Zuzu’s Petals

21 Jan

So today I got the book I’ve been waiting for since Tuesday.  Everyday I would come home from work and look all around outside, hoping the postman just hid it some where since it wouldn’t fit in the mail box.

The book is Zuzu’s Petals by Lauren Larsen.  I found out about it through the Preeclampsia Foundation.  It’s a memoir that tells about a young woman who was feeling fabulous and pregnant and within hours her life changes forever.  I can’t wait to read it.

Not a long post tonight 1.) I want to go read my book….2.)I need to finish up the last little details of Cooper’s birthday party tomorrow.


Best dern Chili!

20 Jan

So tonight, Katie had us over for dinner.  She made my new favorite chili recipe.  Katie first made it for us when we came to her apartment for our Christmas celebration with her and Nick.

Since then, I have had it three more times including tonight.  If you like tacos, spicy, and chili you will love this recipe.  Not to mention it’s super easy and made in the crock pot.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili



It is so good with some sour cream and cornbread.  It is also low in WW Points if you are following WW.  I’m so excited to take the leftovers to work!  Thanks again Katie!

What is your favorite crockpot meal?

PaPaw Came to Town

19 Jan

Short post tonight. 

 My dad came in tonight for Cooper’s birthday party.  Cooper enjoyed going to the airport to pick him up. Papaw and Gaga are going to keep Cooper out of school tomorrow and Friday.  They plan on spoiling him, hopefully not too much.

Happy Birthday

18 Jan

Happy 2nd Birthday to my precious baby boy, Cooper!

These two years have gone by so fast! In the blink of an eye, Cooper was crawling then walking, babbling, then talking.  My husband always says “I can’t wait until Cooper can ______” and I remember him saying “I can’t wait until Cooper can talk.  And although Cooper has been talking, he hasn’t really said phrases.  Well, today he said “My birthday, two!”  I was so proud.

Cooper started his day off with some banana oatmeal.  He loves bananas and he loves oatmeal, so he was very excited to get them together for breakfast.  We then got him ready for school, complete with a Birthday Boy badge.

I don’t really give sweets to Cooper but I wanted him to be able to celebrate with his friends.  So I got the mini cupcakes from Walmart and put ELMO rings on them.  They turned out so cute.

Cooper had a great day at school playing with his friends.  He likes to play in the kitchen and with the trucks.  Daddy picked Cooper up from school and brought him home for a special birthday dinner.  Gaga made Cooper Baked Spaghetti.  Cooper LOVES spaghetti.  Before we ate, Aunt Katie brought Cooper some balloons. They included ELMO, a train, and Cooper’s favorite shape, stars.

We ate dinner and then Cooper got a special birthday cake.  I know, I know I said I don’t give him sweets and I honestly don’t.  But, it made this occasion so much more special for him since he doesn’t always get cookies, cake, and candy.   Last year for his first birthday, I made him an organic banana cake with yogurt frosting.  He wasn’t too thrilled about it but again I don’t think he really knew what to do with it.  Again, I got a mini-cake from Wal-mart with Thomas the Train.  It was the perfect size and Cooper loved it (the rest of us did too)!


We wanted to make his actual birthday special before his big par-tay on Saturday.  It was so awesome to watch Cooper and to see how much he had grown up in a year.  He actually knew what was going on.  He had us sing Happy Birthday to him 6 times.  Once we got done with one round, he was already signing more and please while saying it at the same time.  I can’t wait until his Wonder Pets Birthday Party on Saturday!!

Do you have any birthday traditions you do with your family?  Any healthy birthday traditions or ones that don’t relate to food/cake?

Cooper’s Arrival

17 Jan

The Story of Cooper’s Arrival

I had severe edema (swelling) beginning around 32 weeks in my pregnancy.  I was sent to radiology to check for clots in my legs.  I was so swollen that my shoes didn’t fit and the loosest of socks cut off my circulation.  The doctor put me on bed-rest at 34 weeks for pregnancy induced hypertension.  I was sent to the hospital twice a week at that point for non-stress tests.

 Bed-rest to me involved staying at home taking care of daily household duties but not necessarily confined to the bed.  Throughout that time, however, I was lucky to have Church members bring me meals.I alos had to take an early maternity leave from school with no planned lessons.  Even though I was on bed-rest, I still thought I had 6 weeks to prepare for Cooper’s arrival.  Looking back, I wish I had been more cautious and had adhered to the strict no-activity recommendations.
On January 13, 2009, not wanting to disappoint my students at school, I attended a baby shower they had planned for me and started to have bouts of blurred vision.  The next day, I felt like I had heartburn/indigestion really bad.  Along with that, I was extremely nauseous which I attributed to eating fast food for lunch that day. 

