Friday, June 29, 2012


Sam Kavanagh, the dear friend who is Blake Samuel's namesake, received word today that he was chosen for the 2012 Paralympic team and is London-bound! The same avalanche that claimed big Blake's life also shattered Sam's leg to a degree that made amputation the best choice for his activity level and drive for life.

Sam's taken his crazy passion for seizing life by the horns and getting every. last. drop. out of it and surpassed anyone's expectations. I'm so proud of him, I'm so thrilled for his family, and I'm so honored to call them friends.

Sam, Sarah, Amelia, and Nolan: you have what it takes. You've paid a high price to become one of the most encouraging families I know, which doesn't slow and of you down a bit. I love you dearly and wish very much that I could celebrate in person with you right now.

Monday, June 25, 2012

the sweetest girl

You should know one of my labor and delivery rules: no crotch shots. You can look without fear.

My to do list this evening consisted of ignoring my to do list and snuggling a newborn for a few hours, so you'll just have to wait on stories and enjoy photos instead. Because I'm about to go back to that delicious little munchkin and cuddle her right up to my bedtime. Which should have been an hour ago.

Mom thought my steady hand at liquid eyeliner and mascara were photo-worthy. Or maybe she thought it was funny that I was primping while my legs were immobilized (due to the epidural) in preparation for a process that, at the best of times, is a LOT of work and rather messy.

Is it so wrong that all three of us were playing Scrabble on our devices in the hours spent waiting?

Mom: Ok, guys. Show me your pushing faces!
Ta da! And just like that, from a fake push face to a baby! 

Proud dad... and father-with-newborn photos still make me choke up with envy and anguish. Every time, even when it's my own newborn with their own father.

Blake meeting Vesper for the first time. He's going in for the kiss.

And again. He can't stop kissing her, or ruffling her head like she's some Little Leaguer he's proud of. He also remarks regularly that "Vesper is SO. STINKIN'. CUTE!"

Home again. Vesper is a sweet baby that has made it easy on all of us by sleeping solidly for 3-4 hours at a stretch. If I time my night-owl tendencies just right, she only wakes me once in the wee hours, but I do still have to get up early so I can be present for Blake in the mornings.

Finally, because we wanted to capture this newborn phase that is rapidly coming to a close (I figure I have another week at most of the really new newborn look and habits), we had a professional come take some photos of our family. Here's her sneak peek, at least until I can go through the additional pictures from the past week and muster up some stories to tell!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

headed for home with veb

But first, I managed to whip this together. You're welcome. Mwah!

Pre-bath, which Rob said she didn't enjoy much. 

The dark waves that neither of us were expecting. I thought we'd have a red-head!

She apparently liked this MUCH more than the body scrubdown. Calmed right down and even looked around.

"I'm absolutely screwed... but I love her so much."

Getting ready to go home.

Another look at all that hair! And those lips - pure Robert, I'm telling you.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

seriously, EVER

After an induction and eight hours of labor, Vesper Eileen Bedford entered the world at 5:52 pm yesterday, about the same time I burst into tears in a spasm of love and gratitude. She weighs 8 pounds 1 ounce, is 20 inches long, and has a head full of wavy black hair. We're head over heels in love, despite the fact that Rob is completely terrified about the fact of a daughter. Pretty sure I'll be the disciplinarian for this one.

More pictures to follow, more about her name and birth too. Blake is enthralled and picked out a sweet blankie for her (cute story comes with that), and everything about this labor and delivery were what I prayed for and asked prayer for: peaceful, healing, and calm. Also, epidurals are one of my most favorite things ever.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Upon walking into the liquor store, the man behind the counter asked if he could help me find anything. I motioned to one of the walls and said, "I need a bottle of whiskey for my husband and my father."

He eyed my round belly. "And they sent you?"

"Hey, anything to get this kid moving along!"

Monday, June 11, 2012

neil patrick harris

He should host everything. Always.

guess what?!

Despite being content not to learn the sex of the baby, I'm totally not a patient person! Every night I go to bed and pray that this would be the night, maybe contractions could wake me just like it happened with Blake, and every morning I wake up and growl obscenities that I won't put into print.

At least, not today. Maybe I will by Friday if I still haven't met this little biscuit!

