Friday, December 13, 2013


I have a dishwasher!!!!!!!

It's not new, but it works and I love it. :)

My cousin got a new one and gave me hers and it's been installed for 3 days and that's how many times I've used it. LOVE it.

I'm hoping this is the beginning of me falling in love with our house again. Our house is in an AWESOME neighborhood, we have AWESOME neighbors, we have some really cool things about our house. But lately I've wanted to leave for more bedrooms and more storage and a nicer kitchen. I think this is the beginning of things to come.

Yay for appliances!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

30x30 a little over a month to go...

Dang. I'm not sure if I did anything since my last post on this! But my sister brought up my 30x30 and I realized that I better get going.

Here we go:

I'm not doing so hot on this 30 x 30 thing! But I have 6 months to finish...

Here's what's left:

1) Run a half marathon - DONE!
2) Watch the Star Wars Trilogy - DONE!

3) Learn a foreign language - So I have decided on Spanish. I've bought a few books and just found out last night that my brother in law has Rosetta Stone and said I can borrow it when he's done!! I really need to learn Spanish because in the last few weeks I've had a few Spanish only speaking patients. I know a lot of the basics now with medical words. I've learned pain and eat, drink, etc. but I have a LONG way to go. But I'm working on it. As long as I'm working on it before I'm 30 I'm going to count it.

4) Have 2 of my 4 children - DONE!

5) Take up golf - This is going to be hard now that it's freezing, but we'll continue to work on it.

6) Write a short story - In progress...

7) Complete an indoor triathlon - DONE!

8) Watch Gone with the Wind - DONE! 

9) Watch the Godfather - DONE!

10) Play in a poker tournament at a casino - I talked to my brother in law last night about this one. We might go to a casino soon so hopefully I can knock this off my list. :)

11) Decorate the kids rooms - This will be done around Christmas! We decided to get the kids bunk beds for Christmas so when we pull everything out to do that, I'm going to paint and get some stuff for the walls.

12) Shoot a gun - DONE! I went to a shooting course with my neighbor Jeff. I wasn't any good at it. At all honestly. But I shot a gun and can cross it off my list. And I don't need to do it again. :) 

13) Go back to school - DONE!

14) Learn to drive a stick shift - Must do...

15) Learn to french braid hair - DONE!

16) Get into cooking - We are sticking to our budget and cooking at home so this is happening. Not done yet because we aren't consistent enough but it's beginning to become consistent. We'll call this "in progress".

17) Finish entertainment center - DONE!

18) Register to vote in St. Louis City - DONE!

19) Consistently dedicate one night a month to a date night - Tonight we're going on a double date with my sister...we'll count this for November...

20) Start a savings account - DONE! I've had a savings account with little money in it but now Nick's name is on the account and we're going to start having a portion of Nick's paycheck go to this. So it's starting small, but hey, it's starting. And I'm counting it.

21) Make my own recipe - yeah, I've been slacking on this. Will work on it...

22) Go back to Signature Room in Chicago - Maybe for my 30th??

23) Go on a family vacation with my whole family - This is still the case: We have this one planned!!! Unfortunately it's planned for a few months after I turn 30, but it's before I'm thirty one so I'm counting it.

24) Start college funds for the kids - Ok, yeah must do...

25) Consistently have a clean house -Just got done scrubbing the kitchen and doing all the dishes after breakfast. I'm definitely better at this. Just have to keep it up.

26) Get into exercising 3x a week - Thinking of canceling weight watchers and joining a gym. I'm so used to being up at night now that it's hard for me to ever get out. I don't want to go running at midnight outside and I have Gretchen with me every day at home. If I joined a gym I could use their babysitting or go at night if I join a 24 hour gym. So that's my plan.

27) Reach my goal weight -Weight watchers isn't working for me this time. I'm addicting to food and wasting $42.95 a month. So I'm canceling weight watchers. And like 26 said, I'm thinking of joining a gym. That will help. So will eating at home. So I think this one is doable.

28) Finish my brewery quest - 1/3 of the way there. 5 down, 10 to go. I can do it!!!!

29) Read the Lord of the Rings trilogy - This one might not be done before I turn 30 but if I get one down or at least am getting into it before 30, I'll count it...

30) Become a nurse!! - DONE DONE DONE!!!

13 done, 8 in progress and 9 to get started/done. We're getting closer. :) As always I'll keep you posted. 47 days to go!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I can't believe that it's already almost December!?!?!?

Where the heck has time gone? So not much is going on with us. Literally not much at all. We had a great Thanksgiving with family. We went to my Dad's side in the morning for brunch and to Nick's sister's in the evening. It was great to only have two things to go to. We had time to go home and take a nap in between events. And it really made us enjoy the time that we were there. Less complaining and whining on the kids part. ;)

Of course I didn't get a picture of anything because I'm super slacking in that department. I PROMISE I'll do better at Christmas!!

But something that came up at Thanksgiving (at both events actually) was that fact that I'm almost 30...EEK!

So my sister brought up my 30x30 and I realized how far behind I am and how much I haven't updated. So get ready for another post about my 30x30. Your favorite thing to read about I know!

On another note, I can't believe that Christmas is less than a month away. I think that I'm going to take full advantage of Cyber Monday. I plan on doing most, if not all, of my Christmas shopping in my PJ's in front of the computer.

Happy Thanksgiving and almost Happy December! Yikes!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brewery #3 - Ferguson Brewing Company

This week I tackled another brewery: Ferguson Brewing Company. I was lucky enough to get a sitter (my parents live near there) so Nick could come too. We got a small group of people to go and had a blast!

I hadn't eaten much that day so I made sure to eat a good meal while we were there too. I highly recommend their beer cheese soup. Their crawfish Po' Boy, not so much. Just being honest.

But the beer was pretty good! I think this whole brewery quest with me grading the breweries etc is a bad idea. I'm not gonna lie, I like beer. So automatically everyone basically gets at least a C+. Give me a decent beer and you're an automatic B. But this is part of a quest, so grade I will.

I did two beer flights while there. The first one had the following beers:

Oatmeal Stout: I'm a fan of stouts. I like coffee stout, oatmeal stout, whatever stout! This was a pretty good one. Not my favorite, but definitely good.

Pale Ale: Like I just said, these can be boring and I had to say it, but this one kind of was. I'd much rather have a Schlafly Pale Ale than this one.

Pecan Brown Ale: I like pecan ales. They are just different enough. Pale ales can be boring, so this adds a little something.

Belgian Wit: This was a good beer. I really liked this one. It had a slightly fruity flavor, like most wheats and I liked it. One of my favorites.

