Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One year ago today...

Jane broke her leg.

She fell off our bed, all two and a half feet, if that. I had my back turned when it happened, so all I actually knew was the thump and the scream. It was not uncommon for Jane to fall, but she was never really bothered by it. She might whine for a second, but she generally recovered quickly and moved on with very little comforting. This time was different. She just kept crying and crying. She eventually calmed down after tylenol and extensive cuddling with Mom.

She wouldn't crawl. As soon as she put any weight on her left leg, she would immediately collapse on the floor and cry again. I thought she had twisted her ankle or something and figured it would probably work itself out after a few hours. I may sound like a bad parent, but I still took her to day care and headed off to school.

Luckily, I only had two and a half hours of school that day due to parent teacher conferences the next day. That was lucky because the day care lady called me after about an hour and said she really thought something was wrong and I should probably take Jane to the doctor. Because I had less than an hour of school left at that point, the principal came to watch my class while I left so I didn't have to find a substitute with such awkward timing.

I told the doctor my theory that Jane had hurt her ankle. She was drinking a bottle while he was checking her, and she only slightly winced when he moved her foot and felt her ankle. He was explaining that it would be better to wait until it swelled up and then back down before doing x-rays, since that made it easier for any possible fractures to appear. It wasn't swollen at all.

Well, he changed his mind when he touched her shin...the bottle immediately popped out of her mouth and she SCREAMED louder than she had all morning. His comment was, "Never mind. We'll x-ray her now."

Her tibia was snapped almost completely in half.

She had the orange cast, from foot to hip, for three weeks. It was then replaced with a smaller green cast that ended just below her knee.

That was taken off on December 8, but only after my entire class had signed it, of course, and all the kids at day care.

An unfortunate side story: Jane received a second degree burn on her leg when they removed the cast. The girl who removed the cast had never done it before--can I just say that you shouldn't practice on small children!!--and went really slow in hopes of somehow making it a better experience. Two problems: 1--Jane had grown in the time that the cast was on, meaning the cast was very tight and very close to her skin. 2--By going slower, there was more time for friction to build up heat. Because the blade was going for so long and the skin was so close to the cast, Jane ended up with a four-inch blister down the side of her leg. The blade itself didn't hurt her, just the friction of cutting the cast. That was sad.

I tell this story mostly for Jane's sake, so she can go back and read it later and know what happened when she was too little to understand what was going on. But now all you know, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Four-Eyed Club

I first knew I needed glasses in second grade. At the beginning of the school year, the entire student population tromped down to the dimly lit basement for the annual vision screening. We lined up at one end of the room. On the far side was a nice mom sitting next to a line of letters being projected onto the wall. Each child was to read the line of letters to another nice mom waiting with a clipboard and pencil to record our success (or lack thereof).

It didn't take me long to figure out that I could not even begin to read the letters on the far wall. I knew where they were, thanks to the lighting. But beyond that, I could only see a slightly darker area in the middle of the lighted space.

It also didn't take me long, however, to figure out that every person in front of me was saying the same set of letters. The list never changed. So I listened carefully to my classmates...and memorized the letters. When it was my turn, I rattled them off just like everyone else. I received a nice smile from the nice mom, and headed back to class with no red mark by my name.

And that's how I cheated on the eye exam when I was seven years old.

My mom first knew I needed glasses about a year later. I was sitting at the dining room table when she asked me what time it was. The nearest clock was on the microwave in the kitchen. No way could I read that. Sigh. Mom found me out I couldn't see and took me to the eye doctor.

A boy in my class had gotten glasses maybe a month or so before this. When he first wore them to school, my teacher made a big deal about him joining the Four-Eyed Club. I decided it would be okay for me to get glasses because then I would get to be a member of the four-eyed club, too.

I went to my appointment, selected my frames, waited seemingly forever for the glasses to come, then excitedly wore them to school. And no one said anything. No question. No comment. And, tragically, no four-eyed club. So I never wore them to school again.

Until sixth grade. In March of 1997, my family moved from Logan to Marysville, WA. My mom pointed out that no one in Washington knew me yet, so I could wear my glasses and no one would think it was weird that I suddenly had glasses. I was old enough (11) to see the logic in this, so I determined that would in fact become a full-blown glasses-wearer. I had the glasses all ready to go on the bathroom counter so I wouldn't forget them on my first day of school in Washington.

I forgot them.

My homeroom teacher asked a girl in my class to show me around during the day so I would know where everything was. I don't remember much about her, but I'm sure she thought I was a little weird. Because on the second day of school, I did wear my glasses. She asked if I had been wearing them the day before. I said, "Yes, of course! I always wear my glasses."

And there you have it--I was a liar and a cheat in elementary school.

