Friday, September 26, 2008


what you'd hear if you had bugged our house over the past several weeks

Griffin, please take your feet off of Lincoln's head.

Griffin, please don't throw peanut butter sandwiches at your brother. That's nice that you were trying to feed him, but he only drinks milk right now.

Griffin, please stop trying to close Lincoln's eyes during prayer.

Griffin, you really should not try to pick Lincoln up by his ankles.

Griffin, please take that newspaper off of Lincoln's face.

what you'd see:

a little boy who loves his brother verrrrrry much,
who runs to check on him whenever he hears him cry,
who kisses and hugs him multiple times a day,
who sings a medley of songs to him to help him sleep, namely:
Jesus Loves Me, Twinkle, Twinkle Wittle Sar,
and Shot through the Heart by Bon Jovi (his father is responsible for the latter),
who loves to help mommy change his diaper,
who can't wait for his brother to grow and play with him!

(his mommy is pretty excited about that too.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

1000 words

In an effort to stay in connection with you all during this 'newborn' season of life, I've decided to commit to writing less wordy/more picture-y blogs for the time being. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here are my 3000 words for the day:

Griffin and I celebrated the beginning of fall with pumpkin window cling-ons.
(Can we say, "Mommy used to be an elementary teacher?")

Then, we headed to the local farm market, where
Griffin picked out his very own pumpkin.

...and then, of course, we had to buy an apple turnover and a jug
of cider in order to truly honor the season.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Our firstborn son just left to go blueberry picking with our landlords and #2 is sitting contentedly nearby, and will soon be napping, and I find myself facing the age-old mystery of motherhood: what to do next??!!

And so I blog.

Meanwhile, the lunch dishes still sit on the table, and the laundry piles mock me, and the fall decorations call out to me to pull them from their boxes, and the list goes on...

And yet I blog.

I guess it's for the same reason that we take vacations. Unnecessary? Yes. Useless? No.

I guess I am considering this more of a therapy session than a blog. I have been pondering the priorities of motherhood the past couple days and realizing that newborns completely reshape them when they arrive.

It's interesting how it all works. I lived in the nesting stage for months while I was pregnant. I constantly felt the urge to clean and organize and plan (and even cook occasionally)--and spent a good part of my time doing so.

Then it all changed in an instant. This little life entered my world and all such priorities escaped out the window. I am lucky if I find time to shower in the day--cleaning is waaaaay down on the list. I remember coming to the realization when Griffin was first born that I had become a speed eater. I considered eating a waste of precious time and so gobbled my food down as quickly as possible so as to move on to actually accomplish something of value.

By nature, I am task-oriented. I am most content when I have a well-checked off list at the end of the day. But yesterday, I came to the realization that this 'need to accomplish' is not an option at this time in my life. As a mom of two boys, each with their own needs, my to-do list doesn't even get written.

So, I am faced with two options:
1) Feel sorry for myself and long for the day when things return to 'normal' (as I did for most of the day yesterday).
2) Find a way to reframe my priorities during this season of life.

I'm opting for number 2.

I'm realizing that this stage in life is a lot more about being than doing. I spend about 6-7 hours of my day feeding, burping, and changing the baby. I can mourn my time lost during this time or recognize that simply being with my son is a gift--for me and for him.

I also could spend the rest of my day trying to make up for time lost by catching up on those check marks. Or I could

i have to laugh. i got distracted from completing this yesterday and i have no idea what i was going to say next. i think that may be exactly what i was trying to say. i may or may not complete anything--and that's ok.

now, if you will excuse me...i'm going to put a movie on while my boys nap. and i may or may not complete it before i fall sound asleep.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm Baaaa-ack!

May it be known that Kaley is officially returning to the land of the living. She may doze off occasionally, but she is alive and well.

I thought I would mark this occasion with the post you have all been waiting for--the birth story! Let's just get one thing straight before I start. If there is one thing that every woman who has ever endured labor has earned, it is the right to share every single nitty gritty detail of the birth story with anyone who is within ear shot--as many times as she would like.

Fortunately for you, you are reading this post, so you may opt out of enduring every little detail. Humor me, though, and post a comment whether you read it all or not. All you really have to say is something to the tune of, "Wow, Kaley, you are the woman!" and I will assume that you did indeed read the whole thing.

Now, where shall we begin? Oh yes--5:30 am on Thursday, August 28:

5:30 am: wake up early with typical pregnancy discomfort. Decide to get up and enjoy one of my final quiet mornings on the porch. Write this in my prayer journal: Dr's appointment today. I've found myself really wishing I would go into labor this weekend. If I don't, I will probably be induced next week. You know my heart's desires, Lord Jesus, and I know You delight in giving them to me. I trust Your good hand!

10 am: drop Griffin off at his cousin's house while I head to my dr's appointment a couple blocks away.

10:15 am: dr's appointment. I am still 2 cm dilated (have been all week) and about 50% effaced. Doctor Miller says she does not think I will go in the next couple days. Oh and she will be out of town this weekend. Leave feeling pretty discouraged.

11 am: stop at farmer's market up the street. Buy ripe cantaloupe. Bad idea.

11:15 am: return to my sister's house to hang out with Griff and kids while I wait to go to my non-stress test at 1:30. Let Wes and my sister and brother in law know that I will probably not be going into labor anytime soon. Fight back tears.

noon: Griffin announces to his cousins that he wants 'Baby Bob' (his nickname) to come out right now! Me too, Griffin. Me too.

