Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Adam Turns Four... Later

If you were to ask me what today is, I would tell you it is Adam's birthday. Technically, it is not though.

Four years ago, I went into the hospital to be induced. I arrived around 7pm with the assumption that he would not be born on the 30th. I mean, the 31st was just mere hours away. There was no way he would be born today but then I did it... I made a silly comment that would change EVERYTHING. I jokingly said, "He could still be born today."

They started up my induction with some cervadil which had put me into labor once before and sure enough, it worked. No pitocin needed. My contractions came on strong and hard. I kept begging the nurse to check my progress but she kept putting me off. She would say "Let me know when you want checked" so I would tell her, and she would say, "Oh, not yet. Let's wait til X time." I rocked in a squeaky rocking chair to ease my contractions and everyone in the room was cracking up cause they knew when they were getting bad.

I asked the nurse one last time to check me... around 1130pm and again, she wouldn't. She wanted me to take a walk, or take a shower. I finally gave in and said I would take a shower. I knew there was no way I could go walking. I barely made it to the bathroom on my own. By the time they got me undressed and in the shower I was in so much pain that I was screaming that the baby was coming.

The nurse came rushing from the next room and was shocked when she saw me. I could tell she was embarrassed since she would not listen to me when I asked her to check me earlier... so when she got me back in the bed and checked me, what do you know... I was complete and ready to push.

I couldn't though. I had to wait for a doctor and I was getting very agitated. I was ready to have this kid and they were dilly dallying around. I could hear the nurses chit chatting and I finally shouted, "JUST GET A DOCTOR IN HERE!" To which they replied... "The dr is in here." Ok, so I did feel a bit sheepish but COME ON I am about to shoot a kid across the room here.

Then all hell broke loose. And when I say hell, I mean my water... it popped, like a balloon and sprayed EVERYWHERE. It felt like a movie... a comedy, actually. But it was not funny, not to me. The dr finally came over and I was given the go-ahead to push. I was assured it was after midnight so I pushed to my heart's content... or more like to Adam's content. Just 2 1/2 pushes later, he was out.

The called out his birth time as 12:00:59 (so almost 12:01) and I was so excited. He wasn't born on the same day as my cousins, he would have his own birthday (at least in our family). I kept asking the nurses to be sure I heard them right and then it happened.

"No, he was born at 11:59"

"Excuse me?! I thought you said..."

"Yah, I did, but we have to go by the clock on the monitor, not the clock on the wall."

WTF?! Yah, I was MAD! I mean, it all worked out fine... the 30th fits in with our family (long story) but still. Come to find out, on New Year's Eve, when I spent it alone, in my hospital room watching the ball drop, the time on the wall was actually right... or at least right on with everyone else in the world, just not the hospital monitor.

So yah, technically he was born on the 31st... and that was when I cut to cord (the most surreal thing EVER), so shouldn't be just count that as when he was born since he was still attached :p

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Three Down, Three to Go

We are half way done with our Ohio Christmas plans. I have not decided if I prefer them spread out like this or if I would prefer them to happen all in a few days. Maybe if they did happen all in a few days I could take the kids home when they really started to grate on my nerves... which occurred Christmas Day!

They were so bad Christmas Day. We didn't have any plans until later in the day and I completely forgot that every time we open gifts with John's dad's side of the family they get left out. They are the only little kids that are here then and thankfully they didn't seem too heartbroken but the babies didn't quite understand why everyone else was getting gifts and they weren't. I guess next year I will have to remember to have an extra gift for them to open at the same time. Unless of course we skip Christmas next year... which sounds sooooo good right now.

Anyway... Saturday night we had John's mom's side of the family Christmas and then our immediate family Christmas (with John's parents & brothers). The kids got a couple books, a couple outfits, a couple movies and were all around happy with everything. John's mom and I both got his brother the same thing... TWICE! This is why I don't tell two people the same thing. He says it's so he KNOWS he will get it. I'd rather go buy it myself than have to worry about returning something. That's just me, I guess.

I went shopping on Sunday for some clearance Christmas stuff and ended up getting the kids some new Ohio State shirts. It makes me kinda glad that they aren't readily available EVERYWHERE in Iowa or else we might be in trouble. Kadie wore hers yesterday and wants to wear it again today. The ironic part is she spent the day at my mom's yesterday and we are going there again today... they are Michigan fans HAHA! We are just doing a gift exchange over there this year but it should still be fun. John is bringing two of our Wii games and I am looking forward to a family snowball fight (if the snow will pack)!

Tomorrow is Adam's birthday and our plans are not set yet. We have a pic appointment at Portrait Innovations to get Adam and Sara's birthday pictures done and I am hoping to get my brother and his family in there too so we can get all the cousins together and a pic of all of us for my mom. I suppose I should probably see if my stepsister and stepbrother can make it so ALL the kids are in there, and we should see if we can get our little sister on my dad's side so we can give him one too. After that we are hoping to go sledding, but it looks like the snow is melting. Not sure what our dinner plans are (Adam's pick) and then we are hoping to go see the Lights at the Toledo Zoo. Hopefully it's not too cold!

New Years Eve we were invited to a kid friendly party with promises of booze and Wii! Can't beat that, can you?! Not sure if we are going or not, but with no plans... I don't see why we wouldn't. And then New Years Day is the Rose Bowl! Can't miss that. My aunt wants us to come over at some point but not sure what time... just hope it's way before the game starts so we can be back here to watch it. I mean, I suppose we could always watch there, but the house is too small and too crowded. Guess we will play it by ear.

Our last Christmas is at my dad's on Saturday (the 2nd). Since my brother wasn't getting in town until yesterday and my dad works during the week, I figured that would be the best time to do it. No time has been set yet, but I am thinking sometime in the afternoon. Guess I should find out what we are eating and if I should bring something.

