Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fear and Faith

The last 48 hours have been surreal. Ive gotten to learn just how precious life is. It's a gift, and not one to be taken lightly. I'm currently admitted to Texas Children's Women's Pavilion to have preterm labor stopped. I'm here because they have a NICU that can take care of babies that are born prior to 28 weeks.

I was feeling very stressed out on Tuesday. It had already been a long week and I was just feeling off.  Right after putting Aiden to bed I got sick. I felt miserable and started feeling some low pressure, contractions and spotting blood. I wrestled with having Hugh take me to L&D to be checked. It was 9, I was sleepy and I just wanted everythin to go away. In the end, I called the neighbor to come sit with Aiden until my MIL could get there.

We get there, and I get checked out. The did a test to termite the chances of me going ino labor Inge next two weeks. I failed it. I got an exam, and the dr says that she can see where I've been spotting from and then she checks a realizes that I'm about a half centimeter dilated. I'm 25 weeks and 5 days along. It's not good!

The baby looks good on the monitor, but I am having some small contractions. They give me a shot to try and stop them, it doesn't work. It does make my heart race to 145, which is such a cool feeling. The give me a shot of steroids to help mature the babies lungs faster, just in case I have to deliver.

I get transferred to a room for the night an placed on pain medication to help with the painful contractions. We sit and watch the monitors.

My doctor comes in early and checks me. I've dilated to 1 cm overnight and my cervix is soft, which is not good. It means that it has and can change.

Now they bring out the big guns. I'm hooked up to a drug called Magnesium Sulfate. It's the last ditch effort to stop my labor from progressing. It's a drug that affects your central nervous system by relaxing smooth muscles, like you uterus. Of course you also have other smooth muscles, like your heart and lungs and legs, etc. It's seriously awful stuff. It makes you incredibly hot and fidgety, and burns your veins. My doctor told me that it's a bad medicine but that the good outweighs the bad. It also requires you to have a catheter as you are on 100% bed rest. Yuck.

Around noon, my awesome doctor makes the decision to send me down to Texas Children's Pavilion for Women downtown. They NICU can handle babies younger than 28 weeks in the case of delivery. After several hours on the medication I was still contracting painfully. I was put on an ambulance and taken downtown.

My doctor hear is great. My contractions seem to be tapering off and in a few hours they are going to take me off his medication from hell. A decision will be made on how to handle the rest of my pregnancy. This baby is breech so I've signed consents for an emergency c-section if I dilate too much. I've also signed consents for them to do everything possible for our little baby.

Hugh and I have had the gamut of emotions today. We've cried at the thought of losing our baby. We've cried at the thought of having a micro-premie that lives. This has been the scariest 48 hours of my life. I miss my little girl and yet I pray that this baby decides to cook a little longer. Life is very precious. I can't hank my family enough for their support. Hugh and I have a great support system and for that we are thankful.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jetta Mo-bile

Ahhhh… Jetta.

We bought the Jetta 2.5 years ago since Hugh and I didn’t want to be a two-truck family. Since his truck was really awesome, mine had to go.

The Jetta is great. It’s a diesel, so it gets great gas mileage. It’s also a turbo so it’s really quite fast. It’s too small for us to go anywhere with Aiden in it, but it’s perfect for my commute to work.

And then last week happened. Aiden had a doctor’s appointment and I had to leave work a little early to meet Hugh and Aiden. I get in the car…wouldn’t start. WTF! I ended up calling a place that’s right by my work where we have work done, and they sent a mechanic right over to check it out. The battery was dead! It was so dead that they couldn’t even jump it. The good news is that they offered to bring a new battery over, change it out and then drive it over to their shop for me. Luckily, my mother-in-law was able to come pick me up and Hugh and Aiden came and got me after her appointment.

P.S…..a new battery for a diesel Jetta cost about $200. Now, we paid about $20 for the valet service, but that’s still an expensive battery.

Fast forward to Wednesday of this week. I’m on the highway heading home from work when I hear a loud “POP” from the car. My dashboard lit up like it’s a Fourth of July fireworks show and the car is hard to control. I had a blowout. I was able to exit the highway and make a turn into a gas station. I called my father-in-law and he came to help me change the tire. Chelsey met us at the gas station so I could take Aiden with me, and today I will be getting 4 new tires.