On the upside, I have faithfully worn my glasses ever since that second day in my new school. I think I actually had that same pair of glasses all the way until high school.

My current pair of glasses was purchased in 2004. My old glasses had broken--the frame snapped right in the middle above the left lens. I spent almost $400 at Standard Optical in Logan to buy a new pair. Then I drove to Salt Lake (if I didn't move my head, I could balance the lens on the broken frame so I could see to drive) because I couldn't read to do my work. My dad told me about a glasses repair shop. I paid $40 and they soldered the frame back together like they had never been broken.

Good thing I'd already spent $400.

Anyway. My $400 glasses have served me well for the last five years. During those five years, though, life has changed somewhat. Most notably in the fact that I am married and have two small children. And when you have two small children, your glasses might just end up looking how mine did a few days ago...

I took this picture with my cell phone and the lights were off...hopefully you can see either the dark one or the one with inverted colors...

I managed to gently bend them back into a mostly-wearable position. They sit kind of crooked on my face and one side rubs uncomfortably on my ear, but at least I can see.

And now to the point of my story:
I need new glasses.

My experience at Standard Optical was rather unpleasant. The entire visit was one giant sales pitch. I went in to buy glasses. That's all I wanted. The doctor spent the first half of the appointment trying to convince me to buy contacts--not interested. Once I had finally gotten that point across, he spent the rest of the appointment trying to convince me to pay for LASIK--again, not interested. Actually, that was kind of a weird suggestion from him. He wouldn't have done the LASIK, so he wouldn't have earned any money from me for that anyway. And, I can't/shouldn't get LASIK (if I ever do) until I'm done having kids--did you know that eyesight commonly changes during pregnancy?

Besides the sales pitches from the doctor himself, the assistant fitting me for frames asked if I wanted a credit card. Who goes to buy glasses and gets a credit card, too!?

I don't want to go to Standard Optical again. They do make quality glasses, but the experience was annoying enough that I would rather not go there again. And they are kind of expensive. We don't have any vision insurance, so I will have to pay the entire cost out of pocket. I'm willing to go down to Salt Lake to find a cheaper place that will sell me good glasses...and nothing else.

Any suggestions on where to buy glasses?

Brenda wins!

1. Kids these days. They just don't get scared like they used to. Monsters, Inc.

2. How am I supposed to beat him? I can't even beat you to the stairs! Kung Fu Panda

3. Hello, Bruce. Finding Nemo

4. After all, I am your biggest fan. The Incredibles

5. Somebody's got to nail that girl's fins to the floor. The Little Mermaid

6. Fire up the ovens, Muffin Man! We got a big order to fill. Shrek 2

7. This entire jungle is a house of death! Horton Hears a Who

8. Tractors is so dumb. Cars

9. You poor simple fools. Thinking you could defeat me, me! The Mistress of All Evil! Well, here's your precious princess! Sleeping Beauty

10. All this for a loaf of bread? Aladdin

Monday, October 26, 2009

just for fun

I've seen a lot of people do this already, but Megan's such a natural-born dancer, I just couldn't resist following the crowd...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009


We watch TV. That's about all we do when I'm home from school. If I wasn't working at all, I would be much more concerned about making a regular daily routine, making sure we got out of the house regularly, had learning time and play time, got together with other kids for Jane to play with...but since I only have one month (two weeks, now) at home, it just doesn't seem worth the effort of making a routine just to disrupt it and start all over when I go back to school.

So, we watch TV. And movies. Can you name the top ten movies we watch (repeatedly) from these lines?

1. Kids these days. They just don't get scared like they used to.

2. How am I supposed to beat him? I can't even beat you to the stairs!

3. Hello, Bruce.

4. After all, I am your biggest fan.

5. Somebody's got to nail that girl's fins to the floor.

6. Fire up the ovens, Muffin Man! We got a big order to fill.

7. This entire jungle is a house of death!

8. Tractors is so dumb.

9. You poor simple fools. Thinking you could defeat me, me! The Mistress of All Evil! Well, here's your precious princess!

10. All this for a loaf of bread?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Duck, anyone?

Life at our house is pretty mellow right now--newborn and all. Translation: I don't have much to post about, hence the nothing posted for the last week. But I have a few pictures on the camera...

I've been kind of bored in the last week or so (are we surprised?). Chris treated us all to a nice family walk so we could get out of the house for a bit. We also bought a new double stroller a while back (Baby Trend sit and stand, if you're curious) that we wanted to try out.

To keep the walk interesting, we took some old bread--stale with just a hint of mold, just how the ducks like it--and headed to the bridge over the river to feed the ducks. Well, duck.

