Monday, December 17, 2007

Info from Wedding Venue

My Dad picked up a pamphlet from the Park House that we got married in, and I've been wanting to type in the information to share.....finally, here it is!

Berger Park
Cultural Center
6205 N Sheridan

Come on in!

We're the Berger Park Cultural Center at the corner of Granville and Sheridan, right off the beach just before you reach Loyola Campus. You can't miss our beautiful landmark mansion. Perhaps you've driven by or got off the 151 or 147 Sheridan bus and wondered what does on in there. Well come on inside and take a look at our building and our Creative Arts Program Schedule.

Downey History

Downey mansion was build by M.T. Powers in 1906 at the cost of $20,000 for Mr. Joseph Downey who came to Chicago from Ireland in 1856. Mr. Downey was on the Board of Education, the Com. of Buildings and the Com. of Public Works during Mayor Swift's administration. The architect was W.C. Zimmerman. The mansion is two and one half stories of gray roman brick with a large overhanging hipped roof in the prairie style. The coach house is constructed with the same brick and overhanging roof and is two stories in height. The house originally was constructed with "Imperial Spanish" roofing tile. Both the mansion and coach house has had interior and exterior changes over the years due to modernization and tenant use. The original floor plans and pictures of the interior are available for viewing by request. The Downey House is significant historically as one of the few remaining examples of the lake-side mansions that once lined Chicago's lakefront from Lincoln Park to Evanston.

Mr. Downey passed away in Florida in 1925. His widow Lena Downey opened the mansion to community service as a "Home for the Destitute", "House of Good Shepherd", and "Chicago Home for Incurables". When Mrs. Downey passed on in 1934 she left the property to the Kliens who donated it to the Clerics of St. Viator in 1944. In 1973 Developers acquired a lien on the 3.5 acres and in 1979 proposed a high rise condominium complex development for the property. The Edgewater Community Council and many other local community groups joined in a lobbying effort which induced the Viatorian Fathers to accept a reduced amount for the sale of the property to the Chicago Park District in March of 1981.

The acquisition was one of the last sizable pieces of lakefront property in Chicago and provided the neighborhoods of Edgewater and Rogers Park with a public resource for the community recreation. The land, including 450 feet of lakefront and the 1906 Downey and 1909 Gunder mansions, was named Berger Park. The two mansions and their coach houses are located at 6205 and 6219 N. Sheridan Road.

Downey Mansion has since been restored using architectural drawings and photos of the interior and exterior of the building. The building is currently being used as classrooms for the Berger Park Cultural Center featuring pottery, music, painting, drawing, lapidary and creative writing.


WHEW - my fingers are tired! Not sure if any of you, dear readers, are interested in reading that whole thing, but at least now its documented in my blog, so I'll have the knowledge for years to come :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

30 - treinta - the big three oh

I've been thinking about this post most of the day. I must say I've run through the gammut of emotions today, and as the day closes, I realize I'm in a very very good place :)

I woke up today kind of angry I guess. I never thought 30 would bother me very much, at least until I woke up. And then I realized it did! I really am not sure why - I don't necessarily feel old - I don't necessarily feel like I'm having a mid-life crisis.....its just, well, I'm officially out of my 20's.

My mood quickly improved as I opened happy birthday wishes in my inbox and greeted people over the phone. It really felt nice to be remembered and loved! It was also quite a treat to get a special birthday song from Larkin.....its always hilarious and sweet to hear little kids sing songs!

Things got even better when I opened a card not just from Patrick, but also one with a very sweet title written on the front - "Mommy". One can only assume, since Liam can't write neigh talk yet, that the sentiments in the card were picked out by Pat, but it was extra super sweet just the same. I also got SUPER sweet new Wii game - Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games :) Other presents include a fantastic Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Ornament, the Planet Earth Collection on Blu-Ray (the BBC version, not the US version!! AWESOME! And yes, I am a HUGE nerd), a Target gift card (Thanks Heidi!) and my first official pair of cool pants sewn by my mother-in-law Lorraine (they even have my name sewn in the tag!). Oh yeah, and a great dinner and fabulous cake, made my my amazing husband!

So that all had me feeling pretty good - and then came the comments. 30 is the new 20. The end of an era, and the beginning of a new one! After reading those, I really started feeling pretty awesome! I get to start a new decade of my life in an exciting new chapter. I am in a fantastic new marriage with a precious new little baby....I really couldn't ask for anything more!!! I am in such an amazing place in my life - I am so incredibly happy, so incredibly lucky, and so incredibly grateful for all the people and love I have in my life. Thank you God, for blessing me so much, and thank you all for sharing in such a special day with me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pout Watch 2007

I ALMOST had his pout caught on camera.....ALMOST This is as close as I got today. Don't worry, no babies were harmed in the capturing these photos...

The second pic is soooo close.....the only thing missing is the bottom lip sticking out. I MUST capture this on camera because it is quite possibly the cutest thing in the universe! It must be because he only does it when he's going to start crying, and not a "something is wrong and I need immediate attention" kind of cry....but more of a "I'm a Pouty Pants and I'm not happy" kind of cry. *sigh* So the watch continues....

Working together

Pat & I have worked for the same company for over 7 years now (7.5 for me - 9 in January for him), and even though we didn't work in the same group, I've always held him in pretty high esteem and very much respected him as a colleague - not just for his knowledge of cement and concrete, but for his personality and his ability to connect and relate to customers. For its one thing to have a lot of knowledge, but its quite another to be able to communicate that knowledge effectively to various groups of people. I shouldn't speak for him, but I will, and I'm pretty sure those feelings are mutual.

People may have thought it strange when I moved to Chicago and knowingly starting working with Pat in the same sales group. There's not many wife/husband teams that can do that successfully! Its not like we work together every single day, but there are days when we spend a lot of time together - during the day when working from home or in the office, and then in the evenings at industry functions. You know what? It really works for us. In fact, I think it probably has made our relationship stronger, especially after the birth of Liam - and definitely since my return to work. For one, working together gives us a way to connect outside of our procreation activities :) And I think that's very healthy! For another - sometime during the exchange of discussion of new testing equiptment, a holiday party, or proctoring for a certification exam, being able to admire him from afar, in his natural element, reminds me of why I love him so much to begin with. His warm personality, interaction with people, wittiness, charm, oh, and in the words of Simone while describing "Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago" the fact that he's "Devistatingly Handsome".

