Thursday, November 24, 2011

Six years ago today, I awoke in my room in The Daisy House, and I was sad. It was the first Thanksgiving in my 25 years that I was not waking up in the same house as my family. I called Mom. Crying. "Mom... I miss all of you."

"Oh, Kristi..." She assured me. "We will see you tomorrow night. Besides, you'll have fun with Andrew's family." Perhaps she was right, perhaps she wasn't, But that didn't really matter to me. I wasn't just sad because I missed them. I was sad because it had just hit me that things were actually shifting in my life. And I was going to have to figure out a new "normal".

That morning marked the beginning of the mad juggling of families that now encompasses the majority of our holidays. I suppose most every young family goes through this (at least if they are blessed enough, as we are, to be on good terms with both sides of the family). And it seems to get a little tougher each year... As a new sibling gets married... Or another kid comes along.

I wonder at what point people stop trying to do everything with each family and just start developing their own family traditions? I assume this must happen at some point. I mean how else would kids learn about the tradition of waking up in your own house on Christmas morn and anxiously running down to the tree to see what surprises they would find?

Then again, I still don't think I could bear not seeing our families during the holidays. Sometimes it's a week before or a week after the actual day, but we still get together and break bread and do our best to have fun. It's all part and partial of giving thanks and sharing the love I guess.

At least this morning I didn't wake up in tears. Nope, 6 years after that first weepy Thanksgiving, I woke up, kissed the baby next to me, hollered (hushedly) at the other two to quiet it down, and began a baking frenzy to get us through the next 4 days of eating. No tears this year. Just a grateful smile on my face to have so many loved ones to visit and hug and be merry with.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chew chew train?

This was my first attempt at creative cake making. It wasn't exactly as cool looking as I had hoped, but Vince seemed happy with it so I guess that's what counts, right?

I bet this means Mia's gonna want a cool cake too... I better start brainstorming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'll never let go, Jack.

Dude. It is freezing in my house. But I don't know how cold it is because my husband is convinced that the metric system is superior to the system I know, and 30 years of practice in Farenheit makes Celsius extremely foreign to me. Also, I haven't figured out how to switch our new thermostat back to a temp I can read.

So I'm in long pants, two shirts, socks, and buried under two thermal blankets... And I'm still kinda cold. And Andrew is asleep.

Despite my tendency to burn to a tomato red crisp, I would gladly take hot over this freezing business!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I might be addicted to babies

I LOVE BABIES! And I think it might be an addiction.

Yesterday, I got to go to a baby shower for a friend and see her little preggo belly and dish about how's she's feeling and what she's excited about.

And today, I got to hang with my friends who had JUST left their sonogram appointment to see if they were having a boy or girl. And they're having a girl and they were so excited... And I'm soo excited for them.

And then I had dinner with a two-week-old and her mommy. And Mary Therese is the cutest little doll baby ever. She's itsy bitsy and reminds of William when he was newborn.

And to top off the evening, I was so priviledged to go meet my new Goddaughter, only 8 hours old, Baby Bernadette Grace!!! She is so cuddly and squishy, and I kinda just wanted to never leave the hospital room.

But then again... My William is still pretty little and he would have missed his momma.

The point of this stream-of-consciousness post is only to say that i am feeling all giddy and high on these multiple baby fixes.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Treat ME... not my SYMPTOMS!

It is rare in my life that I don't trust someone or something. I tend to pretty much believe what I'm told and go along with it. But there are a few things, especially in the past year or two, that I've really started questioning, and it actually bothers me that more people don't question them.

The biggest example I can think of deals with modern medicine. Today's MDs are so quick to give us a drug to treat what ails us. It's so easy to prescribe an antidepressant, or a statin drug, or a pain killer to relieve the patient's symptoms. Not that I can blame the docs, really. Our society is all about instant gratification. No one wants to work for anything. We just want it handed to us. We need money... we use credit. We need pain relief... we take a drug. Who cares if it's not fixing the SOURCE of the problem... at least it's fixing the immediate symptom.