Yah, so that is our week coming up and I still need to get together with a few people... I hate when I am in town and can't get together with friends. There are a couple I haven't seen in FOREVER and miss so much but we always seem to not be in town at the same time or not make the time to get together when we are. Something needs to change, I think.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday

*Shopping for Christmas 2010 can begin*

Friday, December 25, 2009


I just wanted to wish everyone a big


I hope you all get everything you asked Santa for! Lots of well behaved children, fun times, sweet husbands/wives, big hugs and strong drinks (as needed). Here is to a happy remainder of 2009 and all the best to come in the new year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Today is Christmas Eve and our usual tradition is to eat dinner with the in laws, go to church, then come back to the house to open presents. This year is going to be different though. Since John's brother won't be able to make it Christmas Eve, we won't be doing presents until Sunday morning. Hopefully the kids don't mind, which I am sure they won't but I still worry. We kept things as normal as possible around here though... we opened our presents Sunday and Santa even left some big items for the kids. We spent all day Saturday making cookies and Tuesday we headed to Ohio after the kids got out of school.

We don't really have any other family traditions but Christmas Eve has always been Lexi's favorite part of the whole holiday season. Thankfully it's the church part and not the presents part. Next year we will be starting a new tradition with the Elf on the Shelf that I got this year and never put out.

What are your family traditions? Any new ones you started this year?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Out of Town

In place of What's for Dinner Wednesday I just wanted to let all of you (I don't know, 12 readers, if that) that I will be out of town for the next couple of weeks. I will have internet access but with the Holidays I am not sure how often I will be on.

Our plans right now don't even start until after Christmas, which is crazy but we will deal with it. We did Christmas with the kid and Santa yesterday so they won't be expecting anything Christmas morning (can't wait to surprise them with another visit from Santa though).

So anyway... if you don't hear from me, it's just cause we are busy, not because I am being lazy. I am going to try to write up a few posts and schedule them so you at least have something to read. That way you know I am still alive and don't go through Bri withdrawals :p

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Official

It is NOW winter! Yesterday was the first day of winter and you wouldn't know it with all the snow we have already got. A couple weeks ago we were slammed with blizzard like conditions and 8+ inches of snow. We even had snow back in October when my kids were playing soccer. What a nice welcome back to the Midwest for us, not!

So thinking back on winters past for this week's Time Travel Tuesday would be much easier if I didn't have mush for brains. I do remember my favorite part of winter, growing up, was going sledding. Something my kids have rarely gotten to do. And I think only Lexi & Jacob have ever gone sledding and that was years ago. Living in Georgia for 4 years and not getting much snow while home for Christmas has prevented them from enjoying that part of the season.

This year we are living in Iowa and have a small hill in our front yard... nothing like the giant hill that in my front yard as a kid. The hill we would sled down and slide right into the street from. It was a blast. I can only hope my kids can know that kind of fun. Yah, we do fun things but there are some things you just can't skip... like sledding down BIG hills!

So anyway, with all the snow we have been getting and probably more to come now we just need sleds. All my kid are little snow bunnies and loved it when we played outside. I can only imagine the excitement they will get from going sledding. Maybe there will be time while we are in Ohio and we can go with my niece and nephew since they too have never gone sledding. What a blast that would be... my family, my brother's family and my sister all together sledding. Let's hope it works out that way!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie Review Monday

Would you believe it if I told you we haven't watched any movies this week?! Yah, I wouldn't believe it either. Now the real question is, have I watched anything I haven't reviewed yet. My brain doesn't seem to want to work this morning so the answer to that question is still unknown.

Last night I had intended on going to see a new movie with a couple of friends. Either Precious or The Blind Side sounded good and were at a good time too. However, I decided that I like hanging out and chit chatting with my friends and sitting in a movie for two hours would make that near impossible... no, I take that back... it would be impossible because I am not a movie talker. It drives me nuts, so I won't do it to others.

Anyway, amid all my rambling about not going to a movie, I remembered a movie we have seen recently that I know I haven't reviewed because it was the first time ever seeing it. Ever hear of the movie Taken? No? I don't know... maybe you have, but I know I didn't. When I read the description after John getting it from Netflix though, it made me want to see it. So after having lost the movie for two weeks we finally watched it.

Taken: A 17yr old girl is kidnapped in Paris along with her friend. The locals are trafficking young women travelling alone in the country, getting them addicted to drugs and turning them for profit. The father of the 17yr old happens to be on the phone with his daughter when the girls are kidnapped and he just so happens to be ex-military with friends in high places. He heads off to find his daughter which he only has 96hrs at best, to do. The movie was very intense and very good. Think Bond saving the girl and killing 1267 people in one shot. Ok, so most of it wasn't believable but what action movie antics are?! It was still a good movie. Pick it up the next time you are out (or get it from Netflix, at least it isn't going to cost you extra if you don't like it, right?)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Are you looking for a last minute Christmas gift for those hard to buy for people? Why bother with going out to the crowded, overpriced stores when you could possibly find the perfect gift right in your own house?

I am talking about baked goodies! Cookies, fudge, chex mix, puppy chow, anything chocolate covered, trail mix, and the list goes on and on. Today I am going to give you some recipes that are sure to be a HUGE hit this holiday season. And who doesn't love goodies!

Chex mix is a huge hit in our house. We make it every year, and several times each year. Better than trail mix but takes a bit longer. If you want to just go with a trail mix, get a big ziploc bag and throw a variety of snacks in there. Peanuts, cashews, m&m's, reese's pieces, raisins, goldfish crackers, pretzels. Shake it up, then fill a decorative tin or jar as a gift. Chex mix is very similar but you have to cook it. You will need all three flavors of Chex, pretzels, mixed nuts, cheerios and if you want you can also do Bugles or an extra can of cashews (like we do). You can find the recipe for that here. We always skip the bagel chips, but you can use those too.

Our favorite holiday cookie around here are Buckeyes. Being from Ohio, and HUGE Ohio State fans, you shouldn't be surprised. These are chocolate, peanut butter, sugary goodness. Basically the only ingredients you need are peanut butter, melted chocolate, and powdered sugar. You also need a bit of butter and vanilla extract and you can find the recipe here. Unless your recipient has a peanut allergy, these are probably the best home baked gift you can give. So yummy.

Fudge is one of those things that sounds difficult but well worth it. Plus it is so versatile, you can add different flavorings and textures (like nuts, m&m's and even bits of peppermint). I bought a fudge kit made by carnation for right around $6 which makes two trays of fudge. I have not made it yet, but it seems easy enough. Here is a link to making the perfect fudge.