*sigh* I married a real, live, dreamboat. I couldn't be luckier!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Happy Christmas time

Haven't blogged much because frankly, every time I get a free minute to spend on the computer, I typically am scrapping, or at least surfing the websites for scrappy stuff :) There are a few holiday presents I'm finishing up, and although fun, its definitely time consuming. I've given up on the placeholder post....I'm just not going to go back and fill in. Stuff happens.

On top of that, I've been rather crabby lately, and when I'm crabby I don't feel much like (typing) writing. I'm seeing a therapist (have been since October-ish) but I still haven't worked out this random anger. Anger is a strong word....its not that strong of a feeling.....I appear to be mourning my freedom (i.e. pre-baby days) and I can't seem to quite let it go yet. Or maybe its not that - maybe its more dealing with guilt that he's in daycare and I'm working - or guilt that I enjoy the break from him while he's at daycare? I dunno. Like I said, I'm trying to work it out. Last session I felt really good about life and where I am right now, so I'm making progress. Pat's doing great dealing with me while I'm trying to deal with these emotions and does a lot for the baby/housework areas, so that definitely helps. On top of that, I started my period last week, so those hormones certainly didn't help anything either.

*sigh* I suppose this is all part of the transition into parenthood? I hope it goes away.....having those kinds of feelings hanging over my head certainly makes being a parent not fun for me. In all honesty, days are mostly good - but some days - like today - its just hard. And its not because Liam is difficult at all - on the contrary, he's a great baby. Sleeps pretty well, he's happy and smiley and talkative - he's so easy to love!

I started Weight Watchers last week. Pat's doing it unofficially as well. We've been doing pretty well - definitely stepped up the veggie and fruit intake! That's always my downfall. I just don't like the green stuff. My first weigh in was 5.4 pounds down - whooo hoo! I've got about 30 more to go, so it will be a slow and steady process. I would like for this time the weight to stay more of this up and down crapola. Enough already with that - the past 10 years has been up & down, up & down. We're gonna take it down this time, and keep it there. I want to be an AFTER - not a before!

In Lions news.......its so depressing! They played well today and should have won, but alas the dumb ol' Cowboys prevailed with a stellar drive. Boo. Oh well, at least I got a pic of my boys in their gear!
And, here's a pic of Liam after the game....*sigh* I don't blame you buddy, I don't blame you one bit. I wanted them to win too.

Funny note - Liam's becoming much more aware of his surroundings, being scared by loud noises and such. Hence, throughout the game, when greeted with an over enthusiastic shout of grief/disbelief/happiness/cheer from Pat - Liam promptly stuck out his bottom lip and started to cry. It's pretty cute actually. That little pout gets me every time!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I'm not sure why, but that phrase is in my head. I suppose that is what baptism is.......washing away original sin, right? We had Liam's ceremony today, and it went really well, despite the super craptastic weather. Everyone made it into town safely - before the ceremony we went to breakfast brunch at the Fireside - it was very yummy!

It wasn't an official Mass - they do baptisms the first Sunday of every month. There was only one other little baby - little Madeline. Her grandmother brought water from the River Jordan, which was poured into the font and used for both babies - I thought that was a pretty cool touch!

Here are a couple pics from the day, courtesy of Karli - our photographer :) I took the one of just him in his gown. Just a note about Liam's baptism gown (I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before). He's number 47 in his family to be christened in it....including his daddy & his grandma.....It was made in 1917 by hand by Salomea Mach Luczak Neimcal, who is Liam's great-great-great-grandmother. Its comprised of two cotton petticoats, and one embroidered linen overlay, which is lined in either pink or blue ribbon, depending on the sex of the baby. Its pretty fragile now, but still very pretty! It was an honor to have him wear it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Place holder

I have a lot of things to talk about, which I will get to later.....but for now, I'll hold their spot with this post:

Holiday Assimilation Issues
Christmas Trimming
Liam's cold (poor boy)


Today is my first day back at work.

Please tell me it gets easier!!!!!

I'm a distracted, unmotivated, crabby, unproductive mess.

Dropping off Liam went well this morning, in big part thanks to Pat's help. I had a hard enough time getting myself ready on a schedule, let alone trying to get him ready too. Pat gave me a good suggestion though - a list of things that need to go in the diaper bag so we can check things off and not have to think about it. Also, preparing the bag and bottles the night before would also be a big help.....Things you learn as time goes on.

I miss my little man :(

But I'm thankful to have time away from him, know what I mean?


I know it will get easier as we get more onto a schedule and such, but in the mean time it just feels like life is all mumbly jumbly.

A friend sent kind of makes me cry, but makes me feel a bit better too....

A Working Mother's Prayer

O Lord, since I must now entrust my precious child into the arms of another so that I may go forth to earn bread for our table, accept my offering of tears and deep regret. Take my child, Lord—and my aching heart—and lay them together in your dear Mother's lap where both may rest secure until I come again to claim my treasures.


Monday, November 19, 2007

My new favorite picture

DOH! I can't STAND it! Pat and Liam are sooooooooo cute!!! My new favorite picture :)

I've got a lot to catch you all up on - our Holidome weekend was FANTASTIC, and I had a great time in Saginaw for a week......but that means lots of photos to upload and post. And, right now, my little He-Man Liam has a cold :( He's so sniffly and pathetic...but I think its harder on Pat and I than it actually is on him. We'll get through it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I really should be packing, or at least piling, things together for our big trip......but I'm not. I'm snuggling and surfing the net. Tomorrow we're headed to Kalamazoo for an O'Brien family weekend at the Holidome - which really should be fun. The Mayer family used to do hotel weekend trips on the occasion while growing up, and I LOVED it :) Hopefully it will be just as fun!

Then, Liam and I are going to Saginaw for the week! HOORAY! I can't wait!!

:::::: BIG DAY ::::::

This morning, Liam and I went to Shedd Aquarium to meet up with some other Chicago Mommies - I met them online at a baby wearing website I must say it was rather nice to get out and meet new people - big and small :) Liam slept most of the time, but it was cool for me to get out and chat.

