Thursday, January 29, 2009

Real Women Wear Lipstick

Warning: The following post contains a graphic description of childbirth. If you're pregnant for the first time, somewhat squeamish, or my father-in-law, you might want to skip this post. :)

A lot of people have been asking me lately if I'm going to have another c-section or if I'm going to try it the old-fashioned, ridiculously painful, undignified, poop while you're pushing, feet up in stirrups, oh my I think I might be dying way. Hmmmmmmm . . . I'm still deciding.

Such questions bring me right back to Megan's birth experience. Allow me to share the warm memories of my 1938497475438924278957-12348725975982 hour labor and the 984372590402 hours of pushing that resulted in an emergency c-section anyway, leaving me with the cutest baby in the whole world and TWO areas that hurt rather than just one.

Picture this . . . It was 2 days PAST my due date. I left my teaching job 2 weeks before because, quite frankly, I couldn't find clothes big enough to cover my entire belly (perhaps due to the 60-70 pounds of "baby fat" I was carrying around.)
Convinced I wouldn't be one of "those women" who look like they just fought (and lost) a war after giving birth, each day I would wake up, put on a full face of makeup, straighten my hair, put on an adorable matching sweatsuit and wait to go into labor. I imagined how put together I would look in the pictures taken after Megan's birth. I imagined people marveling that I was still wearing my lipstick. I would show the world that a woman could still look dignified after giving birth! I was going to be prepared!

It was Father's Day (June 18) and contractions woke me up at about 6 am. By afternoon, they went away and I carried on as usual and went to my mom's for a Father's Day celebration. We left when I got a terrible backache. I came home and got into the bathtub to ease the pain. I was in the tub for hours and hours and hours while John fell asleep. (not that I'm STILL HOLDING THAT AGAINST HIM or anything.) It was fine, seriously. I mean, why shouldn't he have gone to sleep while he wife was in agonizing, miserable pain?

I finally couldn't take one more second and told John to take me to the hospital. Remember my plan to have my hair done, cute sweatsuit on, blah blah blah? Ummmm yeah, forgot all about that. (When it was time to come home from the hospital, John gave me what I wore to the hospital to wear home. I looked at him and screamed, "YOU LET ME WEAR THAT OUT OF THE HOUSE???????" Yeah, so much for my plan.)

I started begging for an epidural as soon as we got to the hospital, before we even arrived at Labor and Delivery. As a matter of fact, I think I may have begged a custodian for an epidural on the way up. While in triage, I had to go walk for an hour so they could "see what my cervix would do." They wanted to make sure I was really in labor and not just faking it, apparently. (John was thinking, "I'm pretty sure she's really in labor. Did you see what she's wearing? She made me stop on the way to the hospital so she could pee pee on the side of the road. This person in front of me is not behaving at all like my wife. She is in labor alright!"

After those witches nurses in triage determined I was truly in labor, they moved me to a room. I continued begging for pain medicine to which, I was told, I had to wait. After 973489237070923840298870 hours went by (which was actually probably 1) I finally got some nubain which made me feel glorious. Then Megan's heart rate started having decelerations. At one point, about 10 people ran into my room and started yelling, "Roll over on all fours and put your backside in the air." Terrified, I did so immediately. Once her heart rate returned to normal and the panic was over, I realized my king sized, naked a$$ was sticking up in the air, facing towards the open door, and people were coming in and out. I asked, "Mom, will you please cover up my bum?" And I thought I was going to do this the dignified way.
Prior to going into labor, I was worried about the embarrassment and the nakedness. People told me you're so wrapped up in the moment you just don't care. Hmmmm, that wasn't my experience. Not my experience at all.

Next, the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural FINALLY and said, "Wow. You look different. The last time I saw you, you were on all fours with your a$$ in the air." He seriously said that. He was a pretty funny guy, only I didn't think that was funny at all.

The doctor came in to break my water and realized it was already broken. What??? How does your water break and you just don't notice??? Then I remembered back to the unholy pain of the bathtub and realized it happened way back then. "No wonder your contractions were so strong so early on!" Wow, if I hadn't been on an IV drip, catheterized, internally baby monitorized, and paralyzed from the boobs down I would have gotten out of bed and gone on a murderous rampage, starting with the triage nurses that made me walk around to make sure I was really in labor. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

By now, it was morning and I had missed an entire night of sleep. I was hungry but no one cared. John went to get some food (because I insisted he eat.) I was so annoyed when he listened to me and told him, "In saying go eat John I really meant you better not eat a single bite until I'm allowed to, dammit." I don't know why he was so confused.
By late afternoon, I was finally dilated to 10 centimeters and Megan's heart rate stopped dropping and scaring me half to death. It was finally time to push.

