Reincarnated As A Mother

Saturday, July 31, 2010


I still don't have time to sift through photos and video and add them to this page. It's been rather hectic around here. But I want everyone to know we are okay. We live in the foothills above Boise/Eagle. On Wednesday, lightning struck a few miles to the West of us-- starting a fire. It burned much of the afternoon and was contained and burning away from us until some high winds kicked up and shifted its direction.

We had about five minutes to evacuate. Suffice it to say, Wednesday was one of the scariest days of my life. When we left, I could see flames shooting over the ridge towards our house from the West and a wall of flames North of us (just three houses up). We couldn't breathe, we couldn't see and we couldn't hear.

I left with my two friends (they'd just flown in and arrived 30 minutes earlier), the dog, the rabbit and the children. I was very brave and calm until I got behind the wheel and then I completely lost it. I felt I'd come back to nothing. Byron was moving four wheelers, trailers, vehicles etc. to the middle of our lawn when I drove away. He stayed to fight the fire and with the help of some friends who snuck around blockades and cut through fields to help-- he saved our home and helped Grandpa Bodily save his.

I'm sorry to report, my dear neighbor Nancy (who lives just above us) lost everything. As did our neighbors above her and the house across the ridge to the West of us. In all, only 4 homes burned. Even though, in the light of day, you can't believe that more did not. The fire came right up to many doorways. At our place, a 20 foot wall of flames tore through our back 11 acres and just stopped about a yard and a half from our propane tank. I have to call it what it is-- a miracle. The power company had cut all the electricity off to the foothills-- which means we had no water. We have a well that is over 300 feet deep. Byron was hosing things down when the water suddenly stopped. So, we surely saw the hand of the Lord in sparing our home.

I plan on writing in detail what happened that day-- I just have not had the time. So I'm hoping in the next few days. Meanwhile, here are two links. The first is from the local ABC station that interviewed both of us. My favorite part is where they chyron Byron as Byron Leavitt-Barker. I'm sure he's thrilled! We both look horrid. The second is from the local paper-- pictures taken by a guy who lives about a mile south of us. Some of the shots are better than others. But it will give you a decent perspective.

We are shaken, but fine. We lost about 12 acres to the fire. It burned on three of the four sides around our home. We lost an old utility trailer, much of our new fencing Byron had put in a year ago, our raspberry and blackberry bushes (the girls are crushed-- they were selling them this summer for their Disneyland fund. But they stopped crying when we reminded them we still have our home), and an apricot tree. Byron's truck reeks to high heaven-- he left his window open in the rush. As does the girls playhouse. But our home is fine. Strong, steady and oh, so comforting after the craziness.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Just look at where I caught Reesey yesterday morn-- in bed with Kean. I think she was very excited about his soon to be big day. We went to the park to meet up with some very important friends.

This is my dear, dear friend, Kelly (who drove down to meet us from the Sun Valley area). Her daughter, Emily was a micro-premie. She weighed only one pound something and spent 80 days in the NICU. Her twin sister only lived 10 days. Emily was in the room next to Kean. And Kelly has been my sounding board, my soul sister, my email psychiatrist as we've both found our way through quarantines, therapy and hospital bills. I just wish she lived next door. (Emily has a mouthful of chompers and smiles perfectly anytime a camera is near. She's adorable-- she and Kean were due only one day apart. I think we were all destined to be friends).

And if you are a long time "Girl World" reader, you'll recognize this angelic face-- my all time favorite nurse-- Liz. She was the one who kept me sane during my staycation at St. Luke's and she's also the nurse who helped bring Kean into the world. I love this woman!!! Aren't her boys dashing?
We had the best time... you know, eating, talking, talking, talking. And most of it was even adult conversation. The kids had quite the time playing in the park and splashing in the water. (And eating snow cones-- a right of summer)!

All was well and right with the world until Reese said her eye hurt. Within a half hour or so, it started oozing and swelling up. Yup, you guessed it. PINK EYE!
So much for the partying. Poor Reesey. I just pray little Emily (or the boys) don't get it!
Kelly says we need to get shirts printed up that say "It's always something!" Who wants one?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ta Dum Dum instead of Ta Da

So I promised Reese I'd make her a princess birthday cake when we got home from camping. I'm not really sure where I went wrong-- but this is truly the ugliest cake I've ever made. My frosting colors all turned out wrong-- the consistency was runny-- the spray color highlighter I used ran and caused the colors to bleed. In short, it was a mess.
But... and here's the important part-- Reese thought her cake was beeeyoootiful. So there. We even invited my cousins and their boys over to help celebrate. See Derek in the orange shirt? He is Reesey's favorite, most bestest friend in the world. (Remember when I told you last week that she faked out of church with a phantom case of the allergies? We finally got to the bottom of it all-- the why. She just said Derek wasn't there, so she didn't want to go! Oy, what is she going to be like as a teenager?!?!?).

