Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Blogger: Amy - Trust your instincts.

Last week a friend of mine was telling a bit of her delivery story... I was so blown away I asked her to share the full experience with us here at the blog. I feel like I should warn you that its a little intense - but ends well with a happy healthy mom & baby... want to share your story? Please do! email me at

A year ago today, I had a lot to do. I probably did more than I should have, considering I was on bed rest. I was placed on bed rest at 32 weeks because of preterm labor contractions. After 3 visits to the hospital for monitoring and shots to stall labor, I was on the maximum dose of terbutaline. Contractions were still coming, irregularly. My blood pressure was elevated and was told I may be developing pregnancy induced hypertension at one of my hospital visits. A year ago today, was Election Day. I had to visit my polling place and vote for the midterm election. Afterwards, we stopped at a local bistro for a latte, my one allotted caffeinated drink a day. Early afternoon, we went to my weekly appointment at my OBGYN. For the first time during my pregnancy, she had a difficult time locating my son's heartbeat. I became nervous, but eventually she settled on a sound and said "120's, not bad." I was a little worried, stating that it is usually in the 140's to 150's, to which she was not concerned. It was still in the range of acceptable. After the appointment, we went to Wal-Mart. I just HAD to get post-baby underwear and a nursing bra. This is not a task I could send my husband to do alone. We did a little more shopping, and I began to feel awful. My head hurt, my stomach was upset. I told Robbie we need to get home, I had overexerted myself. I must not have been used to that much activity after 3 weeks of bed rest.

After getting home, I lay on the couch and drank water. I began to think the day over, realizing I had done far too much. I thought of my developing child, and realized he had barely moved during the day. I may have just been too busy to notice, and many times as the pregnancy nears the end, the baby will move less. However, just the day before he was very active. I was able to get 10 kicks in 10 minutes or so. I decided to count his kicks, as I was supposed to do daily, but typically didn't have to because of how active he was. Half an hour passed and I only had 4 little flutters. I began to worry. After an hour, I only had 6. My office said to call if I do not get 10 kicks in 1 hour. I called and left a message for the on call doctor. I lay down on my bed while waiting for a call back, drank some more water, and got a sudden somersault of activity. It was easily 10 movements, very energetic. I thought I must be overreacting. However, the on call doctor called back and said that I should go to Labor and Delivery just to get checked out.

Off we go again, 4 time in 3 weeks. I figured they must be getting tired of seeing me! I was afraid of them thinking I was overreacting, but I thought I'd rather go and be sure than something bad happening and regret not going. A nurse who had seen us before greeted us at the nurse's station. There were 3 or 4 other laboring mothers there that night, so I am sure they were slightly annoyed to have to deal with us. I can only imagine how many "I don't think my baby is moving much, can you check on it?" pregnant women they get. They didn't even have me strip into a gown, just pull up my shirt. The nurse used a Doppler and searched around for my son's heartbeat. Nothing. She called another nurse in. She messed around for a while, still nothing. A third nurse was also unsuccessful. A call was placed to the on call doctor who had told me to go in. She ordered an ultrasound. They wheeled the machine into my room, and turned the screen away from me. The faces of the nurses suddenly got solemn. Another call was placed to the on call doctor. She arrived in a huff a few minutes later, seemingly annoyed.

"What?" she demanded of the nurses. They directed her to the ultrasound.

"So?" She didn't see what they saw.

"Just keep watching," the nurse pleaded.

A few moments later, the doctor's face turned solemn to match the nurses'. She turned to me and explained, finally, what was going on. "Your heart rate is around 120. The baby is dropping to the 50's and 60's, this is why we had a hard time locating it. We need to get him out immediately. We are taking you to the operating room and doing an emergency c section."

I asked if I would be awake, or if my husband could be there. Unfortunately, the answer to both was no. They suddenly began stripping me, removing all jewelry and clothing, replacing it with a hospital gown, and attaching leads, a catheter, and an IV. I said good bye to my husband, he looked so worried. I took a deep breath as I watched the ceiling above me as they moved me into the OR.

Once in the operating room, they began to prep me for surgery. A nurse put betadine on my stomach. The doctor yelled at her, saying she wanted the Doppler used to monitor the baby's heart rate until the anesthesiologist arrived. They stalled and followed my son's heartbeat while waiting for the anesthesiologist. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but suddenly my doctor apologized to me. She said they could no longer wait for anesthesia, and that he had to come out immediately. She asked what was available in the room, and was told about 4cc's of lidocaine (according to Wikipedia, Lidocaine is used topically to relieve itching, burning and pain from skin inflammations, injected as a dental anesthetic or as a local anesthetic for minor surgery.) I was given about 4 shots across my stomach, and the surgery began.

When I tell you I feel everything, I don't mean I felt pressure and tugging. I mean, I felt the blade of the scalpel across my abdomen. I felt a gush of blood and fluids around me. I was held down while they pried my stomach open. I screamed while my organs were removed. I had a nurse holding me, repeating "It's okay, you're doing great, remember to breathe," over and over. My body bucked, I am sure I kicked, I tried turning away and fighting. I thought, why haven't they gotten him out yet?I am not sure if it was the beginning of shock, or meditation taking over but I gave in and my body relaxed. An unknown amount of time later, at 11:27 pm, I heard the sound of my son cry, and they announce "It's a boy!" I felt relief. About that time, the anesthesiologist arrived. They said, "You're going to go to sleep." I remember thinking "Why am I not asleep yet?" and then everything went black.

A few hours later, I awoke. I asked "Why does my throat hurt?" Apparently I saw my mother and said "Mom! It's really you!" I asked about my son. He was under an oxygen tent. I was told later he coded when he was born and had to be resuscitated. They had to x ray me post surgery to make sure no tools were left in me, then they had to x ray my son to make sure his lungs didn't collapse. The following morning, the pediatrician came in and told us that he had a very irregular heartbeat. They did an EKG and sent it to the leading pediatric cardiologist at the Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. We were told he was having arrhythmias and that they were going to send him to the NICU in Peoria. Unfortunately, I had to wait until I was released from the hospital before I could join him. On his fourth day of life, I was released. We made the 1 hour drive and I held my son for the first time.

There were many triumphs and set backs the first couple months. He was taken off oxygen on his second day. He was not eating well, so we had to monitor how much he took in. I had to pump and provide, as I was not allowed to breast feed until he was a week old, and then only once a day. Because of his prematurity, he had to pass a car seat test before being released. He failed the first one because he had an apnea. We began giving him caffeine citrate to help with the apneas, and had to take Logan home on an apnea monitor. It was a blessing and a curse, as it gave us peace of mind, but was a pain to haul, gave false alarms frequently, and had to be on him at all times. He was put on Zantac for reflux, and I had to stop pumping and giving him breast milk as well as put him on a special formula, Nutramigen, for cow's milk protein intolerance that caused blood in his stool.

I looked at him today and cried. I cried because I wasn't sure what the lack of oxygen when he was born would do to his brain, or that his prematurity would do to his development. I cried because if I hadn't gone to the hospital when I did, he most likely would have been born stillborn. I didn't expect to see him walking before 1, or able to call me Mama or my husband Dada. I didn't know what to expect that first day, or those 12 days he was in the NICU. I didn't know what to expect of my little 5lb 15oz, 18in, 35 week miracle. And now, he is a perfectly healthy 1 year old boy. He weighs over 25lb and is over 31 inches tall. I am so thankful to have him in my life.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yo Gabba Gabba Live was AMAZING!!!

Wednesday night we were treated the amazing show - Yo Gabba Gabba Live... and let me tell you it was AWESOME! If you ever have the chance to go, you definitely should. Im pretty sure I had a permanent smile on my face. Yes, Im a 26 year old Gabba fan. IF I wasn't smiling at one of my favorite songs... I was smiling watching my kids sing and dance along... If you're tuning in to our blog for the first time, then Ill fill you in. I have a 1 year old daughter, and 2 sons - ages 5 & 6. My husband Zaq went along as well. I spent some time the days before we went making them Gabba shirts to wear to the show and they were a HUGE hit. Lookin good kids!

*click on any photo to enlarge*

The show was 1/16 at 6pm at the Orpheum theatre down town Minneapolis. Parking was a breeze - super close and just $5. Even with three kiddo's and below freezing temps - it was super simple. We got inside and got our tickets. Stripped off the bundled on winter wear and showed off their sweet new Gabba outfits. Once getting inside we were super excited to find out we got passes to the VIP party after for a meet and greet. But more to come on that later. Immediately inside the door they had tons of souvenir options from toys to tour shirts... and also offered snack packs of juice boxes, gold fish, fruit snacks and more for just $5 - which was great since the show started right around dinner time. They had a couple little activities for the kids set up... a bean bag toss and a music station. The kids loved it!

We got in and settled in our seats and waited eagerly for the show to begin!

And now - a photo montage of all our favorite parts :)

Mike Park:

Don't Be afraid... don't be afraid... don't be afraid... its ok... 

She was just LOVING it.

During intermission - the boys sat super patiently while playing their new Hello Friends! Yo Gabba Gabba app. 

 After a short break they jumped into my personal favorite part.... WE BE BUGGIN!
When Biz pulled kids out of the crowd - I about melted from cute overload listening to them "spit beats"... so so so cute.

And Izzaq's favorite part? Probably the Bubbles... he was slightly excited to see that ;)

Time to say goodbye... but only for a little while!

Afterwards we walked over to the VIP party - which I HIGHLY recommend upgrading your tickets to... amazing, amazing, amazing. Each kid got the chance to take a one on one photo with their favorite characters... Give a hug to Biz - High 5 with DJ Lance - and color and play with new friends...
 Izzaq was SO happy to get to high five DJ Lance - he had to tell EVERYONE all about it... and they didn't want to leave. It was an amazing night and I am so thankful we had to opportunity to experience it. The kids are getting so grown up so fast - and soon they won't be excited about things like this, so I try to soak up every bit of it I can. The fact that they were zonked out in the back seat 5 minutes into the drive home - is enough to say we can call the evening a complete success...
For tour info - visit to find out when they're coming to a city near you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hello Friends! Check out the new Yo Gabba Gabba App!

Today we got a special treat from Yo Gabba Gabba - the chance to try out their new App! And let me tell you... its a new favorite for sure. I'm not always the best sharer when it comes to my iPhone, but sometimes as a special treat the kiddos get to play. So, naturally I am pretty selective about the apps I choose for them on my phone. When I got the opportunity to test the Yo Gabba Gabba app, "Hello Friends!" I was super excited.

When I first uploaded it, I wanted to check it out for myself... I was quickly sucked in by the awesome and bright graphics. Its a very high quality app - moves fast - and is really interactive.  Tap anywhere on the screen and little stars scatter... and a soft Yo Gabba Gabba tune playing in the background. Flipping through the different options, (Videos - Photos - Friends - Games) I dove into the games... I LOVE that its not just one game to play over and over. There are currently two games in that section (Brobee Jump & Gabbabalt) with more coming soon.  I will proudly admit that I am obsessed with Brobee Jump. I can already see myself getting wrapped up in it. And Gabbabalt had me squealing like a little kid.

Ok, Ok... so Its not all about me. Ms. Rozzlyn was sitting on the couch being Ms. Sassy Pants... so I thought, perfect time to let her try it out!
 Immediately her mood changed when she started watching the "Friends" section of the app. Its super cute little phone call Style app that uses the front camera for your little one to "facetime" with all your Gabba friends. She LOVES it and its appropriate for so many ages. So is the videos section! Great for in the car - shopping - or just some wind down time before bed. The videos section plays all their favorite Gabba tunes and clips, built right into the app.

Are you sold yet? You should be! Its only $3.99 for the app and I will confidently say it is worth every penny. You Gabba Gabba Hello Friends! is by far one of the top app's Ive ever downloaded for the kids. So what are you waiting for? Get it! :)

Wait... wait... maybe you're waiting for this? The awesome people over in Gabba Land have given us a special one time use code for one of you lucky readers to get to download it for free. The code is good on apple products (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) though available for purchase on Android as well.