Some of the easiest things you can make are anything chocolate covered. We have done chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered triscuits and chocolate covered animal crackers. Other things you can cover in chocolate include peppermint sticks/candy canes and cherries. Pretty much any kind of cookie can be chocolate covered too. All you need is one package of "make your own almond bark" in chocolate (you could do vanilla too) and your choice of snack to dip. Melt your chocolate in a microwave safe dish then dip. Lay snack to dry on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Once they are dry/hard, transfer to a decorative tin or jar, or you can put on a colorful paper plate and wrap in festive saran wrap. What kinds of things would YOU cover in chocolate?!

There are so many things you can make for your gifts this year. I hope you find something that intriques you to either give to someone or try yourself. If you are reading this from facebook and the links don't work... just do a Google search. The chex mix recipe can be found on the chex website and the perfect fudge was found on Good luck, have fun, and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's For Dinner Wednesday

We were originally supposed to be having steak, corn pudding, baked beans and salad for dinner tonight but since yesterday was an uber stressful day I didn't make what I had planned for last night. Instead, I went to Toys R Us and Target with a couple friends. Such an amazing stress reliever. So tonight we will be having baked porkchops, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad.

For my porkchops I usually just coat them in breadcrumbs. Rinse them well, dip in an egg and then cover with breadcrumbs. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 30 minutes. So easy when you don't really want to make dinner (that is if the porkchops are already thawed LoL).

My mashed potatoes are so yummy. There are three secret ingredients. The first is cream cheese. Instead of using so much milk to make them creamy, use a bit of cream cheese. A half block to a full block depending on how many potatoes you are using. Mix that in with the potatoes, a half - one stick of butter (again depending on number of potatoes) and maybe 1/8 cup of milk (more if the potatoes still seem too dry). After you have the potatoes as smooth as you want them, you can then add the remaining secret ingredients which are seasoning salt and garlic salt. Shake in a decent amount and stir well. You will not be disappointed in these mashed potatoes. They are perfect... no need to add butter, extra salt or gravy :)

So what are YOU having for dinner?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can You Believe It?

Christmas is NEXT week! Ok, so it's not til the end of the week, but still... next week is Christmas!!!

I have finished my shopping... as I stated a couple weeks ago... and now I have started wrapping. I think I got all the things for our extended family done, and all the things for John. I will work on getting the kids' done today and then we need to decide when Santa is coming.

Do we have him come before we go to Ohio like we usually do? Do we have him come while we are in Toledo so the kids can be surprised when they get home? Or do we have him come to Toledo and leave presents under the tree at the in-laws? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. But whatever we decide, we need to decide soon. Santa needs to be kept in the loop.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Movie Review Monday

Boondock Saints:
My husband bought this movie on Blu-Ray yesterday. He put it in last night and I must say, as much as I didn't want to watch it, I stayed up for almost the entire thing. My attention was divided between the movie and Facebook, but for the most part I couldn't take my eyes off the movie... neither could my two 3yr olds. Not really something they should be watching, so thankfully one of them fell asleep pretty quick. If you have not seen this, it is very violent (the main characters are offing all the bad guys in town) and very colorfully worded. Every other word had to be a swear word. While there was a lot of blood, I didn't think it was very gory (is that even how you spell that?!). A great, action packed movie. So I guess my friend Trista was right... she said I would like it, then I would want to go see the new Boondock Saints movie. I am thinking we need to find a sitter and make it a double date, what do you think?!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Best Birth Story Ever

Three years ago today I was in labor with my beautiful baby girl. If you weren't around to hear my birth story you will not want to miss this.


I've given birth 6 times. Only one of which wasn't induced and that was the most exciting one. I must warn you though, do not drink or eat anything while reading this. I cannot be held responsible if you choke on an apple or spit coke all over your keyboard.

December 10th 2006:
It's two days before my due date and I have been having some minor contractions all day. I had originally been told I would not go past December 8th. As you can see, that was not the case. This is what happens when you see 3 different people for your ob visits.

I began timing my contractions around dinner time. Seven minutes apart. I knew that once they were 5 minutes apart then I should get to the hospital. How I was getting there was another story. My husband was "in the field" and had been for a couple weeks already. If you aren't a military wife you probably have no idea what "in the field" means. Basically he is training out in a field somewhere close but it takes 6 hours and 12 guys to get in contact with him. Okay, so I may be exaggerating on that but it does seem to take FOREVER.

I had never gone into labor on my own before so you could say I was new to this. After three 7 minute apart contractions my uterus gave up. That was that. No baby today.

December 11th 2006:
Ahhh, one more day until my due date. How was I going to go past my due date. I HAD to go into labor tonight, or tomorrow. I have never even seen my due date without holding a baby in my arms. Misery set in weeks ago and I was saying the whole pregnancy that this little girl would be coming early. She just HAD to prove me wrong.

I have an appointment in the morning and I am demanding that I be induced NO LATER THAN Friday. I am not giving in, no way, no how. I just couldn't see why they weren't as concerned with my child's health as I was. {Background: my first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth at 26wks. One of the causes of death was a placental insufficiency - the placenta wasn't doing it's job - this being the reason I was induced every other time.}

The day came and went faster than I could even believe. I had a few contractions but nothing worth writing home about. Still no sign of baby.

December 12th 2006:
D-Day, as I like to refer to it. I was quite looking forward to my appointment at 1030am. I also had playgroup immediately following and had no intentions of missing it. I dropped my two oldest off at school and, shortly after, I headed to my appointment.

I was curious to see if I had dilated any since my last appointment. After all the contractions I had been having I was hoping to hear, "Wow! You are already at a 3. It won't be much longer before you are holding your baby." Not sure it actually would have accounted to much seeing as the last visit she said, "I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last time we saw you before you have this baby." Surprise, I'm back and NO baby yet.

Needless to say that was not the news I received when she checked my cervix. Imagine how disappointed I was when I heard, "You are a good 1, stretchable to a 2." She HAD to be kidding. That's what I was last time and the time before that. What was the point of the pain I've been through the last few weeks? Still not entirely sure.

