Friday, March 21, 2008

...And the Rains Came...

You'd have to be living under a rock to have missed the coverage of the Great Flood of '08. Here in Fenton, just south & west of St. Louis, the water is getting deep. The Meramec River is swelling out of its banks right now, and is expected to reach record levels. This happens every now & then; we also had "Great Floods" in 1982 and 1993. I'm just not sure our community was quite prepared for how quickly and intensely this one would come on. In some places, they are tracking the water levels in terms of how many feet it is rising per hour.

Since Tyson & I were both off today (for Good Friday), we took a short drive around town and took some photos of the water.

We first went to the intersection of highway 141 and Interstate 44. I usually drive through here (under the overpass) to get to and from work each day. Here's what it looks like today.
As I said, the water is continuing to rise at an alarming rate, and the area where all these people were standing will likely be submerged by this evening. In fact, if you can make out the Taco Bell on the far right side of the photo, they are already closed because their building (and the Steak & Shake next door) will both be under water before the river crests tomorrow night.

Yep, I usually drive under here to go to work. See how traffic is backed up on I-44? That's because MoDOT has closed all but one lane of the highway while they try frantically to put up plastic/concrete/sandbag barriers to keep the interstate from going under in this spot.

The river hasn't flooded this particular intersection by spilling out of its banks. It's sneaky here. The river water is literally spewing out of the ground via the storm drains that usually carry rainwater away from the highway.

After inspecting 141 & 44, Ty & I went to what's known as "Old Fenton." This is just down the road from our house... and he was shocked to see that we couldn't get to the park where he usually plays. (The park is, by the way, completely submerged at this point.)

Tyson was fascinated by all of this water. We talked about how dangerous this type of flooding can be, and he really seemed to take to heart the fact that, while it's a bit exciting and awe-inspiring, the flood is also very sad & disappointing. He understands that those buildings are where people live, that they had to leave their homes, and when they return... well, things will be a ruined mess.
As we were walking back to our car, though, we got to see something that was truly amazing:
These are just a few of the volunteers who have come to our town to try & save some of the homes & businesses that are in danger. The Fenton Mayor went on the news last night and asked people from the community to come and help sandbag the most threatened parts of the town.

They expected 50 or so people... and got nearly 400.

People have come from miles & miles away to help our community. Tyson was really impressed by all these people "coming to the rescue." We wanted to help out, but Tyson is still too small, and I am, at the moment, a bit too pregnant. It was really touching to see the community coming together to try & help these people who are in danger of losing their homes and businesses.

It was truly a bright spot in an otherwise dark situation.
Well, we are going to spend the rest of our Good Friday decorating Easter Eggs & finishing up the packing & cleaning that has to be done before Sunday night. Of course, I'm sure I'll find at least a little time in there for some knitting. I've recently stalled on Elefante, but have been working like crazy on Sweet Pea's blanket. It won't be done before he arrives, but it should be close...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Think of Me... midnight on Easter Sunday.

That is when I will be checking into the hospital to have the baby!!!

I'm still so disappointed that we have to be induced. I really hoped to go into labor on my own, but let's face it: it's not going to happen before Sunday. My doctor really doesn't want us to wait until the 29th (our actual due date) because the baby seems to be so big. We're guesstimating a weight of 9.5-10 pounds. As disappointed as I am about being induced, I'd be panicked/freaked out/reduced to a sobbing, hyperventilating mess if we waited until the 29th & I ended up with a C-section because the baby had grown to over 10 pounds.

I've heard that un-induced labor is a bit easier than medically induced labor. Also, I really, really, really wanted to be able to surprise Matt with a phone call in the middle of the day or an elbow to the ribs in the middle of the night to tell him that I'm in labor. I'm so sad that I'm going to miss out on that excitement.

On the other hand, at least we know we won't miss the Easter festivities (especially for Tyson)... we'll do church and the Easter Bunny stuff in the morning, have a great big lunch with my great big family around 1:00, have Easter dinner with Matt's family around 5:00, and check into the hospital at midnight. My Dr. is convinced that the baby will be born around lunch or dinner on Monday. Of course, he's not had to get me through labor & delivery before. It took us 41 very long hours to get Tyson here. I know second babies tend to go faster, but even with that, we could still be looking at 20 or so hours. Then again, maybe this little guy will be in a hurry & we'll be done in under 12 hours.

Ugh... the unpredictability of this stuff makes my head swim. I need to go knit a bit before I get back to work. I'm not sure if I'll post again before Sunday, since we'll be busy finishing up all the last minute details to prepare for the baby's arrival... but I will definitely be posting some photos next week. Until then, Happy Knitting!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Baby Day

Well, we have scheduled an induction for March 24, the day after Easter. (Sorry, Katie... Sweet Pea won't be sharing your birthday or Morgan's...) I'm still hoping to go into labor on my own, but my doctor does not seem very optimistic about it. It's difficult for me to have a situation like this since I am SUCH a control freak. If I could get labor started by the sheer force of my will, then this baby would be here already. Apparently, though, simply willing one's cervix to dilate and thin is not an effective strategy.

Oh well... I guess I have to accept that the only thing I can do (aside from staying active and praying) is to sit back and relax and remember that it's all in God's hands. It'll happen when & how He wants it to, and there's nothing I can do to change that.

So, here's a little fun for a Wednesday evening. I don't usually do these, but Becca tagged me for a meme.

Ten Things You'll NEVER Hear Me Say:
  1. I could totally stay pregnant for a few more months!!!
  2. I love hip hop music; turn it up!
  3. Chocolate? Blech!
  4. Pepsi? Well, I'd rather have a Coke.
  5. I'm tired of knitting.
  6. My husband has amazing fashion sense.
  7. Ooo, I can't wait to write that report!
  8. May I please have some more vegetables???
  9. I don't need to buy any more yarn. I have plenty in my stash.
  10. Change? I love change!!!

