Saturday, December 31, 2011

should auld acquaintance be forgot

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

As with many old poems and literature, I am sure there are many translations of the Scottish verse that is traditionally used to ring in the New Year. For me, it is a reminder to not only look forward to the promise of hope and happiness that the New Year has to offer, but to also never forget your previous years and the people who have come and gone throughout your life.

Every person, every experience, has helped shape me into the person I am at this very moment. And I would not be the same if there was even one tiny thing that was different. And because of that, I am thankful for every experience that I have had. I am thankful for every person who has held a piece of my heart. Whether you are living or deceased, currently in my life or a friend of the have changed me. And I have to thank you all for that. Every single one of you.

And with the birth of our first child this year, I am finding that the future for us is so bright. It's so amazing to me that an 18 pound little person has me so wrapped around his little tiny fingers. And I honestly never knew these feelings existed. We are all so in love with him! Every smile, every yawn, every new inch grown, every intellectual stride, every ounce of his being...all have me so excited for everything this new year has to offer us. I only hope that it doesn't go by TOO quickly so that I have time to breathe it all in and not miss a second of it.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being a part of me. And may you look towards the wonderful things 2012 has in store for you with as much happiness and anticipation as we are. It will be a glorious year, and I can't wait for all of the new people and experiences that lie ahead.

To you and yours, I wish you a very...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Camp Trailer Idea

Theresa has graciously allowed me to post my random musings here, and this is the first one. We love camping. We like anything that allows us to get out there more, quicker, and easier. We are building a teardrop... S L O W L Y. Having one unfinished project doesn't stop me from daydreaming about a million other ideas involving camping trailers. I saw an article in 4 Wheel Drive Magazine recently about building an off-road trailer on a's the article.

I love the idea but at first I scoffed at his idea of "budget". Seriously a brand new ARE truck cap for $1800? Professional paint job for $400? Professionally applied Rhino Lining for $375? Why not get a DIY bedliner kit and apply it yourself for around $100? While your at it, why not rattle-can the thing yourself for under $100? Search Craigslist and similar sites and I know you could find a used truck cap a LOT cheaper. That's how I originally thought I would do it if I were in his shoes. Upon further consideration I came up with a new plan of how I would do it:

First, my truck bed trailer would use a utility bed, like this one:

All those cabinets on the outside would be great for storage, and generally the utility beds are tougher than normal pick up truck beds.

Next up...the cap. And for that I'd use a Flip-pac truck topper like this:

With the Flip-pac you can now stand in your truck bed trailer, you could cook in there, and you'd have a lot more storage space inside while getting there. With the "budget" trailer you'd have to stack all your gear on top of you mattress. Ever had a grease trap on a Coleman stove leak out, I have and I definitely wouldn't want it on my sleeping area (think dirt and attracting animals).

After that, you could do any number of other neat little touches like matching the axle under the trailer to your rear axle on your tow vehicle so that you always have a spare axle and parts in case you break way out in the middle of nowhere. Also you'd have two spare tires if needed, just swap out the flat on your tow vehicle with one of the trailer wheels, leave the trailer, drive back to civilization to get the flat tire fixed, and go back for the trailer... beats walking miles back to a repair shop! Also there has to be a way to use the spinning yoke on the trailer axle to do something. Maybe it could be used to generate electricity? I'd also drop the original gas tank and replace it with a water tank, and utilize the gas filler door to fill the water tank. You could have x# of gallons of water for drinking, showering, washing dishes, etc. You could have one of the cabinets on the utility bed flip down into a table for cooking. You could mount electric RV jacks at each of the four corners to level the trailer, you could mount a retractable awning to the flip-pac to provide shade, you could make (or buy) sliding drawers in the bed of the truck to hold even more stuff like this:

...the possibilities are endless.

So there's my latest idea for a camping trailer, feel free to use any or all of it, but if you do please send me some pics and info!

Friday, December 16, 2011

14 things the baby books don't tell you

You don't realize this until you look back at your pregnancy, but those books you read (you know the ones) just really don't tell you everything they should. For example, here is a list of 14 things the baby books fail to emphasize.

Buckle up.

14. You will not lose all the weight you gained during pregnancy right away.
In fact, if you're like me, you will not even lose it after 4 months! So seriously...don't expect to fit in those skinny jeans again anytime soon. Wait...I don't even have skinny jeans. So no problem! :-) But all in all, don't expect to lose that baby weight overnight. You may lose a little at first, but it might plateau. It might take awhile. Your belly will probably feel like a saggy pillow. So don't be sad. I feel that way, too.

13. You will sweat like a pig on a spit.
If you are one of the lucky ones (like me), you will gain a lot of excess water weight and will bloat so much you will look like the Michelin man. Your feet probably look like hot air balloons. Your face like a basketball. One of the things you don't realize, though, is that after you give birth, that water has to go somewhere...and not just through your pee. You will sweat it out...everywhere. You will sweat while moving, while breastfeeding, while sitting still. You will sweat during the day. And, mostly, you will sweat at night and probably wake up with a wet pillow. Sexy, huh?

12. You really do need to sleep while the baby is sleeping.
This is one thing I seriously wish I did more of - sleeping while the baby is sleeping. You're not going to miss anything. The laundry and dishes are not going anywhere. So just sleep while you can. Because before you know it, the week/weekend/month/month(s)/etc will be over and you will wish you would have taken even just one more nap. So take that nap. TAKE IT NOW!

11. You will learn to eat faster than a ninja.
Once the baby is born, you will learn to eat your meals so quickly that you'll actually wonder if you even ate at all. You will inhale things so quickly just because you know that at any second you will be interrupted and may not be able to finish your dinner. And,'s quite impressive how quickly you learn to scarf down your meals and you don't even get sick!

10. Sitting will hurt for weeks.
This is something that is obvious, when you think about it. But it's something I never even thought about. If you give birth vaginally, it will hurt to sit for weeks. It will be so uncomfortable that it would make you wish you had pregnancy hemorrhoids again. The pain and discomfort obviously goes away, but for some reason I was not prepared for that at all.

9. You will lose all inhibition.
If you are in the hospital for two days, five days (like myself), or longer (hopefully not), you will have SO many doctors and nurses coming in and switching shifts at all times. And because of that, you will have so many different people coming in to check out your nether regions. The first day it will be a little awkward to have different people coming in to check you out. But you will learn quickly to just get ready for it the second you hear the door open. And once that door opens? Yep, you guessed it. Your inhibition sneaks out through the opening. Bye, bye. Gone forever.

8. You will have conversations that you never would have imagined having.
You will talk about your birth story. You will talk about breastfeeding. You will talk about your baby's bowel movements. Your baby's lack of bowel movements. You will talk about other bodily functions. You will talk about everything. All someone needs to do is ask and you will tell them. After all, you have no inhibition anymore. Remember?

7. You will feel like you live in a permanent pig sty.
Cleaning will be at the very bottom of your to-do list once you have a baby. During my maternity leave, I felt constantly out of sorts because our place was always a mess. And it actually still needs a good cleaning and makeover. But when it comes down to it, clean what you need to, but don't make it a top priority. When all is said and done, I can guarantee that you won't look back and say "Man...I wish I would have cleaned more."

