About Me

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I am blessed beyond measure. I have a genius husband with a slick sense of humor, a sassy and smart 4 old and another miracle baby girl expected to arrive late January 2011. I love my family, my church, my home, my friends and mostly my awesome God.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.....

Last Friday night, Daniel and I enjoyed a wonderful date night during Parent's Night Out at our church. We drop Sabrina off and get to enjoy 5 hours all to ourselves. We tried out the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema that just opened a couple of miles from our house (you can not imagine how happy this movie-lovin-mama is to live so close to a movie theatre!), saw a HILARIOUS movie, Morning Glory, and enjoyed a meal, all at the same time! I'm lovin this! However, I was having quite a few contractions during the movie and my feet were really swollen. Like REALLY swollen. After we got home, put Sabrina to bed and started getting ready for bed ourselves, I noticed that the contractions were NOT going away. So I started to keep track because my doctor had said if I had more than four rhythmic contractions in an hour, to call the office. Well, I had six. And I checked my blood pressure and it was SKY HIGH. So I called. The doctor on-call, Dr. Dabbous (another doctor in the practice) called me right back and said I should go to Labor and Delivery. Wow. It's like one in the morning now. So we start making phone calls. Daniel's parents came to stay at the house with Sabrina...we didn't want to wake her up or have her with us at the hospital (it would probably scare her and we didn't want to worry about keeping her entertained). And we headed out to the hospital.

Long story short...... I was discharged nine hours later. Getting the IV in was the absolute worst part as I'm not known for having good veins and being dehydrated (so they said) only made matters worse. Four attempts, at least 3 different nurses, a lot of screaming and crying from me, and it was finally in. The rest of the stay was a breeze. They monitored the baby and me very closely and I was in fact, having contractions pretty close together. After taking blood for testing, checking my urine for protein (a sign of pre-eclampsia, which I had with Sabrina) and monitoring my contractions, it was decided that I would get an injection to stop the contractions. They could give it to me every fifteen minutes, depending on how I responded. I only had to have one dose and it did the trick. They continued to pump me full of fluids and then about 11am, I was able to go back home, exhausted due to sleeping only about an hour, but happy that all was under control. I am so blessed and thankful that my amazing, supportive husband was with me the whole time, suffering right along with me, holding my hand while I nearly crushed his fingers during the IV incident, and just generally taking good care of me. But the baby is fine, I'm fine and we hope she stays inside to cook a little while longer.

So yesterday, I went to the Maternal-Fetal Care Specialist to take my four hour course on Gestational Diabetes (GDM). It covered all the q&as, meal plan, how to check your blood sugar, and how to give yourself insulin. I was not prepared for that last part. I was told when I got the test results of my 3 hour glucose test (which I flunked with flying colors) that I would be able to attempt to control my glucose level with diet first, then insulin if it didn’t work. Not so, apparently. In the first five minutes of meeting with nurse Pam (who was a wonderful teacher, by the way), that because my fasting glucose was a 96, and the number I was trying to beat was 95, I had to start insulin immediately. The reason is that your fasting glucose result has nothing to do with your diet because you’ve been sleeping, not eating, prior to taking that test. So diet is just not gonna help you in that regard. Insulin is mandatory. I really thought that I was mentally and physically prepared for this new challenge of living with gestational diabetes….until I was told that I had to take insulin 4 times a day. It was all I could do to keep from breaking down in tears right there across from nurse Pam (and another GDM mom, Norma, my classmate). But I held it together and recited these words…… “10 weeks. You can do anything for 10 weeks.”

By the end of the four hours, my head was literally swimming with information, some of which still didn’t quite make sense. It’s all about how you “count” your food, and not all of it is logical. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.

I also received my glucose meter and got to practice step-by-step how to check my blood glucose levels. The finger prick was not nearly as bad as the one I had gotten on Saturday at the hospital. It gave me hope that I could do this. But then we moved on to the insulin shots.

These are much different than pricking your finger. First of all, the needle isn’t just poking you, it’s injecting medicine. And you have to hold the needle in for 10 seconds. Oh, here’s the best part….you have to inject it in your abdomen. Yep, sounds fun, doesn’t it? We didn’t practice this part in the classroom, just went through the motions without actually doing the sticking part. That would be done right before I ate my dinner meal at home.

I left the doctor’s office at 5pm, picked up Sabrina from my step-mother (who lives close by the office) and started the trek home in rush-hour traffic. Sabrina was immediately in a bad mood (though I was told she had a wonderful time with Nannie) and was demanding a snack even though we were just an hour from dinner. When I told her no, she threw a fit and that pushed me over the edge. I cried the rest of the way home. Sabrina was completely silent until we pulled into the garage.

Finally, I had reached the sanctuary of home and could let my emotions take over. I’m a crier. It’s who I am. I have to let it out. And it’s not a pretty sight. So I had my breakdown, a hot shower and then proceeded to prepare myself for my first insulin injection.

I must have done it wrong, because it hurt. A lot. And that just made me cry again. And this was standing in the kitchen in front of Sabrina and Daniel who were starting to eat their dinner. Sabrina was concerned and unsure of what was going on and I didn’t have the energy or the words yet to describe what was happening. Daniel pacified her for the moment, I collected myself and finished dinner. I had to have one more shot right before bedtime and I let Daniel attempt this one hoping for better results. It didn’t hurt at all! Praise God! Now, the challenge would be to see if I could do it myself.

This morning I had to do two injections right before breakfast. I was nervous and my mind was chaotic trying to make sure I had the right breakfast choices, get Sabrina’s breakfast and lunch packed, my lunch and a snack packed with the choices I had in my pantry and fridge and get us both ready and out of the door on time to go to school and work. Tuesday is my longest day of the week because after I get off work, I take Sabrina to dance class right after I pick her up from Mother’s Day Out. That means I have to have her dance bag and a snack packed for her also. But I gave myself a good pep talk, said a prayer and did both injections. And it didn’t hurt. Praise the Lord! I was so proud of myself and I knew I could do it. It won’t be easy, it will be a pain in the neck, actually. Well, a pain in the stomach and fingers......But I can do it.

So here is a picture I took today of all the “stuff” that goes with Gestational Diabetes. It's kind of overwhelming looking at all of that. But as I look at it, I realize that it just doesn't matter how hard it's going to be. I do it because I have no choice. I would do anything for this baby girl. I love her and want to keep her healthy. I'm so thankful that after all that we have been through for this baby, we will have a miracle little girl to love and cherish for always. I have to remind myself of that when I'm feeling selfish, depressed and downright full of self-pity about how unfair this all is....... I know there are countless couples, men and women who long for a child and are unable to conceive, who desperately want the titles of "Mommy and Daddy" and who will never experience the joy that I am so abundantly blessed with already. I’m so incredibly overjoyed that God has blessed me with this baby and I don’t care how much it hurts, how inconvenient it is, how much effort it requires, how expensive it is, or how unfair it is…… I will do it because I love her. How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 7 Years!

My sweet hubs and I celebrated our seventh blissful year of marriage on November 8th by enjoying a little "staycation" right here in San Antonio on the beautiful Riverwalk. On the advice of a friend, I decided to try "naming my own price" on Priceline and ended up with a FANTASTIC deal at the 4-star La Mansion del Rio for only $85! And it was worth every cheap penny!

Now, unfortunately, right before we went on this getaway, we got some not-so-great news. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and got the news by phone while I was at work (no fair) on the Nov 3rd. I had failed the first test, the one-hour glucose (which I failed when I was pregnant with Sabrina but passed the 2nd test) and then took the three-hour glucose test and failed 3 of the 4 results. I was immediately referred to a specialist for diabetes, a doctor I had already seen for a special screening sonogram for birth defects back when I was 14 weeks pregnant. I had to schedule an appointment with them and attend a FOUR HOUR class on Diabetes. Really?! Well, they tried scheduling it for November 8th......uh....NO. So it is set for the 15th, the following Monday, and I had a week to try and mentally prepare for what was ahead. But it also meant that we could enjoy our Anniversary before I had to start a special diet.

Since our Anniversary fell on a Monday this year, we were able to enjoy the Riverwalk without any weekend crowds. What we didn't know is that we would have to deal with a rather large convention in town, for financial people, that ended up interfering with our dinner plans, but more on that later. So we just booked a room for one night (the budget is pretty tight this year with a baby on the way) but took 2 days off from work so we could take advantage of both Monday and Tuesday to enjoy some quality time together.