We had a big milestone today - I took Liam to daycare for 1/2 day. It was sooooo difficult. I didn't cry - I almost did but I didn't. I also wanted to turn around about 6 times to tell Josefina various things.....but I didn't. I just had to let it go - she'll learn him, just as I have!

I made the decision to take him to an in-home daycare....its not even a day care really, its like paying for a surrogate great grandma! Seriously - her house totally reminds me of my grandma's!! She's a very sweet old lady - her previous families had a lot of great things to say about her. And I felt like I could trust her, you know?

He was only gone for a couple of hours - four I think - but it felt so good to have him in my arms again. I really missed him......except then I was sad for a second, because he smelled like Josefina's house :( and not ours :( It just makes me sad to have to have someone else take care of him, you know? I suppose it will get easier.......with time.

OK - enough to get some things done.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pics from the Baby Faire

The owner of Karma Baby Slings took a couple pics of us while at the booth (that's her in the Green tank - Stacey!) - Liam looks so cute snuggled up in there!!! Of course, he doesn't fit quite as well after I was a big ol' dumb arse and shrunk mine :( but he still loves being in it!! I'm hoping they stretch out a bit.....we'll have to wait and see!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More scrappage and the American Baby Faire

This could possibly be my new most favorite layout EVAR!!! You can see credits HERE

This weekend Liam and I had a fun day, all to our selves. I really wanted a new sling, but didn't have a ton of extra cash, so I had the opportunity to work a booth at the American Baby Faire in Schaumburg to earn a free one. So I did - for Karma Baby Slings. And I took Liam with me, hoping he would not fuss too much during my 3 hour shift - he totally didn't. In fact, he laid, snuggly in his sling, the entire time. He was the epitome of a sling baby! He woke up to have his diaper changed and eat, and sometimes to just look around a bit, but for the most part he just was asleep! It was so empowering!!! We ended up being out for an entire day, just me and baby - from 9AM to 5PM. It might not seem like a big deal, but I was so proud of myself for taking him out on my own.

I have this, issue, I guess, with having him out in public. I just don't like to do it, because I get soooooo stressed out when he's crying. I hate a fussy cry-ey baby in public. I mean, I don't really like it at home either, but at least he's not bothering anyone (except maybe the neighbors). Anyway, having him in a sling or wrap pretty much calms him, so I'm so much more confident - while going out, and even in our own house. He's not fussy when he's in the sling. Its pretty much awesome.

Anywho - that was pretty much my big achievements for the weekend :) We also had some friends and thier kids visit on Sunday (oooohhh - they also brought us some YUMM-O chicken yumminess and pecan pie!!).

Plans for this week include picking a child care giver, attending the USGBC, and heading to Kalamazoo for a family fun weekend!!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

When Superfluous Spending Pays Off

So we're in Target buying necessities, when I pass through the cat isle on my way to finding the Shout Stain Remover and see "Cat Hats" - or maybe it was more like the Cruel and Unusual Punishment isle, really. I see a cute "Hat" for $3.00 and really, just have to, HAVE TO, have it. Seriously.

All for this.

This is a prime example of when buying something you don't need pays off. Because sometimes, you just have to laugh your ass off. Even if it is the expense of your own cat, and even if it only lasts a few minutes.

New scrappage

Credits can be seen HERE

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Purchases, Stress and Wheel of Fortune

::::::::::::::::::: Wrap A Go Go :::::::::::::::::::

Last Friday, I had a crazy rough day….just short tempered and unable to deal with a crying baby. So as soon as Pat got home from work, I took a quick jaunt to a local baby store that I’ve been meaning to visit – Be By Baby. It was there I was able to speak with the staff and try on a few different types of baby slings. I really have wanted one since Liam was born – but they are kind of pricy, and didn’t really know how to use any them. I bought one online, and it didn’t quite fit right (and no returns….criminey). I bought another one (or rather, Pat did, from Target) but it never seemed to fit Liam quite right. So, with the help of the experts, I found an amazing sling – or rather, a wrap – The Moby Wrap. I love it. Liam loves it. It makes traveling so easy!!! Here’s a cute pic of us from the Pumpkin Patch on Tuesday (more on that later)……

I also picked up a CD of Kids sing along songs by Putamayo, some cute little Baby Legs, and, Pee Pee Tee Pees – because Liam likes to pee all over us, and we’d rather he’d not.

::::::::::::::::::: Nanny/Daycare Search :::::::::::::::::::

*sigh* this has been the source of all my angst and stress for the past week. I’ve found a couple potential candidates – and they come with stellar referrals, but I told myself that I would really try to listen to my gut instinct when it came to hiring the right person – be it a nanny, home day care or whatever. It is coming to my attention though, that when it comes down to it I trust no one, which is making the decision and the process difficult. I still have a couple of interviews, so we will see how it goes from there.

The crazy thing is, even though I don’t want to leave Liam with anyone – I can’t bear the thought of staying home full time either – not that we could afford it if I wanted to……

::::::::::::::::::: Wheel of Fortune :::::::::::::::::::

Even though we missed seeing the Wheel Mobile on Saturday, we decided to head there on Monday just to see what all the fuss was about (and to see if we could make it big on the big wheel). Liam came with, and did so well! He made one little fuss (all wrapped up in my Moby) and even took a bottle without so much as a peep! Anywho - It wasn’t very crowded, especially compared to the amount of people the camera’s showed on the News on Saturday evening, so it was a good choice to come on Monday. Especially since it sucked. Seriously. There were throngs of people, and all for a dumb speed round and cheesy prize packs like wheel of fortune fanny packs. Lame-o. I did get a cool pen out of the deal at least….and I don’t think I”ll be making it big on TV any time soon.

::::::::::::::::::: Pumpkin Patch :::::::::::::::::::

We headed out one warm Tuesday afternoon, hoping to score some warm apple cider, yummy doughnuts, and maybe score a few cute pictures of Liam. A big success on all accounts! Here are a couple of pics from the day. I don't have them all uploaded of Flickr yet, but check back at a later date........

