So things haven't gone exactly as planned...

I know my last post I announced I was pregnant, that was quite a while ago! My pregnancy went rather well, or so I thought. I ended up delivering Owen William Duggan on the 17th of December, at 8:54pm. That's almost 40 days early. He arrived at 2lbs 12oz, and screaming thank god. Right now he is staying in the NICU until he is big enough to come home.

It all started on the 14th. We rushed around in the morning, I had both a dentist appointment and my bi-monthly OB appointment to go to. The dentist was 15 minutes late, and I sat outside freezing waiting for her. The appointment ran over, and I was busy trying to track down my mother in-law so that I could drop Austine and Ethan off to buy presents at the mall. Well, she wouldn't answer her phone - so we all had to go to my OB appointment. Everything is proceeding as normal besides the fact that I was 15 minutes late. They weighed me and took my blood pressure, nothing unusual. Until the doctor came in asking about headaches and swelling (plus a 5 lb weight gain!). The nurse didn't mention to me that my blood pressure was 160/90! My OB told me I needed to go to the hospital for observation, queue freaking out. I had SO MUCH stuff to do. Now, it really seems like I was stressing over really inconsequential stuff, but then I was so sure my blood pressure was high because of my very stressful morning. So we go to the hospital, Ethan in tow because I was so sure that they will release me after they take a few more pressures. Not the case, my blood pressure is seriously high 160-170/90-100 in most cases. They do a 24 hour urine collection, draw my blood, and put me on Labetalol. Austine goes home with Ethan at 9pm, I get to stay overnight by myself. I also get to see my blood pressure jump to 180/110 and see my nurse freak out and put an IV in to lower it - that was fun.

Just an aside - trying to sleep on the L&D floor is next to impossible. I had to ask for some Benadryl to even get a few hours of shut eye. Anyhow, the doctor comes in at 11am the next morning and lets me know that I can go home - on complete bedrest. Obviously this is not ideal with Christmas coming up, but at this point I am just thrilled to be going home - off monitors and blood pressure cuffs. So Austine takes me home, and I try to relax. My in-laws come over on Sunday and try to get things ready for the baby *if* anything were to happen. Just take my advice - do not wait on this shit! Haha, we are/were so unprepared because after all, we technically still had a month and a few weeks to go! They get a lot done, I'm feeling good about the bedrest until that night. I noticed my heart seems to be beating really hard and my breathing is a little labored and shortened. I call the on call OB and she tells me to come in. OH FUN, here we go again.

Well, the heartbeat and shortness of breath was anxiety, induced by my blood pressure meds. But, my urine proteins were super high so they decide to do another 24 hour collection/observation. My bloodwork came back fine, thank goodness. Austine's mom comes to the hospital and collects Ethan, they stay overnight at our house until we know more. Austine stayed overnight with me this time, which made it so much more tolerable. I was still hooked up to monitors everywhere, the most annoying part being that Owen would NOT stay in one place. It eventually got to the point where we would try and find the baby's heartbeat instead of calling a nurse to do it (even to the point of applying more gel) - the alarm was the most annoying sound on earth!

So the morning rolls around and my proteins are not looking good. Neither is my face (swollen) or legs (much more swollen). I was getting pitting edema (where my skin wouldn't bounce back after being pressed in). It was beginning to be evident that I couldn't stay pregnant much longer. My blood pressure was still high, but not super dangerously so. The doctor came in at 7am and basically said he felt that we needed to deliver that day, and we agreed. I originally wanted to just do a c-section. I really honestly just wanted the whole thing to be over. My OB disagreed and thought I should try for a induction because it would be much easier on me and the baby - so I agreed to that.

They induced with cytotec, I was pretty happy to not be hooked up to pitocin. It did induce contractions, but unfortunately my blood pressure was rising with each contraction. My body couldn't handle the stress. I decided to get an epidural in hopes that my blood pressure would lower along with the pain. The anesthesiologist failed the first time to get it in, but succeeded the second time on a vertebrae lower. It was heaven, but it didn't work to lower my blood pressure. I was consistently reading 180/100. They had no choice but to give me Magnesium Sulfate (which works to lower blood pressure, but ALSO slows down contractions). They gave me the "loading" dose, which was super high concentration and made me puke like 4 times. I started seeing double and felt like I was in a time warp. The doctor came in and broke my water, but there was meuconium in it. He felt that since the baby was stressed, we should do a c-section. I think it was almost 6 or 7pm by then. I totally agreed because the Magnesium was wiping me out - I had no energy, even if I had dilated I don't think I could have pushed at all.

