Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Excused Absence?

I would like to acknowledge that it has been more than a month since I last posted an entry. This breaks a commitment that I had made for myself to post at least once a month after Mary defined the minimum guidelines for justifying a blog. ;-)(I love you Mary!)

In my defense, I have had criz-zazy weeks since Eric left on his mission which has left little down time for entries. I also have learned from Catherine and Mary, the simple kinds of things I could blog about just from thoughts that I have. I guess since I named my blog Plautz Family Adventures, I keep thinking I have to only write about the “goings on” of my family. You may recall, early on I had issues with the name of the blog for this very reason. Perhaps there will be a change for the new year...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Elder Plautz (the IV)

On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, my fourth son, my sixth child departed for two years to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now, you'd think that I would be an old pro at this, considering that he is the fourth Elder Plautz to serve a mission from our family. But...not so much!

I cried like a baby. Well, more like a mom.

Actually, I started crying a few days before he left. I cried when he gave his talk on Sunday (which was excellent). I cried when he came down the stairs on his way to be set apart, he, looking so grown up and ready to go. And I cried when I said good-bye at the airport. I cried again, when he was standing in the security check in line, as he turned back for one more look. He looked like a little boy in 'grown up man clothes'. I cried two more times that same day, when I was saying prayers, each time I went to ask for blessings for him.

I think I am done crying now. This is what we raised him for. I am so pleased with his choice and I can't wait to see who he becomes after the Lord has had the opportunity to work miracles on him and through him.

Today, in the mail, came this photo and slip of paper:

This slip of paper accompanied Elder Plautz’s photograph:

And this is what was written on the back of the slip of paper:

It helps to make it even more real for me, to see him standing outside of the MTC. It's the beginning of a new adventure for him. I just know that he is going to have a wonderful experience in the MTC.

To see photos from his departure at RDU Airport, click on this link to Catherine's Blog SLIDE SHOW

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Charlotte Eleanore Lewis

We are so excited to welcome a new grand-daughter to the ever growing Plautz Family. Charlotte was born at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2008. She weighed in at exactly 8 pounds and was 20 inches long.

The Story (strictly from my perspective)


I had spoken to Elizabeth on Friday and Saturday and she had told me that she had been having contractions, but they were not terribly intense or long lasting. She'd have them for a while and then they would stop. My gut feeling was that things were getting started for her.

On Sunday morning, right around 5:00 a.m. Erik called us and said that Elizabeth had been having strong contractions since about 1:00 a.m. or so and that they were about an average 8 minutes apart; and sometimes closer. He suggested that I might want to pack a bag and get on the road.

So, I climbed out of bed and got in the shower to wake myself up. I got ready and packed and out the door in 40 minutes and was on my way. I thought that I would be really sleepy, but the anticipaton kept me alert. When I called at 6:30 a.m. they had already arrived at the hospital. Elizabeth was 4 cm dialted and 80% effaced. This was really happening today. Yeah! Elizabeth was going to have her baby on her actual due date.

Waiting and Waiting

I arrived at the Labor and Delivery floor to find Elizabeth in the middle of a tough contraction. She was in great spirits. It didn't seem to take too long before the ansthesiologist came to administer her epidural. It didn't seem very long before she was between 7-8 cm dialated. I thought, "Dang, she is going to have this baby by 1:00 p.m."

Sadly, I was SO wrong.

The contrations just stalled out. They didn't stop completely, but almost. Elizabeth is a very goal oriented person. She decided that if she wasn't any further by 4:00 p.m. she would call for Pitosin to help increase and strengthen her contractions. So, she did. At first, she could really tell the difference, and then the contractions slowed down again. They added another dose. Still not a lot of difference, but the nurse indicated that there were measurable changes, just not in dilation. A few harder contractions later Elizabeth knew that the baby was on her way. She started to push with the contractions.

Then, the contractions started coming further and further a part. Because of this, it took a while to deliver the baby.

As an aside, at about 4:30 p.m. when we learned that she was fully dilated, I asked Catherine and Erik for their predications on the time of birth. Catherine was the most optimistic, suggesting the baby would arrive between 5:05 and 5:10 p.m. I said 5:15 to 5:20 p.m. We then looked at Erik and he calmly stated "6:15" Elizabeth gave him a glarring look as if to say, "Why in the world would you guess so long from now".