6. There will be days when you get home from work and realize you never even brushed your teeth yet.
Because you have what seems like a million things to do, personal hygiene sometimes flies out the window. When I wake up in the morning, I have to not only get myself ready, but I have to get my baby ready to go - get him cleaned, changed, fed, burped, bottles ready, changed again, etc. I have to also get the dog ready for the day - fed, taken out, etc. So by the time it comes to leave, brushing my teeth sometimes doesn't even cross my mind. I hate to admit it, but I probably do this twice a week. Don't worry, though...I always brush them as soon as I can.

5. You will pee whenever you sneeze.
Get used to it.

4. You need to discuss having a budget.
Whether a single parent or a two-parent family, you will need to seriously think about a budget. We didn't, and it's been pretty stressful actually. Because I was out of work for 3 months (2 of which were unpaid), we obviously had a lot less money than usual. And, as most first time parents can probably agree, the last thing you want to do every day is cook a home-cooked meal. So you get takeout. A lot. And you spend more money than you should. And you get behind. It can get messy. 2012 is budget year for us...but it's something that the baby books don't stress enough. Work out a budget ahead of time. Just do it. It's then one less thing to worry about.

3. You will feel inferior.
Let's face it. When you have a baby, all of a sudden it seems like EVERYONE AROUND YOU is having a baby, too. And you think to yourself that it's actually kind of ridiculous that so many people are having babies. But then...once everyone has those babies, you will start to notice that a lot of people tend to brag about their babies like you wouldn't believe. You will hear things like "My baby started rolling over after one week" and "My baby started sleeping through the night after 2 weeks" and "My baby started to crawl after 2 months" and "My baby started to talk after I gave birth." Okay...maybe not that last one. But you get the picture. Be prepared for mothers to start spouting off all the amazing and shocking and wonderful things their children can do. It's not a terrible thing. In fact, it shows how proud they are about their babies. But be prepared. It will make you feel inferior...especially if your baby didn't roll over after week 1 or sleep through the night after the second week or crawl during month 2 or talk after exiting your hoohah.

2. Breastfeeding is weird.
It's amazing. But weird. Especially the part when you realize that your breastmilk not only comes from out of the center of your nipples, but it comes from dozens of other parts of your nipples...and shoots in different directions. Yeah. Freakin' weird.

1. You will fall.
Fall. Not Fail. F-A-L-L. Fall. In love. With your baby. It might not happen right away. But at some point, it will hit you hard. You will be so in love, more than you ever thought possible. Every look, smell, sound. Every smile, every cry, every coo, every whine, every yawn. Baby hugs. Baby farts. Baby breath. You will fall in love with it all. You will not be able to get enough of your baby. You will be so very much in love.

And the baby books just don't tell you all of that.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a worthy cause

There are so many charities out there. So many causes to support. It's so difficult to even think about choosing only one to support because there are so many that pull at each different heart-string.

But here are a few of the causes that I support the most.

Take a look and these phenomenal organizations!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

diaper dilemma

Okay. So. The word "dilemma" implies that there is a really big issue or concern about something. And in some eyes, this might not seem like a dilemma at all. But in mine it is.

So here goes...

Other than being terrible for the environment and just collecting dust in landfills, I have now learned that all disposable diapers test on animals.


And by "testing on animals", I don't mean that they put the diapers on the animals to make sure they fit. No. Not even close. What I mean by "testing on animals" is that they apparently have to test the toxicity of the gels that the diapers use to soak up the baby's waste.

And that disgusts me...especially since the term "toxicity" refers to the levels at which something is harmful or damaging to a living (or non-living, I guess) being. So, in the fullest sense of the word, they are using animals to test how harmful the chemicals in diapers are.

And that mental picture is so much more gross and disturbing that the dirtiest diaper mess.

I will admit - I really love disposable diapers because they are so quick and easy. And because V goes to a babysitter during the day, it's really the most convenient option to just hand his sitter a bag of diapers so she can change him while I am at work.

But now I am seriously thinking of possibly switching to cloth diapers for all the times that V is NOT at the sitter. I wouldn't be comfortable asking the sitter to use cloth diapers while he is under her care...but for the times before work, after work, and on the weekends...I am seriously considering it.

And like I said before, this might not seem like a dilemma at all. Besides, people use disposable diapers all the time. Our parents used them on us. We use them on V. Millions of other people use them on their children. It's completely normal and accepted.

But something in my gut now cringes knowing that it's so bad not only for the environment but for the lives of animals who don't even know what diapers are.

So now I will leave my questions for you...

What are your thoughts on using cloth diapers? Is it messier? More time consuming to clean? Does it cause more diaper rash? a family of parents who both work, is it really possible to switch to cloth diapers 100% of the time?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

for the beauty of the earth

This Thanksgiving, I am reflecting on the fact that my eyes have been so opened to what it means to be truly "thankful". I can't possibly spend enough time talking about every single thing I am thankful for because I would be here for an eternity. But, most of all, I am thankful for...

My wonderful, loving husband matter what we go my rock in everything.

My sister-in-law who gave Joe her kidney a few years ago. I am seriously thankful for this every single day.

My beagle. Having never owned a dog before her, she has opened my eyes to unconditional love. I am truly blessed by her.

My family. To my parents and sister - there may only be 4 of us, but we are so strong, so close. And I am so thankful for the love we share. To my aunts, uncles, cousins and others - I don't see you nearly enough, but am thankful for every memory with you.

Joe's family. Even though we are so far away, you always remain so close to our hearts.

Health care.

My job.

My home.

Our earth.

My freedoms.

And last, but DEFINITELY not perfect, healthy, angelic, and amazingly beautiful son.

For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our grateful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above, pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our grateful hymn of praise.

excerpt from:
"For the Beauty of the Earth"
by Folliott S. Pierpoint

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

breast or bottle?

For the past several days, I have been put on a couple medications that were necessary for my health, but not so great for my baby's. What that means, is that I have had to stop nursing Baby McG since Saturday and won't be able to start again until Thursday when the meds are out of my system.

It has been hard not being able to nurse him for the past few days and this made me realize how much I enjoy nursing him. That may strike some of you as weird. And it actually struck me as weird at first, too, because I honestly didn't think I would like breastfeeding.

In fact, I never really thought much about breastfeeding before. Not until my OB/GYN during my pregnancy and the doctors at the hospital asked "Are you going to do breast or bottle?" Without hesitation, I would always answer "breast" without even thinking about it. I don't know why, really. I could have easily chosen to formula feed. And I never read anything or heard anything that influenced my decision at all. But "breast" was just always my answer. I guess I just felt, deep down, that that is the way it's supposed to be. That that is what is expected. So yeah...that was always my answer, without a second thought.

Now, I am in NO WAY AT ALL passing judgement on those who formula feed their babies because we have formula fed ours, too. But during these few days when I have been forced to "pump and dump" and feed the baby a mixture of formula and milk that I've stored, I realized how much nursing has helped me in bonding with my baby. And it makes me wonder that if I chose to do formula feeding from the beginning if I would not have bonded with him in the same way.

