Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I just can't seem to blog anymore, or My life as a pregnant hermit

It's almost Christmas, and I can't believe this pregnancy has gone by so fast.  I thought I was pregnant with Daniel f-o-r-e-v-e-r!!!  It seems like it was just Daniel's first birthday, with me grinning like a loon in the bathroom with my positive pregnancy test blinking in my hands.  Only 67 more days to go.

I'm having another c-section.  THANK YOU JESUS.  I never ever want to go through labor again.  I thought I was one tough chick until I felt back labor with half an epidural working.  It hurt so bad all I wanted was my Granny holding my hand.  Thank goodness for my amazing mother in law who had all 4 babies with lamaze, who helped me breath through it until it was apparent I couldn't birth no babies the old fashioned way.  I'm a poor candidate for a VBAC, so it's another slice and stitch job for this girl.  But, I'm still tough.  As I told my boss recently, I'm the dummy who took a shower 12 hours after my c-section and walked to the NICU because it took the CNAs too long to get me a wheelchair.  I do believe it created a better outcome in the end, and that's what the world is about, right (haha)?  The bad part about it is I won't be able to swing Daniel around for a little while. 

I just can't seem to get out of the house much or muster up the energy to do much other than housework and catching up on paperwork for work.  This pregancy has been easier than Daniel's so far, but I still can't seem to eat enough to gain a "normal" amount of weight.  I just can't seem to remember to eat like a pregnant woman should.  And when you have a toddler, you eat as weird as they do.  For dinner I find myself being full after eating the peels from the apples or whatever I peel for Daniel to eat and a few bites of cheese I steal off his plate (while he laughs about it).  Healthy yes, but not enough to really feed my system I guess.  At least I'm not losing weight anymore.  That tends to irritate the docs no matter what size you are.

I just feel like a hermit most of the time.  I don't want to be bothered, just want to be in my cocoon of safety and don't make me get out of it, thank you very much.  And, for heaven's sake, no drama, no drama, no drama.  I can't stand much drama anyways on a normal not pregnant day, but my little nerves are so frazzled with pregnancy hormones that I can't take ANY.  It wears my stuff out and makes me just want to go to bed and stay there.  Which is probably why I sleep so much after work lol. 

Speaking of sleep . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Finally a post! We are alive!

Well, after 6 months in the new house we finally have Internet, and I finally have the mindset to post again.  With new paint, new furniture (and more to come), and a new baby on the way, things have been a little fruity in the Mincy house to say the least. 

When I find the cord that links the camera to the computer, I will post picture of the home changes.  Who knows where it is!  We sure don't!

We found out we were having another baby on Daniel's first birthday in June.  I had my suspicions for about a week as I backed into a tree and the mailbox.  We had been trying (not trying again, as some people have asked, as Daniel was not only a surprise, but a shock) since after Christmas.  We both want a big family and neither of us really want to be chasing a toddler at 40 (which will come much faster for James Andrew than I, haha!), so about 16 months or so between seems reasonable.  Though, some days I wonder, as Daniel is a very active little-big guy. 

What happened to my little guy?  Did he have to grow?
 More to come soon.  Surely our camera cord will walk into the house with all it's other friends we lost or misplaced during moving!

Monday, May 16, 2011

We bought a house! Or, the reason I had a breakdown this year!

We bought our first home.  It's in White Hall, within a block of both of my brother in law's families and my parents in law.  Pictures to come!  We move this weekend.  The before and after will be amazing - we had to paint over a flower mural and a red black and gold painted bedromm (blech!)!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Me, the hubs, and the hospital (subtitle - the story of Dan's birth)

I have a friend couple from college who (from their facebook posts) seem like they are going through the same birth and after story that me and the hubs went through when Baby Dan was born.  I haven't really talked about this experience much in the past 11 months other than to say it was one of the best and worst weeks of my life.  Since it helps to know what others go through, as I have found over the past year, I will share what we went through.

Dan was born on June 12, 2010.  To tell this story correctly, we really need to backtrack to April 27, 2010.  That was the the scariest day of my life, also known as the day I went into preterm labor at 31 weeks. 

You see, I used to be an NICU nurse.  That's neonatal intensive care, folks.  There is a lot of superstition in nursing, especially in the NICU.  We all kinda believe that there is a curse on NICU nurses that means that their babies would be in the unit at some point.  When I miraculously became pregnant, I thought maybe the curse would pass me by.  I was wrong.