We looked at the clock on the wall when it said 6:15 and made mention that Erik's suggested time had passed away as well. But, the nurse jumped in and stated that they always go by the time on the computer, and it said 6:12 p.m. Two contractions later, the baby was born. The time of birth exactly 6:15 p.m. Well done Erik. Give the man a fish!

The Good Part

Elizabeth was amazing. It was such a better birthing experience for her compared to the first time, even though the total hours of labor were very similar.

It's quite amazing watching your own child go through this experience. I remember the pain and the stress; the whole ordeal. She was strong and confident. She was amazing.

"Little girl Lewis" was born. Elizabeth and Erik needed a couple days to figure out which name in their cue belonged to this beautiful baby. We learned on Monday afternoon that they had decided on Charlotte Eleanore Lewis. I know that Elizabeth had a roommate at Ricks College named Charlotte. She has loved that name for quite a while. Eleanore is the name my mother has always gone by, although it is her middle name.

Short Video of Charlotte 5 minutes old

She is just so small!

First Family Photo with Charlotte

Amelia Holds Charlotte for the first time

Grampa Plautz (Pop-pa) holds Charlotte

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Day Off in New Bern (epilogue)

I had a blast! But, my old body took a beating. I crawled around and pretended to be a puppy and a kitty cat. She loved that. Then we played in the guest room for a while. We rolled all over the big blow up bed. She was telling me about the baby's bouncy chair. And although, I never got her to say it on the video (below), she would tell me that it was "baby sister's chair". She also told me that she couldn't sit in it because she was "too big". You can hear her tell me that on the video. She's just so cute. Enjoy this video clip; it's a little longer (about 4 minutes), but she's just so sweet and cute.

I left at about 6:45 p.m. after a delicious dinner of manicotti that Elizabeth made. I didn't want to leave.

It rained like crazy as I left New Bern and all through Kinston. I was sleepy and scared because it was hard to see. I stopped for a Hardee's Chocolate Milkshake to help wake me up. YUM!

This was the absolutely BEST way I could have spent my day off today. I wish that I could do it more often and that it wasn't so far. The baby will be here soon, and I will get to be with my little darling again soon enough.

Click here for more photos in my Picasa Album of Amelia and the video of Amelia and I playing with the ball

My Day Off in New Bern

My plan was to leave at 10:00 a.m. this morning. Like any other weekday morning, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to get Alex off to school. While he was getting ready, I started baking lemon cake for a 1st anniversary cake that will be picked up this afternoon. I also had to make some mixed berry filling so that I could make mixed berry mousse for the filling of this cake. It is now a blur as to how I spent my time, because I don't remember just frittering away the time, but I finished icing and decorating the cake at around 9:00 a.m. I thought I ought to clean the kitchen, since I got it messy with my early morning baking. The bottom line, I was driving out of the driveway at 10:01 a.m. NOT BAD!!

I called Elizabeth to tell her that I was on my way. I was at the end of Town Hall Drive at Morrisville-Carpenter when I realized that I left my camera at home. I turned around and went back for it. It cost me a total of 6 minutes. I still can't figure out how it took that long. I was just not that far from home!

Then, there was a train. Or so I thought. We waited and waited. Then, a "train track cleaner" (no kidding) came riding down the rails. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r! It was now 10:13 a.m. and I was really on my way.

The first hour of the trip was a battle to keep my eyes open. I was so incredibly sleepy. I turned on NPR, as that has helped in the past. But, it was that older lady's show, Diane Rehm, who should have "induces somnolance" on her resume under the category Special Skills. So, I resorted to slapping my cheeks and singing out loud with the radio (Bohemian Rhapsody always a favorite). As a tribute to Amelia, I even sang "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree".

I made it to Goldsboro in 1 hour and 5 minutes. That is a record for me. My next goal was to get to Kinston. I figured I would become more alert if I stopped for gasoline (I saw it in Smithfield as low as $2.63/gallon, but it was on the other side of the road. I ended up paying $2.67.) Then, I stopped for something to eat, figuring that would wake me up too. I got a Big Mac. Bad idea. I maybe have one once every two years. It's just not as good as I remember. But the french fries were awesome!