YAY for spending $1,000 on your car in a week!

Aiden @ 7 Months

Aiden is 7 months old today!

She’s become seriously mobile in the past few weeks that have Hugh and I scrambling to keep up. She’s crawling well, and is now pulling up on EVERYTHING. This girl loves to stand up. If she can get her hand on it, she’s going to be pulling herself up on it. Hugh and I have relocated our beloved coffee table into the library to make things a bit safer. Aiden now has free roam in the living room, and it’s such a joy to watch her play. We moved a case of diapers into the living room to give her something to pull up on. In two days time she went from pulling up on the box to pushing the box around the living room.

This is the box. Aiden loves it.
The dogs have decided that their best defense with Aiden is to just run away. Aiden wants to play with them, and while they will sit happily and let her pet (um…hit) them for a few moments they usually just get up and scurry off in search of dropped puffs.

Puffs. I had no idea that these things were baby crack. After initially allowing her to have some Gerber ones, I placed an order for some that were organic and lower in sugar. Hugh about had a heart attack when he saw the cost; but Aiden LOVES THEM. We can’t have them out until after she finishes her food, or else she won’t eat her food. She’s gotten very good at feeding herself and the dogs. The dogs sit under her high chair just waiting.

Aiden is currently wearing size 2 diapers and size 6 month clothes. Some of her clothes are still big on her, but she’s growing!

I can’t wait for her to open her Christmas gifts. I know she’s going to enjoy the swing we got her. Of course, I have about 5 costume changes planned for her on Christmas Day. TOO MANY OUTFITS TO CHOOSE FROM!

 I love this photo. Cassie typically tries to pretend that Aiden can't see her. Aiden is quite excited about getting her puppy dog.
 Currently her favorite toy.
 Aiden in her high chair with Sophie. Sophie is still delicious, but not as good as puffs.

 One of my favorite photos. Outside of Balderas Tamale Factory. We spent something in the range of $700 there while I was pregnant with her. She loves it like her Momma!
 Aiden and Daddy at his office Christmas Party
Here's another phots. They're so cute! Loves of my life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

10 Bits of Information

1.       While you may tell yourself at 5:30 in the morning that fat free popcorn will be enough for your lunch, it’s not. Don’t do it. You will starve.

2.       Amazon 1-click purchasing can be a problem.

3.       Amazon Mom (aka Prime) is the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously. The discounts make spending $300 a month on formula a little bit easier. Hey…it could be $400!

4.       The woman that stole my credit cards and some cash from me last year at my brother-in-laws wedding has been sentenced! It only took 11.5 months, but she’s on 4 years of probation for 2 counts of credit card fraud and 1 count of possession of meth. Did I mention that she’d been previously convicted of endangering a child? Oh, and 2 other previous charges of possession of opiates? Classy lady. She’s also been ordered to pay back the $23 in cash she took from me on top of some hefty court fines. Thanks to the Hays County Victim Services department for keeping in contact with me for the past year to keep me in the loop and to get my opinions for the judge.

5.       Aiden has been sitting up on her own and “crawling” (she’s not that good yet) for a while. However, she hadn’t been able to go from a crawling position to a sitting position on her own. She chose to do that yesterday. For my sister. J While I would have enjoyed seeing it for the first time, I’m just happy that she’s growing!

6.       The battery died in the Jetta yesterday. Died as in dead. Couldn’t even hold a charge. I use a great car repair service near my school that did an incredible job. I called them, they sent over their shop foreman immediately. He tried to jump it and realized that I needed a new battery. I already had a ride on the way so he offered to keep my keys, go get a battery, install the new one, and drive it over to their shop so we could get it later. Relatively painless. Minus the fact that it cost us $200. The battery for our little diesel import was $150 alone. Then, the government has to charge you a million dollars to purchase said battery.

7.       Hugh and I joined our block this year in the neighborhood in the decorating theme. We had to buy a Christmas Lamp Post. It’s really cute, but it doesn’t exactly meet Hugh’s high standards for quality plastic decorations.

