Sunday, February 28, 2010

So Soon? Really?

* Absolutely do not read if uninterested in the details of 1st Trimester Pregnancy symptoms!!!

I wanted to write this now, as proof that it actually did start this early...

For the past week I have felt "off" so to speak. And by "off" what I really mean is every symptom in the early pregnancy book. But this makes me feel crazy. Insane really. No way can I be feeling this way less than one week after conception, it just doesn't seem possible. It was this way with Brock too. I just suddenly have no appetite. Then, all of a sudden everything smells. Not necessarily good or bad, just things that didn't seem to be scented before, now have a distinct aroma (such as Matt's breath for an example). You can look at the excerpt below from BabyCenter, an online pregnancy & beyond guide, and put a check next to every single item with the exception of the last two. It was the frequent urination that really drove me to take the p-test (no pun intended)...I felt that symptom couldn't solely be created by my mind.

So, on Friday, the 26th, I took a test. Showed up negative. Until I looked at it again 4+ hours later (which you are not supposed to do) and there it was: a faint, possibly imagined, but obviously not, line. I then proceeded to take a few more over the course of the weekend, because Matt wouldn't agree to seeing a line in order to relieve me from my insanity until he felt the line was convincingly dark. Finally, 4 tests later, sanity restored.

Some women feel pregnant even before the test turns positive. The earliest signs include:

Fatigue Feeling tired all of a sudden — no, make that exhausted? Increased levels of the hormone progesterone and the extra effort required to start making a baby can make you feel as if you've run a marathon when all you've done is put in a day at work.

Frequent urination Shortly after you become pregnant, you may find yourself hurrying to the bathroom at an alarming frequency.

Heightened sense of smell Many newly pregnant women find they're overwhelmed by gag-inducing smells early in pregnancy. This may be a side effect of rapidly increasing levels of estrogen in your system.

Tender, swollen breasts Many women say the tenderness they feel is an exaggerated version of how their breasts feel before a period. Food aversions Food turn-offs are even more common than cravings during pregnancy. You may suddenly find that certain foods you used to enjoy are now completely repulsive to you.

Nausea or vomiting Morning sickness usually doesn't start for a few weeks, but some women feel queasy earlier.

Your basal body temperature stays high If you've been charting your temperature and it stays elevated after you've ovulated, you're probably pregnant.

Bleeding or spotting Some women notice a small amount of red spotting or pink or reddish brown staining around the time they should get their period. (If you have pain along with spotting or bleeding, call your caregiver immediately since this can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.)

Addendum added 3/28/10:
Wow. Reading this post from 4 weeks ago, I can't help but think, those were the good ol' days. I spilled the beans that I was 8 weeks pregnant to a family friend, which provoked the question, "How do you feel?". And, as matter of factly as possible, I replied, "Absolutely horrible". Her response, "Oh yes, I was sick with both of mine, kind of like you have the flu 24/7."

And then, the AH HA moment. Yes. That is exactly what it's like. All day, everyday, I am exhausted and nauseous. A little achey, a little bit of a headache, but mostly just sick feeling. Just add major indigestion/general slow motion of the entire GI tract to your flu symptoms and you have got first trimester pregnancy. You wouldn't believe how distracting it is to be trying to listen to a patient while sitting there thinking, "Oh no, I'm going to throw up, it's going to happen. What should I do? Just up and leave? Vomit in the trash can in the room? Explain why I am abruptly cutting them short? Oh good, maybe I am not going to heave. Can they see me shaking? sweating?"

I had sincerely hoped this pregnancy would be VERY different from the last, but alas, they are identical. Guess that means I am going to have another wonderful little boy, who sleeps through the night by 6 weeks - in that case, bring on the wretching! But really, what is different this go around is me. With Brock, I was naive and went ahead and tried to eat normal things at normal hours and avoided all medications. This course of action resulted in many long nights of regret. This go around, I either don't eat after 6pm or if I do, it's small, small portions. I take an anti-emetic/anti-nausea medication, as well as a pill for indigestion at the slightest sign of symptoms (which means everyday). I, prophylactically, sit up in bed to fall asleep. All of these measures have proven to completely eradicate late night vomiting sessions, thus far (knock on wood). And I keep looking to that week 13 cut off as sweet salvation from these symptoms, but in looking back at my entries from pregnancy #1, looks like week 21 is more realistic. Oh, the things we do to ourself for these wonderful, little bundles of joy...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

About Me

I have had this saying posted on my "About Me" section in blogger for a long, long time. I love it. It is such pure and simple truth.