So I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. I said words so terrible I'm not even sure I know how to spell them. I was pushing so long the nurses had a shift change. Suddenly, I had a completely new woman elbow deep (or so it seemed) in my ladyflower. I was thinking, "Geesh. Do I know you? No time for small talk or the 'getting to know you' awkwardness. Just dive right in." My eyes were almost swollen shut, I had broken numerous blood vessels on my face, and I still didn't have a baby. The doctor came in and asked the nurses, "How long has she been at this? There is no excuse for this!" He told me that after 2 and a half hours of pushing my brains out, Megan just wasn't coming that way. She wasn't even close enough to use forcep or vacuum extraction, both of which sounded scary painful anyway. She was stuck, so it was off for an emergency c-section.

And this is how this story ends . . .

No, it didn't end with me wearing lipstick as I planned. I wasn't wearing make up and my hair was a wreck. But in that moment I realized none of that mattered anymore. I had the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world. In that instant, I became a mother and I haven't been the same since.

She was 8 pounds and 11 ounces and 20 inches long, perfectly healthy, and absolutely gorgeous.

I have to admit, I did feel a bit defeated. Childbirth was really the first thing I ever put my mind to that I wasn't able to accomplish. I felt a bit cheated out of the birth experience.

So now . . . when I think about trying again . . . I'm almost tempted. Then I remember the nakedness, the stirrups, the broken blood vessels.

No thanks, this time I'm gonna try to wear some lipstick.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Lemon-Chicken Pasta
This is a delicious recipe from my favorite cookbook,
Southern Living Light & Easy Comfort Foods.
I love comfort food, especially during a blizzard (which is what we're having right now in Central Ohio.) We have a Level 2 snow emergency, John's working from home today, and we're snuggled up watching the snowflakes fall. This kind of weather only comes once a year if we're lucky.
By the way, have I mentioned lately that my St. John is quite a man? To read why, go here. You know you've got a good one when someone else blogs about how awesome he is!
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup condensed low-sodium chicken broth, undiluted
2 tablespoons tub-style light cream cheese
2 cups hot cooked farfalle (about 1 1/4 cups uncooked bow tie pasta)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I used fresh grated)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon rind
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic; saute 15 seconds. Add chicken; saute 1 minute. Add peas and carrot; saute 1 minute. Remove chicken mixture from skillet; set aside.
2. Add chicken broth and cream cheese to skillet, and cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until cream cheese melts, stirring constantly with a wisk. Return chicken mixture to the skillet. Stir in pasta, Parmesan cheese, lemon rind, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute.
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Per serving: Cal 422 Fat 9.7 g Fiber 4.6 g
And, as always, some tunes for your cooking pleasure. This one is dedicated to my huz, who is the kind of guy who gets out of bed to shovel my sister's driveway so she can go to work in the morning (when her own husband is out of town working).
This song is a special love song between us. I often sing him the lyrics when I'm feeling especially gushy in love (and when I'm cooking for him . . . barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.)

St. John . . . you so crazy, I think I wanna have yo baby.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why does this keep happening????

A little glimpse into our lives . . .

It's 11 o'clock in the evening. Megan begins yelling from her bedroom, trapped behind the gate . . .

Megan: Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I need you. I need you, Mommy.

Mommy: Megan, what's the matter?

Megan: Mommy, I need you to hold me in my chair. Will you hold me?

Mommy: (Flattered that she didn't call for daddy.) Yes, I'll hold you.

Megan: Mommy, will you sing to me? Will you sing Sunshine?

Mommy: (Wondering how long she'll be able to hold Megan like this - her belly will be too big soon - sings You Are My Sunshine completely out of tune - Megan doesn't mind.)

Megan: Sing "Twinkle Star" Mommy

Mommy: Twinkle, twinkle little star . . . (you know the words)

Megan: Mommy, sing it again

Mommy: (Realizing now Megan really didn't "need" me, didn't really want to hear me sing . . . she's USING me!) Megan, it is time to get back in your bed now.