But I think there's something drastically wrong with this system. It's as though we are a society of ticking time bombs, ready to explode full of crazy disease at any moment. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease... you name it... it's on the increase in the U.S. And I think our medical system is failing us. Our government is failing us. WE are failing us.

Every drug we put in our bodies has some sort of side effect on another part of our bodies. So we take a drug for that... and have a side effect... so we take a drug for that... and so on and so forth. What if we stopped the cycle and just started taking better care of ourselves? What if we ate food that nourished our bodies rather than just kept us satiated? What if we considered WHY we're aching before we tossed a few more pills down our throats to kill the pain? What might a world like that look like?

I think for me, it all boils down to something pretty simple. I don't honestly think that our bodies were designed to fail on us. Should they age? Yes. Are they going to get sick sometimes? Yes. But I think we have way more control over our health than any of us think we do anymore. And I thinks we put WAY TOO MUCH trust in the medical community to KNOW exactly how to fix us, because, frankly, they too are just people... and they actually DO make mistakes. And unfortunately modern medicine in the US doesn't look at the whole picture.

I don't understand why a doctor out there doesn't combine nutrition, homeopathy, and things like acupuncture with the long list of successful treatments in Western medicine. Wouldn't it behoove all of us if they used ALL the tools in the arsenal rather than just half of them? Doesn't it make more sense to have a balance of these two worlds of thought rather than having to rely on one or the other?

Or, I suppose we could just go on trusting that everything our doctors tell us is the truth. They must know more than we do... they've had so much more school. They've done so much more research. They've seen so many people with our same symptoms. And after all, it's so much easier to just take what they prescribe than it is to research our condition, get a second opinion, or change the way we live to heal ourselves.

Bah... it's just so frustrating. And that's my rant for today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Best meal ever...

We used to play this game back in the Daisy House days about favorite foods. Basically you are given an empty plate and you can fill it with one entree, two sides, a drink and a dessert... But that's the only meal you can have for dinner every day for the rest of your life.

If calories don't matter, I choose:
Entree: Mac and Cheese pizza with chicken from CiCi's
Side dish one: Olive Garden Ceasar salad
Side dish two: Homemade Sweet potato Fries with ranch dip
Dessert: Chocolate chip cookies
Drink: Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

What would you choose??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yummy in my tummy...

I'm fairly certain that anything wrapped in a crescent roll is yummy.

I made bacon cheeseburger wraps for Vincey's bday this weekend and they were a hit.
Then I just whipped up "pizza rolls" for the kids... And boy are they delightful.

So now I'm thinking... What else could I bake up in a crescent roll?

Chocolate chips? Mmmmm...
Peanut butter? Perhaps...
Turkey, cream cheese and sprouts? Mmmmm...
Grilled veggies? Yummeriffic...

Now if only I could remove all calories and carbs from the rolls, we'd really be in business!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Earthquakes... I'm not so sure

Are you kidding me?! In the last three days, We've had TWO earthquakes close enough to where I live that I should have felt them both... And I felt nothing!! What a rip off!! When the first hit on Saturday evening, I was visiting with family quietly in my living room.... But none of us had a clue anything happened until we saw all of our friends commenting about it on Facebook. And THEN... When the second one hit about an hour ago, in was in my car driving home from a meeting so I missed out again! Ridiculousness!

On the other hand, I've been relatively sure that I've felt the ground moving on at least 5 other occasions between those two... But I don't know of I'm feeling aftershocks or I just have a wild imagination.

Also... Is anyone else a little freaked that we're feeling quakes in the Midwest?? Seems a little off kilter to me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Three years ago today...

I wrote this a day or two after Vince's birth... Three years ago. Happy birthday, little man!

Vincent Joseph - A Labor Story
It's time to write this story down before I forget all the gory details (most of which I will spare you), but if you are anti-labor story, please feel free to skip this post!

For those of you who attempted to contact me last Wednesday, I must apologize for my lack of answering the phone and general lack of interest when I did. I spent most of the day on an emotional rollercoaster of feeling sorry for myself because it seemed I would DEFINITELY be getting induced. I hadn't told a lot of people, but I was really hoping to not only go into labor naturally this time, but to actually have the kiddo without use of drugs or anything, and I was INCREDIBLY depressed knowing that I'd probably need Pitocin to get labor started. I'd always heard that Pitocin makes labor about 20 times harder, and I just knew I wouldn't be able to do it without help if I had to be induced.

