Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Tori!

It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since "girlfriend" came into our lives! I was telling someone the other day that it seems like only yesterday that her survival was in question and the reality of bringing her home only a dream. At the same time that it seems like only yesterday, it also seems like she has always been part of our family and I can't remember a time that she wasn't here. Maybe that is because she was always "here" because she had always been in God's plan for our family so the sense of her, even without her being, was always part of us.

Girlfriend's stats at one year: 18 lb 9 oz, 27 1/2 inches tall! She is ON THE CHARTS, be it the 15th percentile, but she is on the growth chart! Way to GROW girlfriend!

There are many parts of the day that she was born that are etched permanently in my mind, parts that are still a blur, and parts that have thankfully been forgotten!

Tori's birth story (originally posted on the Ramblings of an Unschooling Family blog in September 2010):

Announcing the arrival of Victoria Zada Riesenberg

on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
at 30 weeks 4 days gestation
weighing in at 5 lb 4.5 oz
measuring 18 3/4 inches
and with a tiny peanut head 12 1/4 inches
at 5:09 PM
Apgars 8 (1 minute) and 9 (5 minutes)

On Monday, September 27th, things felt different. I had a nonstress test (NST) and an amniotic fluid check first thing that morning, but even though baby passed the tests, baby seemed to have gotten lazy overnight and wasn't moving the same way she had the days and weeks before. Monday evening I noticed a marked decrease in fetal movement and Tuesday morning movement hadn't picked up so I called my OB around 2 PM to see what they thought. They suggested that I drink something cold and sugary and lay down for an hour and see if the baby would move 6 times. My hyper baby, who usually moved 6 timed in 5 minutes couldn't manage to move even 4 times in an hour so I called the office back. They said that although they didn't think it was anything, but that I should come to the hospital and they would do an ultrasound and put the baby on the monitor just to reassure everyone. After running some tests they agreed something was off but they weren't sure exactly what it was. Since I hadn't reached the magic 32 week mark, they decided to transfer us to Good Sam Hospital, a bigger hospital that they are affiliated with because it had a better equipped special care nursery. I tried to argue with them that we would be fine staying at Bethesda North, but God's hand gently guided us to where we needed to be, He knew what we didn't, that this was a matter of life and death. As the Reds clinched their division, I was transported by ambulance to Good Sam. They monitored the baby overnight and did another u/s and some blood tests Wednesday morning. It was quickly decided that today would be BIRTHING DAY! The doctor came in and we had a long chat about my surgery since he knew it would be a more complicated delivery because of the placenta accreta, little did either of us know just how complicated things would get!

Placenta accreta is when the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine muscle and can not separate after birth. In the worse cases, the placenta grows out of the uterus and into the surrounding organs like the bladder and bowel. Because we Riesenbergs don't like to do anything simply, it makes sense that the accreta presented in the worst possible presentation.

We went back to the OR at 4 PM and because of the placenta accreta and the placenta preiva they had to do some repair work first and had to basically open the uterus on the side to avoid the placenta they didn't open the uterus until after 5 PM. I gave birth to a beautiful baby GIRL weighing in at a meager 5 lb 4.5 oz, 18 3/4 inches, 12 1/4 inch head. I got to kiss her before they whisked her off to NICU, Jay followed here leaving me in the OR alone (my choice, I felt he needed to be with the baby). It took them another 4 hours to finish my surgery, they did a hysterectomy, had to do pretty extensive bladder repair, had to separate the placenta from the bowel, and I lost a whooping almost 4 liters of blood (we later learned that 4 liters is almost your entire blood volume!). OK—side note here-- I watched the whole surgery via a mirror above the incision, I asked for it to see them pull Tori out, and used it to see the 4 hours of surgery that followed!

In the OR are 4 doctors (Dr. Holbert, Dr. Namakel, Dr. Freeman, and Dr Basil -urologist), one medical student (Peter Toth), 4 people from anesthesia (Dr. Roth, Tom Meyer CRNA, Allen Dube CRNA, and Jean Venarable CRNA), 5 RNs (Candace, Danielle, Donna, Patty and Carrie) and 3 scrub techs (Jen, LaShanda, and Bridget) not to mention the pediatric team that came in to stabilize the baby.

I come out of surgery only to find out that they had to transfer Tori to Childrens Hospital because there is something wrong with her bowel. They suspect a mass because of the “double bubble” that showed on the x-ray they did right after delivery. Because of the mass, Tori couldn't fully inflate her lungs so they had to intubate her and put her on a low level of oxygen. They went back and looked at every u/s and MRI they did during this pregnancy and until the scan they did yesterday, the was no
indication that there was anything out of the ordinary.

