Archive for May, 2010

May 31st baby update

May 31, 2010

Here it is May 31st! We only have today to make my prediction come true, that this was going to be a May baby. All I have to say is, from all appearances, BOY WAS I WRONG!

Who would’ve thought, with contractions and  being 3-4cm a week and a half ago, here we would still be. Nature and babies have a mind of their own.

My husband and son are coming to see us today. We have rarely been separated in our 38 yrs. of marriage. This stint here will be one of the longest, I think, because after baby comes I will still be here awhile. That was the whole point.

// 8pm update: Al & Levin came, took a walk around Shelly Lake, got caught in a downpour, grilled chicken & veggies, put Zakiah to bed, everyone in this house is now asleep except for me! And Leah has been having light contractions all afternoon. . . –? Not sure if they are still going.



May 30, 2010

(poem for my daughter, May 30th, 2010)


Envision a cup of water

Full to the brim,

the top of it rounding over the edge,

Held together by invisible powers that

when touched,

suddenly release the tension,

and the water spills down

like a waterfall.

That is how we are right now,

Expectant, Awake,

with tension building,

the final days of a Pregnancy,

Belly so full with child,

We wait, and we wait some more,

Knowing that soon we will see

who this person is,

and then Love will flow down,

like a waterfall.

Sunday May 30th baby update

May 30, 2010

The update is, the labor slowed down and stopped yesterday! Leah’s body just does this. We hope it gets past this point very soon! I continue to get a good night’s sleep and wake up with the sun coming into the room. No one has wakened me up in the middle of the night to go to the Birthing Center.

This morning Leah is busy making 3 strawberry pies with sugarless jello and pudding. Yesterday she made jars of sugarless strawberry jam.

Sayings from Zakiah age 3 1/2:

“Mommy, are we fwends?” “Are you pwoud of me?”

Thomas the Train book music not working, “This is TEWWIBLE.”

Upon seeing a place where they are clearing trees to build something, “That is VERY SAD.”

“Grandma, your name is Carol Grandma Black. Right?”

1:30pm. I am in my favorite workplace. Panera. The WIFI is so easy to use, there are people around, smooth sounding music. A little less intrusive than Starbucks, and for some reason, Starbucks WIFI is horrible to try to use. I never have gotten it to work. I am working for a couple hours on my book……. blah…….(I keep telling myself, whatever I get done is more than if I had not started….)  — then going back to probably take a first of the summer swim in their neighborhood housing pool.

3:30 update: Revised late chapters, up to final chapter. Necessary rearranging, to make all chapters match better. This work is never-ending, just like this pregnancy… Stopping now to go swim.

baby diary, Sat., May 29

May 29, 2010

We are having light contractions, have been all morning. We will see if they continue. They may or may not. I have a feeling today (tonight) could be the day. Went to pick strawberries this morning. It was a really nice place, organic strawberries, rows & rows of red ones to pick! We had fun. We filled 3 buckets. Leah hasn’t said much all morning, which is why I think this time may be different. She is rather detached from the rest of us. She came home, stood leaning over with a contraction, went upstairs to lay down. Jean brought her a light protein snack (rice cake, peant butter, strawberries). I am putting Zakiah down for a nap.

Friday May 28

May 28, 2010

No baby yet, no active labor yet. It is getting frustrating, but it’s okay, We just have to trust that maybe the little one needed just a little more lung development in there, before he or she joins us on this side of the womb. The baby has moved position from where it’s been for quite awhile, so I really think things are just lining up and it’s a matter of days or hours. Leah is very ready, Jean wants everyone to have a positive outlook.

Today Zakiah did the “Walk around the sun” ceremony at his school. Since he has a summer birthday when school will not be in session, he did his today, before they have a long break. He holds a world globe and walks around “the sun” represented by a lit candle on the floor. For each walk around the sun in a complete circle, the earth has gone through one full year. With each circle, something is said for each year of his life, so far. Leah wrote something for each year. It is really cute. Then they all sing Happy birthday with 3 different songs, one in English, one in Spanish, and some other one where they stand up and sit down numerous times.