1 pm: discover a parking ticket on my car. Bummer of a day.

1:10 pm: stop at Dunkin Donuts for a donut and coffee. (Dr's orders--gotta eat something sweet so the baby will move during the non stress test!)

1:30 pm: pull into parking lot for appointment and feel a very strong braxton-hicks contraction. Hmmm? But no, it couldn't be.

1:45 pm: nurse points out two contractions during my non stress test. They are about 10 minutes apart.

2:15 pm: make a run to Walgreen's (free stuff!), Toys R Us, and Price Chopper. Oh--and to pay off my parking ticket. (The fee goes up $5 every week--and we might be a little distracted this week!) Start timing contractions. Still about 10 minutes apart.

3 pm: return to my sister's house. Call Wes and my mom to let them know that I think I may be having contractions, but they are really not strong. What does that mean?

3:15 pm: decide to go for a walk since Griffin is napping and I want to try to keep the contractions coming. Find myself walking on Lincoln Avenue. Is this a sign??! Contractions seem to increase, but still are not very strong.

4 pm: decide I should head home since my bags are there. Keep timing while I drive home. Still about 10 minutes apart.

6 pm: Wes gets home and I am feeling discouraged. Contractions are very sporadic and still not intense. Starting to think this is false labor. Google 'false labor'.

6:30 pm: decide to make dinner--spinach calzones from my friend Anca (yummy!) and corn from the farmer's market. Contractions are now coming more regularly and about 6 minutes apart. According to google, this is a good sign. Still not intense.

7 pm: our landlords pull into the driveway after being gone for a week. Didn't know they were coming home! Finish dinner and send Griffin over to hang out with Grandma Mar and Papa Nick. Fill them in on the situation and ask if Griffin could stay over night if need be.

8 pm: contractions still not intense, but are about 4 minutes apart. Wes decides to pack the car, calling upstairs to check up on me quite frequently.

9 pm: head next door to talk with our landlord, who is a nurse. Let her know that contractions are about 3 minutes apart, but are not intense and ask what we should do? We finally decide to just take the plunge and head to the hospital. We leave a tearful Griffin behind, but know he is in good hands.

9:30 pm: head to the hospital, meanwhile calling both of our parents and letting them know. Tell them we will call if things progress. Contractions seem to slow down, but get more intense. Why can't they just follow the rules??!

10 pm: arrive at emergency room, feeling all eyes on the pregnant lady as I walk into the room. I know what they are thinking--why is she so calm? Indeed, my contractions come even more slowly now.
still smiling

10:30 pm: nurse gives me a knowing glance when she sees that I am far too calm to be in actual labor. Is this your first baby? she asks, quite smugly. I am ready to turn around and head home. I am now only 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. We call the family and tell them to stay home. Looks like it's going to be a long night. Try to watch news coverage of Barack Obama's speech.

11:30 pm: shift change. New nurse is someone we know from church. Contractions are becoming stronger and I ask Wes to rub my back and breathe with me. Maybe this is the real thing? Take a walk to go look at the babies in the nursery. Have to stop multiple times to breathe and begin to feel nauseous. Oh yeah--this is what real contractions feel like. Darn.

12 am: ask Wes to go get the nurse to come check me. Feel a little silly, but I do not want to miss my window for an epidural. Nurse announces with a great deal of surprise that I am 8 cm dilated. Does that mean I won't get an epidural? I ask with dismay. We'll see what we can do, says the nurse. That is code for Not a chance, honey. (Especially since I have not gotten lab tests done, do not have an IV, have not been taken to the birthing room, and the call still has to been made to the anesthesiologist. I'm no dummy.) Wes asks if we should call family. YES is the quick response.

12:10 am: nurses swarm into the room to get me moved into the birthing room and ready to deliver. This is really happening. No turning back now.

12:20 am: someone in green enters the room and approaches my bed. Well, I am surprised to see you here! says Dr. Miller. I feel a rush of relief, knowing that she has not left town yet. I am so glad to see you, Dr. Miller! I whisper gratefully.

12:30 am: Dr. Miller announces that I am fully dilated and this baby is about to be born. Is she just saying that to make me feel better? I wonder. Dr. Miller, Julie (our nurse), and Wes begin to praise and encourage me to fight through the pain. It doesn't take long before Dr. Miller tells Wes to take a look at his son's head. Seriously? I think. It can't be.

12:51 am: LINCOLN PARKER EHRET ENTERS OUR WORLD. He is more beautiful than I could have imagined with his newborn cry and head of brown hair. Exhilaration. Euphoria. Awe. No word even touches the emotion and gratitude of that moment.

(unfortunately, our camera died shortly after this and I haven't gotten any of the pictures my family took yet...)

1:15 am: Both of our parents and my sister and brother join us to meet our son and hear his name spoken out loud for the first time. His name is Lincoln Parker Ehret, we say with pride. Wes's mom cries as she finds out that her maiden name is her grandson's middle name. We spend the next hour and half taking pictures, passing Lincoln around the room, and trying to determine who he looks like.

3:30 am: the room clears out and Wes and I are left alone with our boy. Exhaustion sets in.
Give me this kind of exhaustion any day.

This boy is worth it.