"There's a strong correlation between being happy and (1) being basically in control of your own destiny; (2) being physically healthy; (3) being happily married; (4) living in a country where there's opportunity."

Often times, I don't even realize how out of balance my life has been, until it gets back to that perfect point, where I can honestly say the 4 listed items are true. I am generally an extremely happy and satisfied (though not lacking drive) person, so when things are "bad", they're never to a concerning point. When I think back to the times in my life when I was most miserable, one or two of these items were most definitely out of check. The year after graduating college comes to mind as the hardest year yet. It was the most physically unfit I had ever, ever been in my entire life, and I did not feel in control whatsoever of my own destiny. I was applying for medical school for goodness-sake. My fate lie in the hands of board members who didn't even know me. I was with Matt, and though we were not engaged or married, I feel #3 was as good as it's always been! And #4 is unchanging, as I have always lived in the same part of the same country.

Currently, as I have been loving rotations, realizing I have chosen the correct career path, running and working out pretty regularly, I feel that balance restored again. I didn't know it was off kilter. But I guess it was. Having a baby during medical school left very little time (or motivation) for exercise. And I did feel "right" for quite a while after Brock. I have no idea when that feeling left, probably a slow leak. But now, when I go out for a jog, all I can think about it how truly happy I am, and how I can't believe I let myself get so out of whack. My mood is so stable, and I have some patience, again. I wonder if the people I am around daily notice the slight change? Because though the way I am describing this change in feeling may sound drastic, it is really more like a hanging picture that has slipped a little to the left, and only the most trained eye might catch it.

*I do want to clarify, I do not think you HAVE to be married to be happy, but if you are married, it does HAVE to be happily.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just a silly game.

I recently went YouTube crazy because I realized videos load wayyyy quicker to that site. Therefore, I am excited to load even more from Brock's younger days (and perhaps some old swimming footage) very soon! You learn something new everyday.

I am not saying they are all interesting or funny, but I think you can find all the videos on YouTube by looking up my username: eolaughlin. Or click here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Little Things...

...are what make us all unique.
In a nutshell, I describe Brock as an energetic, curious, confident, stubborn, ticklish, funny little showman. An extrovert, no doubt. As for the expanded version of Brock? Well, see the novel below...

As I have said before, while I was pregnant with Brock, I told myself I would not be one of those mom's that walks around thinking their child is smarter, more advanced, better coordinated, cuter, etc than every other child. Well, that is impossible. It is impossible because I see all the little, adorable, hilarious, amazing things he does everyday. So, to me, he is absolutely smarter, more advanced, better coordinated and cuter than every other child.

I don't witness other 14 month olds rolling the Kik Step over to the exact right spot next to the counter, climbing up on top of the stool and reaching for the Russel Stovers chocolates they apparently witnessed their mother placing next to the coffee pot. I didn't expect kids that young to be able to develop those kind of problem-solving skills, I always underestimate him. And how do they instantly identify candy!? Even candy they have never tasted or seen before? Brock will not eat anything blindly, except candy. You have to restrain him, find a moment when his mouth is open and stuff a tiny piece of whatever food you are introducing, so he can taste it and see that he wants more for just about every food product. But drop a Hot Tamale, and bam, no hesitation, straight in the mouth (for about 10 seconds, then the eyes start watering, and surprise, surprise, the candy is back out of the mouth. Then wait, back in the mouth, then get the idea.)

Yes, according to texts on child-rearing, he has always been dead on, or perhaps ever so slightly ahead of said "milestones", but when put in that regard, he is not unique. Tons of children hover in that position, about half of children are a bit advanced; and the other half? A bit behind...hello, that's how they create an "average".

But no book told me he would be able to discern between dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries, as well as decide he only likes the cherries. Or that he would be able to pick all the chocolate chips out of a chocolate chocolate chip Otis Spunkmeyer muffin. Or that in an attempt to order the dogs around, he would begin to change his tone and the sounds he makes to create a language no one understands, niether man nor beast. Then proceed to grab their collars and lead (drag) them where ever it is he feels they need to be, since, seemingly they are ignoring his commands. Or that suddenly he would be able to go down the stairs, feet first, on his belly, faster than he was ever able to go up them. Or that if you forget to push in a table chair, he would be on it like white on rice, and the dining room table would instantly turn into a platform for dancing? walking? crawling? (Not real sure yet what is going on when he gets up there.)