Megan: But I'm afraid of the storm. (Only there is NO STORM.)

Mommy: Any time you're afraid, just imagine Mommy's arms giving you a great big hug. Then you won't be afraid any more.

(Great big hug)

Megan: Thanks. I'm not scared anymore.

(Putting Megan back in bed.)

Megan: Mommy, now there's monsters.

Why does this keep happening?

Cause I love it when she calls for me.

I love it when she lets me sing to her.

I love it when she lets me "hold her like a baby."

That's why.

(See how savvy I've become in preparation for being a mommy of TWO. I'm answering my own mystifying questions . . . and I didn't even need to call John's mom! Wow.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a Wonderful World

This is what looks like.

It can be found in the Allegheny Foothills of New York,
at a cedar cabin in the woods.

Our cedar cabin in the woods.
We gathered there last weekend and watched the oversized snowflakes
float ever so slowly to the ground.
We played outside in the thigh-high snow drifts,
then warmed up inside next to the crackling wood stove.

Some of us (me, mostly) took long naps . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

That's Brianna and Megan, having the time of their lives sledding next to the cabin.
That's my brother, who got to carry Megan all the way back up the hill since the snow was too deep for her to walk herself. Lucky him.

That's me with a snowflake on my nose.

And that, my friends, is what a weekend of bliss looks like.

Can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Thursday Edition

I know, it is Thursday. Who really cares?

You also can't make this recipe for dinner. Sorry.

I'm including it because I've been craving milk milk milk milk milk - which is a problem since I HATE MILK. (terrible, I know but I can't help it.)

I found this recipe, which counts as 2 milk servings. Very helpful when you're growing a whole other person's skeleton. It is so yummy. I love love love love love it.

Double - the - Milk Shake
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 frozen ripe banana, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
Note: Freeze a ripe banana, peeled and wrapped in plastic, 12 to 24 hours before making this shake.
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Serve immediately.
Berry variation: Add 1 1/2 cups berries, and 1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate before blending. (adds another fruit serving)
1 shake = 2 calcium servings, 2/3 protein serving, 1 fruit serving
Now shake your booty with me . . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Girls' Day Out

The day began with an art class at Itsy Bitsy World.
I honestly think she is artistically gifted.

Next, we dined on cucumber dill salad and chicken penne pasta salad.
It was delicious!

Then I lost my mind took Megan to Sweet n' Sassy, a day spa for little girls.

A day spa just for little girls? Seriously?

Part of me wanted to throw up at the thought/part of me just couldn't help myself.

What an internal struggle . . .

Then I saw the make-your-own lipgloss station where you could add your own color and flavor.

Won me over right then and there.

Day spas for little girls??? Pure genius.

And this is my darling two year old, receiving her first spa manicure.

Here she is sitting in the ear piercing chair!

I hope you're not choking on your coffee, John. They just painted a glitter star on her face . . . no ear piercing yet!!

They sold all kinds of girly stuff, from hairbows to adorable picture frames.
I bought this frame for her bedroom. I. love. it.

We ended the day with a stop at the candy store (since we had such a healthy lunch :)
Megan told me, "Mommy, you're my best friend I ever seen."
Megan . . . you're my best friend too.
I hope we always have as much fun together as we did today!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Love at First Sight

Here is the first pic of our little bean doing a headstand in my uterus.
Everything looked beautiful, including the little heart beating.
Awe inspiring, amazing . . . I'm already wrapped around his/her itty bitty finger.
(So, with that being said, may I complain a little about my experience at the Downstairs Doc???)
An obnoxiously cute nurse took me to an exam room and told me to undress from the waist down. Thinking I heard her incorrectly, I replied, "Oh, I'm here for an ultrasound. I don't have to take off my clothes." She replied, "Umm, yes you do." (Insert me fighting the urge to strangle that skinny nurse here.) I walked back into the exam room and rolled my eyes at John. "That nurse doesn't know what she is talking about."
Feeling strangely compliant, I removed my clothing from the waist down as she instructed and spent the remaining time before the doctor came in trying to wrap that tiny piece of paper blanket all the way around me . . . impossible . . . and trying to figure out why the heck I had to take off half my clothes off for an ultrasound (while complaining to John that I didn't shave my legs, mentally prepare, etc.) Honestly, what kind of pervert is this doctor????????
Downstairs Doc walked in and said, "So, do you have any questions." I replied, "Uhhh, yeah. Why are half my clothes off?"
I found out that I was having a much different kind of ultrasound than the one I had with Megan. (I'll spare you the details.) I wasn't paying much attention anyway since I was sitting there thinking . . . Uhhh, what did he just say? I'm finding it difficult to concentrate. One of us is half naked. How unfair. How distracting, humiliating, embarrassing.
Downstairs Doc apologized for not preparing me. I apologized for nearly choking his nurse to death.
Then we left with a lovely souvenir photo of our beloved unborn to plaster all over the internet.

