Wednesday, August 25, 2010


A very Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, John!

I LOVE this sweet, messy, everyday togetherness of ours. I love sharing this kind of connection that only comes from doing life side by side- taking the bad with the good, enjoying the little, unremarkable moments along with the big, unforgettable ones. And especially on your birthday, I want you to know, I can't imagine a more wonderful man to be sharing it all with.

Happy Birthday John,
I love you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So there was this time I developed Pancreatitis and I could have died..

Oh yeah, that was last week! What a terrible terrible week!

My doctor said that my levels were very high. Like off the charts high. I am thankful that I did not really have access to internet for the 4 days I was at the hospital to know that pancreatitis can be deadly. I think if I had known I would have been even MORE of a mess!

Ok. So I came home from the hospital on Saturday, still in pain, after 4 days in the hospital, but happy to be home. On Monday morning I had to go BACK to the hospital to have an x-ray done to see if the stent had fallen out of my pancreas like it was supposed to or not.

Well of course it didn’t. There has not been an “easy button” for this entire process. Or any process really.


My body just does not seem to cooperate when it comes to medical issues!!!

Yesterday the doc said that the reason that the surgery on Wednesday was so difficult is just my anatomy. My body cavity is pretty small (I am shaped like a pear, small on top and then it rounds out on the bottom!) and there just is not much room to move around. That also could be why the stent did not fall out, everything in there is so compact, it was holding it into place!

So back to Monday! I had to have the procedure done, again to get the stent out. I about LOST it (who am I kidding, I did lose it!) when they said I was going to have to be sedated, they were going to have to go down my throat again, all to get it out!!! My dear friend Shannon had taken me to the hospital because John had a flight so she got to see me at my absolute worst! We had to run around very quickly to the lab to get a pregnancy test done, and then to the administration office to get all of the paperwork done for the procedure. It took about an hour and a half and when we were on our way back to the GI office, the receptionist was in the hallway looking for us! I guess they wanted to do the procedure NOW!!!

  • Side note- when we were sitting in the lab waiting for my pregnancy test (standard protocol), they called a Code Blue over the intercom! It was in the women's restroom of the outpatient pharmacy just down the way from us. It made me so sad because some of the people in the lab were sort of making fun of the fact of dying in the bathroom. I just felt sad for this women and I hope she was able to be revived and is ok!

Ok so they immediately took me back into the GI suite for the procedure and got me all hooked up with my IV, heart monitor, etc. This was my 6th or 7th IV of the week. I have bruises all up and down my arms. Last time I had this procedure done, I had an allergic reaction to the sedation medications (and I did not sedate, i stayed awake) so I was really nervous. Not to mention I was terrified that the doctor messing with my pancreas again would cause another run of the pancreatitis.

They pushed Benadryl preemptively which thankfully calmed me down quite a bit. The nurses kept calling down to the lab to get my HCG result, which was taking a while. They ended up wheeling me into the procedure room prior to having the results, and there was a loud cheer when they finally came through! YAH!


So again, I was terrified of not sedating, of being awake for the procedure again (like I was a couple of weeks ago), but the doctor assured me he would give me enough medication to “knock a horse out”, and that he did. I woke up in recovery and everything went great. Praise the lord! He removed the stent, I do not remember a thing, the pancreatitis did not get worse, and I was able to come home immediately! HOORAY!

Now I am just waiting for the pain to completely go away so that I can go get Owen. I miss the little guy. Jackie said he has been talking up a storm and telling her when he has gone potty. I cant wait to hold him and snuggle him. I walked into his room last night for the first time since he left and I got so sad! While I am so glad he has not been here for the whole process, I miss the little guy a TON!

Thank you everyone for your amazing thoughts and prayers. I would not have been able to get through the last week without all of you. And for my husband, who has seen me at my worst and still tells me I am beautiful! I love you!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Surgery update

Well, as I sit here in the hospital, on Friday night, I figured I would type out a few things about how my surgery went.

Not great!

On Wednesday I went in for a ERCP. The day did not start off great… the nurse man could not get my IV in! Two veins blew, and then he finally got it into my hand. That was PAINFUL! So after waiting several hours, there was a back up on the surgical floor, I went in for my surgery. I was really nervous about not falling asleep, but I did just fine. After the surgery the doctor said that the procedure should have taken about 20-30 minutes, but mine took about an hour and 20 minutes! YIKES!

I did not come out of the anesthesia very gracefully! I was throwing up and just in a ton of pain. I immediately realized that my upper part of my stomach area was BURNING so badly! I was crying out in pain. My doctor came by and said that the surgery had a few complications- one of which caused him to have to do some work in my pancreas, and therefore he suspected I had pancreatitis.