8.       I made a roast in the crock-pot on Sunday night that was divine. Thank you HEB for having $1.99/lb specials when you open your new stores. We will forever shop HEB grand openings.

9.       Tobey and Cassie got baths and haircuts on Sunday. They weren’t thrilled, but they look so darn cute! They smell better too.

10.   Sucralose is in everything. I recently noticed that it’s in the protein shakes that I drink for meals, it’s in light yogurt, most chocolate milks, and pretty much all things labeled “light”. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t kill you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday to Hughbear!

Hugh turned 33, almost one month ago. I haven’t had a chance to write about it, but I’m finally getting to it.

For Hugh’s birthday this year, he wanted a party. We came up with the idea of having a “Hughtoberfest” complete with two of Hugh’s favorite things: sausage and beer!

Back in September, we had a little get-together that was a beer making party. We grilled and hung out while Hugh and his friend Lee cooked up a batch of Oktoberfest beer. This beer then got to live in our GUEST SHOWER (I hadn’t been informed of this prior to the beer being made) until the week before Hugh’s party. Did I mention that the beer actually exploded at one time? No??? How silly of me. I’ve blocked it from my memory.

The party was a big success. The house was filled with family and friends and Hugh had a great time. The beer was excellent, and the food was delicious. There were no fires, the police weren’t called, and nobody had their car towed so I’m considering it a success.

The best part of the party? Aiden and I left at 6:30 and spent the night at my in-laws house. After all of the wives went home the guys all stayed and played an old-school original HALO party. They connected two T.V.’s together and played. They had a blast, and even though our house looked like a disaster zone the next morning, Hugh was happy. Plus, they all had a blast.
This was taken the night before the party. Hugh and his friend Lee had to make sure that everything worked.

The busy, busy McCrea's!

It’s been a busy time at the McCrea House. In fact, I feel as though we’ve been running non-stop. Let me fill you in on a few things.

We had our first family Christmas pictures taken. It was a lot of fun, and Aiden was very good. She finally got to wear the dress that I bought her on Zulily (back in June, lol) and the cutest pair of black patent shoes. It was precious. I have several photos to share, but I’m only showing one until after Christmas.

Aiden visited the GI doctor. Her spitting-up has progressed to full on vomiting. All the time. She does this throughout the day. We have no clue as to what triggers it and there doesn’t seem to be a solution. She had an Upper GI done, to make sure there were no anatomical problems with her intestines. That sucked. SERIOUSLY sucked. She screamed the entire time. It’s not something that hurts, but they had to hold her down and she wasn’t very excited about that. We’ve been through three different medications, and none of them are working. None.  Hugh and I are both at a loss as to what do, as is her Pediatrician and GI specialist. It’s so frustrating, and it breaks my heart. Especially when I think to myself how she’s never had a day in her ENTIRE life where she hasn’t puked.

We discovered that both of our furnaces were broken. Just FYI: furnaces aren’t cheap. Sadly, it wasn’t anything that would have been caught on our inspection back in April. According to our HVAC guy it wouldn’t have been caught unless we had an actual HVAC mechanic come out and look at them. Fortunately, we have a home warranty that came with the house when we bought it. It covered the majority of the costs, but home warranty companies are crooked as they come. We actually had our personal HVAC mechanic out to diagnose the problems, and then we called the warranty company to come out look. Of course, the warranty company technician tried to say that nothing was wrong. Hugh actually had to go up into the attic and show him the crack. After a few phone calls that were not-so-nice, we finally got a new furnace and the second one repaired.

We bought a new truck! It’s pretty dang awesome, I have to admit. Hugh and I have been discussing for months about what we wanted to do about our vehicle situation. The Jetta is awesome for me, as it gets 38MPG and I drive about 50 miles a day. However, the three of us can’t ride in it together. There’s just not enough room for us to safely drive it with the car seat in the back. The poor passenger has to sit with their knees in their chest. We were debating on trading in the car for a large SUV, but kept holding off knowing that the gas mileage would kill us. Then, I took the truck in for an oil change and we discovered that we needed new brakes and tires. The truck was a 2006 F-150, so we decided to go look a new truck. We were shocked at the prices for 2012 models that were still on the lot, so we made a great deal and brought our new truck home. It’s a really nice truck. It has every extra available option that we could add, minus a cappuccino machine. Seriously. We got the navigation package and it’s really cool. The truck is actually quite a bit bigger than our previous truck and it’s taken a little time to get used to driving it. It sits about 6 inches higher that the other truck and there’s even more room on the inside than before. We ended up getting about $15K off the MSRP, so Hugh and I were both very happy. Now, that’s our family vehicle. We drive it on the weekends or when we all go somewhere together and Hugh drives it to work every day.