Here is how you can enter to win:
Go find our facebook page -

There is a picture floating around to share - thats it! Ready, GO!

We're going to Gabba Land!!

This time Wednesday we will be gearing up in our favorite Gabba clothes to head over to the Orpheum theatre in Minneapolis. Why do you ask?! To see Yo Gabba Gabba Live! I can't even explain to you how excited we are for this opportunity! You know you are truely a domesticated mama when you get more excited about Getting the Sillies out with Yo Gabba Gabba and you're family than a dinner/date night with the husband (sorry babe).  Read below for more details - and follow the link to see when they're coming to a city near you!

YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE! GET THE SILLIES OUT! Tour at the Orpheum Jan. 16th

The sillies are crazy little creatures that live inside of us and need to be shaken out! DJ Lance Rock and everyone’s favorite cast of colorful characters are calling all fans in Cincinnati to get ready to jump, shake and shimmy them out at the new live tour Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out!Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get The Sillies Out! tour will visit more than 50 cities across the U.S. in 2013.  Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! is touring in support of their first national beverage launch, a new line of toys, a new line of kids sportswear and a DVD/ CD collectors' edition.

For a complete list of tour dates, cities and show times, and a preview of the show, visit 

Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out! will be in Minneapolis on Wed., Jan. 16th for two shows (3:00pm and 6:00pm). CLICK HERE for ticket informationTickets start at $25.00. VIP Party packages are available as well which include a ticket in the first 15 Rows, a pass to "Get the Sillies Out" in the private VIP room featuring a super fun party with the Gabba Gang (costumed characters) and more. Children under 1 year old do not require a paid ticket to sit on a parent's lap.

Yo Gabba Gabba! is an award-winning, live-action television series and live stage show whose unconventional formula has created a triple stacked fan base, making it one of the most popular entertainment properties among preschoolers, parents and indie music lovers alike. The television show, now in its fourth season, airs several times a day on Nick Jr.

Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out! marks the third tour for the successful Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! concert series. The first tour, Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: There’s a Party in My City!, launched with a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a performance at the White House in 2010.  Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! 2010 tour played to sold out venues in 60 cities. Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: It’s Time to Dance! enjoyed repeat success in 2011, energizing audiences across North America at over 120 shows.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Nuby Review - Ol' McDonald Singing Plush Cow

We're so in love with our new Ol' McDonald Singing Plush Cow!! Not only is he so incredibly soft and squishy - when you squeeze his tummy he sings the Ol' Mc Donald nursery rhyme. Cutest thing in the whole world? Listening to a just over 1 year old sing E-I-E-I-O! Don't worry - Ill share that in a minute. First - the details. They come in 4 different characters, a Duck, Cow, Lamb or Pig - all making their own animal sound along with the song. They are all baby safe and have no exposed buttons or choking hazards. As always - a huge huge huge thumbs up to Nuby.

And now for your viewing pleasure... Ms. Rozzlyn squishing and loving on "Betsy" our cow :)

Goodbye Sickness, Hello Work!

Wow - It has been a LOOOOONG two weeks. I got sick with the absolute WORST cold I've ever had on December 28th... here it is January 8th and I am still fighting off the sniffles, aches, and pains... In that two weeks Zavery got sick, Rozzlyn got sick... Izzaq got sick - and daddy got it at the end of the cycle. I would not have survived without the natural Hyland's baby and kids cough & cold products!

Everyone is slowly getting better... which is good, because I am out of time. I HAD to get back to work. The nice thing about being self employed is that if you have to take some time off, you can - if You're organized... The problem with being self employed is that if You're not working... nothing is getting done. So here I am! Back at it... sniffling and hand sanitizing along the way... Check out the shop! I've got a few new goodies listed and a brand new Harley Davidson inspired crib set for you to drool over! Bikers beware! If you don't have kids - this bedding may make you want some! ha!