They immediately started pushing tons of fluids and giving me ridiculous amounts of pain medication. It helped, but the burning still would not go away.

So today is Friday, and while I am doing better, I am still in terrible pain. They are giving me morphine every 2 hours and Percocet every 6 hours for the pain.

Quite possibly the worst part though is that I have not had anything to eat since Tuesday. Today they finally gave me tons of juices, a little bit of broth, and some jello- but truthfully all it did was make me even more hungry. I am craving the most RANDOM things right now- like White Chocolate Macadamia nut cookies. YUM!!!!

I am so incredibly bored, have been sleeping a ton, but I am just BORED! I am unable to get onto the internet except a little bit on my phone. I have books and magazines, but it just is not cutting it! 

I am trying to be brave and just roll with the punches, but a hungry, bored, in pain Amy is probably not the nicest Amy you have ever seen!


Today, Saturday, I was finally given some food! I handled it well and I was allowed to come home around 2pm! SO HAPPY!!!

I have to go in on Monday and get an X-ray done to see if a stint fell out of my pancreas. If it has not, I will have to basically go through the procedure AGAIN and the doc will go down and get it out.

Lets all hope that does not happen!

I am so much to updated on what happened at my house, how I miss Owen terribly (he is in Pennsylvania! I have not seen him since Wednesday)!

But first, I just want to say THANK YOU so much to my friends and family for all of the sweet calls, the flowers, the notes, etc! Your thoughts and prayers are definitely what helped me get through the 4 days staying there!



Monday, August 16, 2010

So nervous!

I am trying not to think about the fact that in 2 days I am going to have a surgical procedure done! I have no idea why I am so freaked out about it- but for some reason I just get worked up. 

On Wednesday I am going to have an ERCP with cutting and a stint done. I will be sedated in the OR and a tube will be placed down my throat. The doctor will use that tube to put instruments down into my stomach and eventually into my common bile duct. He will inject dye into it and view the dye on an XRay to see where the bile is stuck exactly. He will then clean out the bile duct, cut the sphincter (or maybe he does that first, I can't remember), and put a stint in to hopefully let the bile flow more freely.

I do not know which part of it freaks me out the most. Just the me not being in control part I guess.

I have control issues!

I also have strep throat- as does Owen. I was supposed to drive to PA yesterday to drop him off with the inlaws- but the sicknesses prevented me from doing such. So my MIL drove down here tonight instead.

It is the beginning of a crazy week.

I will try to refrain from freaking out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sewing projects #1 and #2

I worked on my first two sewing projects!!!! It was more difficult than I had hoped they would be, but I definitely learned a lot!

This is a 1 sided napkin. I need to work on taking better photos, but it was really late and I wanted to show these off for my husband who is currently away! I had sort of a hard time at first keeping the stitch straight.


The second napkin is a 2 sided with ric-rack. It was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be, but it ended up turning out ok!


I am excited to learn more about sewing! I think right now I am lacking a bit of confidence that I need to just make myself go with it!!!

The next project is a bag to use for presents, I am excited to start!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home Ec!

I am stuck in that Mommy rut! Moms, you know what I am talking about. The rut where you feel like all you ever do is cook, clean, laundry, take care of a little persons bodily fluids. Yup. That rut.

So when Gussy mentioned an online sewing class called Home Ec, I was all over it. I have had a sewing machine for several years and much to Johns dismay, I have only used it a few times.

So I immediately signed up for the class. Here is the link to the information -->HERE<--. You can still sign up through Sunday, and the class will be live online for a whole year!!! That means you can do it at your own pace. At the end, you should be able to make a duvet cover!!!! I am so excited to get started. Just last night i watched a tutorial on how to use your sewing machine, and I realized I have been threading my machine wrong (duh)!

Today, for motivation, I went out (with coupons) and got some fabric to motivate me to be really excited about the class!

Here are some of the larger pieces of fabric



And then the smaller, 18x21 pieces I got..




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And these 3, well I got them specifically to make something for my best friend Erin. These SCREAM her name!!!


I absolutely can not wait to start the class and make beautiful projects!!!!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Owens eating habits

If you know me in the real world, you know about my love affair for tacos. It is a sickness I am sure! I can put away like 7 tacos in 1 meal, and be just as excited to eat them again for the next meal. Probably one of the saddest part of my pregnancy with Owen (well I mean besides the terrible sickness, multiple hospital trips, and scary times) was that I absolutely could not eat mexican food. I will spare you the gory details, but one time when I had lunch with my friend Laura, I had to rush home because it did not agree with me, and it caused me to have ridiculous contractions at about 26 weeks. Prior to that, the thought of tomatoes or cheese made me so nauseous that I could not even think about tacos.