And there you have it. I'm going to tag Matt (my hubby) & Katie (my sister) for this one.

In knitting news, I've been working feverishly on Elefante to try & get it finished for Ty before the baby arrives. I set it aside to work on Sweet Pea's blanket a bit today, though, since we still have 12 more days till the induction. I've finished Elefante's legs and body (which have all been stuffed & assembled) and am about half way finished with the head. It's a little creepy; there's a headless elephant sitting on my coffee table at the moment. His legs went on fairly easily, though now that they're all attached, they're a little wonky looking. Thankfully Tyson isn't very picky about this kind of thing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Okay, I've had a few requests for some belly-photos. I looked through our recent photos & was surprised to find that we've only taken one belly photo the entire pregnancy, and it was months & months ago!

SO, okay, here you go. This is me:
Not too bad, right? I mean, you can tell there's a bump, but I look much, much better this time than I did last time (if you didn't see me back then , think Stay-Puff'd Marhmallow Girl). I;m really proud to say that last week, two complete strangers told me that I don't look pregnant from behind at all.

And then... I turn to the side:

Thar She BLows!!!! The bump is huge. In fact, I think it's now too big to be called a "bump," or even a "bulge." It seriously looks like I have stuffed a watermelon up under my shirt. I mean, this thing has reached cartoon proportions.

I bought some new shoes yesterday. I bought them because they are so cute & they are perfect for showing off my growing collection of hand knit socks. The bonus to these new shoes? They are "slip-on's." There are no ties to be tied and no buckles to be buckled. This is awesome right now, since my feet seem to be getting farther and farther away from the rest of my body; I can hardly reach them anymore! It might be a while till I get a photo of the shoes posted, since I can also not easily see my feet anymore.

That's about it for now. Progress has been made on Elefante - I hope to finish the body tonight or tomorrow. And I had some time to work on Sweet Pea's blanket this morning while Tyson was in his kindergarten screeing. I needed some mindless garter stitch knitting so I could keep an eye on how things were going in there. (He did great, by the way!) So, all my projects are coming along. I'm planning to take Sweet Pea's Blanket and a pair of baby socks (still to be cast on) to the hospital with me (if I ever go into labor) so that I have something to knit that is mindless and very rhythmic, and so I have something that takes a little more concentration to maybe get my mind off things for a bit. THat is, if I ever actually go into labor. I know we're at the point where we can say, "Any day now," but my doctor seemed doubtful after the exam the other day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Holy Arctic Circle, Batman!

In St. Louis we have a saying:
"If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."

This has certainly been the case lately. Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous days. We had a high of 75 (that's seventy-five, people... in early March!) on Sunday, the sun was shining, there was a bit of a breeze... it felt like spring. Everybody in St. Louis was wearing shorts and cooking steaks on the grill!

And then Monday came. Temperatures fell like a rock, and by mid afternoon, it looked like this:

Okay, that would be sleet. Big pieces of sting-when-they-hit-you-while-you-are-waddling-as-fast-as-you-can-across-the-grocery-store-parking-lot-sleet.

This morning, we awoke to this: That would be snow. Lots of fluffy powder, blowing around like crazy. It started around 7am. We now have this:
That would be 8-10 inches of soft, fluffy powder... and it's about 3pm. Although it's supposed to stop sometime in the next hour, it's still coming down like crazy. We even had thundersnow this morning!!!

The other thing we here at Chez KeowdieKnits had this morning was a doctor's appointment. I got the very fun cervical exam wherein we discovered that, although Sweet Pea is still high, I am currently about 1.5 cm dilated. This gives me hope, since we are at 36 weeks, and with Tyson I was still closed and locked up tight at 38 weeks. So, some progress is being made... but not so much progress that I am panicking (too much) about getting everything ready.

I grabbed the camera as we ventured out of the house, into the arctic wonderland that is St. Louis. Here are some of the highlights:

Um... I'm pretty sure there's a road there that keeps going... you just can't see it for all the snow. Look up on the overpass... see those vans & trucks? Those are all the news vans lined up, getting video of the major highway we are driving on. They are undoubtedly hoping to get some poor schmuck on video spinning out of control. (I think that's what they call the "money shot.")
Oops! Here would be that poor schmuck who spun out on the highway. This is actually a different highway, but he is in the grassy median.. facing the wrong way. Poor guy.
Lanes? What lanes? We don't need no stinking lanes!!! This is highway 270... for those who do not live here, this is the major artery for the St. Louis Metro area. Seriously... this highway runs through the entire county, and around the entire city. It is actually possible to go north, south, east, and west on this one road. I promise... there is a road there.... under all the snow. There are four lanes gong in each direction... when you can find the lines to be in a lane. We couldn't actually find them (and apparently neither could anyone else) so Matt just did the best he could to stay in in line behind the guy in front of us.
So, what does a family do on a very snowy day?

Well, after I did some actual work, I did a little of this:

(That's Elefante's tummy in progress...)

Tyson did a little of this:
And Matt did quite a bit of this:
Isn't he such a dedicated worker? Dialing in & spending the entire afternoon working from home...

Enos frolicked for a bit in the snow...
And Roscoe tried for a long time to find the milk bone that he lost in the snow on the deck (while trying to shake the offensive snow from his treat). He's been out twice since this photo was taken, and he still hasn't found it. (Part beagle, my ass...)
That's about it for now. Just snow, snow and more snow. I'm sure we'll have to go back to work and school tomorrow, but for now we're just going to enjoy the day off.

Sunday, March 2, 2008