Monday, August 13, 2012

Eat, Eat, Eat!

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite tables to eat at:

Good morning!

Big Blue Bagel : When I want to get a taste of New York, this is where I go. Salt bagel and cream cheese is complete yumminess. 

The Pancake House : A plate of six huge peanut butter pancakes right in front of me. Yes please!

Huddle House : I get the two egg breakfast. Two scrambled eggs, with cheese, warm buttered toast and hash browns. I adore their cheesy scrambled eggs.

Hot off the grill!

Mugshots : The Hicks... chopped chicken breast, sauteed with red onions, on a sourdough roll with lettuce and tomato. I love it.
Baha Burger : Sad news. They closed down. Actually, they re-opened under a new name, but I have yet to go and see if it is truly the same burgers. I used to get a beef burger with feta, sauteed onions, cheese. Yummm. 
Gus's Hotdogs : Not my Gus. He wishes. I love their hotdogs. I order a regular. Hotdog with sauerkraut, mustard and their special sauce. They are perfect. They normally come with diced onions, but I ask them to nix the onions.

Travel the world!

Shangri-La : We have been craving Chinese food, good Chinese food, and we finally found a place to go. They have a great lunch special too! Their food is so good. I've only been there once, but I ordered beef with broccoli when we had a meal there.

Tazikis : This is when we want some Greek food... I always get grilled chicken roll ups. Chicken with feta and tomatoes. Mmm mmm good. Fresh and tasty!

Chipotle : steak burrito with rice and beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream... I love their food!

P.F.Changs : sweet and sour chicken! Oh, and their fried green beans. I can taste it now! 

Brio : The best Italian place I've found around. They have a lobster, pasta dish and a lobster soup that is just ah-mazing! I love starting with a salad and soup, then go to my meal, and end with a small sweet dessert!

Zona Rosa : Best Mexican, but they closed. It was such a cute little place and I adored their fresh fajitas. They were always just right.

Stix : Japanese... I'm not adventurous when it comes to food. Mono is the one that goes for that. I like their fried rice and veggies with shrimp. And they cook it right in front of you! So fun.

Kool Korner : From what we've found, this is the only Cuban restaurant around. It's not a full restaurant, more like a sandwich shop. The man that runs it is about 90 years old and he is beginning to expand his menu. It's all so delicious and real Cuban cooking... though, don't tell him, but Bella's cooking is much better!

Alfredos: Alfredos was our favorite pizza place. They had great pizza, as close to the real kind (New York) as we had found, and great salads. Their meatball heroes were amazing too. And they knew what a hero was! Not a sub, not a hoagie... a hero! It was our go to, quick lunch or Friday night place. They closed the location by our house and just kept the location that is further away. We were devastated to say the least. Now we get our pizza at Whole Foods and that is really good, but it's just not Alfredos.

The Fish Market : The man that owns this is Greek and his food is delish! It's mostly all fresh seafood, but they have a few other things. The place has a great atmosphere and we all love it there! It was the very first place I took Bello when I met him, after picking him up from the airport when he came to meet me!


Saw's : Saw's is a more recent find for us, but it is Mono's favorite... and his Mom's too! It is a small, tiny place, but they have great barbecue. My favorite is their stuffed potatoes. Mono loves anything with their pork!

Dreamland : This was one of our first barbecue joints that we found and fell in love with. Their sauce is amazing, and if you ask Mono, so is their banana pudding! It's a great little environment too! They have tons of slabs of ribs cooking on the fire right there near you. It's quite the sight to see.

Sweet Bones :This sweet spot closed, but the food was tasty and their little sweet potato muffins were soooo yummy!


Zaxby's : I love their boneless chicken wings in sweet and spicy sauce, served with ranch dressing, fries and my favorite (really) celery sticks!

Chick-fil-a : They are a great, great fast food spot! I love the people that work there, the service, the freshness of the food, everything. They also have great milkshakes and lemonade!

Jimmy John's : Love their sandwiches. Fresh baguettes and wonderfully fresh toppings!

Sweet Tooth! 

Costco : They have the best, creamy frozen yogurt... vanilla and chocolate swirl.