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Saturday, I had grand plans to head out to the Wheel Mobile and find my fame on the Wheel of Fortune…but I was also very lazy :) And, we thought we might be able to meet with a prospective nanny. She posted that she would be at a local dog Howl-O-Ween parade, and we thought that was a cool way to meet! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to meet her, but we did get some great exercise, and see a plethora of fabulous little pups. The coolest of which had a costume of his kid, Michael, on (i.e. T-shirt) and Michael, subsequently, wore a costume of Bernie, the Bernese Mountain Dog. Oh – and the Bull Dog Bee was cute too. Here’s a photo montage – be sure to note the dogs dressed as Larry Craig and MSP Police – in their respective bathroom stalls :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I couldn't decide which one to post, so I'm just posting both :) He's growing so fast!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We grow 'em good 'round here

Happy ONE MONTH birthday Little Liam!

Or should I say, Not So Little.

He had his one month check up today, and weighed in a hefty 11 pounds! He also grew a couple inches, so he's at 23 inches long too. His two week check up he was at 9 lbs 2 oz, so he's definitely growing at a healthy clip. I just can't believe how much he's I'm officially a cliche mom saying " little boy is growing so fast!". Today he also got his 2nd Hep B shot and took it like a champ. Everything looks healthy and happy for our little man!

Other exciting news - Pat and I signed up to get our flu shots on Saturday. AND after that - I'm going to go play Wheel of Fortune! The Wheel Mobile is coming to Chicago - you get a chance to play, and also audition for the show when its taped here in a few months. SUPER exciting! I'm hoping both Pat and I get to go together, but I don't know if I can bear myself to find a baby sitter. Its one thing to leave him with our parents......but UGH, I'm not sure I'm ready to leave him with - egads - other. people. We'll see though.

UGh. I also have to really start looking for daycare/nanny options...not looking forward to that either.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sqiggly Wiggly Worm

So, Pat, being the great father that he is, picks up a fussy baby and changes his diaper - because its just about feeding time. But after the diaper is changed, Liam decides that Dad is UBER snuggly, and that he'd like to sleep a while. He starts out on Pat's left shoulder......then slowly, ever so slowly, squirms and stretches and squiggles his way into the position above....where he is soundly, deeply asleep. For another hour past his "normal" (whatever that is anyway) feeding time. two boys are so cute :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We're on our own....

Well, after a fantastic 10 day visit, Pat's mom is on her way back home to Tucson. This is officially the end of our helpful visitors, so now Pat and I are officially on our own. This means potentially less sleep for the two of us, and probably much less for me knowing that Pat is working/driving long distances, so I'd rather burden the brunt of the sleepless nights knowing that it will keep him safer. This should actually be much easier than in the first two weeks, since Liam is sleeping for longer stretches, and more independently as well. That means better / more sleep for me, and more importantly, more sanity on my end as well!

:::::::: FUNNY LIAM ::::::::

He's discovered that he can grab a hand full and pull his own hair, and does so with great force. He also has discovered that when his hair is pulled, it hurts. However, he has not yet discovered that these two events are related. His brains aren't that big yet :)

:::::::: BAPTISM ::::::::

We've officially asked Kristen and Keith to be Liam's godparents - and this past week we made a couple other preparations for the big day. We officially registered the date with St. Gregory's (it will be December 2nd) and while Pat's mom was here we went to Michael's to pick up some blue ribbon for the family Christening Gown. Then we took out the pink ribbon and threaded the blue in, which wasn't the easiest task known to man. It was made by Pat's Great-Grandma in 1917, and over 50 family members (including Pat's mom, Pat, etc) have been baptized in it. Its a beautiful linen gown with two cotton petticoats - you put either pink or blue ribbon in it depending on, of course, if its a girl or boy. A boy might look funny in a dress, but considering the historical / sentimental value, I'd put the boy in a tutu if it was a family tradition. It is quite pretty, but the outer gown is a bit delicate!

:::::::: FIRST TRIP OUT ::::::::

We had a trip yesterday out to Indiana to visit Kristen & the kids...Mike was in Vegas for work (but we saw him earlier in the week). Its about an hour away, so it worked out well - I fed Liam and then we headed out, and he pretty much slept the entire way. Then we went to Portage to watch Patricia play soccer - I got a couple of cool was nice to have the kids get some Grandma time, and also just to get outside for a while, because it was GORGEOUS out yesterday (as it was today as well). I tend to spend a lot of time cooped up inside, because its kind of a pain to go out . I'll admit, I don't like taking a fussy baby out in public. Its easier when you have a troop though - so having Pat and his Mom was cool.

Here are a couple photos from the day - first of Patricia kickin' some serious mid field butt, then of my favorite men.

That last picture pretty much sums up Liam for the entire day - bump on a log. Hey, I'd rather have a bump on a log baby than a screaming one any day! I'd call the day a success! Note Liam's outfit - Pat picked that up at Carters last week.....apparently, it is Liam's official Saturday Football Watching With Dad outfit. The hood is the cutest, isn't it?!?! The third picture makes me all mushy - isn't Pat the handsomest? *sigh* he's so dreamy, and SUCH a great dad, I could not ask for a better man :)

:::::::: LAST BUT NOT LEAST ::::::::

My fabulous Creative Team Designer, Shannon Lee Carlson, did the sweetest thing for me and another girl on the team who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy around the same time as Liam. She created kits for the newborns - one for Liam and one for Jack! I was so me all teary eyed and stuff! Here's Liam's kit, available for purchase at The Digi Chick:

And here's the first Layout I created with can see all the credits HERE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Liam's Birth Story

I’ve been putting this off, as I don’t really feel like sitting down to write it all (i.e. I should be sleeping, since Liam is!), but since time is gradually floating by and the details are becoming hazy, I suppose its best to do it before I lose any more details.