She offered to strip my membranes "to get things going" just like she had the week before. The last time I surprised myself by turning her down. With my husband in the field I decided I better just try and wait it out. Now he would be out of the field in two days so I didn't see the harm in trying. Of course it wouldn't help anyways, it never does. I was doomed to be pregnant until they induced. I would never get to experience natural childbirth.

I "demanded" I be induced on Friday. She checked the schedule and wouldn't you know it, there were no openings. They were booked solid but they would schedule for Monday and if anything changed before then they would put me in on Friday. Yay, wonderful, at least I have a date now.

It didn't seem to calm my nerves at all. I was still worried about the baby. How could I go SIX days past my due date. I would go crazy for sure. And my baby? How would she do being inside me for SIX MORE DAYS!? I suppose the good part is daddy would be able to be there. He missed his last son being born; at least he wouldn't miss his last daughter's birth.

I left feeling let down and a bit crampy. I wasn't concerned with the cramps as they were normal after an exam. I just went about my day as I had already planned. I still had time to make it to playgroup; it was just about noon and we were meeting them at the mall at 1.

I arrived at the mall to meet playgroup and I was hoping they had actually shown up. I would hate to have already been let down once and show up to find no one had actually come. I was not let down a second time. They were there and excited to see me.

I told them about my appointment and how I wouldn't be induced until the following week. They knew how much I had wanted to have this baby already so I jokingly said, "I could still have her today if these cramps keep up."

For the next hour I had dull cramps and they didn't really bother me. I continued to converse with the other moms and take pictures of the kids playing. Some of the moms kept asking if I was okay. I seemed okay, or so I thought. I told them I was fine, the cramps weren't even regular. I knew as long as I could go about my day, talk, walk, etc that I was fine.

I remember checking my watch at about 220pm and by this time my "cramps" were becoming regular. They were 7 minutes apart and I hadn't told anyone. I wasn't worried as I could still handle them. I was very nonchalant about the whole thing. Some of the girls had to leave so we all decided to walk out together.

On the way out of the mall we stopped at Target. A couple of the girls were shopping and one asked if I was alright. I really thought I was fine so I assured her I was.

"Yah, they are about 7 minutes apart now." This seemed to shock them.
"Are you ok or do we need to take you to the hospital?" they asked.
"Oh no, I'm fine. I had some contractions like this on Sunday as well." This satisfied them for the time being.

We went about our shopping for another half an hour or so. We left the mall shortly before 3 because I had to get my older two from school. As we were leaving I mentioned my contractions now were about 5 minutes apart. My friends grew more concerned and thought they should follow me home. In hindsight, I wish they had. I told them I would be fine and I would talk to them later.

Before even leaving the parking lot of the mall my contractions were back to being 7-8 minutes apart. I was under the impression that if they were not regular then they were not "real" contractions. Boy, would I ever be proven wrong!

I headed to the kids' school. I made a number of phone calls on my way (the last of which was to my husband). I called my aunt; I suggested I may be in labor and she said to keep her posted. I called my friend Kristen; she accused me of lying. She didn't believe I was in labor but then again, neither did I. I called my friend Callie; she is the one that convinced me to get in touch with my husband. She could tell I was in labor. I tried calling my husband numerous times on his cellphone to let him know that I "might" be in labor. I didn't get an answer so I stopped trying.

I finally got the kids from school and headed home around 330pm. By this time it started to sink in that I really could be in labor. The contractions were fairly close together but I had stopped timing them. Really, how do you time contractions while unloading 4 kids out of the car?!

I realized I had to get in touch with my husband so I finally got on the phone to staff duty.

"Staff Duty this is Sgt C."
"Hi, I'm trying to get in touch with Lieutenant John. This is his wife and I am in labor."

And of all the stupid things someone could say, this is what I get...

"Lieutenant John is in the field. Can I take a message?"

Now, did I not just say why I was calling? And would I be calling staff duty if he wasn't in the field?"

As calmly as possible I replied, "Yah, this is his wife and I'm in labor. THAT is the message."
He seemed flustered at this point. "Oh, ok, I'll get that message to him right away."

I later found out he never actually got the message. The connection was fuzzy and all he heard was wife. He immediately left knowing I must be in labor.

I hadn't even considered who I was getting to take me to the hospital. I called the only friend I could get in touch with but she was still 45 minutes away. It was now 340pm. I then called my husband's cousin to come watch the kids as he had agreed to. He said he would be right over.

Scott (John's cousin) showed up not 10 minutes later and I was sitting on the couch while my kids ran amok. I was too immersed in the contractions to even think straight at this point.

"Are you ok?" he asks.

Seriously, who in their own right mind asks a woman in labor this?

The only thing I could muster was, "I don't know." I knew that was not a good sign.

I didn't know what I should do. Thinking unclearly I called my friend back. I told her I was loading the kids into the car and Scott was taking me to the hospital. She could meet me there. I knew there was no way she would make it to the house in time.

We were finally pulling out of the driveway about 4ish. As Scott drove, I frantically tried getting in touch with the doctor's office. Not having done this before I wasn't sure what to do. Do I go to the office or the ER or straight to Labor & Delivery? I couldn't get in touch with anyone at the office so I decided to try John back again. Still no answer on his phone. I probably called 20 times already.

About 3 miles from my house we got stopped by the second red light in less than a minute. I remember telling him I wouldn't care if he ran the red light (he was driving my car) and as soon as it was clear, he did. I can only imagine what the other drivers were thinking. What would you be thinking?

Scott was driving like a maniac and I didn't care. I knew my kids were in the car but I was so scared of having that baby in the car. Every story I had ever heard about someone delivering in the car was going through my head.

We were nearing the hospital when we got stuck in traffic. It was a two lane road with tons of traffic coming towards us and trees on the left. That was when my water broke, about 415pm. I began to freak. My last baby was born just 10 minutes after my water broke. I knew it, I was going to have this baby in the car. I went into panic mode.

I started to call the doctor's office just one more time when John finally got through to me. I was crying and frantic. I told him my water broke and he said he was on his way. I can only imagine how fast he was driving.