There were a handful of ducks way out on the other end of the pond area, but for a long time, only the one came over.

Finally, another one joined in for more almost-moldy fun. I was glad. No one had to be lonely then.

Jane never held still long enough for me to get a nice picture of her face. They call came out blurry or faceless. Or both.

Megan was, obviously, the most entertaining thing of the entire trip...ok, not really. She slept.

At least the stroller worked well.

Again because I was tired of sitting in the house all day, we made a spur of the moment trip to Salt Lake. Chris didn't fix any cars--shocking, I know--but he did work on Deborah's computer.

He had to take pictures, and a video, just to read what the screen said. It all flashed by too quickly.

And that's the only picture I have of our adventure down south.

After church today, we all fell asleep. All four of us. All on one couch. Sigh. It might have been cute if someone were to see us all, but it certainly wasn't comfortable.

In the end, Chris won out. He got to stay asleep on the couch while us girls decided to play with the camera instead.

Jane's attempt at photography. Nice subject selection, good placement, favorable lighting...

Jane's latest trick: falling over on purpose.

Megan's latest trick: keeping her eyes open for more than twenty minutes.

And she's pretty darn cute while she does it.

P.S. There is hope in the Wampler Automotive Department! Chris removed the lock core from the driver's side door of the Mountaineer and took it to Beazer Lock and Key. They were able to fix it quickly and inexpensively. SO: I can unlock the driver's door to disengage the alarm. That is immensely preferable to going around and unlocking the passenger side door and going back around again. I can also turn the key twice to unlock the rest of the doors on the car. It makes life much simpler with trying to get two kids into the car.

...maybe there's hope yet.

P.P.S. Yay for bleach! Remember a while back when I mentioned that my shirt was massively splattered by chili? After a few washings with laundry detergent and bleach without success, Chris got smarter and soaked the shirt in bleach water for almost an entire day.

And now the shirt is whiter than it's ever been.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Life with baby Megan

We came home from the hospital on Wednesday night...only 27 hours after Megan was born. We could have stayed longer, but I really don't like staying in the hospital. I never could really fall asleep with all the weird lights and noises that can't be turned off. I even sent Megan to the nursery in hopes of five or six hours of uninterrupted sleep...seems like a good idea, right? Well, the nurses disagreed. They still woke me up every two hours to take my temperature and check my blood pressure. That was lame. So we came home.


I'd forgotten how much newborns sleep. Yes, she eats every two hours, but she promptly falls asleep as soon as she's done. And stays asleep until it's time to eat again. Open eyes are a rare treat.

I'd also forgotten how tiny newborns really are. I look at an outfit and think how small it is, then I get in on Megan and it totally drowns her. How cute.


Jane spent most of the last week in Salt Lake with my parents. For all of Thursday and most of Friday, it was just Megan and I at home during the day while Chris was at school, then just the three of us in the evening. Honestly, it felt like we'd traded Jane in for a newer model.

But Jane did come home Friday evening. She ran in the door and immediately pounced on Megan, who was lounging on the couch, minding her own business (a.k.a. sleeping).

Luckily, the attack didn't last long. Jane quickly found the new doll set that we'd bought her as a gift from Megan...not that it makes any difference to Jane who it came from.

All she's done since she's been home is play with that doll and all the fun new accessories. It definitely helps to keep her from giving Megan too much attention.


We did eventually get Jane to sit still long enough to be officially introduced to her sister. They sat for a few minutes...

...then Jane decided they both needed to lay on the pillow. That was just great until Jane decided Megan wasn't in exactly the right place and tried to move her. Megan came dangerously close to rolling off the couch--but only after she'd been smashed in the face.

We'll keep working on the siblings relations.


So, every parent passes things on to their children, whether they want to or not. Our family has a few oddities that have already appeared, giving Chris and I some special connections to our children.

Chris has a small birthmark on the elbow of his left arm. Jane has one, too. In exactly the same place.

I was born with a small hole on my upper ear. Nothing major, it just looks like I've had my ear pierced in that one spot.

Oddly enough, Megan was born with an identical hole. In exactly the same place.

Such are the legacies we choose to share with our posterity.


Jane has been just a touch jealous of the baby. Megan has spent quite a lot of time in my arms the last two days, primarily for her own protection. She's too new and too much of a novelty to leave her within Jane's reach. I'm not worried--we'll all get used to her eventually. But nonetheless, Jane has showed signs of attention deprivation. There came a point today when she decided that if Megan got to take a nap on Mom, then she should, too.

She laid down on me and promptly fell asleep. It's so hard to get her to take a nap lately that I didn't want to try to move her (Chris was gone, so I was on my own at this moment...). We stayed on the couch just like that for over an hour. Needless to say, I was a little sore when they both finally woke up.


