Wednesday, July 23, 2014

May 30, 1949-July 8, 2014

Wandall Jim Hughes.
To his friends, he was Jim. 
To his close family he was lovingly called Chubby.
 To his 2 children, he was Dad or Pops.
 His 6 grandchildren called him Pop-Pop.
And to the love of his life he was….more than just words.

He was a proud Pop-Pop. We would joke that when we were all gathered together was when he was most relaxed. Because every single time, he would fall asleep. 

I was his right hand man. He was my best friend. He often called on me to do things around the house that he couldn't.  We loved to go fishing together. We spent many nights on the boat catching fish and talking.  I was proud to have him as a father, he was proud of me.

My wife, Adrienne was like a daughter to him. He treated her like one, often teasing her. Saying she always took the longest to order when we went out to eat. He loved when she would bring over one of her homemade pies. 

I gave him 3 grandchildren:
Jayden Wandall Hughes- Age:10
Ava Renee Hughes- Age: 6
Wyatt Owen Wandall Hughes-Age: 9 months

My sister Amber was his baby girl. She was fortunate enough to share his cheesy sense of humor and they always joked around together. He loved her cooking and was always in awe of all the things she could do. From crafting and sewing to photography. He was so proud of her.
Amber is married to Matt Shoemaker. As the years passed, Matt and Jim became close. They would often sit in a quiet room and just talk. He knew Matt was good with computers and would call on him when he needed help with anything electronic.

Amber gave him 3 grandchildren:
Matthew Wandall Shoemaker-Age: 13
David Bowen Shoemaker-Age: 6

and the latest addition to our loving family,

Emma Jo Shoemaker-Age: 6 weeks

He loved his nephew Clay Wuensche like a son. He was very proud of all of Clay’s accomplishments.  He would joke with Clay’s wife Christin that she was not allowed to come to the house unless she made his favorite spinach/artichoke dip. He also loved their son Patrick like a grandchild and treated him as such. 

After we were grown and out of the house, he and my Mom loved to travel. Together they explored:
Cabo St. Lucas, Mexico
Caymen Islands
Virginia (Jamestown)
Washington, D.C.
Las Vegas
And many more.

He was an avid golfer. He went to the golf course every single day for years. He was very good and managed to get two two holes in one while they lived in Arizona.
He loved my Mom more than anything. They were married August 28, 1971. It would have been 44 years this year.

He was a hard working entreprenuer who had many jobs: 
He was millwright at Alcoa.
He owned his own bowling center, which was his dream.
He was a real estate agent.
And he retired with Chase Bank as an Inside Salesman. 

He had amazing charisma. He would meet someone and next thing you knew, they were talking like they had been best friends for years.

He will be missed by many.

And we will never be the same without him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Emma's Story

Warning: this post is about childbirth. There is also poo talk so proceed at your own risk if you are easily grossed out.

I'm writing about this experience in detail for two reasons: 1) the obvious reason. I want to document the birth of my daughter. 2) if you are considering trying the castor oil, take heed. You quite possibly may have a similar experience. Prepare yourself for the possibility of a natural birth where an epidural is not possible. Luckily, I had already been through a natural birth with Matthew so I knew what to expect. I had wanted to try for a natural birth this time because I had an epidural with David and had some complications.
Also, it's important to research the risks of using castor oil so you go into it fully informed. Apparently it is sometimes frowned upon in the medical community. Other times it is encouraged. My nurses obviously leaned toward the frowned upon side. But I won't get into that.

I had heard of the castor oil method for years. It's intended use is to treat constipation. But it's also known to naturally induce labor by causing contractions.
My sister-in-law tried it with success with her daughter and my mother-in-law had also used it. I was wary at first, but as my induction date got closer (set for that Monday), I became more and more nervous. I just kept hearing horror story after horror story of botched inductions that ended in c-sections. So Thursday afternoon I suddenly decided I was going to try it. I even stopped and prayed to make sure this was something I should do.