My OB appointment with Dr. Clinton on Friday, the 21st was pretty uneventful. My cervix was still closed and high, and it was surmised that the baby’s head was probably too big for my pelvis – thus, not dropping and not putting any pressure on the cervix to open. I scheduled an ultrasound for Monday, the 24th, to determine the size of the baby, and at my appointment with Dr. Kelsey on Tuesday the 25th we would either schedule an induction or, depending on the size of the baby, a c-section. I also thought to myself that maybe the procedure I had done on my cervix over 10 years ago was causing some issues – I had a LOOP procedure to remove pre-cancerous cells. It healed well, but I always wondered if the scar tissue would cause any problems down the road……

Saturday evening, September 22 – Pat and I had plans to meet with my cousins Will & Amber at Leona’s in Des Plaines, to have dinner with our other cousins Gina & Jav (and Justo & Liz too) before they headed out to see George Lopez in Rosemont. It was like any other night really. I was feeling fine, ready to have the baby, but knowing that I hadn’t made any progress in the dilation or dropping department I resigned to the fact that it probably wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

We had a great dinner (despite waiting FOR ever for Gina & Co. – wrong directions, lateness, etc.) and headed home sometime around 8:00PM ish. I don’t recall doing much (this is where the details are fuzzy), just relaxing and such, and we went to bed somewhere around 11PM. I do remember Pat telling me “you know, if you had to go into labor tomorrow, would be a good day because the Lions are playing on Network TV”……Ironic, no?

I couldn’t get to sleep (which at that point in the pregnancy, was par for the course) so I got up shortly after midnight to go to the bathroom (again, very normal). Except that I couldn’t stop peeing. It went on forever! Then I realized it was probably my water breaking! I calmly called the doctor’s office (without waking Pat) and explained the situation – no contractions, no symptoms, just possibly broken water. Dr. Clinton was on call – I had just seen her on Friday. She said I could just see what my body does and wait it out at home, or I could go into the hospital – either way it would end up with Pitocin to start labor. Being the kind of person who gets relatively freaked out about medical issues, I opted just to go to the hospital right away.

It was at the point after I called the Dr’s answering service, but before she called back that I woke Pat up and let him know what was going on. I was shaking at that point, scared of what was going to happen, anxious that it was actually happening! After talking to the doctor we got up and got dressed, emptied the dishwasher, got the kitties some food and water, grabbed the hospital bag and were on our way. I didn’t call my parents right away, because even though I was already pretty sure about my water breaking, I wanted verification from the hospital….

We checked in sometime shortly after 1:00AM on Sunday, September 23rd. Yes, my water had indeed broken – yes, we were starting Pitocin right away to start the contractions. I did pretty well – I could feel them, but didn’t need any pain medications.

They started to get relatively strong at around 5:00AM, when I started seriously discussing my options with my nurse. We all knew, since we were starting from scratch, it was going to be a long labor. I didn’t want to slow things down or be stuck in a bed for longer than I had to with an epidural, so I decided to hold off on that for a while. Pat and I walked the halls, I took a nice shower – I was still holding my own. Then they hit. WOW. Holy intense batman……I just can’t even explain the pain. I figured since I couldn’t even have a contraction without crying and bawling my way through it, that it was time for the epidural. I finally got one sometime after 9:30 AM, and sighed sweet sweet relief!! My mom and dad arrived sometime around noon-ish or so - and by that time I was a pretty happy camper!

At that point, I was still not dilated much, and still really high, but after the epidural I was progressing at an OK clip. I made it to 6, and they could feel the head, but it still wasn’t down far enough. At about 12:00AM on September 24th, about 24 hours after my water broke, Dr. Clinton finally ceded I wasn’t progressing enough on my own, baby’s head was swelling, my temperature was beginning to increase – it was finally time for a cesarean.

After that it was kind of a blur,....Mom & Dad waited in the family waiting room, Pat was issued scrubs and I was whisked into the operating room. It was cold and sterile, as it should be, and I was quite nervous – mostly expressed in the form of the shakes….I did manage to calm down a bit after Pat came into the OR – his calm, kind eyes always seem to have that effect on me. Baby was born at 1:17AM on Monday, September 24th – with a nice big cone head from being stuck in my pelvis for so long – but still as beautiful and perfect as could be. The doctor announced it was a boy by saying “Well, looks like you finally broke my streak” – she had delivered 9 little girls
prior to Liam.

The parts I recall most about the surgery is after Liam was born, they were closing me back up and apparently my bowels were popping out all over the place, and somehow, despite the epidural and drugs, I could feel it. Not pressure, PAIN. The anesthesiologists were great though, and took care of me, and it didn’t last that long. They were smart asses, which I could definitely appreciate! Also, I recall the doctors being kind of mean to the residents…just like in the movies :)

Then, finally, they placed that sweet little boy on my chest, and wheeled me out to recovery.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Babies and Laughing. And smiles too.

They always say its just gas. Babies don't really smile or laugh - its always just gas. At least until they're about a month old and have the ability to recognize faces and such, and make the connection in their little brains.

But do you think babies can actually have funny thoughts? I dunno - Liam does the most hilarious thing when he's in that foggy land somewhere between wake and sleep. He smiles....and then he laughs. Seriously. Its a laugh. Its just hilarious and adorable! Pat and I have no idea what he's thinking we've decided he's chasing rabbits. I know, I know, that's something you say when a dog is barking or running in its sleep...but whatever. We're entitled to make things up.

:::::::::::::: VISITORS ::::::::::::::

Pat's sister & family came to visit yesterday - it was quite a nice treat :) Liam got to meet his cousins Larkin & a couple pics of them. Boo the Bear (who recently received a really creepy face transplant - so he looks rather weird now), Fred the Frog and Blankie are also featured. Note also Liam's "wiggleproof" socks from Carter's...not so much wiggle proof, but still cute and they keep little toesie's nice and warm.

Pat's mom also flew in yesterday as well - she's staying here as our helper for the next week and a half or so. We had a couple of days on our own with no help, and although peaceful I definitely missed having the extra set of hands around. It will be nice! She already made us chocolate chip cookies :)

:::::::::::::: WHAT ELSE? ::::::::::::::

Hmmm....Liam's 2 week check up went well - he chunked out at a healthy 1 pound heavier. He's 9 pounds 2 oz and growing. He's getting so big! His umbilical cord mostly fell off (save for a small gooey portion) and we're also doing pretty darn well at breastfeeding now. No nipple shields or any other attachments, which speeds things up quite a bit.

