Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Paul's Birth Story

My very good friend and loyal reader, Cyndi, was giving me ideas for my posts last night and said she had forgotten what Little P looked like when he was a baby (cuz he is all grown up now). She suggested that I post some of the pictures from the good ol' days, and I decided to also post P's birth story. I had to spend all day thinking about it, because if I were to just relate it from memory upon being asked, it would probably come out significantly more sweet and cuddly than it actually was. This is due in part to me starting to want another baby and trying to forget why I said I would never do it again. Now that I have thought long and hard about it...
Paul was due December 29th, 2006, and by the time that date rolled around I was well ready to be rid of him. He and I were both the size of a Blue Whale and all of the super-extra-large maternity clothes no longer fit. I was glad I had taken maternity leave early because by that week I did not want to be seen in public anymore. His due date came and went, and the next day came and went, and a week came and went.
On January 2nd, 2007 I went to my doctor's office at 11am for what I was praying would be my last weekly check up. My doctor did his thing and proclaimed I still had a few days left, at least. Not good news. I went home and plopped myself on my bed and took a nap, as going to the doctor was now a totally exhausting event, and I also hoped I might sleep for about a week and Little P might be out when I woke up.
At 3:30pm I had what felt like a really nasty cramp. Really nasty. All the muscles in my abdomen tightened up, and then loosened up again about 20 seconds later. About a half-hour later it happened again. I was getting excited and scared at the same time; after all this time it was probably happening and I was actually hoping it was not! I walked around the house for a little while, having these contractions about every 15-20 minutes. I knew this could last for a few hours or a few days, so I tried not to get worked up about it, and took another nap.
At about 6pm I called Jim's mom into my room because the contractions were 10 minutes apart and lasting for about 35 seconds. I could not sleep any more from the pain and my back hurt really bad, so I just knelt on the floor by my bed in the fetal position (as best as a giant pregnant woman can get in the fetal position), and stayed there until Jim got home at 7.
When Jim got home I walked around the house a couple times and then lay down on my bed, but nothing was comfortable because of the back pain. Seriously, the contractions were NOTHING compared to the back pain! At 7:30 I was ready to go to the hospital; everyone says to stay at home until the last possible minute, but I did not think I could be any less comfortable than I already was, so why not just go.
We got everything ready and went to the hospital at 8pm. I went right to the labor and delivery center at Auburn Faith Hospital and was attached to all kinds of monitors and and IV. I think I was comforted by this, and I was happy to hear Paul's heartbeat on the monitor. The contractions were still frequent and long, but I was only dilated to 2, so I knew this was going to be a long night. I tried to relax and watch TV, but you try to relax when a kid is trying to bust through your back... it is impossible.
My sister-in-law Becky came at 10pm, and I am so glad to have had her there! She is definitely what kept me from going insane! Jim did a great job, too and I am so glad he was there, but Becky knew what I was going through and never told me it was OK, because she knew it was not OK. This was the least "OK" I had ever been in my life, and it was not about to get better. Between her and Jim I remembered to concentrate and to breathe. Becky and Jim were also good for each other, because they took turns staying up with me all night and napping.
The hours between 11pm and 5am are a pain filled blur, but I remember taking a shower because the nurse said it would help... did not help. What helped the pain a little bit was sitting on the 'birthing ball." This is one of those giant yoga/pilates balls and it was truly a blessing! I bounced on that thing for at least four hours! It did not make the pain go away, but it eased it quite a bit. My labor was all in my back, so whatever I could do to relieve pressure was wonderful. My contractions were only about 30 seconds apart and were lasting a minute or more. I vaguely remember a nurse coming in and telling me I should walk around, and me telling her that I was not moving off that ball until there was a head coming out!
At 5am I was dilated to 5, and the most wonderful person in the universe came into my room: the Anesthetician!!! He told me all the risks of an epidural, and I told him to do it anyway, because lifelong paralysis was not worse than this!
The next five hours were WONDERFUL! I slept the entire time, waking up only momentarily for those icky dilation checks and sometimes when people came and left the room. I did not feel anything, and it was so great! Regardless of the epidural, I was exhausted and still hoped it would be over soon.
My doctor showed up at 9am, checked me and said I was dilated to 10 and we would have a baby before noon! I was so happy I was crying! Jim went to call family to tell them it would be soon, and I went back to sleep.
At 10:10 my doctor came back in and said it was time to push and to wake up and get ready. There was so much activity around me and I was getting really nervous because I did not know what to expect. I did not feel any pain, but they told me not to worry and they would tell me what to do. At 10:15 I was told to push as hard as I could until they told me to stop, so I did. That was the longest 10 seconds of my life, and I was pushing so hard I could feel blood vessels bursting in my head. Not good. Three times I did that, for 10 seconds each. After that contraction the doctor said he could already see the crown and to do the same thing again at the next contraction. I was still gasping for breath from the first set when I had to do it again. I was pretty sure I could not do this for hours and hours like some moms said they did, but I kept on. It seemed like forever, but only 5 minutes after I started my doctor said I would be pushing only one more time! I did it with gusto and I was so excited when I heard him say "you have a boy," that I tried to sit up right then and look at him! Paul came into the world at 10:22am on January 3rd, 2008. He was 7lb, 12 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. My little Prince Paul.
Following this was a flurry of activity as nurses cleaned Little P and delivered the afterbirth. I did not care anything about any of it except seeing my little man! It brings tears to my eyes even now... let me get a tissue...
Some time later I was in a comfy room holding my son and smiling at my family who had been there to meet us afterward. I stayed in the hospital for 2 days, and they were the most wonderful two days ever! I have not gotten so much rest since Paul has been home as I did when I was there!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Scrapbooking with Paul