The second flight I did had the following:

Seasonal: Pumpkin Ale: ordinarily I love anything pumpkin. Not kidding. ANYTHING pumpkin. Lattes, candy, and especially beer. But this beer disappointed me. Not a fan of this. :(

Golden Blonde: A VERY light beer. Too light for me. I like a little more flavor to my beer. It was a hit at the table I think but not for me. 

Seasonal: Octoberfest: Now this was a hit. I like Sam Adams Octoberfest and I wasn't sure if this one would hold up but it did for me. I liked it. Another one of my favorites.

Hefeweisen: The last beer and the last of my favorites. I love Hefeweisen beers. From anywhere really and this one also didn't disappoint.

You can see on this one that there are two flights. Jim copied me (or I copied him, I really don't remember who ordered first) but it was completely unintentional. We just happened to order the exact same thing.

Overall I had a great time with the people and the location but it wasn't that fantastic for me. The beers were good but not great and while I loved my soup, the rest of my meal was sub par and took forever to come to the table.

Me and two of my favorite girls being goofy.

I give the Ferguson Brewing Company a B-. I'd go back but I'm not in any hurry.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dommie's New School!!

So I JUST realized that I never posted about Dom's first day of school!! OOPS!

So here's a recap. Dom's been in his school for exactly one month. And he loves it. He's already making a lot of friends and he's learning to spell and read already! He has homework every night which is an adjustment but in a good way. He also has a very set schedule which is different from his last school but I think that's good for him too.

Here are some pictures from his first day:

I seriously can't believe he's so big! But I love the school and I think this is a great place for him!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It's taking us awhile but I think we're finally getting into our routines. All of us. Life is a little crazy around this house most of the time but in a good way.

Dominick is in his new school and doing very well. It will be one month tomorrow. I'm so happy for him and love that he's learning so many things every day. I don't even mind doing homework with him because it means he's learning. He has friends and it seems like he's adjusting extremely well. My big boy is SO big!!

Annabelle has been in her school for about a month and a half. She's doing great too. When I drop her off now, she gives me a hug, then a kiss, then another kiss, then she waves goodbye and she's off. Breaks my heart a little but she's happy and that's all that matters. Her speech has improved but definitely still has room to improve so we're keeping an eye on it. We'll probably go to a place and get another evaluation done but I'm happy for her and happy that I'm understanding more every day.

Gretchen is ONE now!?! Holy cow this past year has flown. She's doing so many things. She can take about 3-4 steps at a time and I'm so proud of that big girl too! She's babbling all the time and for the most part a happy baby. She is definitely a mama's girl. More so than any of the other kids. If she can see me, and I'm not holding her, she's screaming for me. If she can't see me, she's fine. But I better not be in the same room. She goes to a sitter 1-2 days a week and to my mom's maybe one day a week and the rest of the time she's home with me. We're learning how to get things accomplished and still have fun at home. It's a work in progress.

Nick is pretty settled in at his new job. I think he's doing well. He's putting in a lot of time and effort so I hope he's doing well! He's been pretty stressed trying to make sure everything is perfect but I think he's settling in.

I am done with orientation!! I am officially an RN on my own! Yay!!! I go to work tonight and get to do everything on my own and I'm thrilled! I love what I do and I especially love getting to do it without a shadow, no offense to my preceptors!!

Nick's mom is helping us in our routine. When I work at night, I don't get home until 8 am the next day. Nick leaves for work at 6:20 so we have an hour and forty minute gap with no child care. She's been coming over in the morning and helping out. It's been amazing. I hope she doesn't get too tired of it!! Because we need her and love her and appreciate it a TON.

All in all, we are getting there. Just in time for fall. My second favorite time of year (after March madness, of course!).

Oh fall. That's another post all by itself.

But we're getting there. On another note, now that we're getting into a routine, I only have 4 more months on my 30 x 30...better get to work! :)

Happy Wednesday!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Crock Pot Steak Dinner?? Not so much...

It was ok I guess, but nothing like what I was expecting. It kind of became a soupy mess...

I think I'll stick with soups and pot roasts in the crock pot.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Steak Dinner!

I found this on facebook...

"Use a thick 3/4 inch steak
Pour a 1/2 cup A1 or Heinz 57 sauce over meat
cover with a layer of foil
add foil wrapped potatoes
and foil wrapped frozen corn cobs
cook on low for 6 hours
Full steak dinner any night of the week! This can also be done with thick pork chops or chicken breasts and BBQ sauce. The whole meal cooks in the slow cooker."

I'm trying this out tonight! I'm really excited. We're using the "Tucker's Place" Steak Sauce, because it's awesome and then I'm going to do a rub on the fresh corn (not frozen). I'm hoping it turns out fantastic!! I'll keep you posted...


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fall Cleaning/Fixing up

Nick and I have been talking for awhile about our house... We love it. Absolutely LOVE the neighborhood and the neighbors but we're always thinking about moving. It's always on the back burner. However, we haven't done anything about this. Our house is full of half finished projects and a lot to do to get on the market. The one thing going for us is that our house hasn't lost value. It's actually increased according to Zillow and all the other websites telling you the "market value" of houses. So we just need to start working on things.

So we have.

We went and looked at a house yesterday in the same neighborhood that we used to live in. I loved the house. LOVED it. And it made me really sad that there's practically nothing we can do about it right now. I could picture us living there. I could picture all the space we'd have and it's a price we could afford. If we didn't have our house. So now, here's our plan.

We've (I've) made a list of things we have to do to get our house on the market. A lot of it is really easy things. Touch up paint. Organize. Clean stuff out. That kind of thing. Some of it is bigger. Fix the deck. Replace the upstairs toilet. Patch a few walls. But it's all doable.

So we're doing it. We're picking out a few things to do each week and then if the right house comes along, we'll be ready. Not stuck dreaming about what could have been. I've already starting selling some of the toys our kids have outgrown (that's a win-win. Stuff goes out and I make some money!). And the house we saw, is still on the market right now (the last two we've wanted to look at - sold before we could even get in to see them!) and they aren't moving until October so there is some wiggle room. Maybe we'll get lucky and be ready by then and it will still be on the market.

A girl can dream right?!

Time to clean up and fix it up!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Annabelle's First Day of School


I can't believe Annabelle is starting school! It's such a bittersweet moment. I'm thrilled to get to just have Gretchen at home. Being the youngest of three and the youngest by only 18 months, she doesn't get a lot of one on one time. So this is nice. But it's sad that my Belle-Belle is already in school.

This morning was her first day and she's joining in the middle of "spirit week". Today was pajama day. So her first day of school picture is pretty funny. She and Dom are in their PJ's and she looks so happy. Normally she doesn't want to leave in the morning, but this morning she was pulling me to the front store saying, "Go! Go! GO GO GO!".