Nasty Diaper Interrupts History

Dear President Obama,

I saw you make history today and I must say, I got a little teary eyed as I saw you take your oath of office. (It was either the gravity of the moment or the nasty smell emitted from Megan's behind when she walked past me with a diaper almost as full as Washington, D.C. was today.) As I changed her stinkin' nastiness, I heard you give your moving speech. Honestly, I hope you truly meant what you said. I hope our future is as full of promise as you predicted. I hope you're not as full of crap as Megan's diaper was.


A Skeptical Republican Who Wants to Hope Too

Friday, January 16, 2009

Too Tired To Blog

I'm too tired. Sorry.

Want to know what is going on with me . . .

This morning when I turned on the shower, it started hailing. That is how cold it is here . . . below zero.

I'm cold and tired . . . yuck . . . I can't wait for summer.

Then I'll be super fat and awake. Sounds ok to me.

See ya bye. (Told ya I was tired.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Baked Spaghetti

This is a Paula Deen recipe and it is delicious . . . super delicious . . . like, so good I can't stop eating it. It is so good, sometimes when I hear love songs on the radio I actually think of Baked Spaghetti. That is why I'd be lying if I claimed we were really having it for dinner tonight. (Sorry, John.) We're actually having sweet potatoes, ham, veggies, and salad. But, if I could control myself, we'd definitely be having Baked Spaghetti.

2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares before serving.

Makes 11 servings (but not if you're feeding me those servings)

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

And . . . as always, some music to cook by. This one's dedicated to my love, Baked Spaghetti. Someday when I'm not pregnant anymore and I'm able to exhibit an ounce of self-control, I'll eat you again. Until then, I'll just be missing you like crazy . . .

And I'm not old . . . even if I do remember this song from 1990.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Much Too Young To Be This Old

High risk pregnancy due to advanced maternal age????

Yeah, I couldn't believe it either when the "downstairs doc" uttered these ugly words. "But I'm really immature for my age!" I protested. He just laughed. (Strange . . . I thought that was a pretty good argument.) Apparently immaturity doesn't matter in this situation. I'm 34 years old now but I'll be 35 by the time I deliver. That means advanced maternal age.

Whatever! My age is not advanced. I know who Lil' Wayne is. When I bend over, my panties sometimes stick out from my 'cut too low jeans.' (See how fashionable I am?) I don't have an IPOD but I know someone who does. I've even used the sentence, "John, check it out, I pimped my myspace page." Would someone with advanced maternal age EVER say that? Seriously, I don't think downstairs doc knows what he is talking about.

That's not to say my life hasn't undergone a few changes lately. I'm accepting that my former "fat jeans" are now my "get used to it, you're porking up" jeans. I now consider an "all nighter" to be a night when I don't have to get out of bed to pee pee in the potty a hundred times. "Getting lucky" means being able to find my car in the parking lot. When John says, "Let's go upstairs and 'do it.' I have to reply "You'll have to pick just one. I'm too tired to do both." (That last part I made up just to make you laugh.)
I guess I'm in denial that I'm old. But seriously . . .
Would Someone With Advanced Maternal Age
Do This????
A Photo Essay

If I got my belly button pierced, would that help or hurt my case?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wet 'n Wild

Our Annual Trip to Kalahari Resort Indoor Water Park

The Wave Pool -

Megan was so brave.

And so was I!
It was kinda scary.

The Kids Area:

The Hot Tub:
Megan called it the "warm pool."
Snuggling with daddy to warm up.

