Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Christmas Eve started at the bowling alley with the Giblin's (my mom's family) - as it does every year. I wore the worst shoes, the free bowling is not tempting, but I was not told that DDR would be up and running the whole time! Next year, I am showing up early to get some practice in before destroying all competitors.
Then me and my boys went to 4 o'clock mass. I estimated Brock would last exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes in slumber - plenty of time. Wrong. Because of a miscommunication between the processors and the cantor, the opening hymn lasted about 10 minutes (didn't know Oh Come All Ye Faithful could be sung in so many languages.) Then, there was some strange song listing how many days, years, months, weeks, etc. it had passed since our lord's birth, and Caesar's rule, and the founding of Rome, Jerusalem, Judiah, etc... another 5 minutes or so. So, it hits Brock's limit and, of course, mass is not quite ended. He did his part, the church just didn't do theirs.
Then off to celebrate with my dad's side of the family. Where we do the gift exchange where you get to steal presents. Always a treat. The most saught after gifts at this side's Christmas: alcohol. You know you're Irish/Catholic when... Then we closed the night at Matt's parent's house. Luckily, everyone was too tired to play "stack the cookies" by the time we arrived.

Christmas day gets split between just 2 place's: Matt's parents and my mom's. It is a nice long day of opening gifts, eating, playing with gifts, opening more gifts, eating again and never changing out of your pajamas. And this year, it was 2 days of me not having to change or really even hold my child - just feeding. Nice break for mom, and fun for baby.

More Pictures soon...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

3rd Annual Ugly Sweater Party

Matt and I have hosted a Christmas sweater party every year in our current home, and this year was no different. So, on Brock's 1 month birthday, the long anticipated event took place. Many of our out-of-town friends finally had the opportunity to meet the newest member of the O'Laughlin family, as well as mingle with friends we see only once a year. Many could not believe I would host such a monumental event so soon after bearing a child, but when else can you have a mini high school reunion without the awkwardness? And when else will the chance arise to dazzle my peers with my wonderful appetizers and cookies? (Whitney, Catherine and Maureen may have contributed a bit this year...)And when else can I dress up my little boy in tacky plaid pants, a cigar sweater, loafers and an old man hat? So, forgoing this blessed event was not an option. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm a Lumberjack, and I'm OK.

On the day of Brock's two week birthday, the whole family got to go pick out a tree this year. Matt chopped it down, with no help from me, as I was carrying around, what some have called, a "dead teddy bear" on my chest. Brock was pretty insistent we choose this particular tree, despite a few flaws. How do you argue with something that cute!?
We did not get to include Tali this year, as we thought it might be a bit too hectic, at two weeks post-partum, I wasn't feeling like a pro yet. I hope we can continue this tradition for the rest of our Christmas seasons as a family. I just hope they make adult-sized bear suits.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Season of Firsts...

November 23rd: First day out in the "real world".
November 26th: First bath.November 27th: First Thanksgiving.December 5th: First walk (in the stroller - he may be strong, but he is too lacking in coordination for walking at this point, I give him 2 months.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Never Finished

I fear the nursery will never be totally complete. Do you know, we did not get the crib put together until the Friday before Brock's arrival? Again, with the intuition - we were waiting on replacement parts, and I said screw it, and forced Matt to put it together that night. And the dresser that goes with the set was discontinued before I got a chance to purchase it! Nowhere sells it now. I even called the manufacturer, no luck. Matt and I were shopping for a black dresser or shelf to fill the alotted space the day my water broke. It began as a simple, sage green room without much personality. Brock's room is the former "Dog room". The dogs have moved to the basement - which we are now realizing should have been their home all along, I think it was an upgrade for them.
We then primed it, and Matt began work on the picture/chair rail-type shelf that I insisted upon having, despite the considerable amount of effort it would take to produce. This seemingly simple decor element took lots of shopping and planning and desputing before we finally devised a way to create a professional looking shelf (all my genius as far as the look, Matt just did the work...)