As a last stitch effort, I ate spicy foods for dinner on Wednesday evening and continued with some of the other old-wives tales that are supposed to get labor started, but I had pretty much resigned myself to a Pitocin-induced labor. Much to my surprise I woke up at about 3:30a Thursday morning with contractions that were definitely a bit harder than the ones I had been feeling for a week and a half. By 4:30p I started timing them and wondering if this could actually be the real thing. I woke Andrew up 20 minutes later and we discovered that they were coming about every 6 minutes and they actually hurt! I continued to contract like that for the next 2 hours and they were still going pretty strong by the time Andrew and I had to leave to go to the hospital for our scheduled induction.

After checking in, I told the nurse and resident that I had been in labor on my own for about 3 hours and wondered if my doc would let me continue on this path without the Pitocin. They decided they'd check to see if I had made any progress and then give her a call. It turns out I had gone from 85% effaced and dilated to 2cm with baby at a -3 station on Tuesday to 85% effaced, dilated to 4cm and baby at a -1 station by 8am on Thursday. I actually WAS in labor. They gave me about 45 minutes to go walking the hospital halls and then they said they'd break my water to see if they could pick things up.

At 10am, they broke my water and my sweet nurse told me that I'd probably start feeling the contractions even more intensely. I had progressed to 5cm by then, but, unfortunately, my contractions slowed down and seemed to get less intense after they broke my water. I was pretty bummed. By 11am, I was till between 5 & 6 cm and another call to my Doc said that she wanted things to go faster so they wanted to start the dreaded Pitocin!!! I was distraught. My contractions were hurting, I was progressing (even if slowly), and I was managing my pain pretty well. They gave me a few more minutes to get up and walk around, and said they would start the Pit at noon.

My nurse told me that I had been doing great managing labor so far, and she really thought that I might be able to muscle through the Pitocin. So I still didn't ask for an epidural or pain meds... I just let them start me on the drip. About 3 minutes after they started the epidural, my contractions went from fairly intense and every 3-5 minutes to INCREDIBLY PAINFUL and every 1-2 minutes. There was no longer a break to catch my breath. And when, by the grace of God, there was a slightly longer break between contractions, the break always built up into a longer and more intense contraction than the previous one. After and hour of enduring the Pit contractions, with lots and lots of help from Andrew rubbing my back and breathing with me, I told the nurse they needed to check my progression. I decided that if I hadn't hit at least 8cm, I wanted the epidural.

I was only at 7cm. The nurse called the anesthesiologist and started fluids into me so that I would be prepped for the epidural in 10 minutes. By the time she arrived, and they had me back up in the bed, the contractions were so intense that I could barely talk through them. I could barely scoot back to the edge of the bed, and when the asked me to curl into a fetal position, there was no way I could do it because the contractions were coming so quickly. They told me I'd have to lay perfectly still for them to get the epi in, and I knew that wasn't going to happen. The anesthesiologist finally told the nurse to check me again because she wasn't sure there was time for the epidural. And that's when things went nuts.

With the next contraction, all I could think was "I HAVE TO PUSH NOW!!!" and I'm pretty sure I yelled that. The nurse somehow got me into a position that she could check my progression, and I was suddenly 100% effaced, 10cm dilated and baby was at a +1 position (ready to come out!). The nurse had to start telling to just push a little bit with the contractions if it helped but she didn't want me to push too much because they needed to get the doctors and the other nurses in the room. Tiny pushes weren't working and Vincent was on his way. At one point there was a flurry of residents and the on-call doc into the room but I don't remember that at all. After about 2 more contractions his little head was out, but I was so tired that I couldn't push as hard. Andrew later told me that little Vince was turning blue and it was at that point that the nurse forced me to make eye contact with her and she said "Kristi, I need you to push NOW." So with everything I had left in me, I pushed one last time, and out came our beautiful baby boy! The doctors didn't realize we didn't know what he was so when they said "What a big boy!!!", Andrew and I just started crying. 9 lbs 5.8 oz and 20 inches long! All I could think is "How did I do that??!!"