I got to Elizabeth's house before the clock struck 12:30 p.m. Which wasn't bad considering my earlier delay and my two stops for gasoline and food.

Amelia and Elizabeth were playing in the back yard. So that is where my fun began. Amelia looked so grown up when I first saw her. She looked so tall. Maybe it was what she was wearing, too. She is talking so much....although, there are many nonsense syllables. But whereas she used to just say "gammie", now she has added the "r" and says "grammie". That is just so delightful!

Here is a little video of my first few minutes here.

Amelia and I also played with the big ball. But, I mistakenly took the video of that with the camera turned vertically. So, I won't publish it until I can download the free progam that allows me to rotate the avi file 90 degrees.

It is a known fact that Amelia does not work with you on still camera shots. I am not even sure she knows that she is subverting the photo attempts. I get a cute shot in the frame and then at the exact moment I "click", she turns away. be continued...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Really a Misnomer

I am really struggling with what to name my blog. It's just that I am not sure it is accurate to describe this as the "Plautz Family Adventures", since it's really me writing about what is going on with me. I am still thinking about it. I'll take suggestions.

And, I really don't want to just talk about cake. Sometimes I really get tired of all the cake. I am tired now, and am very happy that I only have one smaller cake for this weekend. In fact, I am taking an impromptu day trip to New Bern tomorrow so that I can visit Elizabeth, Amelia and Erik. What fun is it to have a lighter week, after so many busy weeks, and then not take advantage of the lighter load? So, I am just doing it. Because I can.

Daniel just completed his run in the play "Murder is in the Heir" at Panther Creek High. He played a dimwitted handy man named Rufus. He truly was the stand out performer of the small cast. And, I am not the only one who feels that way. There were several cast members who performed adequately, and then another two that gave simply dreadful performances, all because they totally over acted. Way over. OVER the top!! The best night was opening night, because Daniel's character was voted to be the killer that night.

This was an audience interactive show, where after the first act, the audience voted by ballot on who they thought was the killer. All the suspects memorized the ending, and then the one actor who was selected by ballot to be the killer finished off the show. Well, the audience was small on Thursday, and Daniel had several family members, plus friends from church there to swing the vote in his favor. He was excellent, and by being voted the killer became for all practical purposes the "STAR" of the show.

I am excited for the impending birth of our newest little grand-daughter. It is always a wonderful thing, adding a new baby to the family. I just can't wait!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meet the Fam!

Here's my family! I have a great family. I am happiest when we are all together. I am probably the only one that feels that way. We gathered all together on the weekend of the 27th of September so that we could have this family photo taken. It seems that we have had the last three family photo sessions in conjunction with the imminent departure of a son going on his mission.

The photo over the mantel in our house is the one taken on the Sunday before Christian left for California in 2002. It was taken outside the Cary Meetinghouse by Shawn Barney. In 2004, we gathered at Duke Gardens just days before Mark left for Idaho in 2004. Nina Perkins was behind the lens this time. We had added two sons-in-law to the fam, and it was time for an update.

We didn't take a new photo right before Michael left for Colorado in 2006. There were no new additions to the family at that point, although, Elizabeth and Erik were expecting the first baby girl Lewis at the time. We did have a photo taken in conjunction with my parents 50th anniversary celebration. My sisters, Jo Ann and Frances were there with their famlies.

This time it is Eric who will be leaving shortly. He leaves one month from now. He will be going to the Georgia Macon Mission. I can't believe it is really almost time for him to go.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Never too late...

I remember when people started getting cell phones. I thought, "Why in the world would I want people calling me when I am not home?" Then, after the seventh or eighth time that I was stuck waiting for a train, or in bad traffic and wished I could let someone know that I would be late, I finally realized that there was a place for cellular in my life.

And so, now I am thinking that there just might be a place in my life for a blog. We'll see how dedicated I am. Will I really find the time to post new details of my crazy life? Only time will tell. But, I am willing to give it a try.

So, welcome to my little piece of the Blogspot world.