At 9 PM I am in recovery. I have 2 panic attacks when I try to talk to people about the baby, I literally feel like I can't breath and am dying! Once I eat a few ice chips I seem to settle down!

At 11 PM I am moved back to the same room I was in prior to surgery because they want to keep me by the OR in case I have issues overnight. I call over to Children's and talk to the nurse that is working with the baby. She confirms that she is intubated and that they suspect a lower abdomen mass or looped intestine and that they are doing an u/s as I speak to her on the phone to see if they can determine just what it is. All of the baby's blood work is normal. She transfers me to the doctor who says she will have some results in about 2 hours and she will call me with them.

So Tori has arrived with great fanfare! Our difficult birth and early arrival are just the beginning of her story......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Invention Convention: Egg Drop!

What a fun day!  We decided to host the event even though it was raining!  We met under the pavilion and everyone built their containers and then we decided to DROP them!  The only obstacle, a rather NASTY WOMAN who apparently is in charge of renting the pavilion for EVENTS who seemed to think she OWNED the space.  Didn't matter to us and we had some great humor at her expense, she is lucky none of the kids dropped their containers on her head, OK, you all know my kids are really too well mannered to do such a thing, but I know they were thinking it!
What:  Invention Convention Egg Drop
When:  Wednesday September 21, 2011 10 AM to 12 PM
Where:  Alms Park let's plan to meet at the playground just past the pavilion, there are about 3 or 4 picnic tables right next to the playground that we can use to build the containers at.
Who:  Homeschoolers of all ages.  Children 12 and under will be expected to have a parent/responsible adult on premises with them during activities, Teens 13 and up may be dropped off.
RSVP:  Laura

What will be provided:  packing peanuts, saran wrap, yarn, markers, newspaper
What each family needs to bring: 
*2 eggs per child (more if you think you child will want to repeat the experiment)
*items to build your container (small boxes, straws,popsicle sticks, bubble wrap, toilet paper, cotton, foil, other cushioning materials, etc)
*items to build parachute if desired (plastic grocery bag, garbage bag, fabric, etc)
*lunch or snacks/drinks for your family if you plan to hang out after the egg drop—we plan to stay and play.

The object of this project is to design/build a container that will stop an egg from breaking when it is dropped.  Your design must not include changing the egg in any way (no tape on the egg, no nail polish on the egg, no hollow eggs).

Here is some useful physics:  Just before the egg's package hits the ground, the egg has some speed (depending on the height from which it is dropped.)  You want the egg to change its speed to zero as slowly as possible.  That is, you don't want it to go from 20 miles per hour to zero miles per hour in 1/100 second.  You want it to slow down gradually.  (This is because it takes more force to suddenly change the speed of something than to gradually change its speed, and we want the least amount of force possible exerted on the egg.)  Maybe you know the equation   F = ma where "F" is force, "m" is mass, and "a" is acceleration.

Now, here is a second idea:  We would rather the egg not bounce back up from the padding material.  That is because if it bounces back up, changes its speed from downward, to zero, to upward.  (This is further acceleration.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Einstein Quote

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Invention Convention Science In Action Club

Invention Convention Club 2011-2012

We are excited to embark on our 2nd year of the INVENTION CONVENTION, our hands on science in action club!  I was excited to discover that many of the activities we did last year were  activities used in many national science competition, I had no idea, I just thought we were having FUN!

Below is the email I sent out about the group this year to our local homeschool group:
Please let me know if you are interested in joining us for the invention convention club this year.  The club will meet once a month from September through June to work on a hands on project that puts science into action.  It is up to each family how much prep work they wish to do before each gathering.  Prior to each meeting a list of needed supplies will be sent to each participant.  Costs will be kept to a minimum.  We will meet outdoors at local parks (most likely near Loveland) when the weather permits and right now the plan is to use the meeting space at a local church for the winter dates.
When:  Once a month from 10 AM until noon (later if the kids want to stay and play and eat lunch)
Who:  Homeschoolers of all ages.  Children 12 and under will be expected to have a parent/responsible adult on premises with them during activities, Teens 13 and up may be dropped off.
RSVP:  if you are local and interested...please leave a comment here on the blog and I will get you details about dates and location!
The activities schedule is not set in stone, but here is a list of my current ideas (I have included a link to give you an idea of what we will be doing, but we may change some of the “rules” or materials used in our projects):
September:  Egg Drop 
October: not yet determined--open for suggestions!
November:  straw towers (towers made out of drinking straws that will bear weight)
December:  Take apart day!  Bring your old small appliances and tools to take things apart and we will see what is INSIDE of everything!
January:  barges made of tin foil that hold weight
April: gliders or paper airplanes
May:  Cardboard boats!  We will make our cardboard boats for our June sailing! and
June:  Cardboard boat races at Stonelick Lake—this may be switched to the last week in May, depending on the weather and when the local schools get out for the year!
If anyone has a suggestion for October I would love to hear it!  If not, I will come up with something!
Please start saving (or collecting) the following items, as we will be using them throughout the year:
Small boxes (large enough for an egg)
Small containers (large enough for an egg)
Packing material (bubble wrap)
small electronics (broken or no longer wanted) for the take apart day
Toilet paper rolls
Pine Cleaners
Molding Clay
Tape (duct tape, masking tape, clear tape)
If you collect the items and would like me to store them for you, please just bring them to any of the meetings and I will keep them until we need them.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Education Day: Fair at New Boston