Hamburger Heaven : Best milkshakes around! Chocolate please!

Dreamcakes : This is the local cupcake shop! yumm-o You know I love cupcakes!

Steel City Pops : New place in town... at least kinda. Everything is freshly made right there. Their coffee pop is the best, but since I am pregnant, I've only had a few licks of it. Strawberry cream is my go-to. And in my opinion. Peach cream is awful! Maybe I just got a bad one.

 There are other places we go to, but these are the ones that popped into my head first. And the first place I want to eat when I am not pregnant is Gus's Hotdogs. I haven't had a hotdog since December and I miss the way they make them! And right now, this very second, I'd love a swirly yogurt from Costco!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

They're Back!

Let me start out by telling you, if I am posting a picture of my feet/toes, you have to know I am incredibly excited about them. I dislike my feet very much, and normally would be hiding them. This may be your only chance to see them... so take a good look! ha.

My ankles are back! Ever since I have been in the hospital and on medicine for my blood clot (That's in another post), my ankles have re-appeared! I am beyond excited! There is still some swelling, but my goodness, the difference is huge!

I will be thirty-five weeks this coming week, which means our boys are arriving in a hair over two weeks. Yes, just two weeks! Can you believe it? I certainly cannot. And I will be back in the hospital in 12-14 days from today. I have to be admitted early so they can switch the medicine for my blood clot so I can safely have a c-section.  

Please pray for me. I beg you for your prayers that all goes well these days leading up to the 28th, including the medicine switch.

The Adventure's of Room 319

Back on Sunday night, one week ago today, I had my normal swelling in my legs/feet, especially my right side. This was nothing new. I showed the doctor and she even felt as though it was just normal pregnancy swelling and told me to keep my legs up and reduce salt intake as much as possible. Okay, I followed directions and then on Sunday night I had an excruciating and long lingering charley horse. It made me cry and I couldn't move an inch. I didn't know what to do. After that I couldn't walk because of the pain and my calf (right side) was swollen quite a bit. I honestly thought the pain and swelling was from a pulled muscle that happened during the charley horse.

On Monday my parents came to visit and they saw my leg. They both separately asked if I thought it could have anything to do with a blood clot. I thought they were insane. Of course it has nothing to do with a blood clot! It's just swelling and pain from the charley horse and the normal swelling. That is what I thought at least. Later that evening, around 9, they mentioned it again. And again, I thought they were crazy. I don't have a blood clot. My leg is not red, hot, nothing besides these normal symptoms. 

Well, to just appease them, I spoke with my father-in-law, who is a doctor and just asked what the symptoms were and told him what I was experiencing. Little did I know, he would right away send me to the ER. He said, "Mare, have someone take you to the ER right away. It could be a blood clot." I said to him, "Papi, are you serious? You honestly think I could have a blood clot and I have to go to the ER? Are you sure?!" So, off my parents, Mono, and I went around 9:15 to Labor and Delivery (I called ahead there and they said come in to just be sure). 

My monitors... yes I was contracting too. 

Loved all my bracelets! Quite the collection, huh!? The orange one was my Austin bracelet... I chose to keep that in the collection, the rest were mandatory.
To make a long story short, if that is even possible for me to do, they really didn't think I had a clot. They thought the pain was from a muscle pull and the swelling as well. But they ordered an ultrasound to check my leg for a clot. The tech came in and she started at the very top of my leg, pressed down really hard and went down to my ankle to check to see what was up. She was friendly, but then as she was doing the u/s, she stopped chatting and then said, "Someone will be right back." Then the nurse came in and said, "Did she say anything to you?" And I said that she hadn't. Apparently, she walked out to the nurses station and had an awful look on her face and that is when the nurse came in to talk to me... She told me that I have a blood clot that runs the length of my entire right leg. Then she began to tell me I cannot put any pressure on my right leg at all and I'd be admitted into the hospital. So they wheeled my bed into my room, #319 - my birthday (March 19th!) and they had to kind of roll me onto the other bed. I couldn't even get off my bed to the other. I was immediately put on medicine so the clot would not break off at all or get any larger. At this point, it was quite late. I was all hooked up to monitors, as were each of the boys, I had my IV in with everything that I needed to be getting and when things were settled, around 1:30, Mom and Mono went home. Dad stayed with me that night. Mono couldn't because he had to be at work really early and needed his clothes and all. He came for a quick visit though during the day the next day to see how I was during his lunch break. And then he spent the rest of the nights with me and Mom and Dad went home for the night. They came back in the morning when Mono had to be at work and then Mono came back for lunch and then after work.
Fun times in room 319! That picture of me not fully in bed rest, is when I was leaving.
Besides Mono and my parents visiting, I had a few friends stop by and a few priests we are friendly with. Everyone was so kind to spend time with me during my stay at the hospital. Everyone brought some sort of goody or another. MUCH better than the yucky hospital food.