We then moved onto the stripe element. Again, something that seemed so very simple on paper, but turns out to be an absolute bitch. That fact that both Matt and I are perfectionists on certain matters probably makes situations like this considerably more time consuming. First we (Matt) paint the yellow stripe (after 10+ hours of taping straight lines). Then we remove the tape, only to discover some has leaked thru! This is no good. We cannot have orange leaking back onto the yellow! So, I devised a plan to retape, then seal the tape with a layer of yellow, and paint over it. Adding an extra day of painting. Are we beginning to see why this nursery (and the whole house for that matter) may never be finished?
We finally got the orange paint up, and I was freaking out, it looked so dark with the first coat. But somehow it lightened up, and became the room I had always pictured...

And here it the nearly completed project. Just need to find that dresser, and maybe a glider, then I'll be satisfied.

Friday, November 28, 2008

THE Arrival

Brock Thomas O'Laughlin
November 23rd, 2008
8 lbs 12 ozs & 21 in

Matt and I welcomed to the cold, harsh world (as I am sure it is to a newborn) our little boy, Brock, on November 23rd. I would like to bring everyone's attention back to the very first post about this boy, titled "Expecting!", written on June 2nd just after the 1st trimester. My reason for calling this to attention: in this post I predicted Baby O's birthday! Other posts mention that I would like him to be here by the 17th, but this post actually says I know he will be here by the 23rd. Mother's intuition ain't no lie.

The labor story... (feel free to skip, this is a work in progress and I am being very detailed for my own memory.)

Friday, the 21st. I spent the evening studying for a final while Matt went out with friends. So, when I went to bed that night, it was just me and the baby. I took this opportunity to have a heart to heart with Baby O, and let him know all the reasons he should be born this weekend, more specifically, Saturday, the 22nd. These reasons were: One, our doctor was on call that day; two, I did not want to continue to study for my final while in such discomfort; three, that way would be out of the hospital by Thanksgiving; four, everyone coming in town for Thanksgiving would get to meet him; five, I was just plain, flat tired of being pregnant, and really, it was best for my mental health.

Saturday, the 22nd. By golly, Brock did his best to get things going, my water broke that afternoon around 1pm. (I would like to add a sidenote that Matt and I had been shopping all morning, and when we came home I went straight to the restroom to pee and that's when it happened! I came so close to a public water breaking, like in the movies! And, how much more ambiguous can you get? I walked out of the bathroom, and said to Matt, "I'm not sure, but I think my water broke, or I just peed a little more as I stood up to pull up my pants?") So, we put some finishing touches on our hospital bags and headed to St. Luke's.

When I arrived, because I am a Strep B carrier, they needed to get antibiotics on board ASAP. Lucky for us, I had not really begun having contractions. How did my water break without contractions you ask? Who knows how - but it did. I have to say this whole day ranks as one of the strangest days of my life. Was I excited? Nervous? Happy? Scared? Anyway, the antibiotic needed was a Penicillin IV. The nurse laid me on my back in the bed to give me the IV. After lying on my back for a bit I began to get light-headed (which was a common occurance now that I had an 8 lb. plus baby laying on my main blood vessels). I mentioned the dizziness, and informed the nurse of my tendency to faint. She seemed unconcerned, but then it got really bad. She lowered me flatter on my back, at which point I had become a bit panicky, and exclaimed, "This is only going to make it worse!" Sure enough, the tunnel vision, sweats and ear-ringing arrived, and my last words: "I'm out."

I recovered just fine from the fainting spell, and then we lazed around for 4 hours before adding any drugs to get the contractions going. At about 7pm, they gave me the "GEL". Still not quite sure exactly was that is but it did the trick, contractions gradually increased in frequency and pain, until about 1am when reprieve came by way of an epidural!