When we got to school, Dom and I (and Gretchen) brought her to her room before going upstairs to Dom's classroom. She ran right in and made herself at home with the pretend house toys. She grabbed a baby and a highchair and literally couldn't have cared less that I was leaving. I tried to get a few kisses and I got NOTHING. But that's a good thing.

I then took Dom upstairs with one more glance at Annabelle and she was playing with another kid and having so much fun. I hope everyday goes this well.

Nick asked that I wait for him to pick her up today so he can come along so hopefully he doesn't work too late tonight (home past 7 two of the last 3 nights).

What a big girl I have. :)

Third Weigh In

Not a great number but it's still going down.

Lost .6 lbs this week. Not a good week but like I said, anything going DOWN is good. So I'll jump back on the wagon and try to do better next week.

Yuck, this is a long process. But it's worth it! Just 20.8 lbs to go! :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Brewery #2 on my quest

I went to Schlafly bottleworks with my future sister in law this past week and it was awesome, like I knew it would be. We met after work so it was pretty late, but not so late that we still couldn't eat! We split their appetizer of soft pretzels with hefeweizen cheese sauce and we split a pizza (pepperoni and mushroom). It was delicious food!

But on to the more important part of the evening...the beer! :)

I liked pretty much all of these beers!

1) Pale Ale - This is a classic. Who doesn't like Schlafly Pale Ale?? It's a good beer that goes down smooth.

2) Hefeweizen - One of my favorites by Schlafly. It would have been better if it were the raspberry hefeweizen but regular hefe will do. :)

3) Kolsch - This is a light beer and pretty good. Not as good as the summer lager or the hefe in my opinion but definitely still good.

4) Dry Hopped IPA - Not a fan. But I figured I wouldn't be. I just don't like IPAs very much. Don't get me wrong, I still drank it all! Let's not get crazy but not my favorite. I'll drink it in a sample, but not as a pint.

5) Summer Lager - This is a great beer to drink outside at a picnic during the summer. It's light and has flavor and literally screams "summer". I like this beer and it's one of our favorites to get from Schnucks to just have around the house.

6) Oatmeal Stout - So incredibly pleasantly surprised by this beer. LOVED it. It's definitely heavier but I knew it would be. So much flavor, so delicious. Loved it.

Overall I had a great time at the Bottleworks in Maplewood. Good beer, good food, great company. :) Will definitely go there again and keep buying their beer! This brewery gets an A!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Second Weigh in

I was so bad this week. SO bad. I started at a new job and went through orientation where they give you food. I went out to Schlafly with my future sister in law and drank beer and ate pretzels and pizza. I ate ice cream. I was bad.

But even though I did all of those things, I still tried to eat better or eat less of the bad stuff. I only ate 1 pretzel and 2 pieces of pizza instead of 2 pretzels and 3 pieces. I ate a snack size McFlurry instead of a regular. And I made healthy dinners.

Somehow, I even managed to lose weight. I lost 2 lbs this week making my total 6.2 lbs lost. So I hit my first goal! And my second one is less than 3 lbs away. I'm going to be VERY good this week and hit that goal. I'm very proud of how this is going. I'm making it a lifestyle and not being too hard on myself and it's working. I'm even slowly getting back into exercising.

Yay for weight watchers and yay for my goals!! :) 5 1/2 months and counting!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weigh in (a little late)

So I weighed in last week and I lost 4.2 lbs!! Woohoo!

However, my motivation has gone this week. I'm trying to get my act together but man all I want is sugar and ice cream and carbs and BAD BAD food!!

But I'm trying to straighten back out by Tuesday's weigh in. Yikes. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Weight watchers...AGAIN

So I broke down and joined weight watchers again. I know there are a million losing weight apps out there but they weren't working for me. I'm too stubborn. I need the accountability that weighing in at a weight watchers facility gives me. Someone else is going to see my weight. And I'm going to have a little book with a record of it. I MUST lose weight for those reasons alone!

So I joined on the 7th. I did my first official weigh in on the 9th. One week ago today. I weighed 182.4. Yikes. The highest "healthy" weight for my height is 169.0. So here are my goals (because if you know me at all, you know I like lots of small goals so I feel accomplished):

1) Let's start easy, 5 lbs. It's doable and a good number and makes me feel better about myself.
2) 5% of my body weight lost - so 9 lbs. So that would have me weighing in at 173.4. That's a good goal because it's close to that healthy range and it's halfway to 10% which has a TON of health benefits.
3) Getting to that healthy range of 169.0
4) 10% of my body weight lost - so 18 lbs and weighing in at 164.4.
And my last goal is: 5) Weighing 155-160. That's my goal range. The technical healthy range for my height is 135-169 but I think 155-160 is much more realistic for me.

So here we go. Today is my first weigh in. I'm going in 20 minutes. Hopefully I at least lost a lb! I've been sticking to it for the most part (who doesn't have cheat days?).

Last night I made an AMAZING meal from the weight watchers website. I'm going to share it here so I always have it. It was SO good and SO easy and I loved it. Nick probably didn't, but he'll survive. :)

It's chicken, tomato and basil packets!

You take a piece of foil and spray it with cooking spray. Then place one 4 oz piece of chicken in the center. Spread 1/4 tsp of minced garlic on the chicken. Then top with 1/8 tsp of each salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tsp of olive oil over the chicken and add 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes and 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves around the chicken (or on top if they will stay). Fold the short ends of the foil up and fold over twice to make a good seal. Then fold the sides with a double fold to create another seal. Just make sure there is enough space in the packet for steam. Bake in an oven set to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Be careful when opening because there's a lot of steam in there and it will be hot!

The chicken is So juicy and tender and just plain fantastic! And each packet is only 5 points!! I made those and cut up a cantaloupe, make some mixed veggies and had a salad (dressing on the side). Delicious and low in points. Loved it.

I think this is my time to finally hit my goal weight. My 30th is looming and I know I want to hit that goal weight before then. I have just under 6 months. I KNOW I can do it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Granite City Brewing Company

Well one brewery down, just 14 to go!!

Some wonderful friends joined me for my first brewery in my quest. Abbie, Jim, Michelle and Ashley joined me at Granite City Brewing Company in Creve Coeur. I thought it was great!

First things first, I did a beer sampler platter. Four of their signature beers AND four of their seasonal beers for $3.95. And they are 5 oz samples. Um, Yes please! Good price, good drinks. I liked it.

I'm going to break down the beers as I liked them in case anyone ever goes there or in case I go back and forget how great some of them were. :)

The beer sampler!