Like I said, I am not passing judgement...I am only speaking what is true for me and am truly curious about what motivates others. So, to those mothers out there, here are my questions for you...

What were your reasons for choosing breast or bottle? you feel that either choice has influenced how you bonded with your child(ren)?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

randomness. dig it.

Since our last blog post, I have had a million things I've wanted to blog about. But since I have spent the last 2 weeks getting back in the swing of things at work and still getting used to motherhood (will I ever get used to it?), the last thing I want to do when I get home is blog.

In fact, there actually really is no time to blog about everything I have wanted to - going back to work, balancing baby life with work life and home life, No Shave November, how stores start decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween, how much I love this time of year, my goal to not procrastinate shopping this year, how we might need a new car soon, how we can't afford a new car or christmas presents right now because i haven't been paid for 2 months, etc. etc.


Looking back over that list, maybe it's a good thing there was no time to blog about it.

But I DO want to talk about a camping trip we took last weekend. It was our first camping trip since the 4th of July weekend, and our first camping trip with Vincent. I will admit. I was VERY nervous about it since he is just barely 3 months old this week.

Joe's parents were in town from New England and my parents went with us as well. After all, it was both our parents who created the love of camping in each of us. So it was quite the family trip. And Vincent was an angel. He was so quite the entire trip and just loved being outdoors.

For me, it was definitely exhausting. Very nice and peaceful. But exhausting. I remember camping trips where I could just sit and relax and breathe in the smell of nature with no distractions at all. It was still mostly like that, except now there are distractions. Now I'm not saying that having Vincent there was a bad thing. Quite the opposite, actually. I look forward to taking him camping as much as possible so that he can enjoy it with us. But it was just different this time around. And having a small baby meant that I could never really FULLY 100% relax.

You know?

But what I think is the coolest thing about this trip is that Vincent was able to be in the same place at the same time with ALL of his grandparents. When people have children when they are super young, this might not seem like that abnormal of a thing. But my mother had me at about the same age I am now, and I was never able to be with all of my grandparents at the same time. I was unfortunate to never even meet one of them because he had passed away long before my birth. And Joe never met all of his grandparents either. Is this really that abnormal? Or is it just abnormal for me and Joe?

Anyway, I just thought it was the coolest thing, and something that we'll be able to tell Vincent for years to come. That his first camping trip ever was spent with his parents and ALL of his grandparents (and Lucy, too, of course!). And let me tell you this...this kid's grandparents love the crap out of him. He is one really lucky little boy.

Seriously. How cool is this?

Grandma K, Grandma M, Vincent (sleeping), Grandpa M, Grandpa K

Sunday, October 23, 2011

can i be one of the 1%?.....pretty please?!?!

I have a feeling that every new mother, at some point, loathes the idea of going back to work after spending precious time with her newborn. And now that Baby McG is out of the newborn phase and in the really cute I-wanna-smile-all-the-time-and just-stare-at-my-mommy-and-daddy phase, all I want to do is stay at home with him. But, financially speaking, bills are really tight right now and going back to work this week is really a necessity for us.

But it's still heartbreaking.

He has grown so much in the past few weeks...and not just his belly size. :-) He has become so happy, so smiley, so interactive. He's also really inquisitive and loves staring straight at the camera to figure out what it is (since I always put it right in front of his face). He loves staring at his hand and trying to figure out what that is, too. And if you talk to him and ask him a question, he'll respond with a cute little coo. He's just getting so fun to be around!

And I want to be around him all the time.

During the first week and a half I would have never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but now...even his cries are cute! Annoying at times, but cute as hell.

But...back to work I go. If I was one of the lucky One Percent of people in the world who were super wealthy, then I would stay at home with him in a heartbeat. Not a second thought. I would have to be organized like a teacher and really develop him until he starts going to school, but I would love every second of it.

I love the crap out of this kid!

Weird expression, I know...but everything he does makes me so happy.

I know, I know.

You're probably thinking "blah blah blah BLAH blahblah Blah blah blaaaahhh!"

But I am just feeling really bitterwseet about going back to work tomorrow. It will be nice to get back to work, be around adults during the day, and make money again to help with new expenses...but I am also just sad about leaving him with another person.

The sitter we found actually comes highly recommended and is great with children. And I have no doubts that he will get anything less than great care. But, as a mother, I am just worried that he won't get as much loving attention as I know I would give him. Also, I am worried that I will miss important milestones. Like...if I pick him up one day and they tell me he sat up on his own, or said his first word, or took his first step, I think I would feel very sad that I was not there to witness it. Is that stupid?


I'll get over it. And I'll drop him off tomorrow. And I'll go to work and then pick him up afterwards. Just like every other working mother out there. I just wish I had the option of staying with him all day.

I love this little dude with every ounce of my body. I know he doesn't know what love is yet, but I hope that I can show it to him as best I can.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

what NOT to ask a pregnant woman

Looking back on my pregnancy, it's interesting to me how much people LOVE pregnant women. I'm not kidding. When people find out you're pregnant it's seriously the most awesome thing in the world to them. People always have such happy things to say when you're pregnant...and they also have a million questions for you as well.

Questions like "How are you feeling?" and "Do you know if you're having a boy or girl?" and "What are you going to name your baby?" are questions you should really get used to when you're pregnant because you will probably hear each of those questions at least a million times a day.

But there are other things people may say to you or ask you that may catch you by surprise. The following is a list of those questions and my reactions to them:

" this pregnancy a good thing?"
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: No. Absolutely not. It's awful......OF COURSE IT'S A GOOD THING!!!
  • My actual response: I seriously have been asked this before by one of the ultrasound technicians at the hospital. I didn't really understand what she was asking at first, but then I realized that she actually probably sees a lot of patients who are NOT happy about having a baby. That makes me a little sad.


"Maybe you're having twins!?"
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: Well...maybe you should not call me "fat"? Because that's pretty much what you're saying, right? That I look fat enough to be having twins? Nope. That's not twins. That's just one HUGE little butterball and a lot of extra maternal storage tissue, thankyouverymuch.
  • My actual response: Nope...just one baby. Not sure if I could handle two.


"You look really swollen!"
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: Really? Are you sure I'm really swollen? I mean, I didn't notice any swelling when I put on my shoes this morning and could barely squeeze my entire foot into the shoe. And I don't notice any swelling when I stretch my legs and feet and can feel the tightness and strain due to all the bloating. And I certainly don't notice any swelling whenever I cross my legs and see a huge gash from where my leg was resting. And I definitely don't notice any swelling when I look in the mirror. I mean...are you sure I'm really swollen?
  • My actual response: totally sucks. My ankles are non-existent now.


"You're pregnant? WHAT!? I couldn't even tell!"
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: This is pretty much the same as calling me fat. Why? I'll tell you. Firstly, I definitely look pregnant. I mean, I don't normally carry around a belly the size of a watermelon. So, secondly, by saying you can't tell that I'm pregnant, while very nice as a gesture, is pretty much just the same as saying "You look really pregnant, but I'm going to be nice and say that you don't look pregnant at all."
  • My actual response: Yep! It's really exciting! Weird...and different. But really exciting!!


