Thursday, March 27, 2014

Robert James

I can think of only one event that would be big enough to come out of the year and a half hiatus from blogging.  The birth of our beautiful baby boy, Robert James!!! As he lay sleeping in my arms tonight, I thought I would clumsily peck out a quick entry about our Bobby.  His entry into our family and lives has brought such joy that we can't imagine our lives without this little guy! I recently received some genius advice: write down the birth story before you forget it.  While there are many parts I'd like to soon forget (that is if there is any chance for baby #2), there are so many parts I would be sad to forget so hear goes...

About a week and a half before my due date, I started to have gnarly contractions throughout the night. For three nights they became consistent at about 10 minutes apart and I prayed that these nights wouldn't continue for another week and a half! During these three nights before Bobby came, Derek and I went through the same routine: both showered and out on clothes we wouldn't mind rushing to the hospital in. Bag by the door. I was even crazy enough to do my makeup at night so I didn't look like a zombie during labor. (What was I thinking?! Ha!) By the night that we actually went into the hospital, of course we became more lax about our routine and were slightly less prepared...of course.

Shoot ahead to the morning of January 26th.  I had personally prayed for this day to be his birthday for silly reasons.  Our wedding anniversary is January 6, dating anniversary January just made sense! For days I had walked countless laps around malls (one of the laps, Derek surprised bought me the most beautiful necklace with January's birthstone to give to me the day that Bobby was born.  I love him for being so confident that January would be the month!) and parks, ate eggplant parmesan as much as possible, and prayed prayed prayed.  Throughout the night of the 25th I had such intense contractions that I vowed to go to labor and delivery in the morning just to make sure Robert was okay.  7 am, the contractions for 4 minutes apart anyway so we calmly headed down to St. joseph hospital.  Apparently I was too calm to be admitted.  They checked Robert and his heartbeat was nice and strong, my pain was only a "3-4" so I was sent on my miserable waddling way with my consistent contractions told to come back when they were "more intense." Thanks for the specifics.  The rest if the day was spent doing more of the usual things to help labor along.  Funny story, the day before I had an extreme urge to clean all the floors. I mean, down on hands and knees with magic erasers scrubbing. Reading up on signs of imminent labor apparently that's a thing.  Cracks me up.

January 26th, we go to bed early expecting another restless night and wondering hoe bad the pain had to get before I could go back.  9 pm in bed and the Lord answers my question: water breaks! Skipping some of the gross and embarrassing moments that followed, we were in the car and I remember Derek asking how fast I wanted him to go.  Not sure what I said but he thinks it was like something out of the movies where the woman's voice goes two octaves lower and says "JUST DRIVE". That sounds like me.  Getting into the hospital through the emergency room was a hoot.  Valet guys racing to the car with a wheelchair, speeding me past all of the poor souls with sliced fingers and other emergencies gawking at me (I must have looked pretty crazed).

Once up to labor and delivery, I dont remember too much about the admission process. I know that it did not go as calmly as it did that morning.  I guess that was the pain intensity they were waiting to see.  Good to know for next time.  Once my water broke, pain was at an 8-9. I don't think the nurse believed this when she was tracking my first contractions, but later she understood why.  I was told that Contractions would not be that bad because there would be a definite start,rise, and fall.  I call bologne. At least for mine.  One right after the next with a breath in between, the nurse tried to convince me to labor on the balance ball, and I am not ashamed to admit I said "how about we do drugs now instead" Good thing too, if we had done it her way, it would have been too late for an epidural.

Took what seemed like an eternity to get bloodwork and IV done to get the epidural and once it was in, it
did not begin working for an hour.  Another lovely visit from my new bestie, Mr. Anastheologist. (1 thats a hard word to spell 2. He walks around like a rock star for a reason) and it finally kicked in around midnight-1am. Besides a case of the shakes I was feeling good.  I'd also like to add that Derek was the PERFECT labor coach/husband and kept so calm. The only thing getting me through the needles and contraction pain was him constantly replacing the earbuds playing worship music.  During contractions humming/moaning along to amazing grace and other songs of strength helped me focus on the fact that I wasn't doing this alone and I didn't need to be afraid.

Nurse comes back in an hour, I have gone from being dilated 1 1/2 to 9 (oh, that's why the contractions were so intense!) and she told me she would go call and wake up Dr. Fiorentino and come back so I could start pushing. Here, I thought that all of our family members could get some sleep and come in the morning...nope.  Derek started making calls so everyone could get down to the hospital.

