When my sister Elisabeth turned 28, she embarked on a journey, along with her friend to each accomplish @28EpicThings. Their adventures took them all over the globe, pushed them to try new adventures and most of all have fun. In preparation for this birthday, Elisabeth asked me if I was going to accept the same challenge. I don’t have a birthday buddy as those two are, but I am always up for a challenge! I’ve spent the last two years in graduate school. Having recently graduated with my a Master of Science in Nutrition Education my free time has increased immensely and I get bored easily. That leads us right here.
First, let’s get acquainted as we will be spending the next year together. I’ve always been up for an adventure and wanted to march to the beat of my own drum. I believe that balance is the key to life- that’s why I can be a Registered Dietitian and love donuts, with sprinkles.
Sprinkles were banned in my house growing up- all thanks to my mother. She has always said they make her skin crawl. If we paid for our donuts in coins and picked out a sprinkled one she would make us stand outside and eat them. So now I’m 28 and I still pick out sprinkled donuts for my mom.
Yesterday started the beginning of this awesome year of adventure. It included an awesome cake with actual donuts and SPRINKLES. I’m not sure who convinced my mom to let them in her house, but THANK YOU mom!!!!
My first adventure was figuring out how to create a blog. As usual, I did my research, and figured it out. My goal is 28 things I’ve never done before. Maybe it will be more, maybe I’ll fall short. But nevertheless, I know it will be filled with fun, family, and a sprinkled donut!
Holy smokes! It’s been 1 year, 365 days since I became a mom! It’s kind of amazing if you think about it. One second you’re just a pregnant person getting sliced open and the next you’re a mom.
Of all of my credentials, and I have a few, the title of mom is my favorite. To ask me a year ago when I saw Graham, held up above the drape that blocked my insides from view, for the first time where this past year would look like would have been challenging to answer. Being a mom is the best, hardest, fun, tiring, difficult, rewarding, exciting thing ever. Every day is a new adventure.
I know my parents always said time goes so fast, you’ll understand some day. The saying does go something similar to that the nights are long but the days are short. Well I’m sure I don’t understand fully but I’ve learned that time can stand still and speed up at what feels like the same time. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to describe but one I’m sure others understand too. You want to know how your child will be but what them to stay little forever.
From lip ties, cranial helmets, shots, hand, foot and mouth disease, pink eye and colds you’ve had a rough year. We’ve had loss and sadness and yet Graham brought smiles to the faces of many just when we needed it most.
Graham, you have the greatest smile, the silliest laugh, the strangest noises that make you who you are. You are a friend that tries to comfort the sad friends by head hugging. You never cease to amaze me with what you’ll do next. Though I will never understand your love of eating socks, even if they are on our feet.
May you start each day with your infectious smile and laugh. May you be kind to others and a friend to those who need them most. May you continue to let us make mistakes as we continue to navigate parenthood.
Here’s to turning 1 Munch and being such a happy camper! I love you 🥰!
I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking that sometimes insurance companies can be difficult to deal with. Sort of like cable/internet companies. We’ve all dealt with the internet company games, haven’t we? I’ve had my fair share of those long conversations just to save $10/month or something ridiculous. This sort of feels like the same thing- only worse!
At our son’s 4 month appointment his doctor suggested we go see someone about his head as he appeared to have a “misshaped head.” It wasn’t the best thing to hear because we have been working on tummy time everyday from about 10 days old. We have my sister to thank for that but sometimes things happen. I’m still convinced it was due to his wedged spot in my rib cage for 1/2 my pregnancy.
We had trouble getting in to the technician and were under the wire because our insurance company would be changin July 1st and our deductible and out of pocket maximum would be significantly increasing. After a few back and forths with changing appointments I grew frustrated and decided to make an appointment to see a speicalist a the Children’s Hospital. After an evaluation and some x-rays to rule out premature closing of the plates of the skull we were sent back to the original technician in town to order the helmet.