"Are you really going to eat that whole sandwich/pizza/ice cream?"
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: This is pretty much the same as calling me fat, too...and my answer will probably always be "Yes I'm going to eat the whole thing. Do you have a PROBLEM with that?"
  • My actual response: Yes I'm going to eat the whole thing. Do you have a PROBLEM with that?


"You better enjoy your sleep while you can!"
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: Really? And you think I'm enjoying sleep now? With a ginormous belly that prevents me from sleeping in pretty much every position and a bladder that screams to be emptied every hour on the hour? Yeah. Not so much. But thanks for pointing out that I have to look forward to MORE sleeplessness.
  • My actual response: Yeah. I'm not sure how that will be, but I'm sure I will not be getting much sleep for awhile.


"Enjoy your freedom while you can. You can't do _____ with a baby."
  • How I would have responded if I was mean: Like heck we can't! We are taking this baby anywhere we want to and doing anything we want to. We will be forming this young little child to our lives, not the other way around. But, once again, thanks for trying to point out something negative about having a child. I really like that. A lot.
  • My actual response: Like heck we can't! We are taking this baby anywhere we want to and doing anything we want to. We will be forming this young little child to our lives, not the other way around.


"Can I touch/rub/kiss your belly?"
  • How I would have responded on a bad day: Can I touch/rub/kiss yours? Unless I know you really well and you and me are "tight" like that...don't ask. And speaking of the belly, try not to look at it too much either. I know it's huge. I know it's sticking out there. But when the first thing people do is look straight at my belly fat BEFORE they look at me or say "hi", it's just kind of not cool. I know it's exciting there's a little dude chilling out in my uterus, but my face is up here.
  • My actual response: Umm...I would prefer if you didn't. Baby's sleeping right now. :-)


"How are you feeling?"**
  • How I would have responded on a bad day: I'm feeling fine. Well, I'm not, now that I'm thinking about it. Remember when you told me before how fat I was (when you asked if I was having twins/knew I was so swollen/eating the entire refrigerator/etc.)? Well, yeah...I'm feeling fat. HUGE, actually. And it hurts. I know it's "for a good cause" and I'm "not fat [I'm] pregnant". But it really does hurt. Mostly my knees, actually. So much so that my knees spasm in pain every time I get up or down from a chair/car/bed/floor. And it also hurts because my feet can barely fit into my shoes. Which means: "Yes...I am VERY swollen." And speaking of swelling, did you know that in order to keep swelling down I actually have drink MORE water than normal? This seems kind of ironic since swelling is water retention. But yeah, I'm supposed to drink craploads of water to help keep the swelling from getting worse. Which...yep! You guessed it! Makes me have to pee every hour! It's super fun. Especially when I want to get a good night's sleep but I know that I can't because of how I'm so large, swollen, and filled with pee waiting to explode if I don't get up a million times each night. But the constant peeing is actually not that big of a deal compared to all the gas, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, and stretch marks. I mean, did you know that drinking WATER can give a pregnant lady gas? Yeah...water. And salad can, too. And actually anything that a pregnant lady digests gets turned into gas. An.Y.Thing. And because of all the pressure in the abdomen, bowel movements become less regular and there is so much less space for things, so acid reflux and hemmorhoids are born. And you don't even want me to go into more detail than that. Trust me. So, speaking of gas and hemmorhoids and acid you still want to rub my belly and tell me to enjoy sleep and doing things while I can? Yeah. Didn't think so.
  • My actual response: I'm feeling fine.

** "How are you feeling?" is actually totally a decent question to ask. I am just being a beotch.

Monday, October 17, 2011

you are my sunshine

you are my sunshine, my only sunshine

you make me happy when skies are grey

you'll never know, dear, how much i love you

please don't take my sunshine away

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The McGowan Family Disclaimer


The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by Theresa or Joseph McGowan and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of The McGowan family as a whole, specifically Vincent McGowan or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Fur. The McGowan Family make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.

The McGowan Family blog reserves the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner it sees fit blog entries or comments that it, in its sole discretion, deems to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, or is otherwise unacceptable.

let's talk pickles

Joe: I'm gonna have a pickle. Do you want one?

Me: Not really.

[I watch Joe start eating a pickle and start to salivate. I guess I really do want a pickle. But should I admit it?]

Me: Ummm...okay, sure.

[I eat the pickle and immediately regret it.]

Me: Blech! This pickle is nasty!

Joe: Well, it's a zesty pickle. Why did you buy zesty dill pickles?

Me: Well, you're the one who asked for dill pickles. And when I got to the pickle aisle, there were literally a BOJILLION pickle choices. A bojillion brands. A bojillion flavors. And I knew you only like DILL pickles, so finally after WAY too many minutes spent in the pickle aisle, I picked the first jar I saw that said "DILL" on it. So I guess THAT'S why you got zesty dill pickles!

So yeah.

I'm not a communist. I'm not necessarily anti-capitalism either. But COME ON, PEOPLE!! Grocery stores are way too big to begin with and it would make shopping so much more fun and so much easier if there weren't a bojillion choices for everything.

I mean, seriously.

Let's talk pickles.

First, there is the type of pickle. You've got dill
pickles, kosher dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, sweet pickles, sour pickles, half sour pickles, candied pickles, gherkins, and (apparently) there are also zesty dill pickles.

There are more types of pickles than what's in that short list, but now let's talk about cuts. There are whole pickles, half pickles, pickle spears, sandwich stackers, pickle slices.

Now, really,
it's okay that there are different types of pickles and different cuts of pickles. But, now, to ADD to your pickle choices, there is also the pickle brand to consider. Some of the main brands throughout the United States are Vlasic, Claussen, Heinz, and Cain's. And that's not even 10% of the brands in the USA. Each state has their own list of pickle brands and there are also smaller pickle companies trying to cash in on the pickle market.

Is there really the need for this, though?

I mean, a pickle's a pickle. Maybe there are taste and quality variations from brand to brand, but do there really need to be hundreds of pickle types/cut/brands to choose from?


Think about it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

our beagle, the druggie

Take a look at this picture.


Take a good, long, hard, thoughtful look at this picture and then I'll tell you what you're looking at.

Go ahead.

Take a look.


Now I'll tell you what this is a picture of.

This, my friends, is a picture of the world's most expensive beagle dog. Literally. Indubitably. Absolutely. 100%. THE. MOST. EXPENSIVE. BEAGLE.

After a long night of stomach issues (diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, etc.), coupled with the recent resurgence of hip issues, we felt that something with Lucy was just really not right and didn't want to wait for our follow up appointment at the end of the week. Therefore, we decided to take her to the vet today for the new symptoms.