As much as I wanted to go drug-free, I don't think I ever believed I'd actually be able to do it. I know that it was through so many of your prayers that everything went as it did. The fact that I went into labor on my own was a miracle in and of itself, but then to progress 3 cm in a 10 minute time frame just to avoid the meds at the last minute was another miracle on top of it. Thank you so much to all of you for the well-wishes and the prayers. We are so grateful.

Now little Vince and I are home and doing great. Mia isn't so sure what this new little person in the family means, but she's so sweet when she peeks in his crib and says "Baby Brother". Andrew is the proudest Papa ever with his little son at his side. Recovery seems to be going pretty well though the preggo hormones decreasing are definitely making me feel super funky every now and then. That's pretty par-for-the-course I assume after a pregnancy that had as many weird symptoms as this one did. Vince goes in for a weight check tomorrow, but he's a great nurser and I think he'll be back up to his birth weight in no time.

I can't wait to introduce our little boy to you. He's so awesome.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Um... Help please

In the words of Sloth on Goonies... HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!

So we're only on day four of this Nablopomo business, and I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas. So I am tasking you to be my idea machines...

What should I write about?
Questions I should address?
Anecdotes that I should share?
Items I should list?

Come on people... Help a blogger out!! Remember I've been out of practice for regular blogging for 5years or so... Ive got to get back into practice I guess.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Party pooper...

Some of my friends went out karokeing for the first time in a LONG time tonight, and they wanted me to come along. And I really really really really (Did I say really?) wanted to, but, alas, I was in the midst of decorating a Choo Choo Train cake for Vince's third birthday. And it turns out that making and decorating cakes turns one's house into an explosion of frosting and baked goods.

Thus, I decided to be a responsible parent this evening and stay home to clean my kitchen instead of going to sing my heart out. Might have been a party pooper choice... but in theory, I won't wake up in the morning quite as tired or stressed out that 20 people are headed towards my house and I AM NOT READY.

But, dear friends, I WILL Karaoke again soon. It MUST be done. Maybe for FDOC?? Since I was too scarily pregnant to celebrate my 30th birthday last year, I think we're gonna have to do it up big for #31!!! YIPPEE!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rock Chalk

Tuesday night I got to introduce my family to their first Men's Basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse. Granted we had nose bleed seats and totally had to shell out money for the baby's ticket, but it was AMAZING.

Mia sang the fight song along with the band. Vince stuck Jayhawk stickers (that Grandma brought for entertainment) ALL over his clothes (I may have found one on his belly 24 hours later). And William finally mastered the art of clapping...kind of.

I think I probably hyped the game up a bit too much for Andrew, because he enjoyed it but it "didn't quite reach his expectations" (fun-hater). Then again, my memories of Jayhawk basketball mostly involve student section fourth row seating, wearing a "Roy's Girls" shirt and screaming my head off. So nose bleed with three kids in tow is bound to be a little different. What a difference 9 years can make. Monkeys on crackers! 9 years?!? I'm aged. When did THAT happen?!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nablopomo Kick Off!!

It's November. And for some reason you're supposed to blog every day this month. I already missed yesterday... But who's to say I can't start late??

I just finished watching a documentary about vaccines. You can watch it free until the end of this week here. I've always had some reservations watching my teenies get a bazillion shots... But until William's birth, I hadn't done a lot of hard research on it. And even once I started researching, there was still way too much conflicting information out there for me to be confident in any decision.

This movie brought up another issue that I hadn't thought much about though.... I'm still no closer to feeling completely comfortable with vaccinating or not vaccinating. But at least I understand the bureaucracy behind it all a little better.

I highly recommend you set aside 1.5 hours in your week to watch this before you engage in any kind of silly argument in my comments section. At least give it a chance.

Also... I plan to have a future post this month called "Herd Immunity or Herd Mentality" so I'm sure you can save your arguments for that one.