So they prepped me for a C-Section, I remember feeling so nervous. By the time I got in the OR, I was so sick on the magnesium everything turned into a blur. I remember them telling me it was ok to sleep, since I was so obviously fighting staying awake. I was really scared to sleep though because I was worried I would never wake up. I have no idea what my BP was at at this point but I've been told it was still pretty high. So they started the operation and Austine was there holding my hand thank God. After a ton of pushing and tugging (which I later learned causes more pain than the incision itself), I hear Owen. Thank goodness I got the steroid shots as soon as we knew something was wrong. He came out screaming, but was only 2lb 12oz! I didn't even get to hear his other stats, I was so out of it. A normal 34 week old baby should have been somewhere around 4 lbs, so Owen was being growth restricted while in-utero. They showed him to me, I had to crane my neck to see him, but he looked red and very alive so I was relieved. Austine left at this point to follow Owen to the NICU, and they started sewing me back up. After it was all done, they wheeled me out to recovery. The shakes were the worst, I kept trying to go to sleep so they would stop. There were other mom's in recovery too that I could hear, and they all had their babies. It seemed so unfair.

So after I spent an hour in recovery they wheeled me to L&D, so they could keep a close eye on me. Apparently it was L&D or the ICU, so I was glad to be somewhere where I could have visitors at least. They hooked me up to ANOTHER bag of Magnesium. Gosh how I hate the stuff. Austine spent the night but I was so out of it - I felt like I was in a time warp. He left in the morning to go check up on Ethan. While he was gone it felt like everything was going fast and super slow at the same time. My OB came in and said I wasn't to get out of bed, and to only eat clear liquid. Of course, I had a nurse that tried to get me to stand up (haha, I damn near puked on her), and I didn't eat at all because the cafeteria had no clue I was there or something. I think I got to eat dinner...I can't quite remember. FINALLY, at 8pm I was taken off the magnesium and moved to a postpartum room. I felt instantly better, but holy cow did my stomach hurt. I didn't get out of bed for another day!

It was finally Wednesday before I got to see Owen, Austine had to help me to a wheel chair and I managed to stand to wash my hands for the required 3 minutes. He was soooo tiny and small, the pictures Austine had shown me didn't really convey his stature at all! But, he was breathing on his own, eating well (he had an IV in but he was nippling), and doing great. What a relief to have him out in an environment where he could thrive instead of being starved for nutrients. There must have been something wrong with the placenta - problems like that are both related to pre-eclampsia AND intrauterine growth restriction.

I went home Thursday, and we are still waiting on the little dude to come home. He is almost 3 lbs now, and needs to be a little more than 4 to come home. He is also off his IV and feeding wonderfully. It's such a nice thing to be able to hold him (even if I feel like he will break) to feed him. I'm feeling a lot better now, I'm able to get around and even drive to see Owen at the hospital. It is nice in a sense to have some time to recover, but of course I would rather have him home with us than extra time to ourselves. He will hopefully be coming home in a few more weeks! The only thing I'm not looking forward to is paying our deductible twice - ugh! I almost wish I had gotten pregnant a month later to avoid the financial complications. But, compared to losing Owen, or having a seizure or dying - it is worth the money. I'm trying not to worry about it too much.

So that's it, my extra crazy and super long birth story!


I've been working on a special update:

So yes, it's been a while since I've written. I have some great news to share that will be making my blog a little more interesting!

Yup! I'm pregnant! I'm totally excited, and due on January 27th. I'm 12 weeks right now, so barely into the 2nd trimester. I've had horrible morning sickness, way worse than I had with Ethan. I know it's silly of me but I'm hoping it means it's a girl!

I was originally going to get a "Big Brother" shirt for Ethan to announce on Facebook and my blog, but Babies R Us is pretty far away, with traffic. I didn't have enough time and I was super tired. My husband decided to Photoshop the words (which I stole from this blog) onto a shirt we already had, and he did an awesome job! Everyone loves it. I have to say his expression is totally priceless!

Anyhow...I'm looking forward to the updates to come. Especially the one where I get to share my new squish with all of you! Thanks for reading :-P


Addicted to Facebook

So I'm trying to limit Facebook duing Lent because I am a little bit addicted to it. I don't really think I realized HOW addicted I was until today.

So I've allowed myself to check it and play the game I love morning and night. However, I've found that as soon as I'm the slightest bit bored ieither tab onto it or if I'm on my phone I click on it - without even realizing! Holy smokes! They should have a program for this thing.

Wish me luck.


It's that time again!