So Joe took Lucy to the vet while I watched our little munchkin and they did some more bloodwork, took a stool sample, gave her subcutaneous solution to prevent dehydration and gave her medication for nausea. As a result...the bloodwork came back normal. No parvo, no giardia. No apparent infections or issues there. We are still waiting for the valley fever test results, so will know even MORE (or less) once those results are in. But all in all, we know nothing. The vet knows nothing.

So the plan, for now, is to give her:

anti-ulcer medication to prevent ulcers from all the vomiting

Amoxicillin and Metronidazole
antibiotics to get rid of any intestinal bacteria or disease she may have

dewormer medication in case she has worms

And also some probiotic supplements for her food and pain medication (as needed) for her hips.

If you ask me, I think our dog definitely has a drug problem. Why else would she go to these great lengths to get so many medications? What other reason could there be for her incessant need to see the doggie doctor?

Hmmmm...our beagle, the druggie. I think it's time for an intervention.


While I don't have time (or energy) to discuss the notion of animals having substance abuse issues, I just wanted to illustrate that our beagle is flippin' expensive. Granted...if we didn't give a crap about her, we wouldn't spend anything on her. But when you know something's wrong, you want to make sure you can make it all better, right?

Well, she's obviously got some stomach and pain hopefully this brief medication period will help.

And if not, then I'm sure I'll write another blog about it.

So stay tuned!

And don't buy dogs from backyard breeders who are only in business for money and to breed dogs for good looks, not for good health.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

mission: diagnosis

To: Veterinarians Worldwide

From: Concerned Beagle Parent

CC: All friends, family, doctors, veterinarians, and blog onlookers who happen upon this post by accident

Date: October 12, 2011

Subject: Beagle Illness

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with a CORRECT diagnosis for our beagle based upon the following information:

Past Health Issues:

December 2009
  • Symptoms - vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, lethargy, enlarged spleen
  • Test Results - high liver enzymes, low platelet and t-cell counts, bile acid tests normal, valley fever results normal
  • Diagnosis - Tick Fever
  • Treatment - Doxycycline until January 2011
  • Comments - Tick fever treatment stopped with latest results showing 1:160 exposure to tick fever
November 2010
  • Symptoms - yelping when hind legs are touched, inability to jump, hesitancy to exert any pressure on hind legs,
  • Test Results - X-Rays taken indicated hip dysplasia
  • Diagnosis - Hip Dysplasia
  • Treatment - Rimadyl and Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements.
  • Comments - Rimadyl treatment was stopped, but we have continued the Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements to promote joint health. No flare ups have occurred since this initial treatment of hip dysplasia.

Current Health Issues:

October 2011
  • Symptoms - yelping when hind legs are touched, inability to jump, hesitancy to exert any pressure on hind legs, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy
  • Test Results - X-Rays taken indicated NO hip dysplasia, still waiting for valley fever test results, going back to the vet today for additional screening because of onset of vomiting and diarrhea
  • Diagnosis - None yet, our vet office is thinking Beagle Pain Syndrome if valley fever results are negative
  • Treatment - None yet
  • Comments - Deep in my gut I don't think it's Beagle Pain Syndrome especially since our dog had tick fever in the past and responded to treatment and had hip dysplasia in the past and responded to treatment. I am guessing that if the valley fever results are positive, then they will start treatment of that. But if negative, then I'm hoping they recheck for tick fever based on the similar symptoms. But if both tests are negative, I'm not really sure what is going on.
Any thoughts and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Concerned Beagle Parent

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

beagle pain syndrome? what the...?!?!

Baby McG
Baby V is doing well. He has nearly doubled in weight over the past month and a half and is getting so chunky. I LOVE his little rolls. :-) Also, he is sleeping slightly longer in the night. I still have to get up to feed him in the middle of the night, but he has been really good lately and has been going straight back to sleep right after. And I know that will keep getting better. I just have to stick with it and be patient...and strong.

Papa McG
Joe is doing well (as far as I can see, at least). :-) He is a great father. I know, like me, he has countless lessons to learn...but he is great with V and he smiles every time Joe is near him. That little boy loves his daddy so much already.

Mama McG
Read the last post. Oh yeah...and also...I HATE that I have to go back to work. HATE IT!! Like I've said before, I actually do like my job. But nothing would make me happier than to be able to stay at home with V every day and help him grow.

Lucy McG
Lucy just turned 4 this past week...already!! And she is a great big sister to V and I can tell that they will be the GREATEST of friends. But she has had another health hiccup this week. :-(

Remember last winter when Lucy was diagnosed with hip dysplasia?

(Click HERE for a refresher)

Well, she ended up responding well to the initial treatment of it and has been asymptomatic since then. Until now. Just over this past weekend she has started to whimper when moving and shrieks in pain if her hips are touched. So while I stayed at home with the baby on Sunday, Joe took her to the vet to see what they could do for the flare up of her hip dysplasia.


They took more x-rays and the radiologist on Sunday said there was no hip dysplasia.

WHAT the @#$%?????


That was my reaction verbatim.

So they did some blood work to see if it's possibly valley fever (hope NOT!), and if that comes back negative then they think she might have something called Beagle Pain Syndrome.

Not kidding.

Apparently Beagle Pain Syndrome is a type of meningitis that causes pain with movement, anorexia, depression, hunched posture, and guarding of the neck and genital area. It can, apparently, affect dogs other than beagles, too. It's treatable with steroids.

But here's my "thing":

If they originally diagnosed hip dysplasia and that initial treatment worked and got rid of all symptoms for almost a year, why are they now saying that it's something completely different? What I want to know is why in the WORLD one x-ray would show hip dysplasia and then one year later another shows that it's magically gone. Sorry, people...but hip dysplasia doesn't work that way. It actually gets WORSE over time.

Right now, they are hoping to rule out valley fever and we are just waiting for the results. If it's negative, then they are thinking it's the Beagle Pain Syndrome. But what if they are wrong about this, too? Or maybe they weren't wrong and she really DOES have hip dysplasia.

See? Confusing!!

Now I'm just skeptical about everything.

We have a follow up appointment later this week, so stay tuned for some news. Until then, though, just keep her little painful beagle butt in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the cutest thing

Motherhood is hard work. And I've only been doing it for 2 1/2 months. So I know I have countless (and even more difficult) experiences ahead of me, but seriously. This is the hardest thing I've ever done.

Not only did I push him out with every ounce of energy in every last atom in my body (sorry for the visual), but I have had to adapt to numerous changes since then - physical pain and recovery, never-ending fatigue, hormonal changes, postpartum sweating (look it up, it's awesome), and breastfeeding (to name a few). It's all so emotionally draining. And I consider myself a very patient person, but being a mother has really put my patience to the test. And I'm certain that the whole "testing my patience" thing will probably never end from here on out.

And I am sure that I am the same as every new mother when I say this, but I seriously have the most respect for mothers everywhere. Especially my own.

It has been quite an adjustment to work through the newborn phase and I know it will keep getting better week to week, month to month, year to year. And while there are still difficulties and SO MUCH learning that I have to do, I can already tell that this is one of the best experiences of my life. Nothing makes me happier than seeing more and more of this every day:

I could look at that smile all day long.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

if you didn't know before, you do now! (part 2)

The wait is over!