Mommy loves to scrapbook and Little P loves to help pick out the pictures. I used to scrapbook all the time, and finished two while I was at home the last month of my pregnancy, but after Little P was born all creative activity ended for me. Who knew that there would not be enough hours in the day to be a mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, career woman and scrapbooker. On any given day I would love to delete the items having to do with keeping house from my list and add scrapbooking. In the whole scheme of things that would not be the best plan, as I would feel icky leaving things messy while I worked with the Muses, and I would feel guilty if my family missed a meal because I was at the scrapbook store buying stickers, stamps or cute paper; but I am rambling.
Tonight I decided that I would work on the Disneyland scrapbook I started two years ago after my first trip to Disneyland for our second wedding anniversary. The plan was to get all my fun stuff out and complete three or four pages... the reality was I got all my fun stuff out and then spent two hours looking at pictures with Paul from his album, and then put all my fun stuff away because he got to grumpy to play with pictures.
In all it was a totally non-productive evening, except for that I got a few cute shots of Paul analyzing himself when he was a baby (because he is totally grown up now), and yelling out the names of people he recognized in the pictures. It was fun to watch him see someone he knew; his eyes would get wide and he would point, yell and turn the page to see who was smiling at him next.
How about it? Do you still find time for fun, creative activities, or is it all baby, all the time?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

March For Babies

The March of Dimes Today

Even though we have beaten polio, the fight to save babies goes on. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health. Things like: prematurity, birth defects and low birthweight.

Premature Birth
Each year, more than 525,000 babies (1 in 8) are born too soon, some so small they can fit in the palm of a hand. Many of these babies must fight just to survive; others must struggle with lifelong health problems. No one knows the causes of nearly half of all premature births, and no one is working harder than the March of Dimes to find out.

(excerpt from the March of Dimes website, located on my sidebar if you want to read more!)