Traffic was at a standstill and there was no where to go, except on the shoulder, through the trees. I told Scott to drive on the shoulder, my water had broke and the baby was coming NOW! My window was all the way down because it was the only thing keeping me from completely losing it. As we drove through the trees I was being smacked in the arm by random branches and the side of the van was being scratched up. I did not care.

Scott is beeping at every car that we pass. We got up about 6 or 7 cars when we couldn't go any further. The shoulder was no longer just a shoulder, there was a curb too. We couldn't exactly drive over it. I was again freaking.

Traffic started to move and Scott wedged his way into the line. I started to feel lots of pressure and knew the baby was coming. Like a scene straight from a movie, Scott maneuvered into the left turn lane and sped up in front of 3 cars to go straight through the light. I'm sure he ticked a lot of people off but I wasn't in any state of concern for them.

I was really scared this baby was coming. Traffic slowed once again. With the hospital in sight I picked up my cell phone and dialed 9-1-1. Yes, I called 9-1-1!!! I was not in my right mind and I did NOT want to have the baby in the car. The operator couldn't understand what I was saying so I tried calming down as best as I could. He assured me they would be waiting for me at the main entrance.

We pulled up the entrance and Scott, bless his heart, jumps out yelling, "She's in labor and the baby is coming NOW! We need some help." He gets a funny look from a man standing by the door but he nonchalantly gets a wheelchair. He was slower than molasses in winter time, or so it seemed to me as I was "dying" in the car. Although the pain had let up, I could still feel all that pressure.

Scott opened my door and even had to take my seatbelt off. I just couldn't get my arms and legs to cooperate. I was in a daze and soaked from my water breaking. This guy that brought the wheelchair took me into the hospital where he transferred me over to another guy in the elevator. I felt like a piece of mail. "This needs to go to the third floor. Could you run it up there for me?"

Elevator guy as I will call him walks just as slow as door guy. Even worse though, he doesn't know where to take me. He stops at every possible desk on the way to Labor & Delivery. Thank goodness I was already registered and thank goodness the nurses believed him when he told them I said "the baby is coming!"

I was rushed into a room where I threw (literally) my purse and my phone into a chair. I stripped out of my sopping wet jeans (yes, I could wear jeans at 40wks pregnant, and they weren't maternity either... how jealous are you?) but I kept my shirt on (that was maternity if you makes you feel any better).

It was about 430 when I finally got to push. I was there all by myself with a bunch of nurses and my doctor. My husband didn't make it and my friend didn't make it but the only thing I cared about was delivering this baby. I pushed maybe 10 times and let out a few loud screams and my little girl was born at 445pm. Sara Mackenzie weighed in at 7lbs 5oz.

My friend finally got to come in the room about 5pm after the doctor stitched me up and that is when I started making phone calls. I got in touch with John at 510. Since he had already missed the birth I sent him to the house to get my hospital bag. In all the excitement, and denial, I left it at home. He finally made it at 6 and got to meet his daughter when they brought her back from the nursery at 9.

It was a wild and crazy day but I am so glad I was able to experience labor on my own. I'm still not convinced I actually got a hold of the right 9-1-1 operator since no one was waiting for me at the hospital... anyone know how that works when you have an out of state cell phone? Oh well, good thing I didn't end up having her in the car. Although, that would be an interesting story to read huh?

Up until July 2009: I still got flashbacks whenever I drove through the light that Scott ran or when driving towards the hospital. As nerve wracking as that day was I'm glad that I can have those flashbacks. What fun are the flashbacks from my other births? 'Well I had my aunt drop me off at the ER. I signed in and they wheeled me up to labor and delivery where they started me with cervadil to soften my cervix.' Not very exciting is it... I hope that everyone gets to experience this at least once. Oh, and cut the cord. That is the most amazing thing outside of childbirth.

Six Word Saturday

Happy Birthday to my Sara Bear!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Yah yah yah... no surprise there, right?! Ok, so the blog is going to be put on the back burner this week. We are getting some massive snow storm tonight (we already got 3 inches this morning) and I have been busy with stocking the cupboards and preparing for any problems we may encounter, like having firewood for the fireplace in case the power goes out (which they say could happen, and for an extended period of time... and that would not be fun without a toasty fire) and making sure my snowed in kids can be kicked out of the house if need be (but I promise when it is below zero I won't leave them out too long, heehee, joking!)

So anyway... in case I don't get back to bloggerland this week, that is why. I promise I will come back with snowy pics though cause the kids and I had a blast playing outside today :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Six Word Saturday

No Help When Daddy's Back Hurts

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

My Thrift Thursdays always start out with FREE breakfast at Chick Fil A. The restaurant here in Davenport, on 53rd St, is offering a free breakfast item every Thursday until the end of the year. I am not sure what we will do when they stop offering it, but for now, it has become a great weekly outing for our playgroup.

I am not sure what this week's entree is but they offer one of the following each week... chik'n'minis, biscuits & gravy, chik'n'biscuit, or cinnamon clusters. Since I only ever have just Sara and Adam with me I only end up spending less than $5 for us to eat breakfast. Three of the free items, two chocolate milks, an orange juice and order of hashbrowns and we are good to go.

We usually hang around for an hour or so and chit chat with friends. The kids always run off and play in the indoor play area. Our Chick Fil A even offers mouthwash in the bathrooms to promote good dental hygiene and hand sanitizer wipes for when the kid's are done playing to prevent the spread of germs. It is a very family friendly place and a great breakfast on a budget.

Do you guys have any places like that?!

I usually head over to Target afterwards and I always, always, always check their clearance rack. There is one hidden over behind electronics, near the hardware stuff. You can usually find some cheap games but sometimes their clearance prices just aren't low enough for me so I pass it up. They have them located in several areas throughout the store, so you just have to keep your eyes open. I also look for unadvertised deals, especially on Blu Rays. A lot of times I can find them for 20 bucks or less but I have to stop myself from buying them EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I walk in there LoL We just got our Blu Ray player in August and we already have at least 20 Blu Rays. Yes, my hubby is spoiled.