Quite by accident, while looking for something else, I stumbled onto the information about a historical reenactment that was happening not too far from us (about an hour north) and after contacting the coordinator and learning the event was FREE to families with a child in 4th or 5th grade, I asked another homeschooling family we knew if they would like to join us and we made plans for the day!  Good thing I had asked them to go or I would have probably backed out at the last minute since the temperature was approaching 100, if I had backed out, we would have missed out on one AMAZING event!

Without knowing the others plan, both Sophia and her friend dressed in period attire!  Throughout the day people kept asking them if they were part of the reenactment and they would smile and proudly say "no, we are homeschooled"....well YES, that explains it ALL doesn't it?  I know that at least 4 people took photos of they two of them together!

It is hard to say just what part of the day or exhibit was out favorite, we loved the cannon (fired every hour on the hour), visiting with the militia man (from whom I learned my interesting fact of the day, you could only be in the Ohio Militia if you had at least 2 "opposing" teeth so that you could bit open the rifle cartridge!), the medicine woman along with the ENTIRE Indian village (Grant particularly loved watching them skin a deer!), playing nine men morris, getting to practice stilt walking and driving the oxen!  We loved chatting with all the reenactors, especially the amputee with a "peg leg" who humored the kids by letting them "knock" on his leg and we were thrilled to see Gary Barker, the oxen "guy", who we have met at numerous other reenactments throughout the years!  We had such a great time that we didn't even notice the oppressive heat until after 1 PM.  The location offered plenty of shade and free lemonade and water!

We hope to be able to make the event again next year and will hope for a bit cooler weather!

Prior to the "Fair" were were sent the following BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

When you enter the Fair at New Boston, you step back in time two centuries to a trades fair, where tradesmen showed their skills and wares, people bartered or bought goods and animals, enjoyed entertainment, foods, and drinks, and socialized with their friends and neighbors.

Ohio was still a part of the NORTHWEST TERRITORY. Settlers were coming into the area, making their living by farming, hunting, blacksmithing, operating mills, and the like. SHAWNEE INDIANS had previously lived in two villages – KISPOKO and PECKUWE on the north side of the Mad River where George Rogers Clark Park is now located. Other Native American tribes had joined them and warriors used these villages as home base for their attacks on white settlements in Kentucky. This was before the settlers moved into Ohio country. Kentucky residents, fearful for their lives, called on their hero, GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, to lead an army of 1,000 men against the Shawnee villages.

On August 8, 1780, Clark’s men attacked and defeated the Indians in the BATTLE OF PECKUWE (Piqua). Among the Indian children who witnessed the battle and escaped with most of the tribe was TECUMSEH. Tecumseh grew up to become one of the greatest Indian chiefs in America. However, it wasn’t until after the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers and the 1795 Treaty of Greenville that settlers felt safe to move into this area. In 1803, Ohio had enough population to become a state.

In 1809, settlers started building the log cabin town of New Boston on the very ground where the Shawnee had once lived. New Boston soon faded into history after nearby Springfield was picked to be the seat of a new county named CLARK. The Fair at New Boston was named for an old village. Littlejohn’s Tavern was named for an actual tavern that existed in New Boston. The Hickory and Blackhorse Taverns were named for other historical taverns in the county.

This is only a brief history of the area. We hope that you have fun learning much more and that you come to enjoy history just as we, the members of the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association, do. You might want to read books or Google for information online about the Shawnee, Tecumseh, Daniel Boone, and George Rogers Clark. On the computer, OHIO HISTORY CENTRAL is an excellent source.

If the SLIDE show isn't displayed below, if you click on the box it will open it in a new window and play the pictures!

Nine Mens Morris

While we were at the "Fair at New Boston" Historical reenactment yesterday we learned a new game that the kids LOVE!  I found a printable version of the game online and they have been playing all afternoon.  We love skill and strategy games like this one and I have a feeling it is going to be a long time favorite around here!  Check it out: