Summer road tripping w/ two kiddos!

I didn’t think we were going to get that much done on our summer bucket list this year because we were having Tytan in the beginning of June. But, I surprisingly felt so much better this time that we made it out to San Diego for my niece’s graduation! The boys’ first road trip was a success. Here are all the deets! Can you believe Tytan was only 11 days old?

On the way there

Left at: 6:00 pm

Stop: 8:10 pm ~65 minutes @ McDonalds parking lot

Arrived: 11:50 pm

On the way home (Happy Father’s Day)

Left at: 9:00 am

Stop: 10:50 am ~45 minutes @McDonalds parking lot

Arrived: 1440


Tytan slept most of the time. He was awake maybe 30 minutes altogether both ways. He cried maybe 10 minutes on the way and 10 minutes on the way back. We were so lucky!

Nikko slept 75% of both drives. On the way to SD, we left at Nikko’s bedtime and on the way back to Vegas, we left at the start of his first nap time. I was worried he wouldn’t sleep because I was in the back with him (usually I never sit there). But, I just pretended to be asleep and he got the picture.

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My Labor Story (Part 1 of 2)

Nikko’s labor and delivery

As an L&D nurse, I feel that blogging about my labor experience is just as important as remembering my pregnancy journey and/or my child’s first year milestones. Labor and delivery is so amazing! I am biased, no question, but birthing a little human is pretty spectacular. I felt this way prior to having a baby of my own and I feel it even more strongly now!

The week leading up to my delivery, I was scheduled to work a full schedule, which is three 12-hour days. I was 39 weeks & 4 days on my last shift at work. At that time, I had my membranes stripped twice already, but it didn’t send me into labor. I was walking around at 2-3 cm with the occasional strong contraction, but nothing too crazy. I had no false labor visits to triage either, luckily.

I worked two 12-hour days, and then decided to start my maternity leave because I was just getting so uncomfortable at work.

I had my 40-week OB appointment on Friday, 1/27. I had my membranes stripped for the third time that day by an L&D nurse that used to work with me. Fingers crossed, the hubs and I were headed into the weekend with hopes of a baby. But first, we went shopping at IKEA. We were just 18 days into our new house and we were trying to get as much done before baby’s arrival.

I went to bed around 10 P.M. with some pretty uncomfortable contractions. They were not very frequent, and I was able to fall asleep. Then, I woke up and the first thing I said to my husband was, “I think my water broke.” I got up and ran to the bathroom and more gushed out as I sat on the toilet. (I’ll pause here so you can visualize that. Ha.) I’m glad it was a big gush because I did not want to go to the hospital for a questionable rupture of memebranes at 1:00 in the morning! I told my husband that I was going to shower and put makeup on. He let me, but he was rushing me the entire time. I ensured him that the baby was not going to fall out, but he ignored everything I had to say. He was nervous. Before I got in the shower though, I used my fetal Doppler to make sure there were still heart tones and that there were no audible decelerations. It’s a nurse thing. All was good, so we put a towel in the passenger seat and got in the car.

We got to the hospital at 1:40 A.M., which was 55 minutes after my water broke. I already filled out my intake sheet and gave it my coworkers. They got me into my room fairly quickly and we started the admission process. I was in room 250! Alexis F. started my admission process and Amanda M. was my nurse for the remainder of the night.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

My coworker Melanie K. did a vaginal exam to verify that my water was broken. I was 4 centimeters, 60% effaced, -2 station. I knew I was going to need oxytocin (Pitocin) because I was not contracting often and they were not strong. I opted for the epidural prior to the oxytocin infusion. To my surprise, my husband watched the entire epidural insertion process and wasn’t phased at all.

After I got the epidural, I had some low blood pressures… e.g. 70s/40s. I was mostly asymptomatic, but I felt really tired. My husband got a little worried during this time because a lot of people started coming into the room. The anesthesiologist had to come back, but I think I just got another fluid bolus, was repositioned, and my blood pressures stabilized.

I started the Pitocin at 4:30 AM (at which point I was still only 4 cm) and at 7 AM, I was still not contracting adequately. I was only contracting once every 7 to 10 minutes.

For the remainder of night shift, hubs and I went to sleep! Amanda M. was turning up my Pitocin while I tried to catch some zzz’s. Did I mention epidurals are amazing?

The best part about working where you deliver is that you get to choose your delivery nurse. I obviously chose my preceptor Tasha. I texted her beforehand just to let her know I was there and that I wanted her to be my nurse. She cried when she walked into the room. She’s the sweetest.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

At around shift change, I got news that my OB doctor wasn’t available. However, one of her partners was and he came in the room to let me know he would be there for my delivery in case she didn’t make it.

Since I had not changed my cervix, they inserted an IUPC and placed an FSE. It took three times to place the FSE, maybe because Nikko was so high or maybe because of his hair.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

At 10:30 AM, I was on 18 mu of Pitocin. I remember having a decel at this time. I don’t know how bad it was, but I know it resolved quickly and I didn’t worry too much about it.