The next hour of pushing was BY FAR my favorite part of labor.  The pain was not bad thanks to Mr. Anathesiologist and I knew I would finally get to hold my baby boy soon.  Derek again was my perfect coach and I focused on him and his instructions to push through contractions.  I could see him getting really excited and I knew that he was seeing our son for the first time.  I think if it were up to him I would have never stopped pushing so that he could get to him faster! On the last push, our awesome doc pulls Derek next to him and tells him that he will be delivering his son (whoops, that is why the nurse told Derek to glove up- he didn't). As Robert came out Derek and the dr. saw the umbilical cord looped twice around Robert's neck.  This was my BIGGEST fear.  Knowing that, they both used their calmest voices saying "we're just going to take this...and do this...there all done". And out at 3:44 am was our 7 lb 12 oz 20 inch long boy! Derek will never admit this but if you are reading this someday Bobby, your father cried when he first held you/caught you.  We both did.  It was the most incredible experience that can't be explained in words, only felt. The nurse immediately put you on my chest, skin to skin where we stayed for an hour. Hate to break it to ya kiddo, first thing you did besides cry: you pooped on me. But you also stopped crying the minute they put you on me and that instantaneous bond is something I will never forget.

We didn't sleep for the next night and day because we were too busy watching you sleep.

We love you Robert James.  
I'll love you forever.  I'll like you for always.  As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary & Asparagus

A+ for this one. Went great with garlic and rosemary marinated chicken for Derek and filled me up as a meal! Will definitely have again, maybe add onions next time?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One year...

It's been a year since I've blogged because it's been too busy to blog! As I'm finishing up my last project of graduate school... I FINALLY have the time to reflect on the craziness of the past 12 months. Some of the new updates in a nutshell:

-I am now 25, Derek is 29 :)
-I graduated with my M.S. degree!
-Harrison & Erin got married
-We booked our cruise to Alaska for August
-I completed a stressful but amazing internship at CHOC hospital
-I was offered a position in the Capistrano school district
-Derek's training is in full gear for the academy in January
-We're preparing for our next half-marathon on September 4th

I'm so burnt out using words, so I'll express all these fun events in pictures! :-

Halloween 2010 @ Disneyland

Winter Stay-cation: Beauty and the Beast @ Orange County Performing Arts Center

Completed Chapman 5k **Adding another medal to the collection! :)

Christmas 2010

My 25th birthday :) Manicure, Pedicure, family lunch, dinner @ Orange County Mining Co.

Derek on the bench used in Forrest Gump

Our 3rd Anniversary Trip: LA & Paramount Studio Tour (where Glee is shot!)

Grandpa Fackiner turned 90!!

Poster Presentation @ the CSHA Conference :)

GRADUATION!! May 21, 2011 from Chapman University

Harrison & Erin's Wedding- May 22, 2011

The wraps up the year since the last blog: the end :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010


This summer was short but very eventful! Only having 4 weeks off made it quite difficult to do everything I wanted to do but I think I packed it full with ALMOST everything I wanted to do. I made a list a few months ago:

1.Visit relatives in Oregon
2. Camp in Sequoia
3. See my nieces and nephews
4. Spend time with Kay and Michael
5. Lots of trips to Disneyland
7. Beach
8. Sea World
9. Glen Ivy for Christina's birthday
10. Plan/have Ashleen's Bridal Shower
11. Plan a celebration cruise for next August!

Didn't get to do #1 or #2...but we had a fun time camping in Santa Barbara:

#3:Got to spend some quality time with my nieces and nephews (although I always want more!)

#4:Had a fun week with Kay and Michael with fun adventures at the park and beach
#5:Made it to Disneyland a couple of times... got picked to attend a research session and they paid Derek $100 (first time I've EVER walked out of Disney with more money than I went in with!)

#6: Yep.
#7: Yep.
#8: Maybe January...
#9: " "
#10: Ashleen's shower was a success! What amazing women she has in her life!

...also had my first adventure in fondant cake-making...

<--------6 hours later, tada!

#11: Still deciding between Alaska, Hawaii, or Australia?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


2 hours 47 minutes
Our finish in video form:

Despite getting up at 2 was a blast! Can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


This recipe was a not a favorite.
Despite putting in sharp cheddar cheese and JALAPENOS, it still came out bland somehow. It took a lot of time to prepare and is not something I would make on just a normal dinner night (took me about 45 minutes to prep not including cooking time?)

Anywho, if brave enough to tamper with the recipe here it is:


  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Amazing Alfredo and Banana Bread


Here's the recipe for the alfredo sauce... this was the closest thing to Olive Garden alfredo I have EVER tasted. So much better than the canned sauce. A little rich, I will probably substitute lower fat milk for the heavy cream and low fat butter for the sweet butter next time. Usually parmesan cheese is hard to melt to be creamy, I thought it melted fine but I might use gruyere or asiago next time for a special treat? I am also learning to perfect my cooking of seafoodÜ The shrimp were coated with garlic butter and grilled with the salmon.

I also had 6 bananas that had overripened and I didn't want to through them away so I tried a banana bread recipe from the same site:
The bread tastes really yummy but I would put less banana in it less time (maybe 1 3/4 cup instead of 2 1/3). It's pretty mushy in the center but the outsides are YUMMY!