1) Northern Light Lager - a little too light for me. It was the closest thing to Bud Light and I didn't like that. I know a lot of my friends liked it but I'd rather have more craft beer flavor in my beer.

2) Duke of Wellington India Pale Ale - I'm not normally a fan of IPA's, but this one was pretty good. It was a little hoppy for me, but good flavor overall.

3) Brother Benedict's Bock - This was a pretty good beer! Again, not my absolute favorite, but better than I thought it was going to be. I got a little nervous of the color. (It's a little dark and I love wheats and white ales so I was nervous, but it was good).

4) A double IPA that I didn't get the name of... - I was expecting to hate this. I LOVED it. I thought it was really good. Not my favorite but top 3 for sure.

5) A blend between the Northern Light and the Brother Benedict's Bock - This was ok. More flavor than just the Northern Light but again, just ok in my opinion. Which was a shame, because I loved the Bock but the Northern Light just brought it down.

6) A seasonal unfiltered wheat - #1. I loved this. It had such great flavor. Almost citrus-y without any fruit added. I wish I knew the name, but they just told me it was a seasonal wheat. I see they have the Whag's American Wheat on their menu so maybe this isn't seasonal and they were confused?? Hopefully because I'd love to try it again!

7) A white ale - Again, I love a white ale. Blue Moon, Shock Top, White Rascal, love those beers. This was a good beer, but nothing compared to the Wheat.

8) A blend between the Duke of Wellington India Pale Ale and the Northern Light - This was decent. But since I didn't love the IPA and I didn't love the Northern Light, it was just ok in my book.

Overall, good beer sampler (can't beat that price!) and everyone else liked the food (I didn't eat since I started weight watchers and was using all my points on beer!). I give this brewery a B+.

Here are a few pics of the night:

 The menu at GC Brewery

 My sampler - what a deal right?!?!

Me enjoying a nice sample. :)

One down and 14 to go. Hopefully going to hit up Urban Chestnut in a few weeks. Can't wait!!

Monday, July 8, 2013


Need I say more? 

Heck yeah! :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

St. Louis Breweries - The NEW Quest!

Here's a list of breweries I found on google...

Urban Chestnut
Six Row
Morgan Street Brewery
Anheuser Busch
Buffalo Brewing C
Four Hands Brewing Co
Schlafly Bottleworks
Civil Life Brew
Kirkwood Station Brewing Co
Alpha Brewing Co
Perennial Artisan Ales
Granite City Food and Brewery
Ferguson Brewing Co
Trailhead Brewing Co
Square One Brewery

And here's the list of the TOP ST. LOUIS BREWERIES:

Anheuser Busch
Schlafly Bottleworks
Square One Brewery
Urban Chestnut Brewing
Morgan Street Brewery
Six Row Brewing
Buffalo Brewing

So that being said, I think this should definitely be my new list to conquer. 15 breweries on the first list and 7 of them listed as the top of St. Louis. Who's coming with me?!?! I bet each one offers a 'flight' and I can try a flight at each one. I'm game.

This above list, the list of 15, is my new quest. And I'm really excited about it actually!!

30 x 30 - 6 months to go...

I'm not doing so hot on this 30 x 30 thing! But I have 6 months to finish...

Here's what's left:

1) Run a half marathon - DONE!
2) Watch the Star Wars Trilogy - DONE!

3) Learn a foreign language - bought a book...working on it. ;)

4) Have 2 of my 4 children - DONE!

5) Take up golf - This has been a weird summer to try this! Rain, rain, rain, 100 degrees...rain, rain, rain. Plus with the three kids, this is harder, but I have 6 months. We'll see!

6) Write a short story - In progress...

7) Complete an indoor triathlon - DONE!

8) Watch Gone with the Wind - DONE! And I loved it!!

9) Watch the Godfather - DONE!

10) Play in a poker tournament at a casino - still need to do this. I can do this anytime really...just need to practice a bit and go do it!

11) Decorate the kids rooms - Need to do this still. Again, an easy one, just have to do it.

12) Shoot a gun - DONE! I went to a shooting course with my neighbor Jeff. I wasn't any good at it. At all honestly. But I shot a gun and can cross it off my list. And I don't need to do it again. :) 

13) Go back to school - DONE!

14) Learn to drive a stick shift - Tonight was another reason why I need to do this. SOON

15) Learn to french braid hair - DONE-ish...needs a little work but does look like a french braid!

16) Get into cooking - With some extra time off now, this is in progress.

17) Finish entertainment center - DONE!

18) Register to vote in St. Louis City - DONE!

19) Consistently dedicated one night a month to a date night - Haven't done this yet but think July is a great month to start.

20) Start a savings account - Starting this as soon as I get my first paycheck as a nurse. :)

21) Make my own recipe - Still must do this...

22) Go back to Signature Room in Chicago - This is looking more and more like it won't happen, but maybe!!

23) Go on a family vacation with my whole family - We have this one planned!!! Unfortunately it's planned for a few months after I turn 30, but it's before I'm thirty one so I'm counting it.

24) Start college funds for the kids - Again, starting with the first big girl paycheck.

25) Consistently have a clean house - Getting MUCH better about this!! I'll call this in progress.

26) Get into exercising 3x a week - Am exercising, just not 3 times a week. Working on it.

27) Reach my goal weight -Been trying on my own but I just can't do it. I succumb to temptation too easily. Re-joining weight watchers and I KNOW that will help.

28) Try every beer on the list at Growlers - Growler's now I'm not sure what to do. I like the idea of drinking being on my list though. :) So I think I'm going to do a brewery list. I'll make that another post, but try to have a drink at each of the breweries in St. Louis. There are a LOT so this will be fun I think. Or make a "golf" pub crawl. Try to go to 9 bars in a day. Drink 1-2 drinks at each one. Make those the "holes". Maybe? No? I'm crazy? We'll figure something out.

29) Read the Lord of the Rings trilogy - Dang, still working on this.

30) Become a nurse!! - DONE DONE DONE!!!

Obviously this is going to be some work still, but I'm definitely working on it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. 
12 done and just 18 to go. 
Maybe I can change it to 30 things I do before my 31st birthday and I'm still 30? Maybe that will count?!? Something to think about...

Monday, July 1, 2013

So thankful!

For the past month or so, I've been terrified that I wasn't going to get to keep my new job. There have been layoffs and offers rescinded due to low census and I was afraid that I would be one of those numbers. But I got the word last week that I'm not one of them. I'm actually one of the VERY FEW who get to start my new job in April. I'm thrilled beyond words.