AND….pretty much a million other things, but that’s it for now.

Aiden 6 Months!

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I’m behind. I get it. Whatevs.

Aiden was 6 months old on November 21st! I really can't believe that it's been 6 months. I'm in shock to realize it.

Height: 27 inches! 96th%

Weight: 14lbs 15th%

She has seriously grown! Hugh and I are both happy with her growth. We were trying not to worry about her being so small, and this makes us both feel better. She is so long. We put her in 6th month clothing and it’s starting to get too short, yet she can still wear 3 month clothing in her waist. Maybe she’ll get her Mother’s height and her Father’s metabolism.  Every girl’s dream!

Aiden is eating everything. She’s moved up to stage 2 foods and she’s a happy little eater. We’ve also started giving her puffs. Originally, I thought we would just give her Cheerios (MUCH cheaper) but the puffs dissolve very quickly which is good for babies that only have a few teeth. I will also admit that I caved and spent more money than I’d like to admit on the organic puffs because they have less sugar than the Gerber Ones. Thank goodness for Amazon Mom. She has gotten very good at feeding herself, but she’s also quite happy to share her puffs with the dogs. Tobey seems to have a newfound love for Aiden.

We’ve discovered a few things that Aiden isn’t too keen on eating. One is green beans. When we feed these to her, she just leaves her mouth open and lets them fall out. Awesome. She also makes faces. However, if she gets to eat real green beans, she likes them. I’m guessing that I wouldn’t like baby food green beans either. We also made one mistake with an Ella’s Kitchen Organics pouch of “Broccoli, Pears and Peas”. Never again. She actually spit these at us. Her doctor told us not to stress over what we feed her. The majority of her nutrition comes from her formula, so the food is just “extra”.

We are still staying away from all milk products. This can be tough when looking for food. As she’s allowed to eat more complex food, the chances of milk or cream being an ingredient is certainly increased.

At 6 months Aiden is able to sit on her own and crawl. She’s getting quite good at being mobile. In fact, we have had to move our coffee table into the library to give her some more room. She’s trying to pull up on stuff and it makes me nervous. She has no fear. Mommy has plenty. Her favorite toys right now would have to be her Dinosaur (it pops plastic balls in the air) and anything that she’s not supposed to have. We’ve recently started letting her sleep with a “lovey” and she’s very happy with that.

She’s still sleeping through the night, even though she’s been waking up earlier. She typically sleeps about 11-12 hours and it’s a blessing. It’s the only time that we’re able to really get stuff done. Every once in a while, she’ll wake us up at 2am for food. It seems to be when she’s in a growth spurt and we sure don’t mind feeding our hungry baby girl.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Aiden-5 Months Old!

Happy 5 month birthday to my sweet little girl!


This month Aiden has been busy. She got to start eating stage 1 foods, which she LOVES. She decided to cut her first tooth, and she started sitting up with support. We’re THIS CLOSE to her sitting up on her own, but not quite.

We weighed her at home, so it’s not as accurate as the doctor’s office but close enough. She weighs 13lbs! She’s wearing a combination of 3 month and 6 month clothing and size 1 shoes. We are completely in size 2 diapers now.

Foods she’s tried:

Sweet Potatoes

She seems to like all of the food that we’ve given her, but I have to admit that if all I had been eating was Nutramagen then I’d be happy with anything else as well. We’ve been feeding her in the bumbo and in her high chair. She wants to be involved, which means that she wants to play in her food. Hugh and I have started looking at the stage 2 foods that she gets to start eating next month. We’re going to have read labels very carefully because many of them contain cream or other milk products. You’d be shocked at where you find milk products in food.