Here are the rest...

11) I am a sucker for shows on The CW. I'll watch pretty much any of them, actually. Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, America's Next Top Model. Even the new ones - The Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie - have me intrigued.

12) I have made 2 quilts in the past - both of them I gave away as gifts. A lot of work goes into those things...and they are SO NEAT when finished. But...the next quilt I make I am KEEPING!

13) I bite my nails. It's gross. I am not proud of it. But I do it. The longest I have stopped biting my nails is about 10 months. I will quit for good. I will!

14) I recorded a CD about 6 years ago. I wrote maybe half of the songs and picked some covers that I loved. And I just recorded them all solo - nothing but me and my guitar. Quite raw sounding, actually...but really REALLY an awesomely fun experience.

15) My favorite artists (in no particular order) are: Edwin McCain, Boston, Patty Griffin, Huey Lewis and the News, Weezer, Better Than Ezra, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Kay Hanley, Chet Baker, Martin Sexton, and Ingrid Michaelson.

16) The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho is my all time favorite book. Read it. Just do it.

17) I want to write a book. I have a basic premise for it and have thought a little about the characters I want to use...but it's just so difficult to start. One day, though, I would really like to write it for good!

18) I love the company I work for, but I don't want to go back to work! I would love it if there was a way for me to make an income from home so that I could stay home and also take care of our baby. The thought of taking him to a babysitter or daycare place has me terrified. I know people do it all the time and that babysitters and daycare places are trustworthy...but I also know that no one will take care of our child like we do. And it's hard to trust someone with his little life.

19) I don't have trust issues...I just want to stay home with my baby. :-)

20) If there is one thing that I will never discuss in our blog, it is politics and politicians. The main reason being that I can't stand politics or politicians. Also, nothing I say will change your mind about what you think...and believe me, nothing you say in return will change my mind about what I think.

21) I love, Love, LOVE Young Adult novels and I am PROUD OF IT! The Twilight novels, the House of Night books, the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games trilogy. I'm not sure why I like them all so much. Am I in some way trying to hang on to my youth? Not sure...but one thing is certain and that is I can't get enough of 'em!

22) My favorite vehicles are Toyotas, Volvos, Subarus, and Land Rovers. I have already owned a Toyota in my life, so I would like to, at some point, have the others, too. These things are superficial and material, I know. But this is MY list!

23) I always wanted to have two boys. Because I just squeezed one out and he is currently sucking away every last drop of my energy, I am not sure if or when we will have another one. :-) BUT...if/when that day comes to have another child, I secretly want both children to be boys. I guess it's not so secret now, huh? :-)

24) Whenever my baby cries, I want someone else to watch him until he's done crying. Is that evil?

25) I need at least one weekend spent in the outdoors every month. I love nature and love little vacations away from the city. But because of being wicked pregnant and now on maternity leave, we haven't been able to go for awhile. We do, however, have our first camping trip with baby booked and it's only a few weeks away. I can't wait! Our baby WILL like camping. He WILL!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

if you didn't know before, you do now! (part 1)

The internet and social media has made it increasingly easy for people to share any and every thought and opinion that crosses one's mind - on Facebook, Google Plus, MySpace, and all the blogging websites out there. Some blogs are super interesting and really fun to follow (ie. The Bloggess) while others are just a single person (or persons) trying to put thoughts out there for no real reason whatsoever. Not to say those aren't interesting, but the point I'm trying to make is...

Why do we do this?

Why do we update our status on Facebook so people know what we're doing and thinking? Why do we blog so people can know what's going on in our lives?

I have absolutely no idea.

I's not like someone asked me, "Hey T! Please go online and document all of your thoughts so that everyone can read them!" ha ha. If someone actually asked me that I would probably think they were crazy for wanting to read my every thought.

Yet here I am.

And...whether you want to know or are 25 random thoughts and things about me that you may possibly have never known.


1) I hate eggs. Hardboiled eggs, especially. I will not eat eggs by themselves no matter how they are prepared. I will, however, eat scrambled eggs in a burrito ONLY if there are other things like potatoes, cheese, onions, peppers, tomatoes (etc) in the burrito as well. But if it's only eggs, then count me out.

2) When I was 24, on a whim, I decided to move from Phoenix to Boston. I didn't have a job lined up or anything. It probably freaked my parents out...a LOT! But I moved there, found a job within a few weeks working downtown (at possibly the best place I've ever worked!) and lived there for almost 4 years. Hands down, doing that was quite possibly the neatest experience of my life.

3) I worked at Cheers in Boston. You know the place "where everybody knows your name"? Well, I worked for the owner of Cheers, actually. It was seriously the coolest job. And after I moved back to Phoenix, I was even asked to redesign their website. So the Cheers website that's out there is my creation. Check it out here. I'm kind of a big deal, huh? (<--KIDDING!)

4) When I lived in Boston, I went to see Huey Lewis in concert at the FleetBoston (now BofA) Pavilion. The fact that I saw Huey Lewis is not the interesting part...what is interesting is that I went by myself.

5) If you couldn't tell from the previous item, I love Huey Lewis.

6) Tim Robbins is my all-time favorite actor. Tied for a close second are Robert Downey, Jr., Jay Baruchel, Colin Firth, and Clint Eastwood. Don't try to tell me any negative things about any of them because I won't listen to you.

7) And to be fair to the female entertainers, I'll go ahead and share my favorite actresses, too - Kristen Bell, Kate Hudson, Drew Barrymore, and Kristen Wiig. Same here. If you want to knock on any of them, I won't hear it.

8) My all time most favorite song is Boston's "More Than A Feeling."

9) I went to NAU's Summer Music Camp for a few summers when I was a kid. I played the piano, flute, and oboe in grade school, but went to music camp for voice. It was fun.

10) The first time I ever danced with a boy was at music camp. Awwwwwww!

Riveting, I know.

Stay tuned for the rest...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

clean and happy baby

Don't you just LOVE a clean and happy baby?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

what i CAN get enough of

You know how yesterday I mentioned that I just can't get enough of little Baby McG?

Well, here is one thing that I CAN get enough of:


Okay, okay. I know he's a brand new baby and babies cry. It's natural. It's what babies do. And I definitely haven't even heard the most of it yet.

But today, I have been annoyed to the max by it.

I mean, come on. Just stop already. I feed him a million times a day, I keep him dry and warm, I keep him clean, give him kisses and hugs and love on him, read to him, sing to him, et cetera...and yet he still cries. I don't mean to sound insensitive and, like I said, I know crying is what babies do until they learn other ways to communicate. But coupled with my lack of sleep and energy, the crying pretty much ticked me off today.

Does saying this make me a terrible mother?

Thinking it makes me feel like one.

I think I just need a nap.

Like a 10 hour nap.

Monday, September 26, 2011

just can't get enough

Have you ever heard of baby brain?

As in, when pregnant women start to have issues with their memory?

Yeah. So. I've already delivered the little dude and my baby brain is actually still in session. I still have some memory issues (like perpetually wondering where in the sweet Lord's name I left my car keys) and I also have issues with my attention span. I go from thought to thought like a hummingbird flits from one flower to the next.