At 11:15 AM, I was 8 cm, 90%, and -1. I finally felt like I was making some progress. I was on 21 mu of Pitocin by 11:50 AM.

I started to feel some pain around 12:30 PM. I can’t really describe it, I guess it wasn’t too bad since I don’t truly remember it. I got an epidural bolus and my epidural bag replaced and all was well again.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

I was finally complete at 1:40 PM. This means it took me over 12 hours to get to 10 cm with lots of help from Pitocin. At this time, I was only at 0 station. Tasha did an awesome job turning me and putting me in side-lying Sims position (Thanks Nina, Ashley A., and Prentyce for helping her turn me! My legs were dead to the world.) The positioning was definitely a big factor in helping the baby come down. At 3:15 PM, I was +1 and at 4 PM, I was +2.

Now, it was time to push (push it real good).

Tune in to the next post for all the delivery details! (which may or may not be soon, depending on when baby #2 comes!)

My very first Instant Pot recipe

I originally got my Instant Pot in July 2016. And it is now 2017 that I’m trying my first recipe. That’s embarrassing. But, there was a lot going with us during that time. We put our house up for sale just weeks later, bought a new house to build, moved into an apartment in the meantime, then moved again into our newly-built house just 4 months later, then had a baby 2.5 weeks later!

I’m in an Instant Pot group on Facebook and a lot of people referenced Pressure Luck for recipes and that is how I found the creamy chicken enchilada recipe.

Directions can be found on the Pressure Luck website! There’s also a YouTube video if you prefer following recipes that way.

Instant Pot - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas from Pressure Luck

Instant Pot - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas from Pressure Luck

Instant Pot - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas from Pressure Luck

Instant Pot - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas from Pressure Luck

Instant Pot - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas from Pressure Luck

I followed the recipe almost exactly (I just used different cheeses). But, as a first time user, I had to look up so many small questions, such as:

  1. What is natural release vs. quick release?
  2. Why doesn’t it start counting down right away?
  3. How long does it take to build up pressure?
  4. Etc.

Prentyce gave it 4 stars out of 5. I gave it the same. All the cheese gave me gas. Sorry, TMI!

It was a whole pan full, and there’s only two of us, so we did freeze 2/3 of it to heat up during the week. I just microwaved it for 2-3 minutes before eating. I haven’t tried putting it in the oven, but maybe I will next time since the flour tortilla came out a weird texture from the microwave.

That’s it! Good luck!

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

The advice I have in this blog post is meant for those that are traveling abroad. You can use some of these tips if you’re flying domestically in the United States, but here just a few facts about my trip, so you can get an idea of what we used these things for.

We traveled for a total of about 24 days. That included two days total of travel time. We had two 12 hour flights, two 4 hour flights, and two 1 hour flights. We also rode boats and we were passengers in the car a lot. We had over seven different hotel stays. Our destination was the Philippines (and multiple islands within). It is a lot more modern now compared to when I visited in 2008, but sadly, they still don’t have Amazon Prime Now delivery. (They did have a Starbucks on every corner in Manila, or so it seemed.) We had to bring all of Nikko‘s diapers, formula, and other necessities with us (which took a lot of careful planning).

Here are my five product recommendations for making travel with a baby easier.

Boppy pillow

I really didn’t use this anywhere other than on the airplane. We were in the air for approximately 34 hours total, so this was vital even though we didn’t use it during the rest of the trip. He slept on the Boppy so comfortably! Plus, it was comfortable for us too. I purchased a body pillow cover to put over it because I knew it would get dirty. Using a body pillow cover was a cheap alternative to buying another specific Boppy cover. Side note, I never even registered for one of these, but now I adore this thing and find it so useful for him to just relax on. Thanks to my coworker Maria!

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

Infant carrier

Most of the places we traveled, besides the mall, were not stroller-friendly. Plus, Nikko hates being in the stroller anyway, and it was so much easier just to carry him on us. Plus, he also napped a lot better and faster this way. I have the SIX-Position, 360° Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier by LILLEbaby – The COMPLETE All Seasons and I love it so much! It really has good lower back support and I appreciate that since Nikko is getting so heavy! I also clipped teethers to the carrier so that they would be on hand for Nikko to grab.

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products


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We’re getting our house painted!

We are finally painting our house. And, by we, I mean we are hiring someone to do it! Yay! 

We chose a seven colors from Sherwin Williams and will be selecting winners tonight! Doesn’t this remind you of 50 Shades of Grey? Hehe.

Wish us luck! 

Update 4/2/17:

We chose these colors. I’ll update with the finished product once we put all our stuff away.

Light French grey for the master and guest bedroom. Zircon for the whole house.

Aqueduct for all three bathrooms.

Tame teal for our son’s nursery.

This is ur accent wall in the great room. I can’t think of the color right now, but we purchased it at Lowes.