Today my family went to our lovely state capitol and walked six miles to promote prematurity awareness and the March of Dimes. It was a fantastic day, the sun was shining and the people were friendly; over 8,000 people gathered this year for the March For Babies. We have participated in this event for four years now, and every year it is fantastic. I have met lots of families with premature babies who have survived and to this day struggle with medical complications. I have also met lots of families with babies that did not survive and they are left with an empty space in their lives where those babies had been so briefly.
Paul was not premature, and I pray that none of my children ever will be, but if our family should have to undergo this unfortunate situation I would be so thankful for the March of Dimes; both for the research they conduct to try to bring an end to prematurity, and for the support the foundation provides to families and to babies born premature.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Chair

Little P has recently been obsessed with sitting on all furniture like a big boy. Not a big deal, except that he has to climb up onto whatever sofa or chair he takes the notion to sit on at the moment, and climbing can be disastrous (mostly because when one climbs onto a piece of furniture one must stand up right on the edge of it before turning around to sit down).
Since the idea of Paul toppling off the edge of the sofa and smashing his head on the coffee table freaks mommy out, I have been on a mission to find him his own baby chair to sit on like a big boy. I found one we both liked at Target; mommy liked the way it looked and the fact that it was a soft bean bag chair; Paul climbed all over it and sat in it at the store, so we brought it home.
The child ignored it for four days. He did not even look at it, much less sit in it, and mommy was sad because she was hoping to alleviate her fears of a squashed skull. Today he pulled it out all by himself and sat in it... YAY!!! He is still sitting in it and climbing on it right now, and mommy is happy. The chair is a bean bag, pretty cute and quite sturdy (for a bean bag), and I would recommend it to mommies looking for a baby chair for their tumbling little boys.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa

This post is dedicated to grandma and grandpa Dunkel (a.k.a. Poppo). Little P has not started saying "grandma" yet, but I think he speaks collectively when he asks for Poppo and points in the direction of their house (two houses away from ours).
We owe them more than we can ever re-pay; they are great parents and grandparents. Having finally recovered from my bout of jealousy (stemming from the fact that they are better parents than I will ever be and they raise my son for half of every week), I am sure I can stop and say THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!
Having been blessed with a fantastic husband, but he NOT blessed with a job that allows me to stay at home, we have to send Paul over to Poppo's house 3 days a week for 12 hours a day. Daddy and I are lucky to have this option because it allows both of us to work full time and not fear for the safety of our only offspring. Grams and gramps are definitely the next best thing to home, and are actually probably better! I am relieved to know that when he is there he eats healthy, plays hard and learns. One of the most wonderful things they do with P is read to him every day. We read to him at home, too, and between all of us he gets a good deal of reading time in to strengthen his vocabulary and recognition skills. They also take him to the park to walk and look at the ducks, and as you all know, I am a fan of the outdoors. At Poppo's house Paul also gets to visit with his cousins, aunts, etc. on a regular basis. We are often busy, and if it weren't for family time over there my son would probably not be very close to our family. It is overall a great experience for Paul to be in the care of Poppo all day.
I think he lacks some discipline when he visits grams and gramps, but I would rather have that than the potential for abuse or neglect. I trust them with his life and I do not think I would feel that way if he were in a daycare; there is nobody nicer to a baby than one's grandparents.
How about you? SAHM, work part/full time? Who takes care of your little one while you are away and do you trust them completely?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Friend's name...

Marsing is a city in Owyhee County, in the Boise City-Nampa metro area, Idaho.

The community was named for settlers Earl Q. Marsing and Mark Marsing

The latitude of Marsing is 43.545N. The longitude is -116.812W.

It is in the Mountain Standard time zone. Elevation is 2,300 feet.

The estimated population, in 2003, was 986.

I am telling you a little about Idaho because I have recently made a friend of mine who lives there upset. Unfortunately, in my quest to create a blog about my Little P, I forgot to mention this "friend of mine"'s name. For reference, please see the Hiking post. Anyway, the host of my hike was my friend Fred Norton. He lives in Idaho and was out visiting when we went for this walk. He took all the pictures and provided me with some of the very few pictures I have of Paul and I together, as I am usually the one doing the picture taking. I know for certain I told him thanks for that in person, but I shall do so again here. Thanks!