My current favorite idiosyncrasies? When one of us goes upstairs, Brock seeks out the other parent, insistently takes their hand and leads them to the baby gate. He wants upstairs, and at this point, thankfully, the only way over the gate is with the assistance of an adult. He helps feed the dogs by taking handfuls of Tater's food out of his bowl and tossing it about the floor - Tater prefers to eat off the carpet. Seriously. Related to the Kik Step event, I think it is so cute, though perhaps bratty, when he brings me a food item, hands it to me, then points where he would like me to set some for him to eat. And, perhaps the cutest part? The place he points to is always the same place I last gave him that food item! Whether it was an hour ago, or 4 days ago. His sippy cups have about 4 assigned places throughout the house. So, maybe I should add anal or compulsive to the "Nutshell list"? Lastly, anytime you ask him a question beginning with the word "where", he always responds by mumbling and putting his hand, upturned in the air, as if to say, "I don't know, where is it? Guess we have to go find it." Ahh, love it! And he gets on his rocking horse on his own. And the "uh oh" phase has begun. And he colors on a Magnadoodle. And he puts shape blocks in their right hole. And he rubs his cheek against the fuzzy chest of the bunny in his Touch and Feel board book. And he dances to any and all music.

Don't get me wrong, he has some vices. He never stops moving (especially while being changed), throws tantrums related to food, and will not stay out of the trash or recycling. He even helped himself to some old Christmas candy I had thrown away to replace with Valentine's conversation hearts. All of the little trash cans in all the rooms now sit atop TV's, or dresser's or desks, not quite my decorating style, but it will have to do for now.

The list could probably go on, but the subject to my story has just risen from his nap. I can hear him in his crib talking to Giraffee. I thought no phase of development would have more change than those first few months of life; boy was I wrong. He has never grown and changed faster than right now. Don't blink.

Over and out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's Luck Got to do With It?

I severely dislike and disagree with the statement, "I am so lucky to be married to my best friend."

You are not "lucky" to have married your best friend. You SHOULD marry your best friend, and this SHOULD be a conscious decision, not some kind of lottery. If any of you are not married to your best friend, then quick, get out of that relationship! I feel this so strongly, that I kind of assumed that your significant other, spouse, etc. was removed from the "best friend" running. It's not even a fair game if they are included in the options, is it? Thus making me dislike this statement even degrading to even put your spouse in that category.

If you are having a hard time following, let's take it back a step farther. How does one define the term "best friend"? Simply stated, by the online dictionary: n. the one friend who is closest to you. But I polled a few people, and replies ranged from:

  • The person you not only spend most of your time with but you enjoy that time.
  • Someone you call often, but never out of obligation (or rarely).
  • The one person who knows you best (and still likes you).
  • The first person you think to call when something interesting/funny/tragic happens.
  • #2 on your speed dial (#1 being Voicemail, duh).
  • You would never hesitate to bail them out and expect nothing in return & vice versa.

I don't know about you and your relationship, but this definitely describes my spouse, and then some. Sure, there are others that touch these statements, but no one, except Matt, encompasses them all. And FOR SURE no one but Matt surpasses them.

My whole point is, give yourself some credit. Luck didn't have anything to do with your current relationship. Own up to your decisions, and stand proud. Flat out say, I love that I married my favorite person in the whole world, I made the right decision.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


For our 3rd anniversary, we basically did 3 things (and didn't spend a penny - if you don't count gifts). What a coincidink! On the actual night of our anniversary, the 10th, we exchanged gifts before heading to Jasper's for dinner. I, in keeping with the "traditional" 3rd anniversary gift, gave Matt a pair of leather Puma tennis shoes. He gave me a 5th generation 8GB iPod Nano. He always out-gifts me!! [But I absolutely don't mind.] Dinner was paid for by a Christmas gift certificate from the MO'Laughlin's, therefore, we went all out...bottle of nice wine, salads, fancy entrees, and the rarest item of all, individual desserts. All quite excellent examples of Italian cuisine.
The next event on the schedule was dinner on Saturday the 13th at Oak63 - a Southern French Bistro. We got a free 4 course meal, and all the wine our little hearts desired in exchange for Matt's photography services. They had a Cellist; beautiful. We tried pâté for the first time; okay. And had the best Filet Mignon ever; amazing. Not to mention I got a glorified hot fudge sundae made with Foo's custard dessert! Mmmm. I also decided that night that I am quitting school to become a food critic - they get to eat like this on a regular basis!?