I stayed there until Thursday and was discharged that afternoon. I was beyond happy! Now that I am home, I am on strict bed rest, only being allowed up for the bathroom and an occasional shower. I have to give myself my own shots twice a day and take the other medicine they sent me home on. Bed rest stinks, especially with the even bigger stomach that I have grown, but if it is going to help me and also help keep the boys inside, I'll do whatever I have to do! Mono has been good about helping me in the evenings when he gets home from work and my parents will be back tomorrow to help me during the day. Good thing I got what I did done for the boys' arrival!!
 I had an IV with two bags (one fluid, one medicine - only one pictured) in one arm and a zillion needle pokes from all the blood I needed drawn in the other.

So that was the 34th week excitement! Do you think that is enough to last the next couple weeks? I surely hope so!

I've gained more weight, but they think a lot of it was fluid from all that I was getting through the IV. So we will see tomorrow when I go back for a check up how much I actually have gained. My stomach has definitely gotten bigger and the boys are moving around, slowly, but I feel it a lot more. They are loving pressing into my ribs and jabbing my back and leaning on every organ they can find, poking out my stomach as much as they possibly can. I think they are just ready to come out... and I'm ready for them to come out... but not until the 28th! Their movement hasn't hurt until recently and my goodness, does it hurt! Maybe it's worse with two of them, or maybe I am just a big wuss. It's probably the later. haha. 
Yucky hospital food. I ate what I could from each meal, but I told them a few times not to bring me anything... and then my parents brought in real food!
I don't have all that much else to say for this week. It was eventful, yet uneventful with all the bed rest. They boys say hello. They're trying to pop out... always worse at night! 

I'll update you for week 35!

The Visit I've Been Waiting To Make!

Okay, I'm really behind on some of my posts. Back on July 21st, Mono and I went to visit Austin. I was not allowed to make any fun trips this summer. We had to cancel two weeks of vacations we were going to take, that I was really looking forward to. But, I did make a trip over to Atlanta to visit our friend. 
This trip was truly worth more than all the other summer vacations combined! I was so happy I was able to survive the ride there and back and the visit. I had to sit in the backseat with my legs propped up. My ankles were swollen, but you can't tell much because they don't look so bad in this picture.
 His parents, one of his sisters, and his girlfriend were all there, so it was lots of fun! We talked, he showed us his new tricks, then we ate, took a little tour, got some coffee and then talked some more! We were there for a while, and I could have stayed longer, but we wanted him to have time with everyone else since they weren't going to be in town long.
Like I said earlier, Austin showed us some of his new tricks that he could do. The progress he has made since being brought to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta absolutely amazed me! At one point when he showed me what his left arm could do, I got goosebumps and was totally blown away! I am so thankful he is at this rehab facility and is making the progress that he is!
Please continue to keep him in your prayers. Though he is always making progress and giving it his all, he still has a long road ahead and needs all the prayers and encouragement that he can!
 Austin still had his most amazing personality. Cheerful and positive, always making us laugh. It was so wonderful to see him, and his family. I wish we could go back, but it doesn't look like there is any traveling off this couch for me for a while! And Mono needs to stick around to help me since I cannot get up.

Austin's sister, Meghan, ordered these bracelets for people who wanted to support him and donate a little money to help his major medical bills ahead, so of course Mono and I each wanted one and she gave them to us while we were there! I haven't taken mine off at all! Not even in the hospital!
 One side says. "Prayin' for Austin."
 The other is one of his favorite sayings, "Go Big."