To illustrate, I'll share some of the thoughts that I have had over the past 60 seconds:
  1. I all of a sudden have an urge to watch BBC movie versions of Jane Austen novels. My favorite so far are the Pride and Prejudice version with Colin Firth that I saw when it first came out...and the Emma version from a couple years ago. Are there any other good ones out there?
  2. I think it's awesome that, for the first time since I've been home with the baby I have had an actual burst of energy. Yes. ENERGY! So much so, that I started cleaning off the tables, the floor, and have done some laundry...and I still want to get even MORE done! Is it possible that the "nesting" sensation can come weeks after delivery instead of right before?
  3. Speaking of staying at home, watching the baby, and cleaning...I have decided that it would be AMAZING if I never had to go back to work. I love my job...but I would love to be a stay at home mother. Would LOVE it! Let's win the lottery.
  4. I think it's hilarious that I have so many nicknames for Baby V when he hasn't really done anything to "get" a nickname yet. But here are a few (of the appropriate ones only): Dookie, Munchkin, Milk Breath, Zombie, Honey Bun, Chunky Butt, Sweet Cheeks, Handsome, and My Precious.
  5. You know how I had that burst of energy before? Yeah. It's gone now. But it was good while it lasted.
See how scatterbrained I am?

Don't judge.

Anyway, I just can't get enough of my little milk zombie, so that means YOU can't get enough of him either. :-) Here are some more pictures of him in all his adorable chunkiness.


I love how he looks like a little man here.

This is his "I-know-I'm-getting-chunky-but-give-me-more-milk-NOW" look.

He's found his thumb.

You talkin' to ME?

V hanging out with his daddy and sister Lucy
(She jumped on the back of the couch just to be near them!)

Just can't get enough of him...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

thirty days of vincent

I am a mother.

So weird!

I know our baby is almost 7 weeks old already, but the fact that I am a mother is still kind of shocking.

Sometimes I am so completely exhausted that I seriously don't think that I will last 10 more minutes without passing out. But, on the other hand, sometimes I think of how (amazingly) I can still function day to day on 4 hours of a sleep a day. So at any given moment, at the flip of a switch, I could either fall into a deep sleep for probably 10 hours straight or I could get up and spend another 10 hours awake (maybe with a couple 30 minute naps thrown in there somewhere).

Sleep (or lack thereof) is definitely the most obvious things you think about during newborn-hood. For example, let's say you (yes YOU!) get an average of 8 hours of sleep a day. That's 56 hours of sleep each week and 240 hours of sleep in 30 days (which is 720 hours). That means, in one month (a 30 day month) you will have spent 33% of your time sleeping.

Next, let's pretend I'm a pretty average new mom who gets 4 hours of sleep a day. That's 28 hours of sleep a week, and 120 hours in 30 days. That means, in one month I will have spent only 16% of my time sleeping.

Now, I am not a "math" person, so don't make fun of the way I described those numbers...I just meant to illustrate how crazy sleep is for a new parent. Other than sleep, though, everything else is really awesome!

Every day we get to see tons of new things from Baby V - new facial expressions, new noises, new experiences, physical changes and development, new reactions, and (of COURSE!) thighs and cheeks that get chunkier by the day. One other thing that we have been noticing more lately is that V has been starting to smile a lot more as a reaction to us!

Now, I'm not talking about the smiling that babies do during their "light sleep" phase, right when they are falling asleep and making different facial expressions. I'm talking about real, 100% genuine smiles. They melt my heart! And I could just look at them all day long!

Here is a collage of the first 30 days of Baby Vincent. One picture from each of the first 30 days. I may have only gotten 120 hours of sleep during those 30 days, but looking back on these pictures of 30 different perfect moments, it's all SO worth it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

life with baby mcg

40. We had Vincent 3 weeks ago, but his official due date was this past TECHNICALLY he would only be about 3 days old now if he was born on his due date. But we had to squeeze him out a little earlier than expected. But it's been going really well.

Size of Baby:
Vincent was born at 6 pounds 14 ounces, but was 6 pounds 7 ounces after leaving the hospital. Then...because we had to go back to the hospital for a few days (see here), he ended up losing more he was well underweight from what he should be. Our pediatrician has had us come back for a couple weight checks over the past week to keep tabs on his weight. And, finally, as of this past Monday, V is up to 6 pounds 15 ounces. And by now he SHOULD be above 7 pounds. Finally! We want nothing more than for him to be a healthy baby.

Size of Mom:
I am finally shrinking! I am not going to tell you how much weight I gained during pregnancy because it will make you want to vomit. Seriously. But I have already lost about half of what I gained and it's only been 3 weeks! It's definitely slowed down a little and I know it will probably take a long time before I'm back to what I was before getting pregnant...but I'm happy with the progress so far. My knees are quite happy about me being a little lighter, too!

Fetal Movement:
I actually call our son "McSquirmy" that should tell you a little bit about how much he moves now that he can kick and stretch his legs. Now that he's not cramped up in my uterus anymore. His legs are getting so strong and he is also lifting his head a lot more now...and he's only 3 weeks old. I think he's going to be really strong like his dad in no time!

I sleep probably about 5 hours a day (6 if I'm lucky)...and it's always split up at random times. One hour here, 30 minutes there, et cetera. But...the other night an amazing thing happened. V slept for 4 hours straight! It was amazing! The pediatrician previously told us that if he sleeps for 4 or 5 hours at night, that's okay and to not always worry about feeding him exactly every 2 hours. So I decided to set my alarm the other night for 5 hours from the time I started feeding him...and he woke up 4 hours later. I was very happy with that. He hasn't done that again yet, but I'm sure that as soon as he keeps gaining more weight, the longer he will sleep. And that will make me happy. I never knew how important sleep was until now. The less you get, the weaker and more cranky you become. So I can't wait until I can get a full 5 or 6 hours in a row. Can't WAIT!

I Now:
Can hold our little baby and shower him with hugs and kisses. Feel more normal again. Am on my way being a normal, healthy weight again. Can see my feet again and can see my ankles again (SO EXCITING!!). Can get up on my own without help. Can shave my legs comfortably again.

I Am Looking Forward To:
Sleeping through the night. Seeing my boobs look their normal size (bras are flippin' EXPENSIVE and breast feeding makes my boobs crazy shapes throughout the day). Being a normal, healthy weight again. Getting a good schedule and figuring out what in the heck I am doing.

Extra Thoughts:
I was very overwhelmed during the first week and a half after giving birth. Call it the Baby Blues, call ts exhaustion, call it whatever you want. I was definitely overwhelmed.

First of all, I was not prepared to have a baby that week, but the blood pressure issues made delivering Vincent a necessity. So I knew I had to have the baby right away.