We experienced the literal runaround with the insurance company which was exhausting, frustrating and heartbreaking at times. July 1st we changed insurance companies and we were literally 3 weeks before this point when we made that first appoitnemnt. They are unable to bill the insurance until the helmet is delivered, add on the time before this for the pre-authorization which our old insurance company told me would be ok’d as it was included. But we couldn’t chance it and have it delivered July 2nd and insurance company 2 deny it becuase it wasn’t pre-authorized. So I called our soon to be insurance company and they told me they couldn’t tell me the cost of the helmet it is something covered in the plan. Phew, a sigh of relief. So fast forward to July 1, I call the insurance company to find out what we need to do to start this process and to make sure the provider was in the network. The woman informed me no, it was excluded from our plan. After I kind of lost it, I took the information down and decided I’d try to call back again later. Answer number 3 of whether or not this was covered came later that day when I was told there were exclusions but could be covered if certain criteria were met- one of which was physical therapy.
His PA at Children’s ordered PT after my request- and hoping this would help with the insurance company. After finding out that no it would not be covered I asked the PA to challenge the decision. Much to my surprise, as I was thinking it would never get reversed, I received a call saying they reversed the decision!!!! I cannot convey the headaches and stomachaches this caused us.
I think I spent over 7 hours on the phone about this one issue in 2.5 weeks! I will say that some higher up from the insurance company did call me to tell me about the reversed decision and to appologize for all of the issues we had and things they were doing to correct it so others do not have to go through what we did.
You want to do the right thing as a parent for your child and how can you put a price tag on something he needs? I knew we would get the helmet either way because I didn’t want him growing up and asking why we didn’t fix it or something to that effect.
The moral of my story is to not give up hope. Next time we might not be so lucky. I don’t know why they changed their mind- maybe enough people heard about this situation becuase I went to my employer’s HR department looking for someone else to contact, 7-10 phone calls to the insurance and many other people. At one point I had three different people “working on finding answers” for me! If you’re going through the same thing, hang in there! Just in case you aren’t able to get the insurance company to pay for it, there are grants available- check out United Healthcare Children’s Foundation!
I’ve had quite a few people mention to me that they used to let babies sleepy on their stomachs and then they didn’t have to worry about flat head issues and how it seems many babies nowadays needs a helmet. I found this from the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report and found it helpful.
The incidence of positional skull deformity has been estimated to be as low as 1 in 300 live births to as high as 48% of typical healthy infants younger than 1 year, depending on the sensitivity of the criteria used to make the diagnosis.14 Since the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Infant Positioning and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1992 recommended that healthy infants be positioned supine for sleeping, the incidence of SIDS has decreased from 1.2 per 1000 live births in 1992 to 0.56 per 1000 live births in 2001.3,6,15 Coincident with this decrease in SIDS has been a drastic increase in positional skull deformity, estimated at approximately 13% in healthy singleton infants,14,15 which makes this a relatively common issue to be faced by the pediatrician caring for infants and their families.
Just a few short days after my last post we welcomed our son to the world. He was only 2.5 weeks early and considering we were preparing for a much earlier delivery, I was happy. My water ended up breaking in the middle of the night which meant we had to head to the hospital, but not before we each took a shower! For some reason that felt important for me, not that it made a difference. But, it was two more days until I got another one so in retrospect that was a good thing.
I needed to have a c-section because the baby was breech. As we drove to the hospital and I walked into the Labor and Delivery department, I really wasn’t nervous about being hours away from getting sliced open and becoming a mom. But as the hours ticked away, I definitely grew more nervous and started to feel more contractions which really felt like cramps. We would have been waiting a LONG time if I didn’t have a c-section.
At 8:41 am, my husband announced to everyone in the operating room that it was a boy! I couldn’t believe it because despite feeling like we were having a boy for most of my pregnancy I started to feel towards the end it was a girl- mostly I think to just prepare myself for a girl just in case.