In hindsight I'd been having contractions since my birthday that I thought were strong Braxton Hicks.  That Tuesday, I just knew something was wrong.  When I was havign 6+ contractions an hour I called the Angels hotline at UAMS and was instructed to go in and get checked.  I was having regular contractions that were getting stronger.  Within my first hour of being there I went from "high and closed" to "fingertip" dilated - which I know is not a big change, but all I could think of in my mind was "how many times did I hear 'she's only fingertip' when I was first admit in ICN". 

After 3 liters of saline and several doses of sedation, my contractions stopped to the doc's satisfaction (also known as I couldn't feel them anymore and nothing was changing) and I was able to go home after midnight.  However, I had to go on partial bedrest until I gave birth.  I could only work 4 hours a day for a month, then I was strongly advised not to work until Daniel was born.  By then I had +3-4 pitting edema in my feet and didn't feel like working anyways.  2 weeks with nothing to do passed pretty slowly.

At my last OB appointment on Friday before Dan's birth (which was the next day), I started spilling protein into my urine.  With my moderately high blood pressure and the fact that I was having contractions again the OB (who was filling in for my regular OB as she was out of town) advised me to be induced, as I was showing signs of pre-eclapsia.  We arrived at the hospital around 2:00, and by midnight I was epiduraled, pitocin was hung, and I was contracting regularly.  However, during the night Daniel began having variable decels, which are normally nothing to worry about.  The only problem is we could never get my pit turned high enough to produce good and strong contractions enough for me to progress, because it made the decels worse.  On top of this, my epidural only worked on the right side of my body, so I was feeling every contraction. 

By 11:00 the next day I was only dilated to 7 and had pretty much stalled out.  My contractions were so severe that my mother in law and husband had to literally get in my face to make me breathe.   I missed my birthing classes due to being on bedrest, and I was clueless, as teaching something to others doesn't mean that you can do things for yourself! 

The docs decided that I needed to have a c-sections, which freaked me out completely.  All I could think was "Great, I'm obese and I'll never heal right, and great, c-sections forever as I'm not a fan of v-bacs, and what if the baby has to go to the NICU?" 

I cried for a good hour.  After my epidural was finally fixed and working, I was wheeled to the surgical suite.  Dan was born.  The nurse had taken off my glasses at some point, so I couldn't see very well.  I remember seeing a blue blob being taken to the table, and total silence in the room.  I looked at my anethesiologist and asked him why Daniel wasn't crying.  The neonatologist told me the Daniel's cord was wrapped around his neck 3 times.  I heard the docs slapping his feet and the hiss of oxygen.  The words "1 minute Apgar is 3".  Finally, a baby's cry.  Then he was gone while I was being sown up. 

When I got to the recovery room my family was there.  My Dad and husband were so proud.  So was I, because he was so beautiful and perfect.  My heart literally stopped in my chest the first time I touched him.  But Daniel was grunting a little.  When he did skin to skin time with me it went away.  Then there was news that his first sugar was low, and the I:T ratio on his CBC had shifted, so off to the NICU he went, luckily with some old friends of mine. 

I had to spend the next 12 hours in my room since I was post surgery.  I didn't sleep, I watched the clock and when it was 4:00am the nurses took my IV out and I took a shower and went to the NICU to see him.  He had a UVC for antibiotics.  I got to hold him and nurse him, which was incredible.  The docs said that they needed to do antibiotics for 3 days at least since his CBC was a little funky.  All was okay for the time being.

Over the next 5 days I started to lose it a little.  I wanted no visitors.  I went to the NICU like clockwork to breastfeed, and therefore got almost no sleep.  When it took the CNAs too long to get the wheelchair for my poor, sore body, I started walking there myself though the pain was terrible.  I cried all the time, and almost came to blows with a doctor who was a friend of mine when Daniel became jaundiced and needed a bili light.  I became the mother I dreaded as an RN.  I became the guilty mom with what I used to call NICU psychosis.  It's what happen when you don't sleep, you spend all your time feeling guilty, and you won't leave the hospital.  It's what happens when you convince yourself that this is your fault, and that you are a failure as a mother.  This is the way I felt.

All I can say is, thank God for my poor husband.  He kept me form totally dropping my basket.  Thank God for my sweet father, who (the last time I saw him before he died) came to the hospital and held Daniel and assured me that I would be okay.

We survived it, and we took our baby home, only a few days later than most parents do.  And our first day or 2 at home as a family was amazing . . . until the word came that my father died on a business trip. 

But that is a story I may never write down.

