrate the arrival of Christopher. I've been watching more TLC TV lately, finding "A Baby Story" a good way to spend 30 minutes, getting excited and prepared to bring this little munchkin into our family. The boys just can't wait to meet their little brother, and neither can we. I'm really OVER being pregnant... I'd like to say I am savoring each and every moment, every kick, etc, because I know its my last, but I can't!! I am MORE than ready to send this kid his eviction notice and get the full use of my body back. Not to mention see my feet. I know they are down there somewhere - they keep knocking into things and I think I've re-broken the same toe 3 times now.

I was talking to Mom about all this tonight... it seems unfair to Dad to be joyful and happy about the birth of Christopher, and it seems equally unfair to Chris to be sad all the time and mourning Dad. I suspect, and actually hope and pray, that there will not be another time in my life when I am both so excited and so sad at the same time.

Oh - and throw into that not having a job since May, and knowing I won't be back at work until October - there are my three...