We also had a small victory this week with a sleeping stretch that lasted two sessions of three hours or so - completely in his own cradle! Basically I waited until he was pretty well conked out, wrapped him in his swaddle sleep sack and swaddled him nice and tight, and set him in the cradle. It was great. It was the first time Pat and I spent the night sleeping in the same bed.......
of course, when I tried the same thing last night it didn't work :( but I'll take it as a sign that things are improving in the sleep department. Slowly but surely!

Speaking of sleep, or lack's what I look like after two and a half weeks of not sleeping for more than 2.5 consecutive hours - for a total of maybe 6 hours a day if I'm really, really lucky:

and here's what I look like with the magic and wonder of Adobe Photoshop :) Much, much better! I {heart} Photoshop!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Credits HERE


Wow! i can't believe its been over two weeks already since Liam has come into the world! Its been quite the transition from Coupledom to Familydom, but we're learning as we go, and finding our way into some resemblance of what will be normalcy. Right now, we're just working on the sleep thing....which has been interesting since little Liam doesn't really like to sleep anywhere except for cuddled on a nice warm body. Not to say that I blame him at all - that is an aweful nice place to sleep! It just makes it a bit difficult to get anything at all accomplished. When I don't have cuddle duty, I'm trying to catch a consecutive 90 minute section of sleep before he wakes up and would like another round of the 24 hour Karin buffet. That doesn't leave a lot of extra time for blogging, showering, cleaning or anything else for that matter.

Today is Liam & Mommy day - our first whole day alone! My dad left Monday night (after a litle over a week of helping out - my mom was here the week before) and Pat is in Wisconsin working all day and far, so good! I do have a friend who is a nanny that lives in the condo below, so I have an emergency plan, just in case I can't hack it alone :) I did just have a whole hour of baby sleep time - I got him to sleep in his crib/bassinet....but he's starting to stir now, so my time is numbered right now. I managed to eat breakfast, go to the bathroom uninterrupted, empty the dishwasher and watch 15 minutes of Regis & Kelly - AND blog paragraph or two!

Alas, now its time to change and feed, so I shall bid you all adieu......until next time!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Announcing :)

Its pretty much been mass chaos since his arrival - not much time left for the computer between breastfeeding and sleeping, but I just thought I would officially announce it :) More posts will follow, eventually....stay tuned :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Last Day!

Today was my official last day of work. I still have a couple of things to take care of here and there, but I can officially stop feeling bad about not doing work. Things will get done with or without me, and it needs to function without, since I don't plan on being back to work until Mid November (or later, depending on the circumstances). OK Baby - you've officially got clearance to make your entrance into the world now. AAAANNNNNYYYYY time would be great!

Boy, was it a doozy of a last day! I was up at 5:30AM, for no particular good reason at all......Pat got up just before 6AM to run, and I joined him for a cool down walk around 7AM. We got into the office sometime after 9 (or was it 10? I forget) to do our semi-mid year reviews with our boss. Then, after about 2PM, we headed back into the city for an ACI Illinois Board meeting....followed by our monthly dinner meeting.......which got us home sometime around 8-ish or so.

I spent the day kind of sitting, but really it was a significant amount of up/down/walking kind of stuff too. We scooted out of our meeting a bit early.....I was trying to be a trooper and tough girl and stick out the whole time, but now I'm glad I didn't. I'm actually in a lot of pain now - my hips and back hurt tremendously, and I'm overall really achy. I realized how much I over did it when I took off my socks and shoes and my legs/feet were super Stay-Puft Marshmallow Girl. That doesn't oft happen to me.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm up right now - its a combination I think of me being overly tired, my body hurting, heartburn, and just this inexplicable insomnia that seems to plague me every time I try to go to bed. OK, maybe it doesn't help that I had a cup of coffee after dinner tonight, but should one cup really effect me that much?

Its a no win situation - I try to relax myself and clear my head, but there are always a million thoughts that run through my brain - so that "self relaxation" method doesn't work. Then, I tried keeping the TV on to at least keep my mind from racing, which actually works by distraction, but keeps me up because I get engrossed in the shows. Pat doesn't mind when I watch TV in bed (it takes him all of 2 minutes to fall asleep) but on nights, such as tonight, when I'm particularly restless and the TV doesn't even keep me occupied, I come out into the living room. I'll give myself over an hour or so. Ick. I'm just so tired.....and I really, REALLY want to sleep!!! My body won't relax though - and the baby certainly isn't in any mood to relax.....its been a tossin' and a turnin' all STINKIN' DAY!!!!!

OK, maybe I'll try to lay down and get semi-comfy, or at least as comfy as I can surrounded by pillows on the most uncomfortable couch on earth...please send either labor vibes or comfort vibes.....I just want some type of relief!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Ode to My Husband

OK - so its not an official ode. This isn't even an official post. I just want to say publicly, for the record, that my husband is amazing. He's taken over 90% of the cleaning, cooking, and 100% of the taking care of me - all without even a teeny tiny bit of anger or resentment. I can honestly say that I've never had to post an "OMG I'm Going To Shoot My Husband" thread on my pregnancy message board - because he just hasn't done any of the insensitive, ridiculous things that many husbands apparently do. (Well, there was that one comment about "eating the apple**"...but I'm pretty sure that was in jest.) He's been really good throughout this whole pregnancy, and in particular, these last weeks where I've had the pleasure of getting really uncomfortable.

I feel guilty I'm so tired that I just want to rest my weary feet/hips/back etc. - I feel guilty that I can only get the kitchen cleaned in about the same time it takes him to clean both bathrooms & mop all the floor. I feel terrible that when I'm finally comfortable after 10 minutes of adjusting, then deciding I really need a drink of water, that I have to ask him to retrieve it for me. But those feelings are often short lived for me, because I don't need to dwell on them. Pat makes me feel like its OK to take the time to rest, to take it easy...because its tough making a human being! I'm not sure if it comes natural for him, or if he has to work hard at it, but regardless, it never ceases to amaze me.

I know its because I'm pregnant, and its only temporary (although, if I'm not careful, I could get used to this Royal Treatment). But the way he does just makes me appreciate every ounce of his being, and makes me love him so much more.

So thank you, Patrick, for being so amazing. I love you tons!