It is so hot and humid, & there is no air conditioning on here. I am really, really uncomfortable during the day. But for ALL four of my pregnancies, we never had air conditioning. We never had a house with such a luxury until AFTER all our kids were born. I may buy them an extra fan tomorrow, if they want it, because when you don’t have air conditioning, you need to use fans to circulate the air. It makes all the difference. I can remember coming home with a large, pregnant belly, turning on a fan and sitting right smack in front of it. My babies were born in June, two in August, and one at in September. Always the hottest weather.

This also brought back memories of sitting in my Dutch grandparents’ living room, where they always had a circular fan which spun air out in all directions. We loved it and I’ve never seen another one like it. I can hear my grandma scolding us to stay away from it because it would “cut off our fingers” if we got too close. In those days, they probably would have. My grandma was so scared of her house being broken into at night, that every night, with no air conditioning, she made my grandpa shut and LOCK tight every window in the house. They were not reopened until the next morning.

Got my hair cut short today! I’m loving it. Good for the hot weather again. I will learn to put some mousse on it and pull it out somewhat, to show different lengths and hopefully make it look okay. It is VERy short, but I know my hair grows fast, and I think this is a good cut, so it will look good as it grows out.

Tomorrow morning we are going to pick strawberries, and we may attend a Kenyan festival late in the afternoon. 3-day weekend coming up, and hopefully, a baby!

Thurs., May 27

May 27, 2010

Today may set records for the hottest May 27th since the 1940s here. It is expected to go into the 90s.

I felt that Leah really may go into labor last night. But not yet. She is really wanting to, but we do this kind of thing naturally, so we wait for baby. I reminded her that she was 11 days past due date for her own birth. That is how it’s done naturally!! No scheduling, inducement and all that, to fit a doctor’s schedule or his golf game. We just wait. She just got off work so really should enjoy the chance to totally RELAX while Zakiah is still in preschool and baby is not here yet! She’s only on her 2nd day of not working, so she is ancy. She did not sleep well last night.

I am in a library today, trying desperately to organize my book chapters, so I can send this thing in. Why is it so difficult. Leah & Jean are home doing all their laundry.

… It is now 4:00 and I am leaving the library. I succeeded in editing all but the last chapter, for the most part. It has a general organization, although to me it still appears to have numerous parts that could be cut down or cut out. But I’m about to the point of sending it in and letting editors decide. I have no confidence that this will be accepted by the publishers. I only hope that the stories are unique enough and well written enough that it is accepted as a project they want. I want an actual contract, will revise however they want.

For now I must stop, though I don’t want to, and go home & play with Zakiah, who is already disappointed that Grandma is not there after school.

// Played w/ Zakiah, put a large puzzle together, ate with Leah, Jean went to his CNA class, watched 1st hour of “So you think you can Dance” and a new episode of “1st 48,” going to bed, it’s still hot (no air conditioning here)!  Next 2 days we are expecting storms — Everything is ready, something will happen soon!–

Wed. baby blog

May 26, 2010

This morning while Zakiah was leaving for school, I was joking with him and taught him to say, “BOO-yaw!” He said, “What does that mean, Grandma?” I said, “ALL-RIGHT! Yeah!” So he went off to school saying “Boo-yaw.”

Went to Leah’s midwife appt. w/ her. Jean is sick w/ strep, getting better today but not eating healthy enough to feel good yet…  The birthing center report is that the baby dropped down one more centimeter. The midwife couldn’t feel the baby’s head because it was down so far. She said usually when you have a mucous show like Leah’s been having, it is 48-72 hrs. So we hope things happen soon. Also realized this baby will be a Gemini — so it’s your sign, Jasmine! That much we know.

This afternoon, Zakiah and I picked up some batteries for his Thomas the Train book. Now it makes ALL KINDS OF SOUNDS!! Aren’t Mommy and Daddy happy now? Ha ha.