Do you guys know where to find the clearance racks in your store of choice?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And So It Begins...

December is officially upon us. And with that comes sooo many things to do.

Sara turns 3 on December 12th and Adam turns 4 on December 30th! Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday John was coming home from Iraq and knocking me up. Now my babies are getting so big, so smart and so talkative. For Sara's birthday I am planning an indoor teddy bear picnic and for Adam's we are letting him pick where we go for dinner and then going to see the lights at the Toledo Zoo. Should be a fun night. Hopefully it's not too cold or too nasty out for us to go.

School lets out for winter break on December 22nd. It doesn't feel like the school year is almost half over already. The kids have fit in so well at their new school and have only missed 1 day so far this year {knock on wood}. We may head out of town earlier than the 22nd to avoid holiday traffic if we can.

My brother is coming to Toledo for the first time in YEARS! Since his wife was pregnant with their first child, actually, and she is 4 now! I used one of John's credit cards to pay for them all to come home since they have a new baby too... a new baby that is almost a year old! I cannot wait to see them!

Christmas is going to be all out of whack this year. Since my brother isn't coming into town until after Christmas we are not getting together with my side of the family until the 29th (with my mom) and the 2nd of January (with my dad). I still don't know when we are doing Christmas with my dad's side of the family since we aren't doing it on Christmas like we usually do. And Christmas with the in laws is usually Christmas Eve but we aren't sure if John's brother & his wife are going to be in town. So I guess the only traditional part of Christmas this year will be going to church on Christmas Eve... which just happens to be Lexi's favorite holiday tradition, so it works out.

This year we will have Santa bring a couple gifts for the kids to Ohio so they have something to open Christmas morning. We don't usually do that because that is more that we have to bring home but we are making sure Santa keeps it small this year. Everything else will come from us at some point before we leave for Ohio. Squeezing that in shouldn't be too hard... getting it all wrapped before then though, hmmmm. LoL

I am sure more stuff will come up between now and Christmas though... so what are your December plans?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Movie Review Monday

In a last minute decision I asked two friends to go see a movie with me on Saturday night. We all wanted to see New Moon and two of our daughters did too. We left two daddies here with 5 kids (two went with us, one was staying at the other girl's house) and we went to enjoy a nice night out.

We got to the theater about 630pm and got our tickets for the 7pm show. I bought all the tickets... three adults and two kids at the military rate for just $34.50. Not bad for a Saturday night showing of a new movie.

I didn't spend anything at the concession stand since I had one friend pay for Lexi's snacks and the other friend pay for mine. We all got our own 1-2-3 Go Box. A fantastic idea, if you ask me. You get a kid's sized drink, a small (or maybe a little smaller than a small) popcorn and a regular sized bag of candy (or snack of choice). I got popcorn, a red icee and peanut m&m's for $7 and it was the perfect amount. Makes it so much easier than trying to share a large popcorn with 5 people and then buying a drink for everyone. Might be a little more expensive, but not much... plus the convenience makes it worth it.

We got in the movie and watched a few previews before it started. Once it started the girls behind us were super annoying which makes me glad I didn't try to go when it first came out. They would be saying things before they happened and were constantly talking about how hot Jacob is and that he could turn them into a werewolf anytime. The two girls we took were entranced in the movie and didn't make a peep the entire time.

I have not read the books so my review will probably be different than those that have read them, but I prefer to see the movies first because the movie is NEVER as good as the book. So here is my opinion...

The movie was great. Bella is forced to be apart from Edward and it breaks her until she realizes that the more danger she puts herself in, the more she will see Edward. She then starts hanging out with Jacob who makes her feel so much better. I felt bad for Jacob with her flip flopping between the two but you can see how much she loves Edward. Very intense at some parts and kinda keeps you wondering what is going to happen next (if you haven't read the books of course). Even if you don't like vampire movies or have never read the books, you will probably still like the movies. My kids love them and I found myself wondering when the next one would be out before I was even finished watching this one.

I will never be a Twilight addict, like some... but I do like the movies and I will probably end up buying them at some point.

After the movie we signed up for the StarPass... it gets you points for every dollar you spend (I think it's 10pts per dollar) and it will spit out coupons on occasion just when buying something at the box office or the concession stand. My friend spent $14 at concessions and a free movie ticket coupon spit out just from using her StarPass (which is free to sign up for, by the way). So if you have a National Amusements nearby, definitely sign up for that. They will even let you claim what you spent that day before signing up (at least they did at our theater, but the manager is super nice).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Almost Done

I started my Christmas shopping back in March. Yes, you read that right! I shop all year trying to find great deals for my kids and other family members.

It is usually super easy to buy stuff for my kids but then when everyone asks what to get them, I have NOOOO idea. Maybe I should just stop shopping. That would make my hubby very happy but it is my stress reliever. I LOVE to shop and I love buying new things for the people that I love... especially my kids and my hubby. So if I did stop shopping, they would probably wonder who I was and what I did with Bri :)

Anyway... I have finished my shopping for my kids and I am just about done with the hubby. This weekend I knocked out a few more people from my list and already got some Christmas cards out BEFORE Thanksgiving.

So yah, I am ALMOST DONE! YAY!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Black Friday Savings

Toys R Us
Spent - $47.32
Saved - $56.17

Old Navy
Spent - $4.96
Saved - $100.49

Spent - $32.08
Saved - $35.00

Spent - $291.84
Saved - $155.99

Spent - $75.93
Saved - $56.88

Spent - $21.38
Saved - $29.99

Victoria's Secret
Spent -$42.27
Saved - $10 plus got a secret reward worth at least $10 but up to $500!!!

Barnes & Noble
Spent - $52.42
Saved - $16.00

Total Black Friday Savings - $460.52 plus what my secret reward ends up being!

Six Word Saturday

***Black Friday is Better with Friends***

Fun Photo Friday - The Rest of Our Experience

After leaving Old Navy we went straight to Kohl's. We got there at 359am... the line was super long and there was hardly any parking. We waited a couple minutes in the car for them to open the doors then headed over. We quickly found what we wanted and got in line. I check the line on the opposite side of the store and to my surprise I could not find the end... both lines merged in the middle of the back of the store, so we stayed where we were. There was no drama and the line went pretty quick.