So the countdown begins. :) 2 weeks from today I start my orientation. THANK GOODNESS!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

To the parents of small children...

A friend posted this on facebook today and I love this. It's very very true. For me at least. I love reading the section where he says, "you are not a terrible parent if..." because sometimes these little joys that I get to be the mommy to just plain drive me crazy. I like knowing that I'm not the only one out there and that if I do some of these things, I'm not a terrible parent.

So read on!

I am in a season of my life right now where I feel bone-tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.
I have three boys ages 5 and under. I'm not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter and chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month, for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that will come at a later date.
But right now, in my actual life, I have three boys ages 5 and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week, when Isaac told my sister-in-law that, "My daddy has hair all over." Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, "Daddy! I have a beard just like you!" Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, "Daddy and Ben time."
But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I'm going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.
One of my children is for sure going to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents. He has a precise vision of what he wants -- exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes, it's the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look -- with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it's exactly right.
I have to confess that sometimes, the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.
There are people who say this to me:
"You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!"
I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.
If you have friends with small children -- especially if your children are now teenagers or if they're grown -- please vow to me right now that you will never say this to them. Not because it's not true, but because it really, really doesn't help.
We know it's true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn't feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn't for you, and it isn't for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.
If you are a parent of small children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and you can't believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:
You are not a terrible parent if you can't figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend's children do. She's obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they'd be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can't figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you'd rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can't wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You're not a terrible parent.
You're an actual parent with limits. You cannot do it all. We all need to admit that one of the casualties specific to our information saturated culture is that we have sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we're failing horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch TV in the morning.
One of the reasons we are so exhausted is that we are oversaturated with information about the kind of parents we should be.
So, maybe it's time to stop reading the blogs that tell you how to raise the next president who knows how to read when she's 3 and who cooks, not only eats, her vegetables. Maybe it's time to embrace being the kind of parent who says sorry when you yell. Who models what it's like to take time for yourself. Who asks God to help you to be a better version of the person that you actually are, not for more strength to be an ideal parent.
So, the next time you see your friends with small children with that foggy and desperate look in their eyes, order them a pizza and send it to their house that night. Volunteer to take their kids for a few hours so they can be alone in their own house and have sex when they're not so tired, for heaven's sake. Put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they're doing a good job. Just don't freak out if they start weeping uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we're botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they're older.
You're bone-tired. I'm not sure when it's going to get better. Today might be a good day or it might be the day that you lost it in a way that surprised even yourself.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
You're not alone. 

Here's the link to read the post that I got this from. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

One extreme to the other

So here's the deal. I'm not that neat. I don't like things DIRTY but I can handle clutter (while Nick on the other hand can NOT handle clutter). Nick's been on me for awhile (how many years have we been married now?) to turn that around and really work on that. Easier said than done. But now I think he fixed me too well.

I spent a few days last week going nuts and cleaning around the house.

Here are some pics of the work I did:

BEFORE picture of the basement. YIKES!
AFTER of the new "Play Area" for the kids.
View over to the "adult area" of the basement.
Another view. Yay! Floor space!
BEFORE picture of my cluttered kitchen eating area.
Living room.
Dining Room.
Dominick and Annabelle's room (Yes, those are labels on the dressers. Dom likes to pick out his own clothes and this makes it easier for him).
View of Annabelle's crib and bookshelf.
View of floor space basically (we moved the toy rack thingy downstairs).
Dom and Annabelle's crib together. They sleep side by side now basically. 

Anyway, all those pictures were showing you the work I did and how now I'm crazy. The whole basement has to be picked up before we can go to bed. All dishes have to be done and all clutter off the countertops before bed. If Nick leaves something out, I'm quick to glare at him and then pick it up. The floor gets swept every day and the basement vacuumed every other day. I'm crazy. I'm not saying this will last forever, but I'm not sure which is worst. Someone who doesn't care about clutter, or something who is crazy and won't let you leave anything out...Poor Nick. 

Be careful what you wish for!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

~ ~ ChAnGeS ~ ~

So many things are changing around our house!! And I Love it!!

First, I PASSED BOARDS!!! I'm now officially a licensed RN and can't wait to start working as an RN. Unfortunately they canceled June orientation at the hospital so I have to wait until July, but hey, I passed and I have a job, so I can't complain too much.

Second, Nick has a new job!! He moved to a new company and we are both thrilled about it! He's going to be running a big job and he's really nervous but I think, no I know! he's going to be fantastic.

Third, we are cleaning up our house!! We always go back and forth on whether or not we want to stay in the city or move back to the county. I figure we should just pretend that we are going to move so we get our house nice and fixed up and if we want to move we will be ready and if we don't, well our house will be nice and fixed up! So we are starting with some landscaping in the back. We will eventually get to the front but are starting with the back. It looks great already and we're just starting!

We dug up all the old grass weeds in one section of the back and relaid some sod. Then we dug up all the old plants in the flower bed and I'm planting new flowers and some hosta plants. I love it already. Next we'll dig up the rest of the weeds and resod the rest of the backyard. We are fixing up the parking pad too. Right now it's just the old parking pad but Nick's running pipe to add lights outside and make it a nice outdoor space. After that we'll finally redo the deck and be DONE with the back!!

I plan on redoing the front too, which won't be near as much work. Just digging up some old grass and planting some new flowers. Then our landscaping will be beautiful!!

Ahhh I'm so happy right now with everything we've been doing and I can't wait to do more! It's amazing how much time I have when I don't have to do homework or study!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Weekend!!

It's been awhile since we've been off and actually been able to do things around the house!! I think we have plans to do some yard work and I'm really excited about it!

Our yard is a COMPLETE disaster. It's disgusting really. But with a little TLC, it could be nice!

So that is MY plan. We'll see what really happens but as of now, that's my Memorial Day goal.

Happy Holiday weekend everyone and be safe!

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Approach to food

I was talking to my sister on Saturday night and she was telling me about something she is trying for her and her family. Well, maybe her kids are doing it?? At least she and her husband are doing it. It's a new approach to eating and food in general. It's supposed to make you feel better and make the most of your meals, while lowering cholesterol, etc.

So I'm trying it.

You eat vegan for 2 meals a day (usually breakfast and lunch) and you can eat whatever you want for dinner. Also, you eliminate all processed foods.

It's tough! But I did it yesterday and I really did feel better and I liked it. So I'm back trying it today. I had some oatmeal that I made (not instant, but rolled oats) and some raisins for breakfast. Right now I'm enjoying a soy latte too. Then for lunch I'll do some salad I believe. Then I'll get to do whatever I want for dinner.