One of the things they asked me before the c-section was how I planned to feed my baby. I was looking forward to breastfeeding, besides all of the benefits it has, I knew that I’d be able to bond with my child as well. I knew that it would be hard work but having just finished growing a human, Bring. It. On. He struggled with breastfeeding because he had a lip tie, preventing him from getting a good latch. The lactation consultants said because his mouth was small that added to his troubles. But we kept trying. We went the pump and feed with breast and formula route. The formula was his supplement until my supply came in. At 1.5 weeks old he saw the pediatrician (thanks to the polar vortex and not being able to go outside) that he was then refereed to the ENT to have his lip tie snipped.
He still was struggling and after 2 weeks of birth I still had little supply to give him. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted breastfeeding to work. I cried so many times because I couldn’t figure it out and he wasn’t gaining weight fast enough. So we had to literally feed him every 2 hours which was stressful as well. We would finally get him to sleep only to have to wake him up less than an hour later. After I was ready to claim defeat in the breastfeeding department I threw my pride to the side and made an appointment with the lactation consultants. They were a great help and provided me with nipple shields to help him. Long story short after a few weeks of trying to breastfeed him right away in the morning when the supply was high enough, I kept growing frustrated and he hated the entire thing. I decided that this just wasn’t in the cards for him and that some was better than none. So I continue to pump. I have the same supply that I left the hospital with, but I so wanted to be able to just have my body provide for him. Clearly it didn’t get the memo!!! Which is frustrating and really bothered me (some days it still does). I’ve decided that a lot of this “guilt” comes from my background.
As a Registered Dietitian I’ve learned all about breastfeeding and how it’s the best for the child, the benefits to the mother, etc. It’s been engrained in the brain and something we would tell patients as well. Once I got past this mental complex – which my boss actually pointed out to me on a visit with the little man to the office-that my body just couldn’t do it, it got better for me. I had to tell myself that I wasn’t a failure or a bad mom because of it. But every time I pull out that bottle in public I feel like I’m getting the mommy glares. Yea lady…I’m talkng to you. Most recently at a baptism meeting where another mom had her bottle of breast milk out as I fed mine. The facilitator asked the other mom about feeding solids to her much older son than mine. The facilitator recognized the color of the breast milk then looks over to me and says “Formula?” and had that look on her face. Before you’re so quick to judge others, you should think twice. You just never know the struggles behind the person who is feeding that child. It wasn’t a choice I really could make, my body made it for me! But boy did I hope and pray that my body would change it’s mind- today would be the day, I just knew it. Well…today never came.
And let me tell you about C-section recovery. It is no joke! Here we are 8 weeks later and I’m starting to feel more normal and not in pain but it was one heck of a recovery. Having a C-section doesn’t make you any less of a mom either. I can only imagine what the woman who had a 12+ hour labor feels like. I give her mad props because you had to endure that pain and anticipation for a long time! I am sure that mom would do the same for someone like me. Laying on a table in an ice cold room as I quickly lost all feeling in my body below my chest from the spinal block. Staring up at the ceiling and a blue curtain while I hold my husband’s hand and waited to hear my baby cry for the first time. Because at the end of the day we both did something incredible and miraculous! If nothing else, this blog post is part of my healing process. While I’ve mostly physically healed, other healing takes time.
Hopefully someone else will read this and feel that it’s ok. Ok to make the unpopular decision. Ok to give yourself time to figure this all out. Ok to change your mind and certainly ok to laugh at yourself for all the things you “surely wouldn’t do as a mother!” There are far too many stories, posts and photos out there that make you feel like you failed or should have done something differently. But you didn’t! At the end of the day none of that matters! Years from now my son won’t ask me why I did or didn’t do certain things, because he will be too busy being the perfectly happy little man that we raised. So give yourself time to heal and then start enjoying the little moments!
I’ve been completely non-existent from my last post about the baseball game. I’m here to fill in the gaps and it actually starts with that very game. I won’t bore you with every little detail but give you the Cliff notes version.
The morning of the White Sox baseball game I found out I was pregnant. I felt like complete garbage and would have rather stayed home but that would have looked suspicious.