We got to Target at 445am. The line wrapped around the store and we had considered waiting for the doors to open at 5am before heading in but am glad we didn't. The line went from the front door, all around the side of the building and more than halfway around the BACK of the store. Thankfully the line moved quick into the store and people were NOT crazy. We went straight into the video game section... I got the movies I wanted AND the LAST of one of the video games I wanted. We then headed over the home section where I found the mixer I was looking for. To my surprise I found EVERYTHING on my list and we were in line within an hour. We checked out, took a potty break and got our FREE medium drink!

We then headed over to Walmart. We couldn't hardly find anything we were looking for but did find some great deals. Trista got a Sony Blu Ray player for $30 less than it was advertised for and a game was half off of what she thought it was... so it was a GREAT trip for her!

After Walmart we headed over to Kmart and saw Santa on a bike! He was nice enough to pose for a picture but I swear he was following us :p I found a couple things I was looking for but not everything. The line even went pretty quick and again, no drama.

We then decided to head to my house for breakfast since it was about 8am but when we got home the kitchen was still a disaster from Thanksgiving and breakfast wouldn't be for awhile. Kristina started falling asleep so we decided to head on over to the mall. Our feet were feeling a little better so it was a good break. Unfortunately, coming home first made us just BARELY miss out on getting the free tote bag from Victoria's Secret. I did get a few people crossed off my list and we made it home just in time for breakfast.

Kristina and I ate a little bit of breakfast then us tired out mamas fell asleep on the couch. Kristina left before Trista and I even woke up. We napped for about 30-40 minutes... it was a good cat nap. I then went back to bed after 3pm when my in laws left and slept until 7 this morning.

All in all it was a great Black Friday... it was cold, crazy and crowded but it was FUN!

The check out line in front of us at Kohl's

Waiting at Kohl's
The front of Target at 445am
The side of Target at 445am
The back of Target at 445am
Inside Target
Waiting to check out at Target
Look it's Santa!
See, he's following us!
*I didn't get any pics at Walmart or the mall, sorry*

Fun Photo Friday - Old Navy

We got to Old Navy about 1240am. (Yes, it only took 40 minutes to get into TRU, get what we wanted, check out, wait for Trista and drive to Old Navy LoL) We had hoped to wait in the car for a little bit since it was below 30 degrees outside but there were already about 20 people standing in line. This is the place I wish we had brought our chairs. It was so cold! The building didn't block the wind like Toys R Us did and there was no one selling hot chocolate. Oh, I forgot to mention that... while standing at TRU there was a guy selling hot chocolate from the back of his truck. Donations only, and the profits go to Toys for Tots. If he was lying, that is pretty shitty but even had he said "Just to make a buck." I still would have given him 3 bucks for 3 cups of hot cocoa. It's an ingenius idea!

So anyway... we get in line and start talking to a woman and a couple guys about our experience at Toys R Us. Then up walks a lady that we saw at Toys R Us. She starts chit chatting with us and come to find out... it's the Zhu Zhu Pet ticket lady that tried snagging a ticket and was asking us if we had heard the ladies yelling at her. Little did she know, it was us that were part of that and we just laughed. She ended up getting a ticket and admitted to not knowing what it was for and ended up giving it to someone else.

Channel 8 news showed up and interviewed a couple kids and probably got me and Trista swaying in sync but I don't see it posted online anywhere and I never catch the news. The lady behind us kept trying to get the news lady to let her say "Hi" to her husband but she wouldn't. Thank the Lord! She was annoying. She proved how annoying she was when the doors finally opened. Once again she pushed her way in front of us to get a ticket for the Lego Rock Band game which turned into more drama for us. The guy (and girl) handing out the tickets almost wouldn't give one to Trista because "She already got you one." Umm, no she didn't. She wasn't even with us. I am sure her mom behind us got one of her own too, whom she said she was grabbing it for. There was also a mad rush for the door from the crowd gathering in the parking lot that wouldn't get in the long line that went 4 stores down. They ended up opening the other doors which pissed a lot of people off... you know, the ones waiting hours upon hours to get in. They were, however, only giving out tickets at the door we were at but maybe they should have posted that so people could line up at both doors or they should have handed out the tickets before they opened just like Toys R Us did. Then we could have warmed our frozen toes in the car for a bit without worrying about not getting a copy of the FREE game.

We finally got in, got what we wanted and headed for the checkout. Not before losing each other, Trista & Kristina getting dizzy and running into Rebekah and baby Rin (only 4wks old, so they waited in the car for the doors to open). I got Jacob two pairs of jeans, a long sleeve polo and Lego Rock Band for less than $30 and I spent less than $5 cause I had a $25 gift card. It was soooo worth it waiting in that line. Although there is no way I could have done it without my amazing friends... they made the 2 1/2 hours just fly by.

Waiting in the CCCCCold!

The line in front of us
Waiting to check out
Rebekah, Baby Rin & Heather
The line behind us
Poor Trista got dizzy :(
We STILL look cold :p