This is the kind of "diet" I like. No counting, no looking up calories, carbs, etc. Not too restrictive either because you can eat whatever you want for dinner. Or one meal a day, whichever you choose I guess.

So here we go. My sister has already lost 10 lbs doing this and I would like to lose about 25 so let's see how this goes!!

This idea is from Mark Bittman, a food author that my sister loves. I have one of his cookbooks "How to Cook Everything" and I love it. Here's the article describing this approach to eating.

I can totally do this for 2 meals a day... :) 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back to school??

Not yet obviously, but I started looking at some MSN programs (Masters of Science in Nursing) and there is a decently priced program at UMSL...It would be part time for 3 years and literally only cost me $2,000 total. TOTAL. (They offer tuition reimbursement where I work so that is clearly factored in).

So that definitely has me thinking...I'd love to have my masters. Maybe after working for a year I'll have to go back and get my masters. Then I'd have my Nurse Practitioner by the time I'm 33. Not too shabby for someone who went back to their BSN as their second degree...

But for now I suppose I'll just focus on passing boards and starting my RN job at BJH. :)


It's never a dull moment at our house!! All three kids are taking amoxicillin now. We went to the pediatrician on Wednesday because Gretch has been pulling at her ears and Dom said his throat hurt. Dom had a throat culture done and tested positive for strept. Then Gretchen had her ears looked at and she has redness in one and lots of fluid in the other. So they both got started on antibiotics. Then they swabbed Annabelle just to be sure. She was negative. Then I got a lovely phone call yesterday saying that the swab for Annabelle that they sent off to the lab came back positive. So she got started on antibiotics too.

So two cases of strept and one double ear infection. Right on.

At least I can start them all on meds at the same time and be pretty confident that as soon as one is over it, they won't give it to another. That's what happened with the dreaded pink eye a few months back. And at Schnucks amoxicillin is free. So that's nice too...

Oh well. Here we go. Now let's just pray that none of them end up allergic to amoxicillin!


I recently went to the doctor because I was just (and still am) so tired all the time! I literally can't stay awake during the day. Even if I've gotten a full night's sleep. So my doctor ran a bunch of tests and found out that I'm extremely Vitamin D deficient. Extremely! So now I get to take a supplement for the rest of my life (just add it to my pill box of other drugs I have to take every day).

He doesn't think that regulating this will make me feel better and more awake, but I'm hoping it will! I'm tired of being tired all the time!!

We shall see...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Early walker??

I think gretchie is going to walk soon!! She's already pulling herself up and trying to walk around in her crib, etc. I think she'll definitely be walking by her first birthday and maybe even sooner!! Yikes!!

And let me tell you, this kid is cute!! What a cutie! ;-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Big talker!!

Gretchen is talking up a storm!!! It's amazing really. Her favorite things to "say" are da da da, ba ba ba and ga ga ga. I'm still trying to get her to say mama but so far no dice! What a big girl! Annabelle better hurry up or Gretchen will be talking before her!

And speaking of Annabelle, we were told at her 2 year appointment to call Missouri First Steps program to get her evaluated for speech therapy. I've finally called and made that appointment and they will be coming on Friday! She's doing better with speech but still behind so I'm really looking forward to that appointment and seeing what they say. I'll keep you posted!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013



She's not very good at it yet, but she can do it! She only does it for a few scoots but she does it and I'm so proud and happy that I got to be there for it! Finally! Something I got to see!

My baby girl is growing up!!! She did it on Easter Sunday morning (3/31/13 - for the baby book) trying to steal Easter eggs from the older kids. ;-) Good girl!

17 more days!

I know I keep saying that I'll be back and blogging but school and work keep dragging me down! :) Right now I'm officially done with classes (woohoo!) but at the hospital 56 hours a week (36 for my preceptorship and 20 for work) so I'm never home and when I am it's either sleeping, cleaning (rare) or just seeing my family. So I swear, eventually I will be blogging again.

But for the meantime, be excited that I passed all my tests and I'm graduating with a decent GPA! And just excited to be graduating in general. I have only 4 shifts left in my preceptorship. Two this weekend and two next weekend. I have an interview next week. And, again, I'm graduating! So things are finally looking up! And I get to see my kids and my husband again. So I'm thrilled.

17 more days. And they can't come fast enough!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow day!!

Today is a snow day!! I didn't even know that colleges got snow days but apparently they do! I will take it and start my spring break a day early! Woohoo!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New books = new addiction

Nick bought me the book "city of bones" for my birthday and I just finished it today (when I should have been studying) and he bought me the next two for valentines day. I'm obsessed. And it's a bad time to be obsessed with a new book series. ESPECIALLY a series of 10 books! Too much studying to do for that! But if you are looking for a new book and liked twilight or Harry potter, I highly recommend these!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

5 months old!

Time keeps on flying!

Gretchie bear, Gretch the Stretch, Gretchalina, whatever you wanna call her, she's 5 months old today!! She's so big! And she's so happy!!

We've made some changes at our house, and all for the better I think. Annabelle has moved into Dominick's room with him and while we're still adjusting to that, I think that's going to be great. It's hard getting them to go down at night since they can distract each other, but it's better because Dom gets scared being downstairs alone. Now they are both down there and he loves having her in there. She loves being in there. They are doing well with sharing toys and she's talking more I think now that they talk each other to sleep (which we're going to have to work on....).

Now that Gretchen has her own room, she's been sleeping through the night again (until the last two night, but I think that's because her cough came back), so that's good. Also, we switched her formula to the GentleEase and now she doesn't spit up anymore (or barely spits up anymore), so YAY all around for those things!

She's not doing too many more things than 4 months. She's been rolling over since 4 months so that's not new, although I may not have blogged about it. She's been doing rice cereal by spoon and doing pretty well with that. One of these days I'm going to make some baby food and get her started on some veggies, but I just haven't had the time and I'm not buying her baby food. I'll probably do that tomorrow night after my class. Start her off with some peas or carrots. Yum!

She likes to chew on things and she's begun to suck on her thumb. Annabelle and Dom both did that for about a week so we'll see if actually becomes a thumb sucker or if this is a temporary thing as well.

She's a big girl. She's been in 3-6 month clothes for awhile now and seems to get longer and longer every day. She's a great baby. I took her to her first basketball game over the weekend with Dominick and my mom and she did great. Only cried one time and that was because she was hungry. And once I started feeding her she was perfect again. And it was LOUD. I was sure she'd get upset but she never did.

Our little surprise miracle baby is just perfect! Happy 5 months to you Gretchie bear!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blogger for the iPhone!