** I was particularly whiny one day about the lack of energy and achiness and the overall suckiness of pregnancy (maybe sometime in the first trimester), and asked, rhetorically, what I did to deserve that kind of malaise. To which my darling, witty husband replied "Well, I guess you guys shouldn't have eaten the apple" - referring to the actions of Eve. I'm pretty sure I shot him daggers with my eyeballs. Nice, Pat. Real nice.

Latina & Carlos Santana

Its no secret that I'm of Mexican decent (along with Welsh & French Canadian, so far as I know).....I've been a subscriber of Latina magazine for the past few years. I think I discovered it a year or two after its inaugural year. It has much more substance than Cosmo, but still has a little bit of trash in it to keep it light :) And, of course, I love it because I can relate to sooo much in the magazine. Its so inclusive - showing that there are Latinas of all sizes, shapes, colors and backgrounds - it really is a celebration of all things Latina!

I normally receive it and read it cover to cover right away, rarely skimming over any articles - and this month's issue was no different (the cover shown is actually from last month, this month features a stunning Judy Perez - the nurse from Scrubs!). I came across a one page feature on Carlos Santana...where one question and answer in his interview struck a chord with me. It shows a bit of his, well, spirituality? Quirkyness? 60's peace love and music man? I can't really explain it, but I thought it was poetic and beautiful, and I just wanted to share.


Q (Latina): You recently said in an interview: "I have the courage to say that I have transcended and graduated being American or Mexican...My only alliance is with the heart of humanity." What did you mean?

A (Carlos Santana): I'm a beam of light that comes from the mind of God, and while I'll always remember being born in Mexico, the sabor and all the music that is in my DNA - that's not all that I am. I would rather be like water and like the wind and be of service to everybody. I don't like the conflict that I see between brother and brother because they invest so much in a flag or in patriotism, which to me is an illusion. God doesn't see flags or patriotism - only compassion, mercy, forgiveness, unity and harmony.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm environmentally friendly :)

Yes, ladies and germs, I am now officially a LEED Accredited Professional. I can't believe that I actually passed, seeing as how the practice test I took earlier in the day I scored 8 out of 18 correct.....I guess it doesn't really matter how it happened though, eh?
In celebration - Pat bought me a surprise plant with a cute sign that says "Congratulations! Karin - you ROCK!". That totally made me smile!

Get it - its a plant, because it was a Green test? HA! I did the same for him when he passed back in June......his plant is doing fabulously!Seriously though - I'm so relieved I passed it. It was a goal to have that accreditation before I went on maternity leave.....and, I didn't want to take it again - and I didn't want to admit that my lack of performance was probably due to my lack of concentration and memory retention.....which is directly related to me being knocked up.

No matter now. I Passed! So go celebrate for me and hug a tree - or hug your nearest LEED AP!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


You wouldn't think I'd be stressin' - I've only got one more week left of work before I begin my maternity leave.....and I've been ramping work down for a while, so it should be an easy transition to nothingness :o) But, like the big dork I am, I had a personal goal of taking and passing a test before I leave. I'm taking the exam to become a LEED AP - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional. (Pat took and passed this exam back in June, if you recall) Which normally wouldn't be a huge deal, but, again, like the big dork I am, I procrastinated and procrastinated studying for this exam, and I've been cramming since last week. Now, I know I'll have enough time to cover the subjects, but I'm not sure I have enough time to keep all the information in my head. Especially with my pregnancy brain. I feel like I can't retain any knowledge in there at all! Needless to say, I'll be very disappointed in myself if I don't pass, but if I don't pass, I have no one to blame but myself. I've got a half a day tomorrow to study, and then I take the exam at 4:30pm....keep your fingers crossed.

I'm not sure if I'm giving myself physiological symptoms from stressing about the test, or if I'm just stressing because of the baby. But my neck is KILLING me!!! My massage therapist says people carry a lot of stress in a muscle that goes from your head to your shoulders....and I think I'm carrying it ALL there right now. I would go get it massaged out, but he's sooo good at doing that - so much that it feels like I was hit by a truck the day after before it actually feels good. I know I'm stressed, because when I'm waking up 1,000 times a night I can feel myself really, really clenching my teeth. I try to relax myself but I usually notice it during that semi-conscious state between sleep and wake, and I can't always do it. At least I have a mouth guard so I'm not wrecking my teeth. Apparently Pat's stressin too, because he's been telling me his jaw hurts, presumably from doing the same nightly teeth clenching activities. I wish there was a way to avoid that.....maybe some relaxation techniques before bed time?

Speaking of bed time, mine has not been very kind to me as of this last week or so. Sleep pretty much eludes me - either because I can't fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning (2:30AM on Monday Night), or because I'm getting up every two seconds to pee. OK, maybe not every two seconds, but at LEAST (last night anyway) every 1-2 hours. I can't cut down my water drinking any more! I get thirsty!!! It just dawned on me, as I was in the shower, that maybe the baby dropped a bit, which would explain why I am peeing so much with increased pressure and less capacity in my bladder. But I can't really tell, you know? I don't think I have any noticeable increase in lung capacity, and my hips/pelvic area don't seem to ache or hurt any more than they usually do......but I suppose its possible. I have noticed a considerable increase in activity with the little O'Brien this week though - he/she's been a super wiggle worm! We'll see what the powers that be say at my doctor's appointment tomorrow (it was rescheduled cuz I have a customer meeting on Friday).

On Monday night, when I couldn't fall asleep after laying in bed for an hour.........I came out into the living room and turned on some HGTV to watch me some Color Splash and House Hunters. It was fantastic. Then, I got the urge to whip up a batch of blueberry muffins - old school Jiffy style (my favorite!). So I did - and yes, it was about 1:30AM. I'm surprised Pat didn't wake up, because they smelled sooooo good! I did leave him three to eat the next morning - so that was a nice surprise for him :) Anyway, apparently, hot fresh from the oven blueberry muffins with a dab of melty butter was apparently just what I needed - because after I ate a couple and laid down on the couch supported by a mountain of pillows, and I finally fell asleep......then I woke up a few minutes later to go back into my comfy cozy bed.