My practice, the way I think about my families, and the way that I think about my career changed during my experience with Daniel in the hospital.  They say being a mom changes you.  Being a mom in crisis changed me as a nurse, too.  I listen more, judge less, and take it for what it is.  It makes you think about the whole person and family, not just the patient in front of you.  Maybe that's maturity, as I'm not 21 anymore.  But maybe it's that growing pain, too.

Daniel in the NICU. I took the picture while I was holding him.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fat girl blogging

As I have had NO INTEREST in losing the rest of my baby weight, yet, I'm still indulging in a little fat girl eating for a while, as long as I do not gain any weight.  I think about losing the weight, and then I go to work, and then I head back home, and all I want to do is eat the comfort food.  It's one of the bad things about hospice - we all gain weight on the road.  No one can talk about or encounter death all day without eating a BIG slice of chocolate cake when you get home.  It's just not possible, I don't think.

Having said all that, I have found a most excellent blog: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/

She has all my favorite fat girl recipes and I'm loving this blog, even if she did rip off the title from Jeffrey Steingarten.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Ready to go"

My Grandfather is back in the hospital.  He has been sick on and off since Christmas.  I went to see him today, and during the conversation he looked at me and said:

"Kara, I'm ready to go." 
I said back, "I'll take you back to your room." 
He said, "No, I've got a plot between here and Jacksonville, and I'm ready to go."

He was talking about being okay with dying and with being tired of living, to me, his youngest (and most partial to) "grandbaby".  Part of me was glad to have the conversation, because it confirmed to me that he is a Christian and that he knows he is going to heaven.  And I'm sure he wanted to tell me because he knows I'm a hospice nurse, and because of that I'd listen.  Which I did.

But, of course in the midst of this I had to make a joke because it was just getting too serious.  At one point I looked at him and said, "Well, you'll be right by Dad and his parents, so I'll be by to see you often".  He did laugh at that.

On the way home, I realized that this wasn't true, now.  I haven't been to my dad's grave since the graveside service.  That was almost 10 months ago.  I mean to go, and sometimes I intend to.  And then I don't.  I get these grand plans of taking a picture of Daniel out there to the grave, or a can of his love-ed Grapette soda.  And then I don't.  Seeing his body at visitation made it real, made me realize it wasn't all a mistake.  But visiting his grave . . . that makes it real in another way I guess, in a way I'm not ready to deal with.   I miss my father every day - there's not day that goes by that I don't think about him.  I don't know why I can't go to his grave.  I know I will, one day.  I'll probably need my sister and step-mother with me for support.  I will go.

I'm not ready to go though.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Plum . . . rocks!

I SOOOO love these products.  I'd tried the baby food when I first started Dan on solids and was impressed.  I am even more impressed now because of this concept.

One of the hardest things about feeding Daniel is that he wants to investigate anything and everything on his highchair tray.  And it all goes in his mouth.  Or all over his hands.  Or in his hair.  Or on me for that matter.  There are spoons that you can load baby food into to make it more hands free and simple, but that's too hard.  I am about simple cleaning, simple putting together as sometimes I am so brain dead when I come home from work that I am doing good mixing his formula.

As Daniel is eating fruits again, he ate Pumpkin Banana tonight.  It was tart, you could taste the ascorbic acid the company used to preserve the color in the banana, but not bad.  Broccoli and Apple is another new favorite.  They have training meals too (like a stage 3 food in Gerber), and the Red Lentil is his favorite.  We are still avoiding beef and pork because of my husbands allergies, so a new protein source is good.  And the little dude LOVES lentils.  I love my little guy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

-insert title here-

I can't believe that Dan is 9 months old . . . and Dad has been dead for 9 months.  I don't love that his birthday will always be marked by a much more solemn remembrance.  But, that's how it rolls in my family.  My Granny died on my cousin Sissy's birthday, just to name another instance of this.

It's been a freaking fast year.  So much has changed.  If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a married baby momma by the time I was 30 I would have flipped you the bird and called you a stupid idiot.  Well, looks like I'm the stupid idiot.  Everything I've ever wanted I have.  I have a wonderful husband who fits me like God cast our molds together.  I have a wonderful sweet amazing son.  I have a rewarding job.  I have a wonderful family that loves me for me, even with my many warts.

God is so GOOD!  I don't deserve any of this, which is the beauty of how he works.  Thank you Lord!