We dropped Sabrina off at Grandma Ruby's house on Monday morning and headed out on our Anniversary Adventure. We had a VERY LOOSE plan........ to RELAX..... eat some great FOOD..... and just enjoy being TOGETHER. Since check-in wasn't until 3, we went to La Madeline for some lunch. I LOVE their Chicken Salad Croissant.......
Daniel enjoyed a Turkey sandwich and we both enjoyed just having a quiet meal, listening to the soothing background music and talking about whatever. It was really nice, I have to say, and a great start to our getaway.

When I called the hotel to see if our room was ready, it was being cleaned so we took an impromptu drive through Olmos Park and Alamo Heights so I could show Daniel all the amazing homes in the "old money" district. I absolutely love the different styles of architecture you can find and the trees.... oh, my, the trees! I don't have any shots of our adventure but it was so fun to just get lost in one of the most beautiful (and somewhat hidden) area of our beautiful city. It's not easy to find (you enter through Olmos Park and just take random turns) but the effort is well worth it.

So once we arrived at the hotel, we were told we had been upgraded to a Riverview room (I had requested on the phone but wasn't guaranteed) at no charge (another advantage of the off season and a Monday booking). Here's what we got......

Our Balcony overlooking the Riverwalk!

The view from our balcony, the bridge is right outside the hotel's door to cross the Riverwalk.

After we settled in, we decided to take a Riverboat cruise, which neither one of us has done in years. I've lived in San Antonio my whole life and usually do this kind of touristy thing when I have guests in from out of town. But it's been a reeeeeeeeeeeeally long time since I have been on a boat on the River. We had so much fun! The weather was PERFECT, the crowds were light, it's an easy activity on this pregnant mama, and I even learned a few new things about our wonderful city.

The view from the Riverboat - That's our room on the 2nd floor!

The Nix Hospital
Upon completion, it was the largest and tallest hospital in the US! It's sharp angles gives an optical illusion when viewed from the river that the facing wall is one-dimensional. Carol Burnett Oliver North and SA's former Mayor, Henry Cisneros, were all born there.

The mosaic tile mural on the Lila Cockrell Theatre, titled "Confluence of Civilization of the Americas" that was commissioned for the 1968 Hemisfair (World's Fair). I've always thought this was beautiful and one of my favorite parts of the Riverwalk tour.

The River Center Mall Christmas Tree that sits on the island in the Riverwalk circle.

"Marriage Island". Daniel came *this close* to proposing to me here when we celebrated his birthday in January 2003 with a day on the Riverwalk. We call it our "Perfect Day" because it was that and so much more. But he didn't have a ring yet so he waited another month and proposed on our five-month Anniversary at my favorite restaurant, Milano's.

Built in 1929. The interesting gargoyles on the side of the Tower Life building. They were supposed to fend off "evil spirits" and help the business prosper. Apparently it didn't work because the business initially failed.

Daniel in front of a small waterfall in front of our hotel on the Riverwalk side.

So one of the reasons why we wanted to stay at La Manson del Rio was because of its restaurant, Las Canarias. Famous for its cuisine, it's one of the nicest fine dining restaurants in the whole city. Daniel once ate there for a fancy batchelor party dinner but I had never been. We made reservations online and were all set until we found out right before our trip that they were booked for a private party. Aw, shucks. We inquired again when we checked in and sure enough, that convention bumped us from our Anniversary dinner. On to Plan B. After we took our Riverboat Tour, we inquired at Paesano's, another one of our favorite restaurants, and luckily was a short walking distance down the River from our hotel...... very important to this swollen footed, very pregnant mama. Booked for a private party. The convention people strike again! Plan C. We called up Boudro's, another fave (and part of the "Perfect Day" I mentioned earlier) and they had an opening! At 9pm. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.......um, no. We were feeling pretty discouraged at this point but finally settled on the restaurant directly across the river from our hotel called Ostra (formerly Pesca). It was recommended by our hotel when we checked in but it's heavy on the seafood, which is not one of hubby's favorites. But we couldn't beat that it was 1. available at 6pm, and 2. the shortest walk across the bridge. Well, God was great and had this plan all along for us because we had a wonderful meal and enjoyed sitting Riverside and people-watching. This is the Salmon with Lemon Caper sauce that I ordered - DELISH and so incredibly flaky and moist!