Maybe I'll be able to blog more now that I have the blogger app for the iPhone! I feel bad that I don't blog as much but I'm solo busy! We had dom's birthday a few weeks ago an it was great. I'm waiting to get pictures for family because my camera was missing that day but we had a blast, trust me! I'll try to update with a lot more as soon as I can. Until then ill give you little blurbs here an there with my new app!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Friday, January 18, 2013

My little GENIUS!

So let's be honest. We all KNEW Dom was a genius, but now it's been confirmed! Dominick is a genius. Straight up genius. ;-)

We're trying to get Dominick into the St. Louis Gifted program. He had to get tested to see what his IQ is. He had to score at least a 125. We took him to the testing center and went to the waiting room and he was being weird. He was acting like he didn't know how to do things. He was asking us for help with puzzles and I was thinking "this is not going to be good!". But when we got called and went back to the actual testing area, he was very talkative. The man doing the testing told us that it could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes. Nick and I were nervous. It took the whole 45 minutes. We weren't sure if that meant that Dom was SO smart that he was just seeing how smart he was or if Dom wasn't showing how smart he was and it took so long because he was giving him more chances. :)

At the end of the 45 minutes, the man came back with Dom. Dom ran up to me and said, "I did a really good job Mama!!". We went with the man back to the room and he confirmed it! Dom did great!

Most kids Dom's age test between 90-110. Dom scored a 123 on verbal skills, 132 on non-verbal and 133 on spacial or something like that. Then there was another test that I didn't understand. And the scores don't average. I didn't get that either, but his final score was a 133! WOOHOO! Go Dom!

So he's officially eligible for the program! Now he's in the lottery. Let's just say some prayers that his name gets drawn so he can actually go to one of the two schools we picked!

Congrats Dommie Salami!

First few Weeks of School

It's amazing how you can go from thinking you are busy, to actually being busy. I thought I've been busy the last few weeks of break, but then school started on the 7th, and holy cow. I'M BUSY!!!

I have NO time. NONE. It's amazing. I'm lucky that Nick really is amazing. But the good thing is that I love my classes. I'm really interested in all of them. I'm not so interested in all the work that goes in to each class, but I love the material. I had my first pediatric clinical this past Wednesday and it was better than I thought it was going to be. I don't like sick kids. They make me sad. Really sad. Crying in the middle of a classroom sad. But I handled it ok. Now today's class, totally different story. Talked about some really sad stuff. I actually cried (just teared up - but really did cry in class).

The upside to all this chaos is that I found out today that I only have 7 more weeks of classes left. That's NOTHING. Then I have my preceptorship left but that's the part I'm looking forward to. Only 7 weeks of class. WOOHOO!

Sorry this is a short, weirdo post, but I didn't want to completely stop posting. I have a quick update to post after this and then who knows when I'll post again. :)

Hopefully soon!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Scariest and Proudest Moment of my Life

This literally is the scariest and proudest moment of my life until now.

This happened at my Grandpa's on Christmas Eve. It was the end of the night and a lot of people had already left. We were actually getting ready to leave and I was getting sippy cups for the kids. I was in the kitchen getting Annabelle some milk and picking out my leftovers of the delicious food. Yum!

I was walking back toward the family room where most of the family was when I heard someone screaming my name. I stopped because it was one of those moments where you aren't 100% sure you really heard someone call your name.

I asked, "Did someone just yell my name??".

No one else heard it. Then my brother in law Andrew came into the room and said, in a very hurried voice, "Meghan! Angela needs you. Addie's choking!".

I dropped the sippy and ran into the living room where Andrew had come from and saw my sister and Addie on the floor. It was the scariest sight of my life. Not Addie. Which in itself was downright terrifying. But because my big sister was on the floor holding Addie and crying. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've seen my sister cry. It's that few. My sister is brave and strong and always so tough and sure of things. She's who I look to or call when I need a strong one. So to see her so visibly scared was horrifying.

I dropped to my knees and grabbed Addie and could hear my sister say, "Help me, she's choking! She's choking!".

After that, I don't really remember hearing anyone else. I just remember thinking, thank goodness they make us take a Basic Life Support class to get into Nursing school! I flipped Addie over onto her tummy, held her up (kind of rested her on my leg) and started hitting her on her back. I hit her about 5-7 times and I flipped her over. I looked in her mouth and lightly felt for the object, then I flipped her back over and started hitting her again. On about the 3rd hit of her back, she coughed out the object. It was a teeny tiny binder clip.

Like the smallest one on here:

Angie picked her up and she started crying. I don't blame her. I was hitting her kind of hard to get it out of her. I was so scared. After she calmed down she wanted a sippy cup. I don't blame her for that either! Poor girl had a binder clip stuck in her throat! We got her a sippy and she was a happy girl again. Although she didn't really want much to do with me for awhile! Although, one more time, I don't blame her. :)

Angie kept saying telling me thank you, thank you! I was just so happy I could do it! She made me nervous but she's a happy and healthy girl again. And she didn't need to thank me, of course I would do that! I'm just happy I learned the class and could do it. If it had happened to Annabelle though, I probably would've just freaked out and forgotten everything, so not that I wanted it to happen to anyone, but I'm glad it didn't happen to Annabelle because there could have been a different outcome. We were lucky though and my cousin's girlfriend is a resident at a hospital in Chicago and they had just left. While I was working on her someone grabbed her and she was on her way in. So I think we had her covered.

Also, Angie told us what happened when the whole thing was over and I'm glad I didn't see it. Ang was changing Addie's diaper and she was laying on her back and holding the binder clip in the air. Ang didn't know it was a binder clip because it was so small and my aunt had brought these 3D felt stickers for the kids and they had all been holding them all night. She just thought she was holding a small sticker. Then Addie dropped it and it literally dropped straight down her throat. How scary...

Ang told us she was screaming at the top of her lungs for help and no one heard her. She was in tears by the time Andrew came in. Andrew didn't even hear her. She asked Cecilia to go get Daddy and that's how Andrew found all this out. So Addie had been choking for a minute before I even got in there. The whole thing has randomly given me nightmares since it happened. I've played the "what if" game a few times and started freaking out and Nick has to remind me to stop, because everything worked out and Addie's fine.

I'm so thankful that I've decided to go into nursing school. I'm proud to be going into a position to help save people's lives or at the very least help them. I'm extremely thankful for my BLS class that taught me CPR and how to help choking victims. I think everyone should take a Basic Life Support class if they have the opportunity.

Here's the posted on how to help a conscious choking victim:

Whew. What a Christmas Eve!

New Cousin!

I just found this in my "Drafts" folder...I think it's weird I never published it. Especially since Teddy is almost 3 (this coming March) and they just had their second baby (August or "Auggie" born this past December), but I'm publishing it anyway because it's a cute pic of Teddy!