Friday, February 25, 2011

An Ode to Comfort . . . Southern Coconut Cake

A true southern coconut cake is not something that has 4 layers and fillings.  It is a sweet concoction found in the back of an icebox, just waiting to be cut.  Usually, it is in a spare casserole dish that is not at the home of a sick friend.  It's covered easily with Saran Wrap, maybe with one corner up from sneaky hands slipping in to even up a corner.  There is Eagle Brand Milk oozing out of these corners, and Cool Whip lazing on the top.  It is sex on a plate.  This is a recipe for such a cake.

1) 1 Box Coconut Cake Mix
2) 4 eggs
3) 1 cup milk
4) 1 cup oil
5) 1 can Eagle Brand Milk
6) 1 cup cream of coconut
7) 1 carton of Cool Whip
8) Toasted Coconut for Sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix Ingredients 1-4.  Dump into a greased casserole dish, bake for 35 minutes.  Mix ingredients 5 and 6 while the cake is baking.  When cake is done, poke holes in the hot cake and pour the milks on.  Let it cool.  Cover with Cool Whip, chill in the fridge overnight.  Sprinkle on coconut before serving.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dan's new tub

He's so cute I can't stand it!

My Hub's Black Bean and Corn Salad

This is one of my favorite salads in the world, and it only has 3 ingredients.

1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
Italian dressing to mix

Mix.  Chill.  Eat.  Good!

I like mine with a little extra salt and a squirt of lime juice . . .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I love this woman's products.

I bought her foodmill, food smasher, and steamer at Babies R Us a few months ago when I still had these vivid dream of making my own baby food. 

Yeah.  That happened.

But, I do taste everything that goes into Dan's mouth.  If I don't like it, or it makes me gag, it's in the trash.  I made 2 roasts for lunch today, roast beef and chicken, and I decided to break out these products so that he could eat what we did.  Easy Peesey Lemon Squeezey to get everything smashed up.  Nice consistency, and no big scary chunks hiding out in the mix.  And everything is easy to clean and dishwasher safe anyways, yea for busy mom (me).

I've found that Dan is not big on things with a strong flavor, so we did have to mix the chicken and veg with rice cereal.  He loved it, and I like that he's eating what he do, with no preservatives or weird stuff in there.  I may keep at this.  I'm not making my own purees, and I doubt I'll go all Jessica Seinfield in the house, but I can do this.

Ha! I'm not dumb.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I officially suck . . .

At blogging.  Have been trying for the better part of an hour to post a collage I made of Dan Dan pictures, and I can't figure it out!  Is it that hard to do or do I just have a mental block against it?  Or well.  It's on my home computer and it looks very nice.

Look ma, my first bruise!

This happened Thursday.  It now looks like he has a dirty brown spot on his forehead.  Please don't ever break anything.  Mommy and Daddy both have excellent track records here, so please follow our example. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken and Waffles

So, as I am in the need for a little comfort food as it is cold, and I am depressed (as per usual for this time of year) it is time for chicken and waffles, which I am making tomorrow for lunch.  It will be a first for the hubs. 

Chicken and Waffles

1. 1 recipe of your favorite waffle batter, enough for 2 (make sure there is a bit of sugar in the batter as it will help give the waffle a nice golden crust, but don't go overboard)
2. 2 chicken breasts, tenderized but not pulverized with a meat tenderizer
3. 1 cup AP flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, on a plate
4. 3 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp water, on a plate
5. Oil for frying

1. Have the waffle batter ready and on stand by.  Make sure your waffle iron is hot.
2. Pour oil in a deep frying pan, you want the oil about 1-2 inches deep.  Heat to about 375 F.
3. Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off excess.
4. Dip in egg mix.
5. Dredge again in flour.
6. Start frying in the chicken, until golden brown.  If the breasts are huge, they make need to finish in a 375 F oven for 10 minutes.  The goal is a moist piece of chicken with a nice crust.  A big thick hunk will dry out before it cooks through.
7. While chicken is frying, cook the waffles according to the directions on your waffle iron.
8. To serve, waffle on bottom, then syrup, chicken on top.  I like a little hot sauce on the chicken, but I'm a bit of a freak.

Friday, February 4, 2011


After losing my father, who was so young at 60, to a heart attack last year I thought that there was no death that could shock me more.  No death ever will shock me more, I guess, but finding out that Luke died last year from brain cancer has shaken me. 

29 years old.  One of the most talented people I think I will ever meet. 

I think the last time I saw him was at Old Man's Kirks, when he was playing in Saturnine or 613 Mob in high school.  Or maybe in passing at Vino's in college.  My memories are fleeting.  I regret that.  I regret that my head has been so far up my ass the past 3 years that I didn't even know that he was sick.