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Countdown Has Officially Begun!

I got a very exciting call late this morning.
It was shortly after 11.
I didn't know when to expect them, but I knew it would be soon.
The hospital called, letting me know the date and time of the boys' arrival!
Their birthday!!
They'll be joining in on all the fun on August 28th, not much later than 7:15 am.
I have to be in the hospital to begin prep for the c/s at 5:15 am. 
And then the actual c-section will begin at 7:15 am and the doctor said the boys will be out within a few minutes. The majority of the (less than an hour) surgery takes place after they come out.
I am really happy we have an early slot. I didn't think it'd be quite this early, but you are hearing no complaints from me! I can't eat or drink, even water, from midnight on, so it will be nice to not have to wait without eating for hours and hours. And also, it is less time for my nerves to be jittery. 
It is only about three weeks away! Three weeks!!

The date that they will be born comes with some neat little tidbits of info:
It is the feast day of St. Augustine, which is a big day in Mono's family. Agustin is a very loved name in their family. They celebrate their santos each year on that date, which is their name day.
Mono, his grandfather, his uncle/god father, his cousin.....
It is also Mono's dad's birthday... the boys' grandpa!
What is neat that goes along with that is, I was born on my grandpa's birthday. My Dad was born on his grandpa's birthday, and now the boys' on their grandpa's birthday. Adding on to that it was also my great, great grandfather's birthday. My Nana (Mom's mom) was very, very close to her grandfather, James Aloysius (who was from Wales, England), so it is a very special day to her.
I spoke with her earlier and she was absolutely delighted to hear of the day! My aunt/god mother's birthday is the day before and my Nana and Popa's anniversary is the day after, so there will be lots of celebrating in that week in our family! And thankfully Papi does not mind sharing his birthday with his first grandchildren!!!

So, three more weeks folks! I'll try to keep updating and writing as close to the day as I can, because after that, I have a little feeling my life is going to be slightly on hold, taking care of two babies!
I will try to post here and there though to give you fun updates on our boys! Now that they are in the family, they have the unfortunate pleasure of being blogged about! hehehe.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hello August!

Hello August. Hello Lilly. Hello month that our boys arrive!

Can you believe it is already August 1st? Kids are getting ready to head back to school. Highschool grads are preparing to venture off to college. Cooler weather is heading our way... well not here in the south. We still have a while before the cool days of the fall are upon us. New agenda/planners are cracked open for the first time, waiting to be filled in with fun events... and probably lots and lots of daily tasks. Aaannnnndddd.... August 1st also leads us into the month of our little men!
 I'm big on planners. Big. They have to be just so though. My new Lilly planner has been sitting around tucked away in a drawer so I wouldn't fuss with it too much before August arrived, and now, today this beauty came out to play! Even though it is not laid out exactly like I prefer, I could not resist how happy it looks every single month! It is like a piece of summer happiness and my love of the beach year round. This will surely get me through the cold, long months of the winter... or just make me miss the beach even more!
 I have to keep a little clip of my notes on the open week because I can't fit everything in the selected date's slot. I also have other important notes that I have to keep on hand, so I clip them together in the current week so I do not misplace them or forget. 
When I first found out I was pregnant, September was going to be the highly anticipated month for our boys' to come. As times has passed, as they and I have grown, they will now be making their grand entrance at the end of this month. Yes, this month! Crazy to think about. Within a few weeks, I will have two babies in my arms!

I haven't been nervous at all... until now. Now the nerves have begun to set it a bit. I'm getting anxious, I'm getting more uncomfortable, more ready to be done with this huge belly and have my boys here with me. I worry. That's not new news if you know me. So of course I have a few of the big "what ifs" fluttering around in my mind. I am just ready to be done with the wait of these next few weeks, done with the c-section and get on with life with our two little men!
I welcome you with a big smile, August. This will forever be a good month in our family! I can't wait to be able to fill out Baby A and Baby B's birthday on this month's page in my Lilly agenda... and all my other calendars!