Notice, Reese got all dressed up for the big occasion. She's in heaven with Derek by her side. I'm hot sure he knows what to think of Miss Thang.
Since it's summertime, the girl keep playing musical beds. For the most part (they have their moments), these girls love each other. I couldn't resist posting this sweet little picture of Greer.
Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Story

A month or so ago, I was contacted by a reporter for AOL who was wanting to spotlight 4 women who have had harrowing pregnancies. I agreed to let the tables be turned and be the one on the other side of the proverbial microphone. It's very strange to have someone else do the cliff notes version of your life. Here's the article if you're interested.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Birthday Camporama

Pop some popcorn, sit back and get ready. I've loaded tons of photos. We had a busy, fun filled weekend. All Reese wanted last year for her birthday was to go camping and swimming in the mountains. My little hospital stay rained on that parade... so this year, we made it happen. Kean loved the great outdoors.
And riding on the four wheeler.

We found this perfect place, right next to a creek. We were about a mile away from Silver Creek Plunge-- a hot springs. And so for Reese's birthday, we went swimming twice. Kean loved it... and showed everybody his floating talents.
We went camping with our best buddies, the Moomey's. Elly made a dutch oven birthday cake for Reesey. We ate every crumb.

And once the cake was gone... Elly moved onto whipped cream-- teaching the children this fine art of sophisticated dining.

What lovely, well mannered girls I have!
Here we are swimming again. It felt like a luke warm bath... it was heavenly after camping for a few days and feeling and looking like dirt chickens. Reese, by the way, was quite social (shocking, I know) and told nearly everyone in the pool who would listen that it was her birthday and that her name is Elizabeth Rainbow. I'm sure some of the folks there must think Byron and I are some groovy throw-back hippies for choosing that name.
Here's Holland hanging out with Tim, Mark Moomey's best friend. The boys were such good sports to have little girls shadowing them all day long.
Reese loved being the center of attention for her birthday. Holland and Greer had to help her open every envelope and gift.
"Hey... I'm rich!"
Elly had to sneak in and get in one of the pics (since Holland and Greer were nosing their way into every pic).
Oops, don't know how I got this one sideways... Sorry. But Reese was in heaven... a Barbie and a Barbie video... what more can a 4 year old want out of life?
Byron took Mark, Tim and Holland for a hike clear up a mountain. They got stuck a few times but somehow survived.
Holland's knee was the only casualty.
Byron came down the mountain with this "Moses" stick. Gotta love it. We brought it home. Can't wait to see what he does with it.
And finally, back at the ranch, Reese got her other birthday present from us-- a new set of wheels.

I told you she is 4 going on 16! Happy Birthday Reesey Magoo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Growing Machine

I'm a little late in getting these pics posted of Kean. He finished up his 10th month on July 10th. Wow. Crazy.

I posted twice today, 'cuz we have some big things planned for Reese's 4th birthday (Sunday, July 18th). And I know I'm going to be crazed until then. So when I next visit, Reese who is currently 3 going on 16 will be 4 going on 18.

An Artist in Residence

Our good friend, Nick just spent a handful of days visiting us. Poor guy, he's single and I'm not sure if he'll ever recover from "girl world". The three munchkins were on him from sun up to sun down.

Nick is an amazing artist. Some of his work not graces-- but betters our home. He did a few sketches of the girls and even an oil painting of our view while he was here. Then we sent him home to really get working. Nick carves and creates all of our pieces for our business out of wax before we turn them into metal. We are up to our ears in a new project for the business. Keep your eye on this guy. Someday he'll be famous.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kean's coif

Finally, here are some snaps of Keanut with his new do. Pretty preppy, huh?

And drum roll please.....
As of three nights ago, Kean mastered the art of holding his own bottle. He's eleven months old now. And he showed off his new trick on exactly the 11 month mark. He's certainly on his own schedule and he sure knows what he's doing. Bravo, my little man!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reese, oh Reese.

I'm sitting in Sunday School at church today, when the door opens and one of the leaders of the children's organization, walks in holding Reese. She tells me that Reese said she needed to leave and go to her mother, her allergies were bothering her.
The thing is... Reese doesn't have allergies.
What a smooth little operator!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Ahh the goings on around the Barker house. The girls took Kean up to their room while I got some work done. Welcome to the doctor's office. Reese is on the bed on the left with her legs bandaged. Then it was Kean's turn to be the patient patient. He stayed perfectly still while they fussed and bandaged the poor boy. Guess he's had lots of hospital practice.

Then on Sunday, they turned the diaper box into a customized car for Kean.
One thing we can say for sure is the boy is LOVED....
By the way, last week, I broke down and talked Aunt Dana into giving Kean his first real haircut. I couldn't stand the "comb over" dripping into his eyelashes any longer.

He now looks even more like a little boy instead of a baby. But dumb me, I didn't get any pictures of the "finished" do. So I'll get that done and post soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Life on the Farm

It sure feels like that sometimes! Between the dog, the rabbit, the owls and hawks in the trees, the fox on our back property, the occasional skunks, raccoons, badger, coyotes, deer and way too many gophers-- take a look at the uninvited guest that showed up in Zoe's water dish!

We also have quite a bit of "wildlife" inside the house. Holland has lost another one of her "fangs".
And not to be outdone, Greer is proudly holding (no it's not a tooth gone wild)-- an out of control radish.