So once I had Owen, I started eating tacos again right away. I never really watched what I ate while breastfeeding like some people do (except alcohol of course).  I know some refrain from eating strong flavors such as garlic and onions, but I figured I was going to be cooking him food with garlic and onions soon, why refrain from him eating it during nursing?
I am so glad I did! Because now my little guy is quite the mexican food fan, tacos, enchiladas, flautas, quesadillas. You name it, he loves it!
For lunch today I had my 12th-16th tacos of the week, and I made Owen a chicken taco quesadilla. As you can see in the photos below, he also likes “fixins”. Y’all, my kid loves guacamole!!!!! And taco sauce!!!! (mild of course). He loves to dip his quesadilla in his “fixins” and proceeds to say “Yum!!! Mmmmm” when eating.

Truthfully, who can blame him. Taco fixins are one of my favorite things too!
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I am so proud that my guy loves the same foods as me. Makes lunch time more fun!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Some recent photos


I know I have said this so many times, but Owen SERIOUSLY loves his Maggie. He normally calls her NaNa, but lately he has been copying John and I and calling her Maggie Dog! It is so cute. She absolutely makes him light up. Today he decided to treat Maggie like his baby. He put his blanket on her when he was napping, he started calling her baby, and at one point he tried to get her to drink milk from his sippy cup. It was so cute!


This weekend Aunt Michelle came to visit. I can not believe that I did not get ANY photos! While she was here we went to the consignment store and got him some winter sweaters on great sale. I had Owen do a little fashion show for me last night. The sweaters are a bit big, but hopefully they will last through the winter. On the second picture you can see how his curls have come back since his hair cut. Sometimes it is flatter, but mostly the curls are back! I wonder if he will end up with curly hair as he gets older…


Today our friends Tina and Mia came over. Mia and Owen have a love/hate relationship at times. They act like they are brother and sister and fight over toys. Owen got into his car today, and Mia jumped in right next to him. He liked it for a while, but then decided he wanted some space. Good boy- stay away from girls! haha.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

The question I hate the most

Is by far… “Where do your {parents} live?”

Or really anything dealing with the word {Parents}.

It strikes up in me a conversation that I hate to have with people. I have no idea why I am so embarrassed of my past, why I want to hide it, why I think possibly that it will change others opinions of me. But I do feel that way.

I dodged the question of {PARENTS} with John for MONTHS! We were in college and getting to know each other. Any time he asked me anything about my {PARENTS} I would say “Yeah my family lives in Virginia”, “Yeah my family is from…”, my family this or my family that. I never committed to saying my {parents}. I think he finally realized I was dodging the question and asked me to explain. I am sure I avoided it even longer.

Why you ask?

I have a CRAZY family story. One that I will go into one day. But basically, lets just say that I do not have parents. I did, my mother passed away (not before my grandmother adopted me since my mother had MANY psychological issues). My father- well lets just say he decided when I was young that he did not want much to do with me. So for all intents and purposes, I do not have parents. I have family, but I do not have parents.

Since we are a military family, I am constantly meeting new people. The inevitable question always comes up. Now I just say “My whole family lives in Virginia”. It is just easier that way!

What question do YOU hate the most?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My new design!

So I have been pretty bored with my blog for a while. I just could never adjust as many things as I wanted, it was too dark, not fun enough, and I just was not in love. After a bunch of thinking I decided to have an e-friend do my blog redesign. And now I can honestly say I am in LOVE!
Becca over at took all of my ideas and made them so much better. I love how fresh and clean the blog turned out. I choose some of the fonts, but didn’t she do a great job with the blog description???
I would definitely recommend heading over to her site if you are interested in a blog redesign. Her rates are more than reasonable and she does such an amazing job.
Becca also does amazing invitations! Check her out at !!
Thanks so much for the great job Becca!

Check out my new blog

More info to come, but check out my new fun blog design!!!! I am in love!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My diagnosis

Well, I finally have a diagnosis! I have Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction- or a Disease of the Common Bile Duct Sphincter. Wow, a lot of words! What does it all mean? Basically it means there is obstructed flow of bile through my sphincter of oddi, which can cause retention of bile in the biliary tree and pancreatic juice in the pancreatic duct.

After getting this diagnosis the first thing i did was look up what the Sphincter of Oddi is…: a muscular valve that controls the flow of digestive juices (bile and pancreatic juice) through the ampulla of Vater into the second part of the duodenum.