Second, the delivery was kind of difficult for me. Since V wasn't quite ready to see the world yet, my cervix was still locked the first 2 days in the hospital were spent trying to open my cervix. It literally took 2 days. The 3rd day in the hospital was when Vincent was delivered. I had to have an epidural because every contraction was making my blood pressure even higher. I think it's very amazing that women deliver naturally, with nothing at all...but I was very happy to have that epidural. So the contractions ended up not being TOO bad. But that last stage of delivery...the wonderful pushing stage...made me feel like passing out. Such hard work! Words can not describe it. I could barely feel my body afterwards.

Third, getting sleep in hospitals is like finding water in a desert. So I had to come home with a brand new baby on literally no sleep. And then we had to go back to the hospital for V after not even being home for a week, so it was just a very stressful time.

I'm not trying to I'm sorry if it sounds that way...but it was just very overwhelming at first. That first week and a half was rough. And I know that there will still definitely be ups and downs as we are getting used to parenthood. But now, however...
  • I am (sadly!) getting used to living off of limited sleep.
  • I am loving every second spent with our baby.
  • He is beautiful.
  • He is sweet.
  • He makes the cutest noises.
  • He is strong.
  • He reminds me of Joe already.
  • He has the smoothest skin.
  • He makes a million different facial expressions every day.
  • His eyes are adorable.
  • He is getting a little better at focusing on certain things like faces and has even started to follow my face when I move my head from side to side.
  • His smile makes me so happy.
  • Seeing Joe cuddle with him is the sweetest thing in the world.
  • This is weird, but I love that I have already been able to recognize his poo face (you know...the expression he has when he poops?).
  • Speaking of...even when he poops he's the cutest little thing in the world.
  • I love his face.
  • I love how content and peaceful he is after he eats.
  • I love his little nose.
  • I love the way he smells.
  • I love how innocent and precious he is.
  • I love how his blonde hair sometimes looks brownish and sometimes looks reddish.
  • I love every inch of him!
After all, what person could NOT love this little guy?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2 hospitals in 2 weeks

At my 37 week check up, the doctor noticed that I had high blood pressure. Normally, my blood pressure was always really good, so it was kind of weird. But she said that a lot of times pregnant women experience slightly elevated blood pressure toward the end of she said we would just monitor it at the following weekly visits.

Now, because of Joe's kidney and blood pressure issues in the past, we actually have a blood pressure monitor at home, so on a Saturday night, I decided to check my blood pressure to see how it was doing. It was wicked high, so I decided to rest and go to bed. Checked it again in the morning after a night's sleep. Still wicked high. Called the on call doctor since it was a Sunday, and here is a quick rundown of the next 5 days:
  • Sunday: On call doc said to go to the hospital right away. Hospital admitted me for high blood pressure. Said I probably wouldn't be leaving because doc wanted to induce labor. Put me on a medication to ripen my cervix (since baby wasn't ready to come yet).
  • Monday: By next morning, wasn't working. Rock hard cervix. Started a cook's balloon cervical ripening thingie (look it up!) to help with dilation. Started a little Pitocin. 12 hours later, still no dilation.
  • Tuesday: 24 hours later, cervix was only opened to 3cm. Doc called my cervix Fort Knox (not kidding). Took it out. Kicked up the Pitocin. Broke my water. Contractions started coming. Contractions caused more spikes in my blood pressure. Started an epidural to take away the pain...which would eliminate the high blood pressure from the contractions. It worked. Had Baby McG that night!
  • Wednesday: Still in hospital for high blood pressure. Put on meds. Boring. Wanted to go home.
  • Thursday: Still in hospital for high blood pressure. Slight decrease in high blood pressure. Released with prescription for blood pressure. So glad to go home. Really missed my beagle.
After 5 days in the hospital, I was so glad to be going home...especially so that I could hug our beagle and start playing with our little one. I was ready for the horror story of how people (and movies) portray being a new parent - screaming children, no sleep, endless fatigue. I will definitely say that it has been an adjustment on my body and schedule, and I have definitely felt fatigued...but our baby is so quiet and I literally need to wake him up in order to feed him. So he's been pretty low maintenance and it's been fairly easy to rest while he's resting.

Until this past Wednesday night.

Vincent. at some point on Wednesday, got so completed agitated that he cried almost nonstop (not kidding) from about 12:30 am to about 5:30 am. There were brief periods of calm, but it never lasted very long. And nothing was working. I know he was only 9 days old, but it was so completely polar opposite to what he had normally been like, so we called the pediatrician's office. The on call nurse suggested to go to the ER as he would really need to be evaluated to see what was going on.

I have been here with Vincent at Phoenix Children's Hospital ever since.

When we brought him in, they did a million tests to look for infections, abnormalities, etc. They tested for meningitis...which was negative. So that was a relief. They saw a slight bronchiolitic situation in an xray of his lungs, so decided they might put him on antibiotics for that (and to make sure any other infection is stopped). They also noticed that he was getting low oxygen...which could possibly be a result of pauses in breathing. He was admitted to the ICU.

His tests keep coming back normal...but they are still wanting to keep him on antibiotics a little longer and want to keep monitoring him for apnea. He didn't have any apnic episodes at all last night or the night before. So that's good! But they are sending us home with a monitor that will alarm whenever there is a cessation of breathing or a cessation of heartbeat.

How freakin' scary is that?!?!

I am seriously sick of hospitals. I am seriously sick of our son being hooked up to machines and IVs. I am seriously stressed about having to hook him up even MORE when we get home to monitor for apnea. I am just sick of it. I just want to be home and cuddling with Joe, my Lucy, and my little man. I just want to be a new mother in the peace and quiet of my own home. I am so sorry if this sounds like complaining, but I think that this is just not fair.

He's an angel. An adorable, smiling, blonde-haired, angelic little 11 day old boy. And 11 day old little angels do not deserve this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

new kid on the blog

Say hello to the New Kid on the BLOG...Vincent!

Just wanted to introduce you all to the little man...stay tuned for more updates and photos coming soon!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

sweet and freaky dreams

I was at my parent's house, just sitting around and relaxing, enjoying the peace and quiet. Out of nowhere, I jumped up and realized that I had no idea where my baby was.

So I decided to head over to my aunt and uncle's house in Phoenix and knocked on the door when I arrived there. A young girl answered my call, a girl who I had never seen before. And she looked confused when I asked her where my baby was. Out in the hallway, another little girl came out carrying Lucy. So I asked her where my baby was. They both stared at me with blank faces and I got so frustrated that I could scream.

So I went back to my parent's house and decided to wait for my sister to come home. In the meantime, I searched the house high and low thinking that possibly I was just a terrible mother and left my baby in the bedrooms or something. But I was relieved when I heard my sister walk into the house. She was carrying our car seat and I immediately felt relieved.

But as I looked into the car seat, all I saw was our dog, Lucy, again.

Crazy dream, huh?

It's not as crazy as the dream I had where our baby ripped itself out of my stomach and was already dressed in clothes. And on one hand, this dream freaked me out because I literally couldn't find our child anywhere. But on the other hand, it made me realize that we actually already have a baby.

A little beagle baby.

Yes, I know she's a dog. She's an animal. A creature bred for hunting small game. A being that is pretty much content just eating, sleeping, peeing, and pooping.

But she's still our special little girl.

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