Teething has not been fun. Poor baby girl has been pretty fussy from the pain, but at least we’re finally to the point where she’s willing to try cold washcloths and crushed ice in a mesh bag. I’m hoping that it’ll get better soon. The cute side is that she wants to bite everything. Your face, your finger, your hand, the bumbo, the diaper wipes, the dogs….you name it-she wants to eat it.

She’s going to be a pink elephant for Halloween and we took some pictures in our homemade pumpkin patch! She seemed to have a good time, and I know that Hugh and I thoroughly enjoyed taking her photos.




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gag me...

Seriously. This post comes to you because I found myself still pissed a month after I’ve read this article.

First off, here’s the article. Feel free to read it. I dare you not to puke as your reading it.

This article came to my attention via an online mother’s board that I belong to. Many women were going on and on about how demeaning the article was so I finally gave in and read it. Basically, it’s an article that gives suggestions to new mom’s on what they can do during the first six weeks postpartum to make the new Dad’s not feel neglected. How to get Dad involved…how to keep Dad happy….how to satisfy your husband.
The article infuriated me. The author discusses how the first six weeks home with baby are hard for a new Dad. How all of the attention is focused on the baby and the mother making the dad feel left out and unappreciated. There are suggestions for the new mom on how she can help make her man feel more appreciated. Let me recap a few ideas for you:

“Go to bed together at the same time! After having a baby, you just want to sleep any chance you get and often times you’ll be asleep before he comes to bed. Make the effort to be awake for him! “

“Lay out your husband’s pj’s, pull the covers back on his side of the bed, and put his favorite book on his pillow so he can relax before going to bed.”

“Once all of the kiddos are in bed, get dressed in something that is a little more risque and try dusting the T.V. while he’s trying to watch it…or mop the floor on your hands and knees while he’s eating a late night snack.”

First off, pj’s? Seriously?  My husband is not 5. 

At first, I honestly wondered if the author of this article had actually ever had a child. Surely someone that’s been through what Hugh and I had JUST experienced would know better than to make these suggestions.
The first six weeks after Aiden was born were the toughest weeks in my life. Hugh will echo this statement. It was HARD. I had no clue that it was even humanly possible to function on so little sleep. Babies defy all logic. Things that work once or twice will never work again! Patterns don’t apply, they don’t fit into spread sheets, and everything you’ve read in books gets tossed out the window when you’re on day 4 of getting less than 4 hours of sleep in a day. Seriously. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly take the time TO PUT ON LINGERE AND MOP THE FLOOR ON MY HANDS AND KNEES. WTF? Did I go to sleep and it just become 1950? Maybe Hugh and I just have a different sort of relationship; I’m honestly curious now. Sadly, we didn’t go to bed together very often during those first few weeks. However; we did always sleep in the same bed. 

Hugh and I worked together as a team. We appreciated each other, for what the other person was doing. We are conscientious of the other person’s feelings, and we take care of each other. Hugh expects me to take care of Aiden, and I expect him to do the same. When I was breastfeeding, yes, more of the “baby” work fell on me. Hugh made sure that the house was clean and that we had food to eat. I actually had to ASK if I could change a diaper because Hugh was always taking care of it. When we had to switch to formula, Hugh and I split feedings. We knew that there was no possible way that we would survive without helping each other out-so we just helped. WITHOUT the expectation of a thank-you. This doesn’t mean that we didn’t tell each other that we appreciate the other-on the contrary, we did it often. 

I think that for me, this article simply represented all of the things that I thought women had overcome. I was taught to view marriage and parenting as a partnership. An equal partnership. Do we take the time to make sure that the other person knows how much we appreciate them? Yes. Do I need an article that suggests I “make myself pretty” for my husband to know that he loves me? No.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

10 for Tuesday

As of today, I have exactly one week left of maternity leave. I go back to work next Wednesday, with mixed feelings. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and colleagues, but it’s going to be hard leaving my baby girl. I’m so thankful that Hugh and I have been able to plan so that it wasn’t a struggle for me to be off work, unpaid for 3 months.

