Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Trembling Aspen Forest Posted by Picasa

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Greig Lake, Saskatchewan Posted by Picasa

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We're Home

We are home from our camping trip. We enjoyed safety, good weather, and our location was gorgeous. When it's all said and done though, there's no place like home. It is so good to be back; water from the tap, a toilet down the hall, walls that keep the mosquitoes out -- all luxuries I'm quite fond of and take for granted.

When life settles down (I have many post-camping messes to attend to) I will blog again.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Deborah is 6

For those of you with weak stomachs, I'm sorry. But I wanted to share these pictures of my newborn Deborah because they capture some very special moments in my life.

6 years ago today, little Deborah Elizabeth entered our lives (in the flesh). It was an incredible day. Gordon was with me, and Stephanie too. It was special that my oldest child, then 15, got to see my youngest child born. That was wonderful.

Deborah is named after my sister that died as a child. My sister Debbie was the oldest of the children in my family and I am the youngest. I never met my sister Debbie, so really my naming my daughter Deborah was to honor my mom who lost her Deborah to a brain tumor when she was nearly 2.

That we had chosen the name Deborah was a surprise for my mom. We didn't tell anyone that we had picked out Deborah because we didn't want the surprise ruined. We told that we had chosen the name Elizabeth, which was true - Elizabeth was to be her middle name. After I learned that she was a girl, I called her LizzyBeth. I would lay in the tub, rub my tummy, and tell her "LizzyBeth, I can't wait to see you." It was a special pregnancy. My best pregnancy.

Several weeks before she was born, I had an ultrasound. Early in the ultrasound, I asked if they would tell me the sex. I had never known the gender of my babies prior to them being born. The lady said, "it's a girl." I let out a scream for joy. Silly thing is, I would have let out a scream for a boy too. Just knowing for sure evoked a scream of joy. Because of my scream, a sour doctor poked his head in and said, "everything all right in here?"

Ultrasounds have come a long ways since my first one 20 years ago. With each pregnancy, I saw an improvement. With Deborah's ultrasound I was totally blown away. I could actually see her face clearly. I saw her chubby cheeks, her closed eyes, her broad nose, and her thick lips. I thought, perhaps foolishly, "she even looks like that picture of Debbie." I literally could not wipe the silly grin off my face on the drive home. I know, because I tried.

In the operating room when they lifted Deborah out, they immediately took her several feet away. She was screaming, as you can see in the picture. I was saying, "take a picture, take a picture" and Gordon was saying back, "I will. They are just about to clean her up." "I want a picture of her just like that," I said back. Well he took the picture, and it is a picture worth a thousand words, to be sure. Meanwhile, the seconds are ticking by and she is still screaming. I kept saying, "Please give her to me." After several requests, they gave me my screaming baby. I spoke to her and she hushed instantly. It was one of the most precious moments of my life.

I am happy that I got to have a c-section. That c-section allowed me to be more alert and "with it" than any of my natural births. I am much more aware of the moments following Deborah's birth than any of the other kids. I wouldn't take money for those memories. Although I still addressed her as LizzyBeth several times, I quickly decided she was a Deborah, not a LizzyBeth.

So today, Deborah is 6. She didn't get a party yet. Her party is after we get home from our camping trip. She got breakfast in bed though and until the party, that will do.

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July 2, 1999 Posted by Picasa

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I'll never forget.... Posted by Picasa

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Breakfast in bed for a 6-year-old. Posted by Picasa

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My girls are bothering me. Rachael and Hannah are 13 months apart and are thick as thieves. Best friends they are. Deborah, 4 years younger, is the bothersome sister. She wants to be in their exclusive club and they are, at least today, adamantly opposed to her inclusion.

Last summer taught me in no uncertain terms that the girls have outgrown our backyard. It served as THE backyard in the neighborhood for 7 years. Our treehouse is a "treehouse par excellance." It's pretty amazing; 3 stories it has, all made by Gordon.

I miss the summer days or yester-year. The girls use to be out on the swing set before breakfast and we'd have to call them in for evening baths. I could always keep a watchful eye on them, as they were always visible from the kitchen window.

Rachael has outgrown many of her eccentric ways, but from 3-6 years old, she was nothing less than eccentric. She always wanted a ball cap on, a particular ball cap, and she always wore a t-shirt under her shirt. In 90 degree weather, I'd plead with her, "you'd be much cooler if you'd take one of those shirts off." She'd counter with, "I don't like the feel of that."

She was very amusing. She'd hit the backdoor every morning and run across the yard screaming "AAAAWWWW" all the way to the swings. It was like she hadn't seen a swing for years -- a brand new treat every morning.

The neighbor children that frequented our yard brought an element of worldliness to my children's sheltered lives. Amera, from next door, danced like an exotic dancer at 5 years old. Her heroes were Brittany Spears and the Spice Girls. I watched as she lined the girls up to play like they were the Spice Girls. Amera was Posh Spice and Rachael was assigned the role of Scary Spice. Amera would give the orders like a drill sergeant and Rachael and Hannah listened like obedient subordinates. Exasperated, Amera barked, "Rachael, you're supposed to be Scary!" Suddenly Rachael understood. She crouched slightly, put on the most intimidating face she could conjure, extended her arms and fingers like talons, and let out a vicious growl. She knew how to be scary, just not Scary Spice. Amera threw down her feathered mane and yelled, "you're no fun, I'm going home."

Amera has outgrown my girls and I'm not crying the blues over that. She's into music, make-up, and looking at teen magazines. My girls are keen on activity. They crave constant movement and activity. They have outgrown the backyard fun (at least they don't play in the backyard all day, everyday). Now they want to go places. Summers are not as easy as they use to be.

Fortunately, Edmonton is phenomenal for activities for families. Last night we went to City Hall pool and played there. When the girls had their fill of that, we walked across the street to Churchill Square for the Arts Show. We watched 2 bands, an African band that was very drum oriented. It was a cultural experience in and of itself. The second band was a soft rock/country band called "Roll of 9." One of their songs was called It Ain't Right. They wrote it, I think, to protest the war in Iraq. As they sang it, I was struck by how life is amazingly paradoxical. During this song meant to expose wrong, a man danced shamelessly right beneath the stage. I wondered, and doubted, if he even heard the words to the song. "...While the homeless and hungry are at our door. It ain't right," they sang. Meanwhile across Churchill Square, I watched a homeless man in a small sea of people eating funnel cakes, nachos, and ice cream cones. By this time, I knew the song well enough to hum along, "it ain't right." That experience has remained in my thoughts.

My kids are calling me. This time to mediate a dispute over who is responsible for the mess in the garage. No doubt Rachael and Hannah will blame Deborah (and they are probably correct as Deborah is the pig of the family :-)) and Deborah will deny all involvement in said mess. Me, I'm just glad to be home.

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