Lent is around the corner (it's tomorrow, so really). For me, this means a lot of introspection and a LOT of sacrifices. Last year I gave up TV and it was really hard for me, so I've decided to take it a step further. I am giving up TV again, I am also giving up desserts and candy, along with limiting my FB time.

I think Lent is the perfect season to think about what really needs to change in your life - to make God the center of it. I know there is a lot of "noise" in this world today, things that distract us from religion and God. It is very hard to fight against the media and everything else, but I think once I cut it out I will have a larger sense of satisfaction than I do when I browse facebook for 2 hours.

A great article about Lent is here. You should read the article, but I'll post some of the ideas of things to sacrifice here:

Ideas for Adults


Skip lunch one day a week.

Skip meat an extra day — or two — a week.

Give up alcoholic beverages — except in social situations where you would stand out otherwise; then have just one.

Give up soda — even diet soda.

Give up all desserts.

Don’t buy anything except groceries and absolute necessities.

Fast from listening to talk radio or music in the car.


Begin — or begin again — the daily Rosary.

Meditate for 10 minutes a day — Magnificat offers a wonderful daily meditation.

Attend Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy devotions or Eucharistic adoration.

Start a nightly habit of spiritual reading. For example, one of these new books: Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, as well as Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith.

Read the Compendium of the Catechism (just four pages a day will allow you to finish it in Lent).


Volunteer to deliver food to the poor.

Join the social-concerns committee at your parish.

Make a significant donation to a deserving charity with each Lenten paycheck.

Forgive someone, and tell him or her you want to patch things up.

Say a kind word to everyone you meet.

Pay one significant compliment — or more! — to each of your children every day.

Offer to watch the children of a new mother one day a week throughout Lent.

Visit an elderly friend or relative.

For Children and Teens

For younger folks, don’t be afraid of the adult ideas. But if none will work for you, try these:

Look for and address a need in your house every day.

Start asking, “Is there anything else I can do?” after you do what your parents ask.

Turn off your phone except for specific times at home.

Give up video games. Yes — entirely — throughout Lent (except Sundays!).

Send a note to each grandparent, aunt, uncle and godparent during Lent.

Make a new friend outside your “crowd.”

Be a friend to a shy person.

Give up that bad place, person or thing.

Choose a favorite toy, book or piece of clothing and put it away until Easter.

It's time to focus on what matters! Good luck to all of you :D


Meal Planning Monday 2/20

Yum! I am making a few new recipes this week:

Monday: Easy Peasy Spaghetti and Salad
Tuesday: Crockpot Refried Beans (without the refry), and Chicken and Rice (we're making burritos!)
Wednesday: We are eating out with Austine's co-workers, I finally get to put some faces to names! It's also a no-meat day for us, so we get to see what the no-meat menu is like at Lazy Dog Cafe.
Thursday: Crockpot Beef Pot Roast
Friday: Skinny Macaroni and Spinach- I didn't make this last week so I just carried it over.
Saturday: Whole Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Mixed Veggies
Sunday: Either Chicken Soup, or some other variety of chicken something.


Crockpot/Skillet Chicken Enchiladas

These are really awesome, but totally the lazy white person way of doing this! I took the recipe off a can of enchilada sauce, and tweaked it a bit for my own purposes.

What you will need:

1 can enchilada sauce
2 or 3 chicken breasts
12-16 corn tortillas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

I used my crockpot for this, and it turned out great. First, I put the breasts in my crockpot and poured the enchilada sauce over it. I added tomato sauce too to reduce the amount of seasoning because my husband has a sensitive stomach.

Let it cook on high 5 hours, or low 8 hours. Once it's done, shred the chicken in the sauce (I just press the chicken breasts against the side and they shred so easily!). Tear up the corn tortillas into bite size pieces. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet (you can reduce it a little if you wish), add the tortilla pieces and coat with oil.

 Cook until they are floppy. Add to crockpot and mix in, sprinkle a layer of cheese on top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes (so cheese is melted). Enjoy!


Valentine's Day

So, I'm not really into it, which surprises a lot of people. Austine and I don't really exchange gifts. It really makes it easier in the long run- there's no frantic searching (cus really, isn't Christmas bad enough?!), no expectations, and no money spent (my favorite part). This year I did make a decent meal though. I figure if we were going to celebrate something, we would celebrate our relationship and spend some decent time together. I think I may have succumbed to going out, except I never want to pay for a babysitter. This probably explains why Austine and I haven't been out by ourselves in like 10 months. I digress, I made a really wonderful meal.
It was pretty darn simple, but pretty darn good too! We had New York Strip, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Salad, along with some wine. I marinated the strips in Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and wine overnight. Then I added our all time favorite Porterhouse seasoning on it before I broiled it (I overcooked it a little, it was medium well instead of medium rare). The garlic mashed potatoes were super easy too! I just crushed a clove into cooked potatoes, added whole milk and sour cream and mashed. They turned out great! I'm really glad I put some time into a meal for this. Rarely do we sit down at the table and eat...and I think we should make it more of a tradition. Especially once Ethan gets older, I feel it's very important for us to share our meals as a family, like I did when I was growing up.