I purchased the oil and orange juice went home and took my first dose at 6pm. At 8:30pm I took another dose.

I went into this fully aware that if my body wasn't ready to go into labor that it just wouldn't happen and I would just get tons of cramping and no baby. I had already had 3 false labors and because of that I felt my body just needed a little...nudge. Also, at my last appt I was dilated to 2cm and my cervix was described as "soft." Thinking back, I remember my doctor telling me that when I did go into labor, it would probably progress pretty fast due to my cervix already being soft. But even then, I wasn't expecting things to go the way they did.

So I waited....and waited. No diarrhea, just a few tummy gurgles. At about 10pm I decided to just go to bed. I was exhausted from not being able to sleep the night before due to contractions that stopped in the morning. I also figured nothing was going to happen and just accepted my fate that I would be facing an induction Monday morning.

At 11pm I had a contraction that woke me up. So I got up and headed to the bathroom. Still no bowel movements. I didn't have any more contractions so I just went back to sleep.

At 12am, the same thing. Contraction and bathroom. But nothing happened. No more contractions, so again, I went back to sleep.

At 1am I woke up to an extremely painful contraction. I got up and went to the bathroom once again. (this was pretty normal for me anyways. I went to the bathroom at least 6 times in the night. Gotta love a tiny human sitting on your bladder!) Still no bowel movement. But 2 minutes later I had another contraction. And they continued. Fast and hard. They hurt like crazy! But considering they had just started I decided to just monitor them. At about 1:30am I woke my husband up due to my moaning. He took one look at me, crouched on the floor, and said "We're going to the hospital. I don't care if they turn us down. You look like you're in labor." I didn't care at that point. I was in pain. I went to the bathroom and at this point the flood gates opened and my bowels completely emptied. I was relieved. I really didn't want to go to the hospital and have that happen.

So we told our 13 year old we were leaving and rushed out the door. I was still having steady, painful contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. Luckily the hospital was only about 10 minutes away. That was a painful car ride. I felt every single bump in the road. 

We got to the hospital at around 2am. Got up to L&D and got into bed. I was dilated to 4cm. I BEGGED for an epidural! But they wanted me to fill out a ton of paperwork (even though we pre-registered) before they called the anesthesiologist. (filling out paperwork is super fun when your having extremely painful contractions *sarcasm*) 

About 30 minutes later they checked me and I was dilated to 7cm. Literally 3 contractions later I was yelling at them that I needed to push. They told me "You're only dilated to 7! You'll swell your cervix! No pushing!" Well that's easier said than done and contraction after contraction I was yelling at them that I couldn't stop pushing, that my body was taking over. So the nurse checked me again and I saw her get this panicked look on her face. I said "I'm fully dilated, aren't I?" 
"I don't want to tell you, just don't push!" and out the door she went and returned with the doctor moments later. 

3-4 pushes later Emma was born.

June 6, 2014
7lbs. 6ozs.
19 3/4 inches long. 

She is absolutely perfect. I'm so lucky to have the amazing kids I have. Her big brothers are already quite smitten with her, as are the rest of us.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Table Talk: Getting Nowhere Fast

Many of the stories my dad has told me over the years have involved his cousin Harvey. They are only 6 months apart and were thick as thieves growing up, often getting into mischief together.

This one particular instance, they were out on a pond in a little row boat, doing some fishing. They were facing each other while they fished. Suddenly one of them looked over the edge of the boat to see a snake's head popped out of the water and staring straight at them. They screamed and both started wildly paddling.

Only problem was, they were still facing each other. One was paddling one way, the other paddling the other way. In their panic, they didn't realize they were getting absolutely nowhere. When they finally realized what they were doing my dad said he looked down and there still sat the snake, staring at them. He said "I swear that snake was laughing at us."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Table Talk: The Time My Dad Chased His Cousin With a Knife.