Sunday, the 23rd.
The epidural. Wow. Don't attempt childbirth without it. At about 1am a 2nd year resident placed my epidural, and he just so happened to have graduated from grade school with Matt - crazy! Though everyone you talk to and everything you read mentions at least one epidural horror story, I did not feel the needle go in, at all! That does not mean I didn't have my typical reaction to anesthetics. I suddenly started vomiting and fainted - again. Matt made it through the entire birth without getting nauseous, but me puking put him over the edge? Men. My BP was hovering around 80/50 making it a bit difficult to remain conscious. When they got my blood pressure under control and once these drugs were on board, I was able to sleep on and off for the rest of the night. I have no desire to EVER have a child "naturally" and do not feel like less of a woman for it. Honestly, there is no way to prevent feeling pain when you are being ripped in half, it just helps with the pain leading up to that moment. For future births (if I can successfully forget the agony of this one) is it possible to request specific anesthesiologists?

Because my water broke so early, and Brock was in no hurry to exit, at 5am they performed an Amnioinfusion. This procedure just places tubes around the baby so that fluid can be put back in as a cushion. Brock's heart rate would decrease significantly during contractions, and this is meant to help prevent such a drastic change. After this procedure, the waiting continued - still no Pitocin.

finally, when the day nurse came back, she decided to get the show on the road and started some Pitocin. By 1:30pm I had not made the progress all had hoped, and we were hitting the 24 hour mark since the breakage of my water, and the baby was on his side. Mention of a possible cesarean started floating around, which is not what I wanted to hear. Apparently, it wasn't what my nurse wanted either. She just so happened to be the mother of a girl I swam with in high school. She said, "if you can make it through 11 years of Pete's workouts, you can push this baby out." So, we started pushing. Two and a half agonizing hours later, at 4:02pm, Brock Thomas arrived - deformed head and all.

I love this boy. Looking at him still brings tears to my eyes. It is so hard to believe that something so perfect and beautiful and alive came from my own body. Amazing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hopefully, the Last.

Today is the date I hoped for, way back when I very first found out we were particular reason, except that I like the 17th. Alas, we are still truckin' without many signs of change. On our last visit, the doctor told us that the earliest estimated due date qualifies as the most accurate (especially since it is now clear that we are expecting a large child), so November 27th/Thanksgiving, it is! This means I techniquely have 10 days left, so I should not be disappointed with every passing day, though the fact that the baby hasn't dropped it a little dis-heartening. (My mom said none of her 5 children dropped before the start of labor, so there is hope. I also have another theory, which is: the baby has indeed dropped, but continues to grow so large that it is not apparent.)
As of yesterday, I have decided that I am going to give Baby O nothing but "postive vibes" from here on out; perhaps the baby senses my frustration, and is thinking, "Hell no, I'm not going out there..." Matt has been great with encouragement, kind words, affection, etc. I am already proving to be one of those parents with high expectations, which I am already forcing upon my UNBORN child! So, these next 10 days, I am going to relax, chill out, and let the baby be its own person. If he/she needs a few extra days of incubation, then so be it, I support any decision. But I really can't wait to meet the little addition!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Sneak Peek...

The Waiting Game

[The Hostess, Mike and Mimi, the soon-to-be grandmother.]
In most "mom-to-be" literature, there is a whole section on how it is normal to be feeling extremely nervous, anxious, scared as well as questioning your parenting abilities. Is it normal to feel none of this? That is not covered. After my 4th and final shower, I realized, I don't feel any of these because of the ridiculous amount of love and support this child already possesses. I have no fears. If I cannot figure something out, or if I am worried about a symptom or behavior, I have more experienced resources at my fingertips than I even knew about before this event. The people who have come through for me have ranged from my own immediate family, to Matt's immediate family, and all of their friends, and all of my friends, and even my classmates.
Even the birth does not scare me, so many women before me have managed, I feel I will be no different. At this point, it is just a waiting game. And if there is one thing I do NOT do well, it is wait. Not that I need instant gratification (though it is nice), as I have mentioned so many times before -I am just extremely impatient! If I fear one thing, it is my lack of patience, I hear children require a lot of it. And the baby residing underneath my left rib cage does not make the waiting any easier!
I guess I would just like to thank everyone who has and is supporting Baby O. My only concern - will the child ever learn to walk? I think it's always going to be in someone's arms for the first year...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Crossing the Threshold