A couple of days later, I experienced severe pain in my upper right chest area.  Early in the morning, I couldn’t sleep, and my mom who was in town helping me get ready for Cooper’s birth, got me Tums and Mylanta to combat what I still thought was heartburn/indigestion.  Later that evening, I suspected I may be in labor because the pain was unbearable.  I felt silly calling the Dr. since I had never been pregnant before and didn’t know for sure.  But I did, because my mom begged me to listen to my body.
The doctor told me it may be my gallbladder and to come into the ER if I kept having pain.  My sister-in-law, having had her gall bladder removed a few months earlier, calmed me down and I was convinced that it was nothing more.
I tried to go to bed but couldn’t  sleep because I was unable to breathe.  My mom urged me to go to the emergency room even though I didn’t want to.  My husband Nick & I headed to the hospital and within thirty minutes of arriving at the ER, I was told that I had HELLP syndrome and that I was going to be admitted into labor & delivery to deliver Cooper that night.  The nurses and doctor also told me that I was lucky that I came in when I did.
At 12 a.m. on January 17th, labor was induced at 36 weeks.  I was also told that I had to have a natural vaginal birth due to the fact that I was at risk for bleeding out.  It scared me when I was prepped with an IV “just in case I needed a transfusion”.
Pitocin was started to induce labor, Magnesium Sulfate was started to keep seizures at bay, and pulse socks were started to prevent blood clots in my legs.  And so did the 27 most scariest hours of my life….

Labor moved along slowly because magnesium and Pitocin work against each other.  Pitocin tries to constrict the muscles to start contractions and magnesium loosens the muscles.  I was so swollen that the nurses and doctors could barely find any veins from which to draw blood for routine lab work.  They tried drawing blood from the tiny veins in my wrist and almost tried to draw blood from my neck when they decided to use my “possible transfusion” line.

Before I knew it, even though 27 agonizing hours had passed, it was time to push.  While Nick and I had planned for it to just be us during the delivery, I requested my mom to also be in the room.  I needed her there in case something happened that way Nick could watch over Cooper.  As I started to push, I started to pray very very hard and looked at my mom to ask if “I was dying”. 
At 3:04 a.m., my precious son was born.  He was 18 inches long and weighed 4 lbs 13 oz.  He was alive, I was alive.  It was a miracle.  I was so thankful that he did not have to go to neo-natal intensive care because of my preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome. 

I was held at-risk for the following five days at the hospital and could barely hold Cooper because I was so swollen.  Thankfully, my husband stepped up and did a lot in the first 48 hours for our son.  I am so lucky to have a great husband.  I am also lucky to have such a supportive family.  Had it not been for my mother, I would not have gone to the emergency room when I did and things could have been much worse.  Also, my in-laws and father made the 8 hour drive through the night from Florida since the delivery was so unexpected.

It’s not always all that AND a bag of chips….

16 Jan

Today was a fun day! 

I feel like I have had a holiday break from school all over again with all of the snow days. AND my iPhone is saying more snow for Friday!  We are out again tomorrow for MLK, Jr. Day.  So I guess today really feels like Saturday. 

My sister hosted her Arbonne party at my house today.  It was a lot of fun playing with the clay masks and soaking our feet.  I won’t post any pictures of me with my face mask on.  They are too scary, I look like the HULK.  (If you must see, go here)

My sister was in charge of the eats for the party.  She decided on cheese and crackers, grapes, and chips and salsa.  However, I didn’t feel like that was “enough.”  So I sat out some Chex mix, some extra crackers, and had my sister make some flourless peanut butter cookies.

Sorry for the poor lighting.  Just got my ol Kodak Easy Share V1003….definitely not a NIKON.   Anyways, the only food that was seriously eaten was the food that my sister had originally wanted to serve.  I was making the Arbonne party more about the food than the product that was going to be shown to us (which was the reason that people were coming in the first place).

I have been stuck in such a rut these past couple of months and I’m trying to find my way out.  While in this phase, I have put on almost 15-20lbs.  Trying to find the motivation to make life about living and not food.  It is as if everything in my life centers around food.  I use it for happy moments, sad moments, stressful moments and well basically any kind of moment.

And I am such a hypocrite when it comes to my son’s eating habits.  He is the best eater; eating mainly raw foods (like fruits and veggies) and he has had very little (if any) sweets and fast food.  My son is getting to the age where he is watching everything we do and tries to imitate. 

Who’s to say he won’t want to imitate my eating habits when he is older?  I want to get control on this now and be a good role model for my son.  How do you get yourself out of a rut (if you ever find yourself in one)?

Let’s Go Packers

15 Jan

Well since the Saints are out 😦 , I guess I should cheer for the Packers.  Here’s to hoping the Pack beats the Falcons!

Picture of Nick and I before we were married.

I spent all day cleaning for my mother’s arrival. Or should I say Gaga’s arrival. (My mom wanted to be called Gandy (Grandma+Sandy) but it wasn’t happening.  So she ended up with Gaga.  Today starts the week-long celebration of Cooper’s birthday.  His actual birthday is Tuesday but we will be having his party on Saturday.  Papaw comes into town on Thursday.  Gaga brought Cooper a kitchen and he loved it!  He probably played for a good hour with it.  And if you know my son that is a long time for him to play with one particular toy.



Check back later this week for Cooper’s arrival story.  It was a traumatic one that I am still trying to recover from emotionally almost two years later.