We then moved on from dinner to our hotel room at the Sheraton on the Plaza. This I won at a silent auction almost a year ago, so I guess I did pay for it at one time, but it felt free, and it was a steal. We had a nice relaxing night, without the concern of baby, woke up when we felt like it, and ate the brunch included with our stay. We then arrived home just in time to give our cowboy pajama'd son a kiss before he took a 2 hour nap.

Thanks to all the grandparents who made these events
possible. I cannot even describe how nice it is to leave for the evening and not have to worry one bit about the safety of well-being of your child.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paper or Plastic?

I REALLY cannot stand it when you go to the grocery store, and the bagger puts your 4 (maybe I'd give ya 5) plastic bags worth of groceries into 9 sacks. Nine!? Seriously, does the bread really require its own bag? Does the $2.99 fleece throw need its own? Does the 4lb sack of sugar? Nope. In fact, I am certain those 3 items could have all been placed into one and it would be niether too full nor too heavy. And I'm going to be honest, I don't mind if my well packaged, vacuum shut meats touch my sealed bags of Dole lettuce. Really, I don't. I am quite confident there will be no cross contamination in that situation.

Yes, the solution here is for me to supply my own wonderful little "green" cloth bags, but lets get serious. I can hardly remember the 6 items I went to the store for, let alone a bag to transport them back home.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Ultimate Cake

Perhaps my favorite element of our wedding, besides maybe the photography, was the cake. It not only turned out flawlessly beautiful, extravagant and exactly what I wanted in looks, but it tasted like a cliche. Otherwise known as: a little slice of heaven. And you don't have to take my word for it... perfect timing to celebrate our 3 year anniversary on the 10th, TLC aired "The Ultimate Cake Off: Top Dogs", and included in the line up was non other than Cheri. Matt and I's cake lady! Officially, it is her son Mike running the show, but she is the original. During the show, you can earn extra time by winning the taste challenge. **SPOILER ALERT** Guess who wins the taste test, judged by experts?? Mike & Cheri. Therefore, if you attended our wedding, and ate our cake, you experienced a nationally acclaimed baked good (click on the link embedded in this sentence, and our cake is actually shown on the TLC video at 1:33 seconds).

I may never be on television myself, but I am fine living vicariously through others...first "The Bachelor" now "The Ultimate Cake Off", (and I guess I should throw in a shout out to my Toma friends in the Papa John's Superbowl 2010 commercial at :27 seconds) what's next!?
I know, I know, so rude of me to tease you with these delectable images...but I can't physically post food. Trust me, I would if I could.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Story of the Stomach Flu

[WARNING: Not for those with a weak stomach.]

Once upon a Monday morning, I dropped Brock off at daycare. The daycare provider informed me at that point that one of the babies had vomited, and the mother was on her way to get her. Big deal, I thought, babies throw up all the time for no reason.

Thursday morning, I wake up to get Brock and discover him standing his crib encrusted with vomit. His hair was sticking up, plastered by the dried up, regurgitated garlic chicken dinner. His bed was just covered in it. Giraffee and Bunny Foo Foo, coated. Thankfully, for me, it was all dry, but for him, that meant he slept ALL NIGHT in a vomit-filled crib! How did that not disturb him!? Gross, Brock. Anyway, I proceeded to stick him in the tub and the bedding in the wash. Still, I didn't get concerned. I assumed his dinner just didn't sit right, considering his lack of fever, or change in behavior.

Saturday morning, a bit after midnight, I wake up and start vomiting. I'd had a couple margarita's and thought, there is no way I am getting sick from those drinks, but that was my only theory. I get back into bed, waking up Matt and telling him that I am not sure I was vomiting from drinking too much, it might be something else...

...2 hours later, I hear him up in the bathroom. And that confirms my suspicion: nope, it wasn't from drinking, it was the Stomach flu! And, I will quit the descriptors there, it just gets monotonous, disgusting and sad.

Why document this seemingly normal week in the life of a family with small children? Because I have NEVER had the stomach flu. Ever. I kind of always thought it didn't really exist. That some people just have weak stomachs and ate something that didn't "sit right" which caused them to be puking and pooping at the same time, all night. I have no childhood memory of every bathroom in our house being occupied by someone getting sick. It didn't happen. We Smith's have iron stomach's. That is until now...but these days I am outnumbered by O'Laughlins's. I had no chance. I will say, my symptoms quit quite a bit before Matt's. (Though I was harboring a fever, which niether of the boys ever experienced. Fair trade, I'll take a temperature in exchange for less barfing and diarrhea-ing...)

24 hours later, we have all bounced back. The end.