Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rain, sleet, hail, ice, and snow

I looked at the forecast on Friday, and found that we were in for quite a storm. On Saturday it started to rain, and then the temperature began to drop. Soon, the entire landscape was covered by a quarter inch of ice. This morning when we got up we were met with a lovely wintry wonderland. I'm not sure the men responsible for removing all the snow were as excited as we were, and indeed my zeal was dampened quite a bit after digging us out from under the wet and sloppy blanket covering our van, sidewalk, deck, and driveway. Nonetheless, this did not keep Emily and I from thoroughly enjoying tramping around, taking pictures, walking the dogs, and freezing our fingers. Heather has a bit of a cold, so she couldn't join us, but Elise didn't seem to mind the company :^).

Here's a view down one of the streets with the beautiful snow laden branches forming a sort of archway.

Nothing like iced fruit... har har

I thought this was interesting, a tennis court chain link fence was turned into a privacy screen overnight.

There were a lot of downed branches

These icicles made a neat fringe all around our deck railing

These are our wind chimes, covered in ice

These buds had just begun to form, it will be interesting if this little coat of ice will be enough to protect them. I've heard of fruit farmers purposely spraying water on their plants when frost is predicted for this purpose.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Sisters getting to know each other Emily loves to hold Elise and give her kisses The proud papa Elise all cozy in her blanket from Grandma Nila

Announcing... Elise Ruth Stegman

Ah yes, at long last, the information you've all been vying for... Elise Ruth was born at 1:35AM on Wednesday, the 14th of February, 2007 weighing 9.8lbs, and measuring 20.5 inches long. The labor was a difficult one, lasting about 35 hours due to Elise being occiput posterior in presentation (as was Emily). Thankfully in answer to prayer, Elise rotated to occiput anterior about a half hour prior to birth which hastened progress and greatly decreased Heather's pain level. We were surprised to find that Elise was coming posterior, since she had been anterior for the entire pregnancy. Just prior to labor beginning I had ausculted Elise's heart and was surprised to find that I could no longer hear the sounds in the location I had been able to for the last trimester. I could however detect the heart tones lower in the abdomen, but they seemed very far away compared to our experience. At the time I attributed this to the baby dropping further and her head engaging more firmly in the pelvic canal, but in retrospect I and the midwife realized that Elise had surreptitiously rotated just prior to labor beginning. We had a brief scare at the point of birth since Elise was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But thanks to fervent prayers and a wonderfully skillful midwife we were able to slip the cord from around Elise's head, it had however been constricted long enough to make her quite blue about the gills. We had about a 20 second period (seemed like an eternity) where Elise was having difficulty establishing a normal respiratory pattern, but we are so thankful to our Heavenly Father overseeing everything with such infinite care- Elise was fine after we suctioned the mucus from her air ways and continues to breath well. I don't know that I ever had realized what a beautiful color pink is- lol. We are adjusting slowly to life with two children, I think the transition has been more difficult for Emily than for Heather and I. Emily really isn't the type to want to be held and carried all the time, but I think just realizing that the option is no longer readily available has had quite an impact. Things were going quite well, but about two days ago we noticed Elise's left eye was "glued" shut in the morning- I realized after further examination that we had a good old fashioned case of pinkeye on our hands- before long Emily also had the symptoms- and soon we had the report from our concerned family that one of theirs had come down with a case soon after visiting us. So we are working through a milieu of eye drops, warm compresses, tearful mornings, and grumpy little girls (and yes parents too)... pray for us (weak smile). Don't worry, it's not quite as bad as that sounds. I know all of you are waiting anxiously for pictures so I won't blather further. Ben