I have never been to Idaho, but I looked it up on the internet and found these nice pictures for my post in honor of Fred. I do have to say that Idaho is a very attractive little state, should you be interested in moving there! I was going to include his phone number and address, in case you wanted to chat or take a tour of Idaho, but I was unable to obtain permission before posting, so I will have to get back to you on that!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Night with the Dunkels

We are an exciting bunch of folks... This is 7:30pm on Friday night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I think my tiny man is hung over from his evening at the ball park. He was grumpily eating lunch today when... He Fell Asleep! I could not believe it! The child was actually sleeping, but still eating; it was the strangest thing I have ever seen him do. Not simply falling asleep, but actually sleeping... but still eating. Seriously, you had to be there.

A's Game

We are (ashamed of late to admit) that we are A's fans. As such, we must take Little P to many games and encourage his love of sports and unwavering loyalty to this Baseball Club. Last night was Paul's 4th A's games since his birth, but the first one in which he really was able to be part of the action. He was too small last year to do anything but smile when cooed at by fans around us, but this year he screamed and clapped with the crowd, drank lemonade, sang in the 7th inning stretch, cuddled up in the free blankets (fan appreciation day), and fell asleep in the somewhat disappointing 8th inning.

Little P spent a great deal of time trying to get past mommy and daddy and play on the stairs, and this included trying to crawl under our legs and over the seats. While I am not a total germ-o-phobe, there was some serious hand sanitizing going on last night. Eventually he settled down and watched some of the game and watched airplanes taking off behind the coliseum. I was certain it was going to be a horrible night of chasing baby and listening to him cry for not being able to run around. He was very well behaved, however, and it was quite a pleasant evening.

How about it? Take your kids to the ball game? Or find some less crowded and less germy activity and forgo the peanuts and crackerjack?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sydney and Tia

Meet Paul's Tia and Sydney. Tia is a fluffy, sassy, Siamese cat and Sydney is a sweet, playful horse... uh, I mean dog.

Little P loves Tia because she mews at everyone and begs for attention and lets P hug and pet her. This is rare with the cats in Paul's life, as the cats at grandma's house mew and run away from him, always sticking around, but staying just out of reach of little fingers. Tia does not do this; she loves Paul, and even slept with him before she took up permanant residence in the laundry room. She does not scratch or bite him either. Such a sweet kitty; even now she is sitting on the back of my chair clawing at my back for attention.

Now Sydney is the real fun. We rescued her from the pound and she has been one of the best pets I have ever owned. She is a giant dog, but she does NOT bark or bite; she asks only for love from everyone. She loves Paul and tolerates him trying to ride her like a horse. He used to just pet her, then he got brave and began hugging her when she was laying down, then he found that she was fun to try to sit on. He has not really ever succeeded in fully sitting on her; by the time he gets one leg over her back she gets up and walks away, only to lay down five feet away and wait for Paul to try it again. She is a very tolerant dog and I am glad I have her to teach Little P compassion and love for animals.

I reccommend pets for little ones... what is your stand on dogs and cats as part of the family?

Apple Pie

This is always everyone's favorite...

Here is a quick and super easy recipe for apple pie! Oh, so YUMMY!!!

2 pre-made pie crusts (or if you are really awesome, you can make them yourself... I am not that awesome)


6 cups thinly sliced apples (about 6 medium)

3/4 c. sugar

2 tbs. all purpose flour

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamom

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Place one pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate and press firmly to sides and bottom.

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients well. Gently fold in apples until they are covered and moist.

Top with second crust and pinch edges together to seal.

Cut slits or cute shapes in the top crust (for ventilation)

Bake 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.