When my dad was in his younger years, around 6 or 7, he happened to be hanging out with his cousin Linda one day. They were walking down the sidewalk when my dad suggested she jump on his back. Unfortunately she landed too far up, causing him to fall forward and scrape his head on the concrete. First he started bleeding then he started seeing red. They argued for a while, eventually making their way back to the house. Somewhere along the fight,  dad started chasing Linda through the house. They ended up in a bedroom and dad cornered Linda by a bed. He went to kick her and she moved out of the way just in time...for my dad to kick the bed instead. Just when he thought he couldn't be any more mad! Blood was boiling at this point. "How dare she move! She made me kick the bed!! She should have just sat there and let me kick her!" He then grabbed a big butcher knife and the story ends with him chasing her down the street, knife in hand.

The good thing about this story is 1. He never caught her. 2. This story had been told to me once before by Linda herself. She had a glint in her eye and a smile on her lips.

My dad told this story again tonight. As an only child, his cousins were like his siblings. Many good times and good stories have come from being with his cousins.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

You found out WHERE!?!

Here I sit, a little over 10 weeks or (2 1/2 Months) pregnant. I've been meaning to write this down before my pregnancy brain completely wipes out the memory of how this all went down. It will happen, I just know it.

It's not a terribly long story, but here it is.

I had suspected I was pregnant for a few days previously. Some things just weren't adding up. Of course, when you're trying to get pregnant, you think you're pregnant every single month. I didn't put much thought into buying the pregnancy test cause I had done it pretty much every month previously. I had gone to the store with my parents when I purchased it. On our way back we ran into traffic and came to a complete stop. It was then that I announced that I erm...needed to use the facilities. Luckily we were right next to a restaurant and were able to pull out of traffic to get to it. As I got out, I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be funny if I found out I was pregnant HERE?!?" I had an inkling it would be positive, but I was almost certain it would be negative. So I went ahead and grabbed my test and marched right in. I made awkward eye contact with the waitresses as I went in and made a bee-line to the ladies room.

Lo and behold it was actually positive! I couldn't believe it. I was almost frozen in place. Had an out of body experience. My body went cold all over. It had finally happened again. 7 years in between Matthew and David and now there will be 6 years in between David and this little one.

I still can't believe I found out where I did. Because I found out I was pregnant at HOOTERS!!!

I just can't make this stuff up. This is my life.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Table Talk: James Garner

My Mom and Dad told us about a time (before they had kids) when my mom and him were boarding a plane. They were going past first class to get to their seats when suddenly my mom stops and starts babbling uncontrollably. She had recognized James Garner sitting in his seat, reading a book. 

Mr. Garner looked up and seemed very startled at this woman babbling at him. It's safe to say my mom was star-struck. Unfortunately she got so nervous that she completely forgot his name!

Afterwards, when they were all seated and in the air they saw people approach Mr. Garner and ask for his autograph, which he graciously signed. 

My mom never asked for his autograph because she jokes: "He probably thought I was crazy!"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Table Talk:The Giant

The past 8 months, my family and I have been living with my parents in Conroe, Texas. They were having some health issues and requested we come down to help. I have really enjoyed being around my family. Most nights we have dinner at the table and after everyone is done eating, the adults sit and talk. We tell stories and laugh. I really love it. Tonight we got to talking about movies. The story that follows was told by my mother, Tanna Hughes.

When she was a little girl, her family was driving when they came across a sign that said a movie was being filmed up ahead. So her daddy just drove on up and parked the car right outside a tent they had set up. She mentions that this was a time where people didn't make such a fuss over celebrities and movies being made. They were the only ones there, beside the crew and actors. 

The crew showed them around and let her mom sit in Liz Taylor's chair! Afterwards, the cast came over. Rock Hudson kissed her mother on the cheek and she just about fell over! She thought he was just the bees knees.

They also got to meet a very young (approx. 18-19 years old) Liz Taylor. She said she remembers her being very shy about coming to meet them.

I love hearing these stories my parents share with us.