Fun Photo Friday - Toys R Us

When we got to Toys R Us the parking lot wasn't too bad. We pulled through a spot on the far end of the parking lot hoping to be able to get out quickly when we ran in, got what we needed and ran back out. The line wasn't too long either. They had carts forming a barrier so people couldn't push their way in the front of the line at the door when they opened and we were just past the end of those carts, near the exit... so not too far back at all. As time got closer we heard people saying that TRU was going to be handing out coupons for their popular items to the first 100 people but we didn't know what it was for. People were speculating and someone else said that it was for Zhu Zhu Pets, the hottest toy of the year... but we never saw them advertised any where. Sure enough, when they came out though, they handed out 100 tickets for those cute, battery operated hamsters. We got ours, but not without a little drama. One woman, who claims to have been in line just behind us, walked up to where we were standing trying to get a ticket. The people in front of us were yelling that she wasn't in line, we said the same thing, and she yells back "My daughter has been standing RIGHT back here!" Ok, maybe that was true but if it was, you could have been standing with your daughter waiting to get your ticket and would have gotten one without jumping in front of other customers. We, however, had not seen her once since we got in line. 30 minutes later, the doors opened. As we got up near the door a woman tried pushing her way through the cart barrier and got into an altercation with the people in front of us. The line jumping woman pushed a 16 year old and the mom was about to beat some ass... actually she threatened to shoot her in the head if she touched her daughter again. I intervened and stopped the fight. I told the people in front of us to just go in and the lady to go back to the end of the line. She said, "Get your arm off of me." to which I replied, "We have been standing in line since 930 (close, but not exactly true) and they have been waiting longer, you need to go back to the end of the line." Her only retort was that they lady in front of us threatened her, which some how gave her the rights to go in without waiting for hours like the rest of us. A manager and security came out and I finally made my way in to the store. I heard they let her come in anyway... but whatever. The store was crowded... I grabbed some cheap diapers to make a diaper cake (I had coupons on top of it) and Kristina & Trista headed over to the video game section. They gave away the game Kristina was looking for right in front of her, and then found the game I was looking for. We headed up the check out and didn't wait for very long. TRU does it where they have arrows where the line goes... usually within an hour of opening the line wraps around the entire inside of the store but we were lucky to get our stuff and get in line within about 10 minutes. I gave my coupon to Kristina for my Zhu Zhu Pet but they wouldn't let her use two, so I ended up paying for hers (and she gave me the cash for it). As I was checking out my total came to $143... and there was NO WAY! It should have been like $80. I always have issues at Toys R Us. I may never shop there again... at least not when I am trying to get a deal. Anyway, it turned out one the video games I was getting was not on sale like I had read on a deal blog (or maybe it wasn't on sale until 5am... they did run some deals starting at midnight and others starting at 5) so I had her take that off and then another game was the wrong game, thanks to the employee back there. And it wasn't only me he did it to... it was EVERYONE that asked for it. We finally got everything fixed and taken care of, but I think checking out took longer than finding what we wanted. We then had to wait for Trista to take a potty break... when we left TRU the line was STILL super long out the door. We then headed over to Old Navy. They were opening at 3am.

In line at TRU

The line in front of us The line goes on FOREVER
I read that several businesses had full parking lots at 130am

The checkouts at TRU around 1230am

Waiting for Trista

Fun Photo Friday - Ready for Black Friday

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted... I came home from shopping yesterday, took about a 40 minute nap on the couch then got up to spend some time with our company before they left. I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and I finally went back to bed shortly after 3pm (only according to facebook it didn't post until almost 6)... I just got up! So today I will post some of our experience and some pictures from yesterday, Black Friday!

Kristina and I were sitting at my house on Thanksgiving evening trying to take a nap before it was time to leave. Trista was going to meet us at my house at 1030pm and then we would head to Toys R Us. Kristina and I were too excited to sleep so we came back down stairs with everyone else. Around 9pm, one of Kristina's friends posted on facebook that she was heading over to Toys R Us and someone else made a similar comment. We started to panic a little and called Trista. She was sleeping so she hurried up and got ready to come over. She got here about 10 and we headed out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

Today is the first time I will have hosted Thanksgiving for family. We used spend it several different places when we lived in Ohio, then we moved to Georgia and started spending it with friends. Last year we did something different and went to Sea World for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of fun.

This year was the first year we could have gone back to Ohio for Thanksgiving since we are only 6 hours away, compared to the 15 we were before. But also the first year family might be willing to come visit us so I decided to invite the in laws and some of my family for Thanksgiving dinner in Iowa.

The guest list includes my wonderful mother and father in law, my brothers in law plus a sister in law, two of my sisters, a friend and her family and a puppy in law! I had invited my mom, her husband and his kids and my dad but unfortunately they won't be able to make it.

The dinner menu is extensive... after all there will be 19 people eating here today.

Stuffing Casserole
Corn Pudding
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Sweet Potatoes in the Crockpot
Green Bean Casserole in the Crockpot
Crescent Rolls
Salad from Olive Garden
Pickle Tray
Chex Mix
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Praline Pie
Sour Cream Apple Pie
Banana Pudding

After all this good food it will be time for the Black Friday ads so we can plan our strategy of attack! And I cannot wait!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's for Dinner Wednesday

Something simple, that is for sure!

Last night I made steak on the grill (luckily the rain let up), baked potatoes and garlic baked broccoli. It all turned out yummy but not as GREAT as it usually does.

John turned the grill on for me and I put the steaks on without turning down the heat. I came back in the house to tend to the potatoes and broccoli thinking it would take forever for the steaks anyway. So I get the potatoes all poked, oiled and salted... put them in the microwave, then cut up the broccoli, tossed in olive oil and garlic salt and put those in the oven.

After getting that done I went out to check the steaks and to my surprise the grill temp was up to 700 degrees!!! I opened it up and flames were surrounding my steaks. I flipped three of them to see the bottoms completely charred... the 4th one was a little tougher as it had actually caught on fire LoL I got that one flipped and took it in to check the inside... it looked perfect on the inside. What is that they say about not judging a book by it's cover?! Yah, it still tasted good.

I turned the grill off and brought in the remaining steaks. Only one of them was cooked enough though so I pulled the potatoes out of the microwave and threw the steaks in for a couple minutes. I do not recommend this cause it makes the steak pretty tough and pulls a lot of juice out of it. It was still good but better with A1 :)

The good part about all this was that dinner was done fairly quickly. John and Jacob got to eat before leaving for Scouts and no one complained. Gotta love that.

And then tomorrow will be our Thanksgiving Dinner so today... yah... definitely simple. I am thinking something along the lines of Kraft Mac n Cheese and hot dogs (if we have any left). Or we could do spaghetti with garlic toast. We will see. And maybe I will come back and let you know :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time Travel Tuesday

First Date - March 8th 1996

Alexandra Noelle - Born Jan 14th 2001

Jacob Connor - Born Aug 3rd 2002

Kaydence BreAnne - Born Sept 15th 2004
Adam Chase - Born Dec 30th 2005

Sara Mackenzie - Born Dec 12th 2006

Buckeye - Born Jan 6th 2008