OH, one more thing - I met the other preggo-pants girl who is floating around in our building. She's Polish (like, straight from the motha-land) and due one week after I am :) I gave her a high five and said "Yeah girl - we're almost there! We can do it!". Cheesy, I know, but that's how I roll.

OH, and one more thing (seriously this time). I love 50 degree weather. Pat and I took a nice walk this morning, and it was so awesome to wear pants, a long sleeve shirt and a fleece vest. Just so crisp and fabulous! I love fall!

OK - that is all - more to come later.........

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I give up.

I've decided that I am resigning to the fact that this baby isn't coming until October. I seriously had high hopes that he/she would come early. And when I hit 37 weeks - I really felt like it could happen at any time.

But people, I'm driving myself CRAZY looking, waiting, feeling for ANY sign that I could be going into labor. So, instead of driving myself crazy - I'm just giving up. Fine, body. You win. I will not die from being a giant huge manatee - I will not die because I can't bend over and pick up anything on the floor without making a huge scene - and I will not die because my feet swell up like giant balloons. Yes, I realize there are women out there who have been dealing with these ailments a whole helluvalot longer than I have (since they've just really started bothering me the last week or so). It doesn't make me any less misearable, but I won't die, so I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it until October. Because if I don't plan on the baby being late, I'll just spend a whole lot of time crying, lamenting why this baby isn't out yet.

Oh, in case you haven't figured it out - no new news at the doctor appointment yesterday. In fact, I saw a different doctor, and she said "yeah, I'm not even sure why he had 1 cm dialated in here two weeks ago - because you're about as high and closed as you can be". Great. Not to mention that I hit the dreaded weight I didn't want to hit. 200. yikes. I weigh two bills right now. ick. That makes a girl feel good too.

But, blood pressure is still good (110/70), head is till down, measurements are right on, so I've got that going for me. Oh, and I found out last week I was Group B Strep negative, so I won't need antibiotics during labor, which is cool.

::::::::::::::: WEEKEND PLANS :::::::::::::::

St. Gregory's (our church we are now official members of) is having a music / BBQ gig that we're headed to this afternoon. Our friend Sean is part of the planning committee. Pat helped to set up most of the morning, and he'll probably work the beer tent when we get there (because then you don't have to buy beer tickets). I'm sure they'll put me to work when I get there too - as long as I can sit it shouldn't matter too much what I do. Until we head out there we'll be chillin' at home watching college football! I'm excited, and kind of sad, to not watch it in a Sports Book (namely, Caliente) which was the hang out place for Keith and I during College Football season last year in Mexico. And, another cool thing is having The Big Ten Network as part of our Direct TV package - so we get all sorts of Big Ten football addition to coverage of every obscure Big Ten sport you can think of. I wonder if we'll get some curling action.

Tomorrow is Sunday. And since we have Direct TV now (just installed yesterday) we have NFL Sunday ticket. So our Sundays from now until January are booked :) It just means I'll get a lot of scrappin' done while I sit out here in the living room while Pat watches the million games on TV. I kind of enjoyed having the NFL Snday Ticket last was cool to keep tabs on my fantasy football dudes. And, it was nice to have plans every Sunday :) Even if it means we'll get to experience the pain of the Detroit Lions week after week. Maybe they'll be so bad that they'll send me into labor. At least they'll be good for something.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tee hee....

Courtesy of my cousin, Cindy :) She lives in New Mexico. Which we all know, is way better than Old Mexico.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Full Term Party!

WHoooOOOOoHHOOOOOOOoooooOOO! Baby and I made it to full term. Yup - at 37 weeks baby is no longer considered a premie! Lungs should be fully developed, most systems are ready for launch....I can officially say this baby can come at any time. Here's some belly pics to celebrate!

I decided to include a front shot just so you can see my stretch marks that are officially forming. They're under my belly, to my right side a little bit. Still little, but they kind of itch, which is annoying. Also, another stretch mark is coming off of my belly button ring mark too. Eh. Whatev. I think they are kind of cute! Hopefully I can get one last shot in before I go into labor (or at least before I go to the hospital) so we can see the full progression.

Other fun things that have shown up are some toe swellage - that is kind of sucky. I just have to be more aware of how long my feet are below my body. If I can sit on the couch with my feet up for a bit in the middle of the day, I think it will help tremendously. I can't drink any more water (I'm already at two liters daily) or I'll be peeing every 3rd second instead of every 4th. I did an experiment last night....I stopped drinking water at about 7:30PM, with the hopes that I wouldn't get up every two hours to pee. It seemed to work - I only got up at 2AM and 5AM.....instead of 12, 2, 4 & 6. So I'll be implementing that tonight as well. Also, I feel like I'm waddling more - I'm not sure if the baby has dropped per se (although I guess I do have a bit more lung capacity) but it definitely feels like my hips hurt more and I have more pelvic pressure than normal.

I also got some final preparations in order - I sent my parents directions to the hospital with instructions on how to get to me once I'm in labor. I set up an email list so Pat can email everyone after the baby is born with the stats and specifics. The announcements are semi-designed and ready for a baby picture to drop in. In the mail today I got a couple nursing bra's that I ordered a few days ago - they fit amazingly, and they still have lots of stretch to accommodate any engorgement that occurs when my milk comes in. I also went in for my final Brazilian & eyebrow wax today will probably be a while before I can start that back up again, LOL! Now, I just have to find some time to get a manicure & pedicure, and I'll officially be ready for labor!

That's about all for a preggo update for now. I have another appointment on Friday, so I'll give another one then!

Labor Day Weekend photos :)

OK, as promised here are a few from this weekend. To see the full set, check out FLICKR My apologies for the overexposed ones......I tried my hardest to not shoot in full auto mode, and I'm still getting the hang of the light exposure/aperture thing.......

I think this is my favorite one......mostly because everyone is chasing little Michael, and every single one of them is smiling! Its just a good, wholesome, family fun shot!

Pat was trying to juke out his brother, and apparently the ol' legs aren't as limber as they used to he took a little schpeel. Makes for a funny photo montage though :) Click on it to make it larger and see how silly he is!

These pics are also from this weekend (I made Pat do a mini-photo shoot with me. He loooooves those :) ) But I already scrapped them......came out pretty nice I think! You can see the credits HERE.