Once we received the official word that we were expecting we decided we needed to tell my immediate family as my sister’s wedding was towards the end of summer and we had a bridal shower and bachelorette party to throw and the issue of a bridesmaid dress that might not fit two months from now.
We told the rest of our family on my birthday and they were thrilled.
To say I was exhausted was a complete understatement but luckily that was the worst of my issues, unless you consider losing my sweet tooth for the first 4-5 months! It was terrible- I didn’t even have cake at my sister’s wedding!!
The munchkin was an honorary member of the bridal party!
We enjoyed our second anniversary weekend cheering on my sister as she ran the Chicago Marathon.
We went to our favorite spot in Door County for our anniversary and it was magical as always. It’s amazing how one little cabin in the woods can totally take you away from life and relax you.
We decided early on that we didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby. We’ve had two reactions to this: 1. How cool! 2. Are you crazy?!? Word of advice- don’t call a pregnant woman crazy! No matter what!! But I truly don’t care your opinion on the matter because every couple gets to make the choice. It’s been fun and exciting imagining a daughter or a son and picking out names.
At about 15 weeks I found out that I was passed down some lovely traits in the form of a heart shaped uterus. From that point on I knew there was a chance for a preterm birth and/or a breech baby. So because of that we had everything done earlier just in case. I’m sitting here 1 day shy of 37 weeks, still pregnant and happy I haven’t had to do much for a while.
We passed on hosting Thanksgiving this year but I still managed to make some of the food.
We enjoyed our Christmas vacation as it provided much needed R&R.
We’ve enjoyed so many fun outings as we prepare to add another member to our donut batch! While I’m sure you can’t fully prepare for something you have no idea how to do, we are as ready as we will ever be! All we need is our munchkin!
When I was younger, my dad asked the 3 E’s if we wanted to go to a White Sox game. At the time I had no interest in baseball, so I let the other two go with my dad and I stayed home. My mom promised me we could see a movie and go to dinner and we had a blast!
Fast forward to Spring of this year when my dad asked if we all wanted to go to a game, it happened to be against the Brewers so my husband was definitely in. I knew it would be a fun time and my interest in baseball is much greater than “back in the day” so we decided to go.
We took the train with what seemed like every Brewers fan around and headed to Chicago.
I stood in line for my first game pin and certificate. Yes, there were mostly kids in line but I told the guy working that area that it’s better late than never!
The 3 E’s finally at a game together!
The Brewers won and my husband send home a happy man. But the Sox won that series. Until next time!
This post is long overdue, but better late than never. I tend to write my posts on a train or as a passenger on a longer car ride. I’m currently heading back from Chicago, more on that in another post.
My sister Erin joined a kickboxing gym in the Spring of 2017 and she really loved it! In November they had a referral contest and a cash prize award for the winner. After months of begging me to give it a try I finally did.
I really enjoyed how it was a very different type of workout and needed something to keep me active during the winter months. Despite have to drive 40 minutes one way I took the plunge and joined. I figured I would get to see Erin at class and meet some new people too.
My goal was three times a week and for many months I did just that. Bad weather only kept me away a few times, much to my surprise.
I found muscles I didn’t know I still had and enjoyed hitting and kicking that bag every single time!
We had some friends join us to give kickboxing a try! And managed to make it to class after many nights of wine and Jingle Juice!!
As spring approached and travels for business and pleasure kept me away for almost a month it became harder to keep up my three days a week. My commute to and from class became longer and longer each time due to the ridiculous amount of construction on the interstate and my 1 hour class started turning in to an all evening production.
I totally went into this while thing expecting to hate it, get sick of it by month two and be stuck paying this huge monthly bill for my membership, But that wasn’t the case! I mostly had those thoughts because I hated group fitness classes. The thought of everyone “staring” at me was freighting. I quickly got over that fear and realized no one cared what I looked like!
So while my time at kickboxing is coming to an end (my membership runs out soon) I really enjoyed my experience! That 60 minute class kept my booty moving, I met some awesome people and I got to try something new. How else would I have learned to do a wall sit, planks, kicks and punches?!