Cool on rack at least 2 hours before serving

The results are fantastic! Happy baking!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Climbing and other trouble

Tiny P has learned how to climb, and has been practicing all evening. In fact, it is 8:50pm (WAY past bedtime), but he is still causing trouble. Trouble number 2: he has also learned how to open doors, and has also been practicing that.

Both of these are great, as they build important motor skills, but they also have the potential to cause mommy worry and Paul peril.

Climbing is a great fete, and I am glad he is mastering it, but it comes with the part about falling off of the object he is climbing and smashing his head on something, like the floor. He gets enough bumps and bruises falling down during regular trouble; now I have to worry about him falling from high places. Oh, the anxiety of being a mommy of a toddler!

However, climbing is not the worst of it. As I mentioned already, he can now open doors. It is not perfected yet, but he has managed to open a door leading to outside, and that gives mommy real reason to worry, as we live close to a busy road. It is time to do some extra baby proofing! What is better? A chain on the door or a locking screen, or both? We have a screen that locks now, but I am afraid he will just manage to push it open. How about those door knob covers? How well do those work? I figured it would be at least another few months before he could escape the confines and safety of the house.

Never underestimate a toddler, they learn quickly when it comes to doing or getting something they want. Little P loves to be outside, so I should not be surprised he can get out there! As for the climbing, I shall have to watch him around the trees...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Breakfast with Paul

Morning on mommy's off-work days goes something like this:

"Waa-waa" or vigorously shake the side of the crib if P is in a good mood.

Today P was in a good mood, so...

Shake, shake, shake at 7:00am.

"Mommy is coming, Pa P."

Mommy walks into the room and P is pointing to his Little People toys on the floor.

"Peepo, Peepo."

"Yes, People."

Mommy takes P from his crib and lets him gather up his Little People, just to drop them all again a few minutes later in favor of some other toy.

"Let's go eat breakfast," mommy says.

"EAT, EAT!!!"

"What would you like to eat, P?"

"Mac-a, Mac-a!"

"We are not having macaroni and cheese for breakfast."

"Mac-a, Mac-a," all the way to the kitchen; spots sesame street cup on the counter and changes mantra to "Aahh Aahh Aahh..."

Mommy puts P in high chair and fills Aahh Aahh cup with milk.

Makes P some bananas, peaches and cottage cheese for breakfast, which he enjoys just as much as Mac-a, Mac-a because the kid eats anything.

Mommy checks email, ebay and meetup websites while P is eating... stops to refill cottage cheese, and decides that P deserves a post on mommy's blog because he is such a neat eater...

Mommy has to go now, because Paul has just said "Peeta," which means he wants to play Peek-a-Boo over the counter. And what P wants, P gets... except for Mac-a, Mac-a for breakfast.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I have to say that this blog is definitely mommy's new obsession and I am having so much fun with it. However, I am new at this and I realize it may not be the greatest blog ever, although I am trying to make it great. Please feel free to comment if there is anything you would like to know or anything I can do to better gain interest and readers. This blog is not only for my family, but for yours!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Best Toys...

Are the ones you do not have to pay for!

Little P has 10 trillion toys in his room, and he prefers to play with a ricotta cheese container and the car keys! P has an entire drawer in the kitchen dedicated to toys that are not toys, ranging from ladles to containers to... whatever. He would play in this drawer over his room any day! He especially likes to play in it when mom is in the kitchen cooking something or cleaning, but that does not have to be the case. These pics were snapped when mommy was posting items on eBay and Little P did not want to sit with me at the computer.

The computer is based in the kitchen, on the other side of the counters, nearthe back door. I was happily describing an item when I heard this rattling behind me. I looked around to see my son facing away from me, bouncing something up and down. I went around to the other side of him to see what he had gotten into, and he had managed to entertain himself by putting the car keys in the container and trying to bounce them out. Very cute...

"Please don't lose the car keys," I said after he refused to smile for pictures and I had to take some candids (which are usually the best anyway).

Friday, April 4, 2008


Little P, like mommy B, is totally addicted to shoes...