What's for dinner? 2/13

Monday: Chicken Soup with Dumplings
Tuesday: New York Strip, Salad, Potatoes (Lava cake as dessert)
Wednesday: Chicken Enchilada Skillet
Thursday: Beef Stir Fry
Friday: Macaroni & Cheese with Spinach
Saturday: Crockpot Chicken Thighs
Sunday: Chef Salad
I'm actually planning on doing a walkthrough on the dumplings, and skillet (which is super good and super easy!). Stay tuned!


Are you a "one upper"?

So before I became a mother, I rarely ran into this type of person. You know, the person who always has it worse than you. I think it is basic human nature to want to complain, and I totally admit to doing it myself. However, I think there is a line that can easily be crossed.

Now that I'm a mom, I feel like I am running into this type of person ALL THE TIME. There seems to be some sort of need to "have it worse off" than the other person, and I'm really having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Let's look at some of the reasons we complain in the first place:

Venting: Sometimes you just have to let it out! Complaining really doesn't make any situation better, but it sure feels good to tell someone else.
Commiseration: Nobody wants to feel like they are alone in the world.
Advice: Sometimes we can't figure out what to do just by our-self, and we need to ask someone to get different opinions. It makes sense!

I really do think complaining, venting, seeking advice is really therapeutic, or I wouldn't have a blog! I feel that constantly "one upping" other moms though is very detrimental. We need to stick together, not make each other feel insignificant. Constantly having it worse than other people, especially when they are seeking advice or help just makes them feel like their complaints are needless when you "have it so bad."

As mothers, I think we really need to try and be empathetic to others, especially other moms! We all have different situations in life and need to support each other as best we can. Nobody else will really understand where we are coming from, and it is really important to support each other!


Cus' breaking up is hard to do

I've had a sudden crash course in reality. Specifically, Facebook reality, which is actually more real than you might think. A friend de-friended me on Facebook. When, I don't know, why? I barely know! But this friend was someone who I happened to really respect and love, so of course it hurt my feelings. It is hard not to tie your real life to Facebook, I think we are becoming so ingrained!

So yes, I have spent the majority of my day bawling my head off over Facebook. Then it became a lot more than just Facebook. When I asked my friend why, she said that I had written some derisive comment. I looked,  and found it. Yes, it was belittling. Yes, I had had about two glasses of wine before I wrote it. Yes, I didn't really think about it when I wrote it.

Does that make me a prime subject for de-friending? No.

First, a lesson in de-friending. There are some requirements, or at least there should be for some common decency. Firstly, one should not de-friend on Facebook over petty arguments. Making an out of place comment is a good example. Secondly, one should not defriend unless there has been a face to face, exchange of words. Thirdly, one should not defriend someone who they might see in the near future, or has close contact with people you relate to on a regular basis.

Prom Queen from HS you haven't talked to in 3 years? Yes.

Stay at home mom who barely has any friends as it is, speaks to your friends on a regular basis, with a son who absolutely adores you? No.

In short, over a text conversation I was told the comment was the last straw, and I have belittled and used this friend to the point where she no longer wants to be my friend. This makes me sad, because a) I never want my friends to feel belittled or used b) said friend didn't even talk to me about how she felt and c) somebody doesn't like me!!! (queue crying here). It hurts a lot more than I would expect, but it really is very similar to being dumped by your high school boyfriend. You're told you aren't valued, your faults are brought to the surface, and then bam, on your ass. I really wish it didn't have to be this way because I have some really awesome memories with this person (or you could say, not memories at times haha). Ethan really loved her and hasn't seen her in forever, and one of the toys she gave him for his birthday is his favorite!

A lot of people have told me, oh well, good riddance, ect. I guess I can't say that because if I could I obviously wouldn't be crying. Sigh, I suppose this is part of life. Live on and move on.

So yes, breaking up (with your friend) is hard to do. I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now. Night Ya'all.


Menu Planning Monday 1/23

Monday: Steak and Cheese Sandwiches
Tuesday: Fajitas and Frijoles
Wednesday: Asian Turkey Meatballs and Rice (which reminds me I need to get sesame oil!)
Thursday: Spaghetti and Salad
Friday: Vegetarian Chili
Saturday: Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies
Sunday: Pea Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches



I really am trying!