Should a studio ever open up MUCH closer to home, I’ll be there ready to get back on that mat! 🥊
Last year for spring break we took a trip to the East Coast to visit my cousin and her husband and watch our future brother-in-law and his father run the Boston Marathon. We somewhat invited ourselves to Easter 2018 at their future home in Colorado. To which my cousins hoped we would actually come! Just a fair warning, this is a long blog, but there’s plenty of pictures!
We began our trip at 3:00 pm after I picked my husband up from school and on our way we went! We drove six hours to Des Moines where I found a hotel online one hour before we arrived. I was nervous about such a great deal, but it was 8pm on a Thursday in the middle of Iowa.
We had a 10 hour drive ahead of us and hit no traffic until we hit Denver en route to Colorado Springs. I took a short nap only to be woken up by the brakes being used and I saw mountains! I was quite amazed! We reached our destination shortly after 5:30pm Mountain time. We shortly turned around to pick up my older sister at the Denver Airport.
We woke up and had breakfast then went on a walk while the two runners and Penny, the dog, went for a run. A walk at altitude was more than a workout for us!! After lunch we took a trip to the US Air Force Academy where my cousin attended college. He told us so many interesting stories about what life was like in college and the history of the buildings.
We finally changed into regular clothes and hit a Wisconsin bar to watch the Loyla basketball game. My sister is an alum as she attended for graduate school. They sadly lost, but we enjoyed our time.
We ate dinner at Bingo Burger. The burgers were huge and the fries were delicious! I loved the Cranberry BBQ Sauce. The burgers had Peublo Chilies mixed it which added some kick. Complete with locally made Root Beer!
On our walk my cousins pointed out Tasty Freeze but weren’t sure if it was open. We stopped by after dinner to which they were excited to see an OPEN sign. I love soft serve ice cream AND sprinkles. They had the coolest machine to apply sprinkles to the ice cream cones.
The evening was capped off with making The Prinsis carrot cake- a recipe we developed back in 2008 or so and watching Back to the Future.
HAPPY EASTER!! A delicious brunch with the best Lemon Sticky Rolls was followed by church.
We took a trip to see the Garden of the Gods. Very fitting on Easter to see the beauty! It was very busy.
We went up Cheyenne Mountain where my fear of heights was solidified! Maybe it was the windy, skinny roads or the altitude, but it was high! We were able to see the city down below and the beautiful sights.
Our time in Colorado Springs came to an end. My cousins had to go back to work and my sister needed her ride to the airport. We would then be spending time with my other cousin and her husband who live outside of Denver. We took a drive into the mountains and stopped to eat and try some beer at Tommy Knockers.
Dillon Dam Brewery was stop two on our day’s adventure.
We had to take a stop at Red Rocks Amphitheater. My cousins only live about 10 minutes from it. I thought it was pretty cool that the CCC helped to build this. They earned $1 per day and only kept $5 a month and sent the rest to their families back home.
We set off early for Voodoo Doughnuts. We found it interesting that they are open 24/7 and take cash only, but do have an ATM inside. If you haven’t figured out that I LOVE donuts, I’m not quite sure what to say!! I gave up donuts for lent. I had two on Mardi Gras, which feels like forever ago!! My excitement level was through the roof!! Yes, I wore my donut attire!!
We killed some time in Downtown Denver at Union Station and walking around until it was time to taste some beer. We started at Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver’s first brewpub. I have an affinity for milk stouts so I went with that. My husband on the other hand was dying to try Rocky Mountain Oysters (RMO), see: bull testicles. He had a beer that had RMO brewed in it. The bartender noticed my donut short and asked if I liked donuts. I enthusiastically said yes, to which she explained that they have a beer brewed with 1000 donuts and espresso. She gave us a sample of the Bad Habit. Then she said they have Badder Habit, which is the same beer brewed in whiskey barrels. These beers were tasty. Thanks to that shirt we would have never even tried them as they weren’t on the beer menu!