Had to change my RSVP for one of my best friend's bridal shower/tea from coming to not coming. It makes me sad that I won't be able to see her look of shock and horror when she opens my gift, but I'm sure she'll tell me all about it via phone, if she deigns to ever speak to me again. Maybe we'll set it up so I can be there via Skype!

Rob and I are trying nearly everything to get labor started naturally, but I draw the line at castor oil - not for the taste, but for the effects. Yes, it can bring on labor hard and fast, but if your body's not ready, you can still end up pushing for eight hours (the experience of one friend) or have five hours of hard contractions that go away and leave you still pregnant for a MONTH (the experience of another friend, who tried it at 37 weeks). Eeps! Balancing letting it happen naturally against the chances of an enormous baby also freak me out. My mother's advice: stop eating.

She is so helpful!

In totally unrelated news, Rob and friends are laying sod today, and the front yard looks AMAZING! I'm so excited! I'm helping by staying out of the way and keeping the fellas fed and watered. I did buy some perennials and shrubs this past weekend, so I might see about getting some of our topsoil/compost blend in the beds around the house so I can get those in the ground. Pics to come, once there's something to show for it all.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

39 weeks today

I have to preface my phone calls with "I'm not in labor," thereby disappointing those whom I'm calling. Didn't realize that would be necessary until the last two personal calls I made, where both friends wanted to know if I needed them to come be with Blake so we could go to the hospital.

Sadly, no. Not yet.

We had another doctor's visit today, with no real change to report. Baby is still head down (yay!), I'm 1.5 (maybe 2) cm dilated, but the baby is still rightupthereundermyribcage. Doc mentioned induction as an option after 40 weeks, but also pointed out that he didn't think a scheduled induction would really be my cuppa tea.

"No, not really, but I may feel completely differently if I'm back here again next week."

I've transferred most of my work duties by now, so I'm reaching the point of being almost... bored. I'm keeping up with housework and my physical therapy exercises and have done a bang-up job of staying on top of meals and such (we've eaten very well this week, thank you very much!), but it's hard to commit to anything further than a few hours out because I just don't know! And I'm getting more and more eager to meet this baby and know boy or girl and generally get on with THAT part of life. Of course, now that everyone is back in state and my bags are packed and all, I'll go long and end up giving my sweet Momma quite the birthday present of a grandbaby on June 17.

BUT: It's the last day of school tomorrow, which means ice cream for all, Blake's choice. I get to go pick up the plants I intend to put in the beds around the house in the next few days. Our neighbor is not only loaning us her tiller, she's doing the tilling for us because she's had a stressful week and WANTS TO (I love her and will be baking her a pie). Sod is being delivered on Monday.

And I'm off for a walk with my beloved, in the hopes that the gentle movement encourages downward movement by the baby to where I have the cute-but-not-cute pregnancy waddle.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

(it was a gopher)

Text of the message I just sent Rob:
I cleaned up the body. Hosed down the congealed (but not dry!) blood.
He is so lucky to have me. If that blood had dried, it would have taken FOREVER to get it off the back deck, and it was one HE'd shot.

Friday, June 1, 2012

happy friday to you!

It was Wild Kingdom in our back "yard" this morning! A mated pair of killdeer, whose piercing cry at all hours makes me feel a bit stabby after dark, had one tiny little baby killdeer back there, picking through the boggy mud. I assume that it's the one surviving chick from their clutch (they usually lay four eggs), and it was a perfect miniature of its parents - maybe one-quarter their size. When one of the gophers I haven't shot yet came out, both adult birds swiftly ran it off to a far corner of the adjacent lot, where it simply nibbled grass and watched all three of them. A Hungarian partridge (usually part of a matched set that will often run laps around our house) sat solo on some concrete tailings, nibbling through whatever food it could find out there. Blake and I were almost late to school, watching all the goings on.

After I got Blake dropped off, I hit the grocery store (it's a new month, and we were due). While picking out doughnuts for Rob and I, an older gentleman behind me said, "Excuse me, I'm not trying to hit on you, but you have beautiful hair." I thanked him and assured him that graciously complimenting a pregnant woman on her appearance could hardly go wrong. About five minutes later, as I checked out, another older fellow walked by and said, "I just wanted to tell you that I agree with the gentleman by the doughnuts." I guess men nearly old enough to be my grandfather find long, red, wavy (I curled it yesterday and just brushed it out today) hair lovely. It was a charming start to the day, that's for sure!