During the day, John had to attend a nerd convention Computer Conference at the resort.
(I told you his employer, Quick Solutions, was AWESOME.)
Megan and I had some fun while we waited to catch back up with him in the evening.

We painted pottery together . . .

and did an arts and crafts activity . . .

Did you know my child is gifted when it comes to making bead bracelets?

We also visited the arcade area at the resort.

I let her ride anything she wanted because I'm cool like that

The resort is decorated to look like Africa.
It is an amazing place!
It has numerous restaurants, a coffee shop, a candy store,
several gift shops, paint your own pottery, mini-golf, children's tree house climbing area, etc.
Oh yeah, and the world's most ginormous water park!

They even have a baby lion (not pictured :)
The lady asked Megan if she wanted to see the baby lion.
She dramatically rolled her eyes and said, "That's not a lion, it's a jaguar. Let's go Mommy."
(The lion did have some spots, after all. Who knew baby lions had spots?)
The lady replied, "She's only 2? You must read to her a lot because she is smart as a whip."
Little did she know my child knows all about jaguars from watching Go Diego Go.
We had a great time at Kalahari.
Being married to a computer geek sexiest man alive certainly has its perks.
Check out Kalahari's website here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Who Am I To Question???

When I found out I was pregnant (even though I was hoping the test would say "yes") I couldn't believe it. I didn't "feel" pregnant. We had just decided to try for another baby and bam - pregnant. (Inside my head I was thinking. . . This couldn't be. I heard it takes a long time for the second baby. This can't be right.) I needed time to mentally prepare or something. So I did what any rational person would do . . . I took another test. Positive.

Still not convinced.

Took another.

Yep, still positive. I wanted to go buy another test but John stopped me.

When I went to the doctor's for the first time, I couldn't believe it when they didn't test me for pregnancy. The nurse said, "Honey, with three positive home pregnancy tests, I'd say you're pretty darn pregnant."

So, needless to say, I have a few used pregnancy tests laying around the house. I keep them, rechecking to make sure they still say positive. Weird, I know, but that's me. I guess it just feels "too good to be true."

Being pregnant makes my heart feel so sappy. I feel so blessed, so amazingly lucky to have the privilege of becoming a mother AGAIN, so stunned that God trusts me enough to give me yet another child to raise. I honestly feel like a walking miracle. (When John gets lippy with me, I tell him, "Have some respect. I'm a walking miracle.") Seriously, having a whole person develop inside of you IS a miracle. I told you pregnancy makes me sappy.

So the other day I heard Megan saying, "Wow, new lipstick! How does it look Mommy?" Weird, since she was nowhere near where I keep my lipstick. (Side note: I have one child. Why do I find it so hard to keep track of her in this house?)

Then I found her . . . holding one of my (used) pregnancy tests, cap off, and rubbing the side with the pee stick all over her lips. Oh, how gross!!!!!!! Poor little girl had no idea that was MOST CERTAINLY NOT LIPSTICK!

Dear God,
Are you sure I'm ready for two????? Really, who am I to question your judgement but seriously . . . have you thought this one all the way through???


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2008 Remembered - Part II

JulyLook at you swim in GG's pool!

Our little sparkler - Happy Fourth!

Happy Birthday Mommy!

First terrifying trip to the dentist.

Oh my goodness - Mommy is a city councilwoman
Actual conversation (on phone)-
Lisa: Oh my gosh John. They picked ME! I won! I got it! I'm a city councilwoman.
John: Lisa, are you lying???
Lisa: John! Really, I won.
John: No, seriously. Are you lying?
(Thank you for your confidence in me darling.)

Trip to Coldwater Lake, Michigan

The Airshow

One of many family movie nights

Colin's birthday party
Cupcakes for the firefighters on September 11

Mommy and Daddy only - romantic trip to Mexico

RIP beloved fish Mona #1 (and #2)

Ballet lessons (call me crazy)

Fall fun at the park

Fun at the pumpkin patch

The cutest witch on Halloween

First real haircut

Mommy and Megan's day at the movies to see Madagascar II

Twilight Movie Premier


I peeked in your room to check on you before I went to bed and went into panic mode when I saw your bed was empty. (Ahhhhhhhhhhh - horrible feeling.)
Then I found you, fast asleep in your chair!
Wildlights at the Zoo

Holy moly.

Best Christmas ever!