All told, life is good.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Megan Leigh Wampler

The Birth Story

Let me be the first to say that I think we did pretty well this time. With all of the possible terrors of childbirth, we managed to come out pretty much perfect. Don't shoot me, but I might even say it was easy...

Neither Chris nor I slept much the night before--is anyone surprised? He got up at 5:30 and called the hospital. We were told that we could come in for the induction at 7:15. That gave us just the right amount of time--I could shower and finish packing a few last minute items, but there wasn't enough time to get really anxious.

You can't see it, but my shirt says "Rub for Luck".

I really liked our nurse, Justine. She was very nice and was excellent at answering any questions we had. She gave great explanations for everything. And she was ever-so-slightly sarcastic--she fit right in with our group.

Once the paperwork and questions were all done, Justine put in the IV. That was actually one of the most miserable parts of the day. I hate IVs, and it made me rather nervous to think about having it stuck in my hand all day. The first attempt resulted in a burst vein (I think that's what she said). So not only did I have to get poked again, I had a big bruise on my hand that was being pushed on all day by the IV hookup. That was miserable.

Doesn't it say something that in my story of giving birth, I complain about the IV?

We started the Pitocin just after 8:00 in the morning. Contractions started about an hour later, shortly after 9:00. They started out fairly regular, about three minutes apart and lasting one minute each.

At 10:30, I opted for the epidural. Sometimes it seems wimpy to get an epidural, but really, I'm all for taking advantage of the technologies that are available today. It was uncomfortable to get the epidural in, of course, and I was kind of surprised at the tape the anesthesiologist used. I don't really know what it all was, but he sprayed some kind of stuff all over my back and then plastered everything with silk tape. I have never had that much tape attached to my took me almost an hour this morning to peel off all the leftover stickiness.

My mom came up to be there for the labor at delivery. Once the epidural was in, we played the waiting game. We watched the first two Harry Potter movies, played a round or two of Set, and basically just chilled.

Who can complain about that?

My doctor, Dr. Strebel, came in and broke my water around 11:30, and labor picked up after that. By 3:30, we were getting ready to start pushing. Here is me getting ready...

...and here is Christopher.

I guess we all have our own preparation techniques.

Once the doctor arrived (yay! he missed Jane's birth, so I was really glad he was here this time!), we started pushing...and then we were done. I pushed through two and a half contractions--all told, about six minutes. I was actually kind of surprised at the moment when Dr. Strebel told me to stop pushing. I didn't even know that she was already here.

The Baby

Megan Leigh Wampler

October 6, 2009

4:02 pm

7 lbs 2 oz

19.5 in

Mom's nose, Dad's personality

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lists, 2nd Edition

things I love about not being pregnant:


I can bend stomach doesn't get in the way.

My nose is already significantly less congested.

I can hug Christopher from the front without losing my balance.

I can roll over in bed with no occurance of earthquakes.

I can hold my baby in my arms.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Once upon a time

The Garden

Once upon a time, we had some planter boxes. They were full of weeds.

We pulled up the weeds and planted vegetables and flowers.

The lettuce, onions, carrots, peppers and tomatoes were a welcome addition to many meals,

...and then school started. And the garden died.

We had harvested all the vegetables in the far west end of the box, but the rest, sadly, were left to their own devices, at the mercy of the elements. Including the frost.

A few things suffered on and struggled for life, but... didn't always turn out well.

We decided to put it all out of its misery. The onions found a new home in the garage,

the carrots moved into the fridge,

and now we have some planter boxes.

The End

Thank you, Craig, for taking care of the garden. Thank you, Janet, for cleaning my house. The bathroom smells lovely!

The Puzzle

Once upon a time, we started a puzzle.

A long time later, we finished that puzzle. Not a single one of the 3,000 pieces was lost, even though several were threatened with a slimy death in a toddler's mouth.

Yesterday we glued that puzzle,

so we could hang it on the wall.

Later. After it's done being re-flattened by all the heavy textbooks stacked on top of it.

The End

Thank you everyone who helped us finish this puzzle: John, Valerie, Jess, Janet, Craig, Heather, Jake, Rebecca, and anyone else I forgot.

The Soldier

Once upon a time, my uncle joined the marines. Eventually, he joined the National Guard. He served one year in Iraq,

and tomorrow he goes back again. So we spent the afternoon enjoying each other's company

and eating Grandpa's famous homemade ice cream,

even though it was a little cold outside.

The End

Thank you Darren and all the soldiers out there who fight to keep our country free.

The Baby

Once upon a time, we had a baby.

A year later, we decided to have another one.

In two days, she'll be here,

and our family will be more than this.

The End...almost!