I haven't been living my days as I should.  This has shown me again that life and time are fleeting, and that true friends, and my family, are the 2 most important things in this physical world.  Every day is precious.  Every single day.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My baby can crawl, and now I'm the cry-baby

OMG the past 7 months have gone by in a huge blur.  Daniel crawled last night, just a little bit.  I'm tearing up as I type this.  He is the sweetest baby in the world, and I'm having trouble seeing him hit his milestones.  I don't want him to grow up!  I do, but . . . he's such a sweet baby.  I hate to lose the precious relationship we have.  I know it will change and get even better and he's gonna love his Mommy like crazy . . . I guess I'm just a little scared.  I'm afraid I'm gonna blink, and he'll be 18 and going to college . . . 30 years old and getting married . . . having his own babies.  I want every minute to last years!  I wish I could have the 10 weeks I was home with him to happen all over again.  I wish I could have him back inside me just 1 more day.  I never want these sweet days to end.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I miss my Baby Love!

I have been sick for 2 days.  I have gotten to hold my sweet baby love once in 2 days.  I am going through major withdrawals.  I miss my little boy and want to snuggle with him.  I have slept off my phenergan and am no longer running a fever, so there is promise I can do so tonight!

Christmas Confetti Potato Salad

So, with a hubs with many food allergies I have had to alter my recipe book quite a bit.  I used to make my mother's yummy mustard potato salad at family grill time, but now that mustard is off the menu, I make this yummy different one.  Yes, it's pretty different.  Just try it.  I'll convert you

1. 6 medium russett potatoes, large dice
2. 1 cup sour cream
3. 1 cup mayonaisse
4. 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped, reserve a sprinkle for the top
5. 1/2 cup italian parsley, chopped, reserve a sprinkle for the top
6. juice and zest of 1 lemon
7. Salt and pepper to taste
8. Vinegar for sprinkling

Mix ingredients 2-7 and let sit in the fridge while the potatoes cook.  Boil the potatoes in salted water about 15 minutes until tender.  Drain, and sprinkle with a little vinegar while they are hot.  Let them cool slightly.  Mix with the dressing.  Sprinkle extra peppers and parsley on the top before serving.

I, like my grandmother, like potato salad best warm right after it's mixed, but it's good cold too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Favorite Baby Food, and it is a vegetable

Daniel likes Gerber Stage 2 Spring Vegetables with Brown Rice.  THANK GOD!!!!  It smells strongly of broccoli, but this little dude will eat every last bit of it up.  He is actually going through a stage where he doesn't like fruit.  I found him some Apples and Cherries a few weeks ago thinking "He he, my daddy's favorite fruit, and my son will like it too!".  Not so much.  The joke on me, literally.  Dan spit it out, all over Mommy.

He is SO freaking cute I can't stand it.

Those are his spider man Baby Legwarmers that his Aunt Laura got him for Christmas.  This was taken right before yesterday's "I'm still hungry, but not for Mixed Fruit" experience.  Mixed fruit on baby, mixed fruit on mommy.  Ha ha ha!  At least his Daddy thought it was funny when he got back from church.

I really love being his mommy.  When he was born, I was so taken with him that I was breathless by the sight of him and couldn't stand that I couldn't hold him very long.  He had some funky labs and had to go right to the NICU after some skin to skin time with me.  I'd had a c-section and couldn't leave my room for 12 hours.  Now I can't stand being away from him for too long.  Can you blame me?

Grandma's Chicken Salad

This is not my grandmother's recipe.  I don't ever call her Grandma.  I'm not sure if Granmother Etta has a chicken salad recipe. It is mine.  But for about 2 years I made it about 1-2 times a month for my grandmother, so that is what I call it.

1. 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2. 1 cup mayonaisse
3. 1 cup sour cream
4 .1/4 cup craisins, reconsituted in hot water and drained
5. 2 stalk of celery, shaved of strings and chopped small
6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
7. 1 teaspoon mustard powder
8. 1 teaspoon of cumin
9. Salt and Pepper to taste
10. Chopped Walnuts or Pecans to top (optional)

Boil the chicken until cooked through.  Let cool. 
After you set aside the chicken to cool, mix ingredients 2-9 together.  If you don't like cumin, leave it out and add what you like. Dill is good, and so is fresh parsley.  Let it sit in the fridge while the chicken cools.
Chop up the chicken into small chunks, or shred.  Add the dressing.  Let chill in the fridge overnight.
Top with nuts before you serve.

It is quite yummy.