To celebrate my passage into "full term", 37 weeks, my sisters and mother put on a shower (thank you!!!!!!) This shower was a wonderful brunch, themed "Round the Clock". Every guest had been assigned a time: 6am, 12pm, 6pm or 12am - for which they were to select a gift. Very appropriate theme for a shower during Daylights Savings. I could not have been more please with the way it turned out, I enjoyed seeing and talking to everyone in attendance, really, what a pleasant event.
I would like add that I believe I have crossed some kind of threshold in the past 2 weeks. I think this for a few reasons. One, I get stared at - mainly by women - I think I am hitting the point where people look at me, and think, "Man, she is about to pop!" Two, I have now experienced two stranger belly rubs, well, one was more of a tap. Three, while in the grocery store, I had to wait for a toddler to finish throwing his tantrum before I could get to the olive oil, and this older woman points, and says, "See what you have to look forward to...?" (Which, by the way, is my #1 hated pregnancy comment - anyone who doesn't know that a 2 year old can throw a fit like none seen before is stupid. That's right, no dancing around it, I'll say it again, stupid. No one ever points to the cutest, sweetest, most well-behaved child and says that...) Four, the question, "Are you ready to have that baby yet?" Almost as bad as, "How's married life?" What the 'f' do you think? Lastly, almost no one can resist asking me when the baby's due; the cashier, the bagger, the teacher, the girl I am washing my hands next to in the bathroom, the woman in the park walking her dog, the waitress, the teacher, the postal worker, the neighbor collecting canned goods, the grade school children the med students screen, ET CETERA, ET CETERA! So you lose! Good day sir.

I will close with this final photo: GOBAMA!! (The other onesy says: Pacifist)

Friday, October 31, 2008

"It's perfect because you ARE pregnant!"

This Halloween proved to be one of those night where by the end of it, you kind of wonder to yourself, "Am I on something, or did all of that really happen?" I really only went out because Matt was soo excited about our costumes, and put in quite a few man hours assembling all the pieces. Hopefully, it is apparent by the photographs, but if not, Matt and I were Juno MacGuff & Paulie Bleeker for Halloween. I must give credit to Maureen and Beth for mentioning the idea, it did not come solely from my genius - but it definitely was the PERFECT costume for the two of us (despite the fact that we are both probably double the size of those 2 actors.) Anyways, if I tried to re-invent the night in writing, it would end up a novel, but let me just say, costumes do strange things. As if people watching isn't fun already, add the perception of an invisibility blanket and we end up with some wild and crazy action.

I was shocked at how many other couples were the same duo! But I was the ONLY actual pregnant Juno. Therefore, everytime the costumes were compared, Matt and I won. You just can't beat it. Another good idea for a couple: Andy and Angela from "The Office". I also saw a few Joker's, "Super So Fun", Mario, 80's prom, lady bug, bumble bee, sailor, marching band member (who could also tap dance very well in spilt beer), the Hamburglar (who literally walked around throwing McDonald's hamburgers to people - and Matt helped himself)...and many more.The conclusion to our rather interesting Halloween celebration, could not have been scripted more perfectly...we found a girl, passed out, in the gutter. That's right, she was lying half in the gutter, half on the curb. Of course, my first thought races to: "Oh my god, it was a hit and run. She's dead." Matt gets out of the car and shakes her telling her she can't be there; no movement. My head: "Holy crap, she really is dead." I get out, and as I get near, she finally wakes up, utterly confused, and tells us she is fine and just walking home. Ha! She is fine!? So, Beth walks with her a few houses while we follow, (because she wouldn't get in the car with 3 helpful strangers, but would pass out in the street in the middle of the night.) We soon realize she is not actually walking home, she has no idea where she is, she is from St. Louis. Anyway, to spare all the boring details of trying to get coherent information from someone willing to sleep in the gutter, I will just say we finally got ahold of her husband who appeard to be out driving around searching for her...someone needs to NEVER drink again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Newly Realized Pet Peeve: Advertising

"Caramel & Nuts go together like fresh bread and a warm memory"
Last weekend, while I vigorously studying at Panera, I just so happened to read the little advertisement they have placed atop every table. The above quote is what I read. And I have one question, does anyone really have a "warm memory" involving "fresh bread"?

Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am the only person with a childhood deprived of fresh bread so wonderful it created a warm memory. But, I just don't think I am. Who came up with that, and thought, Ahh, millions of people will completely connect with this statement and purchase a caramel-nut roll! Genius.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I knew I should have taken up smoking.

At my 35 week appointment, the baby weighed in at 6 lbs and 8 oz's!!!! The reasoning behind the exclamation points is not excitment at that weight, but terror. All the books and websites out there on pregnancy list the average estimated weight at 35 weeks to be 5 and 1/4 pounds. If the child continues at this rate and I go the full 40 weeks, we are looking at a baby well over 9 lbs, if not more into the 10 lbs range. I must admit, this information absolutely did not come as a shock, seeing as Matt was the smallest of his brothers - weighing in over 9lbs, and my sister had her son 8 days early, and he was 9lbs 6oz's. People are just too healthy these days. No one smokes, or drinks, and everyone takes their prenatal vitamins...did we really expect to continue having 6 lb babies?

I, on the other hand, just hit the 20 lb weight gain mark. Some people gain 40 lbs and still have a 6 lb baby. Really though, the baby looked amazing, and healthy, and so real. I can't wait to meet it, even though its birth might be a struggle.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BFF! (Ben Folds Forever)

Matt and I attended the awesome Ben Folds concert last night at the Uptown Theatre (a smallish, indoor venue). Surprising as it may seem, the highlight of the evening was NOT the freezing rain we (by we, I mean, mostly Matt) had to stand in for 45 minutes to get in the doors. NOR was it the guy sitting in front of me, constantly belching a stench comprised of the mixture of beer and garbage disposal. And least of all, it was NOT the group next us, or should I even say group, the girl next to us who had THE most annoying/loud voice of all time. I will not even attempt to describe it, for fear I will bring out that shreaking laughter once more. The highlight in this case actually was the intended performer, Ben Folds. His piano playing ability, singing skills and general demeanor make for a completely fulfilling night of entertainment. This is the 3rd time I have seen him live, and he just gets better.

It would not be a complete description of the evening if I did not mention the runner up for most quality entertainment,"that crazy lady". You know, the one that attends EVERY concert you have EVER been to, the one you are not sure if she is: a.) on drugs, b.) clinically insane or, c.) can just "feel"the music like none of us ever have: aka f-ing weird. She was there in full form; dancing when no one else was, head banging to anything and everything, and her left leg just didn't seem to have the capability to stay planted on the floor... Have any of you seen the SNL with Sue - the one who can't take surprises? Imagine her in real life. (If you haven't, this is an example, just watch her body movements: )

Monday, October 20, 2008

Posing as a Socialite

Matt and I were invited by Ricky & Shae, some friends of ours to fill some seats at the Catholic Education Foundation dinner. Of course this black tie, Kansas City elite, event would fall towards the end of the two week "stache off", of which Matt is a participant. As if we didn't already stick out by being on the young side and preggers, Matt was sporting some ugly-ass chops. Luckily, he doesn't actually harbor the skill of facial hair growth, and he is fair-skinned therefore light haired, thus making the 'stache hard to discern from a distance.
Great effort though on his part. Boy did he try his darndest to look like a dirty, old creep...

PS - Throughout the dinner, another moment (besides the mustache) made it clear that despite being married, owning a house, and being with child, we are not ready for this phase of life. Somehow, Whitney, Shae, Matt and I got onto a more off-color topic of the sexual nature; and as we got more and more into this whirlwind of perverse joking we suddenly stopped and realized: Wait a minute, we are at a fancy, exclusively CATHOLIC dinner...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