So, the doctor is going to do a procedure, a Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). He is going to do an endoscopy to go into the common bile duct area and inject dye. He will then look at it on an X-ray, clean the sludge out of the common bile duct, and cut the sphincter to make it so that bile can flow through without getting caught up. I will be completely knocked out, and this will be done in the OR. I am a little freaked out as this is a pretty serious procedure, but I am thankful to finally have an answer.

The procedure will be done on August 18th in the morning. Thoughts and prayers are much appreciated!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Haircut

On Sunday I decided to cut Owens out of control hair! Since about January he has been growing little curls, and they were beginning to look a little ratty. Each day he would wake up with a rats nest looking head of hair. So in the interest of not spending  $30 at the children's hair cut place, i figured I would cut it myself. Since he has curly hair, for now, it does not have to be 100% perfect!

This is Owen pre haircut!

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Wetting down the curls!

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My favorite picture of the day- he looks like he is saying “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING, MOM???”

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All done!

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I’m not sure what I will do with the hair that I saved… put it in his baby book I guess??

Cutting his hair was another reminder that my baby boy is growing up. I am so proud of him!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Disturbed by "Quality Parenting"

Friday I witnessed two separate instances of horrific parenting that have left me angry, sad, scared, thankful for where my child will grow up, and devastated that these children are being subjected to the terrible things that they are.

The first occurred Friday morning at the lab on base. I had to go get some pre-op stuff done and took Owen with me. While sitting down waiting for our number to be called, a family consisting of a father, mother, and a child, came in and sat behind us. The little girl was upset that her mother would not let her push the button that gives you your number in line. They sat down, and Owen smiled at the little girl and was saying hi to her. The Father said to his little girl, "Why are you crying, look at that little boy, he is not crying, he is laughing at you for being such a baby".

I was SHOCKED! I could not believe he would say this to his child. No, my child was NOT laughing, he was simply smiling at another child.

As the minutes went on the unbelievable actions of these parents continued. They were looking in a book of some sort, and when they came across a monkey the father said "Hey Susie, look, it is a monkey, what is your mother doing in the book"? Which in itself I guess is not TOOO bad, but then when they came across a hippo, the mother said the same thing about the father. They both sat there egging the child on in calling the opposite parent degrading animal names.

I was so shocked at their behavior that I could not even say anything. Thankfully they called me back pretty quickly so I did not have to let my child watch any more of that. Looking back now, I wish I had said something when they said Owen was laughing at their child. I should have put my own pride to the side and said somehting like "No, my child is not laughing at you honey, he would not do something so rude to hurt your feelings". Or something.

The second encounter happened last night while we were at Applebees for dinner. We went out to celebrate my birthday. We went pretty early, about 4:45pm, to beat the crowd and at a time where Owen hopefully would not scream. WELL, Owen's behavior was in no way the issue!

A family sat in the booth behind us. It consisted of a grandmother, another older woman that I am not sure her relation, and two little girls, ages 2 and 4 probably.

The children were bouncing from seat to seat, screaming, and visibly bothering the people in their neighboring tables. The "adults" did little to control the kids other than threatening to "whip their a$$". At one point the grandmother went so far as to taunt one of the little girls; saying "hit me, go ahead, hit me, I dare you". When the girl did, she put her over her lap, and proceeded to spank her at least 10 times. It almost seemed like she refused to stop until the girl began to cry. While I believe spankings definitely have their place, that place is most definitely not the middle of the dining room of Applebees.

It really went downhill from there. Both adults were cussing both at the children and in casual conversation between each other. LOUDLY, in a restaurant. At one point, the future Grandmother of the Year, took the younger of the two girls outside with her to enjoy a mid-meal cigarette. She proceeded to blow the smoke DIRECTLY in the child's face while speaking to her. At this point I thought John's head was going to explode.

The icing on the cake was after the store manager was giving his pre-shift brief. While he was in the door to the kitchen he was speaking to his employees loud enough that yes we could hear. The grandmother got VERY angry that her "pleasant" dining experience was being interrupted and said (quite loudly may I add), "DOES HE HAVE TO BE SO LOUD, WE ARE TRYING TO ENJOY OUR MEAL" (really lady, really??)

Hello pot. This is the kettle. You're black.

It took everything in me not to stand up and give these women a piece of my mind. But as a child of an abusive home, I know that all that would do is make it more difficult for the children. When my abusive mother received criticism, she projected that on me.

It makes me so sad that those children had to endure this. And if that is how the adults behave in public, I would hate to see what happens behind closed doors!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Tomorrow I am having an upper GI endoscopy done to take a look at my stomach and surrounding areas to check out what in the world has been going on for the past few months.

I am a nervous wreck!