Food was a necessity so we stopped at a Wisconsin fave that’s also located in Denver, Ian’s Pizza.
Our time to leave Colorado arrived. We enjoyed our time there so much! We made a last-minute decision to head back to Colorado Springs and visit the US Olympic Training Center. I recently posted about my love for the Olympics if you need the background story. I was so excited to visit and walk in the very location of decorated Olympian’s and talented athletes.
We departed and made our way across the also boring state of Kansas to arrive in Kansas City, MO for our next stop. I had made a hotel reservation months ago and we arrived late to our hotel. We were given our room and keys and we headed to the room. We opened the door and there was a suitcase and an unmade bed. We had been given a room that was already occupied!!! I had heard of this happening to others but I’m unsure how this happens!! We were given a new upgraded room.
We slept in! I rarely sleep in but the hotel room was the darkest room I’ve slept in since we left home! We had breakfast at the hotel and made our way on foot to LaMar’s Donuts. We were completely overwhelmed with all of the choices so we settled on 6 donuts. We took advantage of the buy 2 get 1 free specialty donut, which is anything without a hole in the middle.
These donuts were so delicious! Soft on the inside, just the right crispness on the outside, not oily at all!
We headed to the National World War I Museum and Memorial. We had trouble figuring out where the entrance was as we walked from our hotel and the sidewalk was closed. It was a very interesting museum with great interactive pieces and videos.
The Hallmark Visitor Center was a short walk away and a stop I wanted to make. We learned about how JC Hall started what we know as Hallmark.
Our next stop was the Harry S Truman Library and Museum. This is my third Presidential library. I enjoy them because they provide such a vast amount of information from various areas. Every where you turned there was some type of interactive activity.
We took a short trip to Truman’s home. My dad told us to stop as he made the same stop in 1973.
We came to Kansas City and we wanted some great BBQ!! I had read a bunch of blogs and websites about where the best BBQ in the Kansas City area. The consensus was that Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que was the #1 spot to go. They have quiet the interesting history on how they began. Check out the hyperlink above! Because of that I wanted to check out the original spot- in a gas station!
The BBQ sauce had just the right amount of heat, the smoke on the meat was perfect! I could’ve eaten two full dinners it was so good!!!
We had quite the busy day and wanted to just have a relaxing evening before our final trek home the next day, so we just chilled out and watched some movies.
We had a very uneventful drive home. A little bit of snow, some very cold weather. I managed to watch 3.5 movies thanks to being able to watch certain Netflix movies being downloaded. We arrived home to a new kitchen sink and new hallway lights and a desire to just chill out!!
We had a busy week away from home, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! Now to see where next year’s spring break will lead us….
True confession time, I’m a huge Hunger Games fan! I started reading the books when I was in my previous job waking up in different hotels every week. It was the perfect escape from the monotony. I read through the series quickly!
With every new movie release that I would grab my sisters and head to the theater. I loved Katniss, THE GIRL ON FIRE (said in a Caesar Flickerman voice). Then about five years ago I became the actual girl on fire when there was a small accident with a gas fireplace. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and things could have been much worse. I became airborne as I flew across the room with the hair that famed my face ignited. It was traumatic but, The nickname Girl on Fire stuck.
I loved the cowl that Katniss has in the movies. I wanted one so bad! I even put it on a Christmas list, but all I received was a gift card to purchase yarn to make it! There was NO way I’d ever be able to knit that! I only knew how to knit square things.
But after my non-square project, my first hat, I was feeling brave. I figured it would take me months to do, but it didn’t take nearly long at all. I’m sure i could have completed the cowl much sooner but I’m not a knit til it’s done person. I knit them out it down, come back a week later, etc.
Cake decorating isn’t something new to me. I grew up with some of the coolest cakes then I “graduated” to helping my mom to eventually making them on my own. I’ve wanted to attend cake decorating classes so I could learn some fundamentals!
I attended two classes in February and learned some cool new tips and tricks!
Birthday season in my family will be here soon! I’m excited to try some of the things I learned on the many cakes we will be making.