My cousin, Kevin, and his wife, Diane, had their baby yesterday! Yay!

They had a beautiful baby boy, Theodore Kevin (Teddy). He was born at 9:20 am. He was 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20-1/2 inches long.

Congrats Kevin and Diane!!

Updates on Me

There isn't too much to tell on me. They still have no idea what's going on. I think the last thing I posted was my hospital stay at Christian Hospital. Well, I went back to the hospital the very next weekend with the exact same problem. Numbness and no feeling on the right side of my body. It started in my arm this time and went to my face next and ended in my leg. Nick dropped the kids off at my mother in law's at took me to Missouri Baptist Hospital and they admitted me and again found no answers. They did the same stroke protocol and found no problems. However, this time they also did a lumbar puncture test to check the pressure of my spinal fluid and to check my spinal fluid. Everything was normal except the protein level in my spinal fluid was elevated. After doing this check I felt amazing. No more headache, no more pain, I felt amazing. I was discharged the next day and told to follow up with the neurologist.

I felt pretty good for a bit, but then got another migraine a week later. My mom picked me up and brought me to my regular doctor. I was throwing up the whole way there (don't worry, I brought a bag - thank goodness my mom doesn't have a weak stomach) and I just felt awful. I told the doctor about the lumbar check and feeling better and he thought because of that, that I had a psuedo tumor. So he prescribed a drug to help with that. Acedozolomide or something like that. So I started taking that. I felt ok for a bit and then I started having tingling. Mainly in my hands and feet but it was all the time. So I started freaking out about that! Now I was worried about MS and all sorts of other things.

Luckily I had another appointment with my neurologist. I went to see him and told him about my tingling. He was worried until I told him about the new medicine. That's apparently a side effect of that drug. He checked my eyes and told me I didn't have a psuedo tumor and switched me to a new med, but warned me this also has a side effect of tingling. So now I'm on a migraine prevention med twice a day. He also set me up to do another lumbar check on Dec. 26th to re-check the protein levels.

My dad picked me up at 6 am on the 26th to bring me to MoBap to do the lumbar puncture. I got checked in and set up and everything was ready. My dad went back to work with me promising to call when I was ready to go home. My appointment was for 7:30 and I got back into the x-ray room at 8 am I think, so not too bad. They did the lumbar puncture and everything went well. Not too too painful and I was back in recovery.

I got to order breakfast but had to stay on my back for about an hour and a half. I thought this was weird because when I did the first one I had to stay on my back for 4-6 hours and my paper for my instructions before I went in for this procedure said I'd be in the hospital for 6-8 hours, so an hour and a half was not a long time. Especially with the risk of a spinal headache for getting up too early, but they are the docs right??

Around 10:30 I was completely discharged with the instructions to stay on my back all day and night and drink plenty of fluids. My dad picked me up and I went back to his house and laid in bed all afternoon. Nick picked me up and brought me home where I stayed on the couch all evening until I went up to bed. The next morning I got up for work and it went well, but by the end of the shift, my head started to hurt. Like I was getting a migraine. I was nervous, but went home, took some meds and tried to relax. 

It ended up being the worst migraine I ever had. I made it to work...for an hour or so. I made it home from work and my dad had to meet me there to take me back to MoBap for a blood patch. I had studied blood patches in school but wasn't entirely sure what they were and didn't really know if they would work. What a blood patch is: They basically are giving you an epidural. An anesthesiologist comes in and sticks a needle in your back and puts a tiny catheter in the epidural space in your spine. Then instead of amazing drugs going into your spine to make you feel numb, they put in your own blood. So I had to sit up (which caused my head to throb so bad I just wanted them to kill me, and I wish I was kidding but sadly I'm not), sit extremely still while they got the catheter in the right spot, then wait with the catheter/needle in my back and hold my arm still while they drew out 20 mL of my blood from my arm and then transferred that into my spine...

Luckily it only lasted about 5 minutes for the whole thing. Then I laid back down because I felt dizzy and nauseous. She wanted me to sit up and tell her if I felt better because apparently you are supposed to feel better immediately. I didn't feel better immediately and I couldn't sit up right away. So she left. They gave me more drugs and I slept for a bit. When I was able to get up I still had a pounding headache. Not a migraine, but a pounding headache. I took this as a good sign. They gave me a prescription for a pain med which I was excited about until I got it filled and it was actually Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen which makes me sick...It took 3 days but that migraine is now finally all the way gone. I'm taking my other meds and I'm hoping it's GONE gone.

I'm hoping also that these migraines will STAY away!! Like Nick said: I have school and work and I can't afford to miss anything! I need to be healthy!

Anyway, those are the updates on me. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Immediate Family Christmas

We always do our immediate family Christmas the Saturday or Sunday before Christmas just because the holidays get so crazy busy. This year, my sister and I took my mom to see Wicked at the Fabulous Fox on Saturday so we did Family Christmas on Sunday.

It was a great time. We went over to my parent's around 3 pm. We did dinner first because I knew my kids wouldn't sit through dinner if we did presents first. We had a great meal and then did presents. All of these kids are so loved and spoiled that it's ridiculous. :)

Dominick got a ton of stuff on his Christmas list, including: new Christmas PJ's, a new "piggy bank" which is a big green dinosaur, a big boy green cup, a new puzzle, Ice Age: Continental Drift, and a ton of the Melissa&Doug brand wooden food. What a lucky boy.

Annabelle got a new baby doll, a baby stroller, Melissa&Doug wooden food, new Christmas PJ's, and something else I think, but can't remember...

Gretchen got new Christmas PJ's and a TON of clothes. Just what I wanted her to get!

The food was great, the kids had a blast, everything was perfect!

We gave some presents and got some presents but of course, Christmas is now all about the kids.

Here are some pictures of our day:

 Dad, Dom and Celia all opening a few presents

 Addie opening one of the presents from us, a bag full of baby accessories

 Annabelle looking at her new Christmas PJ's (which she's wearing today!)

 Celia opening her Lego Camper from Grandpa and Grandpa

 Celia opening her play-doh present that Dom picked out

 Gretch just taking it all in

 Angela opening her gift from us, kitchen stuff! 

 Andrew opening a present from Mom and Dad, a signed copy of Tony La Russa's book

 Another pic

 Grandma opening the Cookie Jar the kids made then

 Grandpa opening the calendar of the kids that Angela makes him and Mom every year

Annabelle playing with her new stroller and new baby that she named "LaLa"

It was a great FIRST Christmas. One of many that we got the pleasure of going to this year. What a lucky family we have. :)