We are in the midst of a big project here at the house. We’re painting our cabinets. Doesn’t seem like a big deal until you realize that you have 21 cabinet doors. We decided to do this since a full remodel will probably be 5 years down the road. I’ll share pictures when we’ve completely finished but I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the results.

Aiden coughed in her sleep a bunch last night. She ended up waking up at 5, so I fed her and put her back to bed. She spent the next hour TALKING to her mobile. Hugh and I know this because we got to hear it on the monitor. It was hilarious. At least, as hilarious as anything is that early in the morning. She was so happy and just talking up a storm.

Brandon and Christine came for a visit yesterday. It was really nice getting to see them. Brandon works in the hotel business and Christine is an ER nurse. Their work hours don’t always allow us to see them on holidays and get-togethers so it was a real treat! Oh, and Brandon….I still don’t like that shirt.

Tonight is National Night Out-at least in Jersey Village. We’ve been invited to a party down the street and I’m excited. We’re officially going to be SOCIAL in the neighborhood. Hugh is slightly less excited, but he agrees that we need to be involved.

I’m currently obsessed with an Asian vinaigrette called Mama Tang’s. It’s made right here in Houston and it’s low calorie and fat free. It is delicious! We’ve been marinating chicken in it and eating salads with it. At some point I’m going to have to tell Hugh that I’m paying $7 a bottle for it, but by the time he figures that out I’m going to have him hooked.

I miss playing softball. Hugh and I used to play softball on Monday nights. After getting pregnant, I had to stop playing. Hugh still plays, but I miss it. I miss playing and getting to watch him. Aiden’s schedule is more important though, so I just have to keep reminding myself.

I seriously hope that I fit into my work clothes. I’ve lost my baby weight, but my overall weight is definitely re-distributed. We’ll see come next week!

I’m going shopping this afternoon to get Aiden a jacket. It’s gotten a little cooler here and we realized that we only have summer stuff for her.

I find it hilarious that my breakfast is called Muscle Milk Light and right below that it says CONTAINS NO MILK.


A few months ago, when Hugh and I were in the midst of being up all night, getting sleep in 2 hour stretches, walking around like zombies, and basically just existing…we got the awesome idea to take a vacation. 

We are blessed with the fact that Hugh gets 4 weeks of vacation a year, plus holidays. PLUS: PATERNITY LEAVE! Hugh got a week of paternity leave that didn’t count against his vacation and then took two weeks of sick leave. It was awesome.

We decided to take advantage of my time off from work and get away. It wasn’t long, but it was long enough for where we are in our lives right now. We took 3 days and 2 nights and headed to the hill country. Originally we considered flying somewhere, but we didn’t want to be too far away in case anything happened with Aiden. She’s still tiny, and a handful for someone to keep.

We started off our trip by driving to Austin to eat at Franklin BBQ. This marks our 3rd trip to eat there. It was incredible. We got there around 10:00 and had our food by 11:45. The wait wasn’t terrible for being a Thursday, but by the time we got inside the line was all the way down the parking lot. After eating a ridiculous amount of BBQ we headed out to Perdenales Falls. We spent a few hours hiking in the state park and then headed to the B&B that I booked for us in Llano. We stayed at the Walden Plantation, and I can’t recommend it enough! It was beautiful, right on the river, the rooms were great…I just can’t say enough good things about it. We spend the afternoon drinking wine and hanging out at the pool. We spent the evening drinking wine and hanging out at the hot tub. And then the fire pit. AWESOME. We slept in until 8!

After a delicious breakfast we headed out and hiked Enchanted Rock. We had tried to do this back on Spring Break when I was pregnant, but the park was too full. We were just about the only people there and we enjoyed it immensely. It felt great to do something physical and tiring. The views were cool, and it was fun to explore. After we exhausted ourselves we drove into Fredericksburg for lunch and then headed on down to San Antonio. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on the River Walk and had a great time. We had dinner on the river walk and then FINALLY saw the Batman movie at the IMAX.  Oh..and we SLEPT until 8, again!

Hugh and I had a great time. It was a much needed break for us. It’s tough work being parents, but we are blessed with an amazing support system that allowed us to take a little break.We both want to thank our parents for staying with Aiden while we were gone. Oh...and Chelsey too.