Read a book with Zakiah, he sang two prayers, Lee won American Idol and Leah is having some light contractions as I go to bed. She has been doing this regularly, but so far they always stop.

baby blog – Tues. update

May 25, 2010

Tuesday update. I think I have the worst hair cut I’ve had in 10 years. There is nothing I can do with this hair. My hair looks ok in the shop, then I get home & wash it, and it’s humid, and it flips and curls all kinds of annoying ways, & my bangs are an inch shorter than they were in the shop.

Today’s update: No baby yet. We await his or her arrival. It will begin when it begins. Today was Leah’s last teaching day. I don’t know what it will mean if baby doesn’t come for a week or two. I guess she has that much time off to sleep and rest her body.

I went to a public library, worked on my book. Lately I get more lost every time I do it. I’ve gone through the entire dissertation at this point, cut out various parts, reworded other parts. I have a major problem showing up, which is that the stories of prison life conditions, which are gripping and interesting, are twice the length of the activities the prison reform groups are doing. I’m still working on balancing this whole thing into 8-10 chapters of decent length and similar length. At this point, I’m just disgusted. But I will persevere. Left for Panera for a little lunch & then stayed there & worked a little more. PANERA WIRELESS ROCKS!!! In case you didn’t know. Simplest WIFI in the world to use.

Today we discovered Jean has strep. My throat is slightly itchy tonight, and I’m praying I don’t get it at ALL. We all want it to go away quickly. And especially for Zakiah not to get it (or Leah of course). Jean had a fever of 102 all day & finally went to a doctor & got penicillin.

Played some ball with Zakiah, picked up Mexican for dinner, Zakiah got a bath, we read a book, Leah & I took a long walk, now all is quiet. Jean is sleeping on the couch tonight, away from everyone.

My son got a JOB today. Some good news.

baby diary

May 24, 2010

This blog began as a daily account of my first and last meeting with my brother after 20+ years. This week –tonight– I came to my daughter’s who is 9 mos. pregnant. It is now a wait for baby-time, and I am away from my husband, which is difficult, and our son who moved home w/ us for awhile, so I will post an entry each night, at least until after baby is here.

We do not know if it is boy or girl. So it will either be Kahlil, or Naylah. We shall see. We have 3 grandsons, so yes, it would be nice to have a little granddaughter! But who knows? In any case, it will be a specially LOVED new addition to our ever-growing family. Leah has had signs of things being very ready to go, including loss of mucous plug, being 3-4 cm. LAST WEEK (!), she has been cleaning her house, packed her bags, and still no active, real labor yet. It will happen soon.

Zakiah is VERY active, non-stop activity and non-stop talking. Since I got here at 5, we kicked a ball back & forth, played a game I brought which pops a plastic  ball into the air, rolled a car down the hall, colored, went out to see my car, and played a toddler Yatzee game. Being a son of an American and a Kenyan, he also speaks a lot of Spanish, as he learns this at his preschool. Well Grandma knows some Spanish, so we talk back & forth this way as well.

Zakiah is going into a new stage of understanding in many ways. He now wants to read but he can’t read, so he is constantly asking, “What does that say?” He wants to write letters. Tonight he got very frustrated with me doing a “dot to dot” because it was counting. He kept saying, “NO, sing it!” He wanted the ABC’s. In coloring, he LOVES staying in the lines now. He likes intricately-lined pictures. He is very excited that Grandma is here for a few days. In fact, Leah told him I would be here until the baby comes, and he said, “FOUR DAYS??”  So we shall see if his prediction comes true. Zakiah turns 4 in July.

Leah’s last day of teaching is tomorrow. Jean is taking a CNA class, 5 nights a week, 5 hours a night, for 5 weeks, I believe!

book update

May 23, 2010

I have the book now down to a manageable # of pages, under 300. As a dissertation it was a whopping 403.

I am so tired of this whole process & looking back, realize the strain I’ve been under for 5-6 years now, writing this thing. Researching it, going through the horror of my prelim meeting, and on and on. But I just want these stories published. Once I get that done, my life will be so lifted. I just want their dang stories published. From what I see, nobody else has written their stories. They deserve to be known.