And this is the Waygu Beef Short Rib with Horseradish Cream Sauce that Daniel ordered.... YUM!

What a wonderful evening with my wonderful husband!

Before we headed back to the hotel, I let Daniel take a "belly shot" of me..... not my favorite thing to do but I know I should record this image for historical purposes (yeah, I almost said hysterical purposes). So here's me and my big belly at 28 weeks.

When we arrived back in our hotel room, this is what we found......

What service! It was such a wonderful surprise and really ended our day on the perfect note.

We enjoyed sleeping in and ate breakfast in bed the next morning, took in the view of the Riverwalk from our balcony one last time, took our time getting ready and then checked out about 11.

After we checked out, we did a little shopping, ate a late lunch at Chicfila and then went to see "It's Kind of a Funny Story" movie. Happy Anniversary to us! The seven year itch? Bah-humbug! Here's to the next seventy times seven!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween weekend

As per tradition, Daniel headed out with the guys from Sunday School on Friday night to go to the annual "Man Camp" camping trip so Sabrina and I had a little girl time. We had been invited to a Cowgirl birthday party on Saturday for Sabrina's friend, Rayven. Her mom, Amanda, and I are in MOPS together and she's a great friend. It was because of the Torres family that the Bentons went to Disneyworld last December, the same time they were going to be there, and ended up having breakfast at Cinderella's castle with them on our last day. We love the Torres clan!

So anyway, here are some pictures from the Cowgirl Birthday party. There was a whole petting zoo of animals and even pony rides. Sabrina absolutely LOVES dressing up for parties, and this was no exception. I was thankful that she got another wear out of her cowboy boots and hat which haven't been worn since the Rodeo in February.

Later that night, we had planned on going to Zoo Boo at the San Antonio Zoo. We have never been but we have a Zoo family membership for the first time this year and we got tickets with our membership. I invited my step-mom, Kathy (Nanny) to come along with us. Little did we know that Zoo Boo is worse than Fiesta! We ran into traffic long before we were even CLOSE to the zoo and as we inched along and saw throngs of people lining both sides of the street and cars everywhere with nowhere to park, it started to become clear that this was a bad idea. As we got closer to the park entrance, there was the longest line I have ever seen! Now Zoo Boo is supposed to be from 6:00 to 8:00pm and it was already getting close to 7:00 o'clock because we weren't moving. Obviously, they had reached capacity and were not letting anyone else in. So why were all these people still in line? It boggled my mind. As we continued to inch forward and past the entrance to the park, another line was coming from the opposite direction! It went all the way to Alamo Stadium, I kid you not. There was just no way we were getting in. Poor Sabrina was very disappointed and started crying but Nanny and I quickly started pointing out the positives. Those poor kids just standing in line, hungry, tired, needing to go potty, and they aren't even gonna get to go in to the park! Now, if you were a parent in this situation, would you honestly fight for a parking space, walk all that long way, stand in that line that wasn't moving just for the off-chance that you *might* get in to Zoo Boo for the last 10 minutes? Either way, you are going to have a disappointed kid. Better to disappoint while you are still in the car and can just drive right past the mayhem and foolishness. I honestly couldn't understand those thousands (yes, thousands) of parents. So instead, we headed to Freddy's Frozen Custard for burgers, fries and frozen custard. It cures many ailments..... and tears.

We didn't make it to church on Sunday morning because Momma was plain tuckered out from all the festivities. Daddy was still camping so I took Sabrina to our favorite restaurant, Chili's, for Halloween lunch.

She requested a "Rainbow Penguin" from the Balloon lady, and by golly, that's what she got!

A girl after my own heart..... we love us some Southwest Eggrolls!

Daddy came home Sunday afternoon, just in time to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. My little girl is such a pro now but I remember coaching her on her first trick-or-treat outing. Here's a glimpse at baby Butterfly Sabrina (2007, when she was about to turn two-years old).

With "Geisha" cousin, Reagan

And here she is, a grown-up-big-girl-four-and-a-half-year-old Supergirl. The time sure flies by. I will remember this when baby girl #2 is here and I'm taking her first trick-or-treat pictures.

We met some new friends, Kendall and Owen, who live in our neighborhood!