I really am trying to post, but I feel like I've run out of things to post about, I guess. Maybe it's because I just feel so stuck recently. Ethan is 15 months old now, and is such a great little kid. But I really don't get any time at all for me. The last time I was by myself was a doctor appointment (read 30 minutes). I keep thinking longingly about when I was younger, and I could do what the heck I wanted, within constrictions of course.

When we are kids, we believe that things will be awesome when we're grown up. We will eat all the ice cream in the world, stay up until 6am, and play video games all the time. Then you grow up and it hits you, this crap has consequences! Growing up is really just the realization that your actions affect others and yourself (it seems). If I eat all the ice cream I want, I will be fat and unhealthy. Same goes for playing video games all day, who has the time for that anyways! Staying up until 6 is no longer a possibility because you're out by 9. 9PM.

That was a bit of a tangent but it's true. I hope Ethan enjoys his childhood and doesn't take it for granted like I did (who am I kidding, he will, like every child does). Right now, all I want is a great massage, a shopping day, a night on the town, heck a biology class would be welcome! I am starting to feel under stimulated and I need to find some solutions that are easy on the wallet, who has any ideas?! I'm going to do some major brainstorming about this blog. I want it to be my outlet, but everyone will probably agree that if nobody reads its it's nothing more than a horrible diary. I like feedback, and comments, and opinions. I don't want to be top mommy blogger of the year or anything like that. But I would like to stimulate the reader and me in the same throw. Any ideas on that either? Halp!


Books I really want to read Ethan

So, I grew up with books. I am the biggest book nerd on the planet (may be an hyperbole). My mom was an awesome mother who took us everywhere and read to us (my brother and I) every night. It really was something to look forward to. Ethan is such a hyper little guy, it is hard to get him to sit down and listen, but I try every night anyways- as part of our bedtime routine. He especially loves the books with animals, and loves it even more if you go through and make the noise each animal makes.

When he gets older, I have a whole list of big books I want to read him. Some were read to me as a child, some weren't but are my favorites.
  • The Hobbit (was read to me as a child)
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder series (read to me as a child)
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (a favorite)
  • Harry Potter (a favorite)
  • The Myst Series (was read to me as a child, we played the games as a family)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (a favorite)
  • A Wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and A Wind in the Door
  • Westerly by Susan Cooper
  • The Boggart by Susan Cooper
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (vermicious knids!)
  • The BFG
  • Matilda (I read this book to DEATH as a kid)
  • Lemony Snickets
These are all books I personally have read at least 20 times or more, and I cannot wait to share them with Ethan! 

Wow! and New Years Resolutions.

Ok, I suck. I admit it. I really haven't been writing at all, and I have been feeling tons of guilt about it. Not because I feel like I have a reader base I'm disappointing (obviously, look at my followers haha), but because I feel like I've been cheating myself. I like having my little blog that I can look back on and go, wow! it was really like that! So, since it's the beginning of the year I am reinstating my resolution to write at least once a week. I think I actually did a really good job last year, I definitely wrote more than I did the year before- so I consider it a success.

Looking back on that post, there were a few things I didn't do well with. Mostly weight, but I think everyone struggles with that! It is so easy to be motivated and really driven in the beginning, isn't it? Then it really just begins to be a bore. I'm lazy, I'll admit it. I would rather spend an hour on the couch than 15 minutes running. It needs to be done though, so I am constantly having an internal struggle with myself. I can do nothing but try again this year. I try not to put so much faith in myself when I manage to fail at this all the time! I do not want to be the "fat mom" at the playgroup, but it seems to be happening anyways. I will try, that is my new years resolution.

I wasn't exactly on track with prayers, or remembering to pray. That's another thing I KNOW I need to do, but it is really easy to get caught up in life and forget about it. I've downloaded a few things on the iPhone that have helped me remember at least, so I think I am actually seeing an improvement in that.

I have a few business goals too, since I've started my direct sale business with Scentsy. Mainly, I want to recruit three people this year! It is a small number compared to some of the other people who are big with Scentsy, but I am a small time gal. I have to really think about how Scentsy has blessed Austine and me; the extra money has really been a lifesaver and it is awesome to be able to stay home with Ethan. So, I have to keep thinking I am sharing a blessing with others, and not a burden.

That's it! I will be posting about this again in another year! I'm glad I've made some improvements, and it is nice to see that. It is nice to be in a state where you seek constant improvement...and I feel good that I have made some. Yay!