D.O. Baby

The girls from school put together a lovely Sunday afternoon tea for me and Baby O. This event was particularly enjoyable because we had just finished a very grueling section in school; it made me (and I hope them) feel like part of the "real world" again. Stephanie, one of the hostess' made quite a delightful punch, you know - the one with ginger ale, some kind of red punch soda & sherbert. Always a hit. They also found a little baby onesie at the KCUMB Bookstore (which is what I am holding). During class we all joke that I am going to have THE smartest baby because it has already been through 3 of 10 sections...possibly 4. I do think it would be quite amusing if this one followed in Mommy's footsteps and became a D.O. We, of course, had to play one baby shower game...guess the belly size. Of all the options for showers games I've heard of, I have to say this one seems to be the most amusing and worth-while. Even though you see yourself everyday, getting bigger and bigger. And even though your large, rugby player husband's t-shirts don't even fit well anymore. Nothing quite brings home the concept of how big you are until you see someone walk toward you with a ribbon that appears to be as long as you are tall and it fits perfectly around the circumference of your belly.
Thanks again to you all for the great time, the support and the entertainment...everyday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chris Cake's has still got it - I don't.

I'll begin in reverse order of the weekend's events related to Kim's (Matt's cousin) wedding. On Sunday morning, we had a pancake breakfast catered by none other than Chris of Chris Cake's himself. This company does/did all the pancake breakfasts that Visitation (my grade school & church) ever held and I ever attended. Plus,it was always this same man! It has probably been 10+ years since I last experienced the massive pancake machine, and super-human speed pancake flipping, and the 'better be ready to catch it' pancake tossing. So, as a joke, I stand up and hold my plate out from across the room, as if to gesture that I would like him to attempt to toss a pancake all the way to me. He moved his head in a manner that I took to mean, "No"...but I later find out most thought it was more of an, "Are you sure you are ready for this?" So, I take a few steps in his direction to go get some pancakes, when I hear "Hey!" just in time to look up and see a pancake heading straight for my face. I swiveled to the side and slightly ducked as much and as quickly as an 8-month pregnant woman can move, only to have it peg me on my left shoulder. If only I had looked up a second sooner, I would have caught the thing, everyone would have cheered, and I would have been a celebrated hero...but no, I get a bunch of groans, and laughs (which I find to be very rude, considering my "delicate situation".)

Beyond that, it was a fairly normal wedding weekend: happy families, lots of food, CAKE and alcohol, a beaming bride, perfect weather, and a lovely mass.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Did I mention?

I am free!!!! I have successfully (so I think) concluded what is rumored to be "the hardest section in med school": Neuroscience. It was 10 difficult weeks, packed with emotional breakdown, and mental hardship, but it is over. I could not be more relieved. (And I am techniquely allowed to think about baby from this point forward...finally.)

A Frog Prince Wedding?

Last weekend, my cousin Katie finally got married! Not that she was engaged for a particularly long time, but I feel like I have mentioned this event multiple times previous to its fruition. It was visually a very nice ceremony. I loved the random usage of indoor items for outdoor decor...such as chandeliers, floor lamps, office seating, etc. What optimal photo-shoot materials - though, we really didn't take much advantage of it. My only complaint with the out-doorish type venue was damage to my heels (why do my shoes always provide the damper to my wedding enjoyment?) And I only fit in one dress these days, so be on the lookout for its appearance again very soon...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Men in Make-up!

During the Halloween season, my brothers work out at the World's of Fun Halloween Haunt on weekend nights. They have to show up a couple hours early, just for the make-up! (Top: Brennan; Bottom: Timothy)
Never thought I'd hear these words come out of their mouths: "Sorry - can't make it. I have to go get my make-up done."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Birthdays and Babies

My dad's side of the family got together for a Birthday and Baby BBQ. My sister, Annora, hosted it at her new house, and it was quite the get-together. Matt and I made out with a decent amount of booty...apparently every new parent needs a Diaper Genie! I mean, I guess it's a good thing to keep the house from stinking?
Above are Alexander, and Starlee...Are they 1st cousin's once removed, or 2nd cousins? We can't figure it out.
Like father, like daughter. I mean the stance, not the bellies.
When you see a bug on someone, do you slap at it as hard as you can, or shoo it away?