Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cookbook recommendation

I asked for and received the Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal for Christmas.  Last night I tested the yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and it's delicious!!  I'm so excited, I can't wait to try some of the other recipes in there.  There are tons of cakes/cupcakes, cookies, muffins, scones, pies, and more.  Everything looks amazing.  I highly recommend getting this book!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lentil Soup

This is something you can just throw together, and it's super easy :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dry lentils
  • 4 cups stock* (32 oz)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb cooked meat (I used a couple chicken breasts; you can add stew meat, sausage, turkey, ground meat, or you can skip it and add more veggies)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (I just chopped up some baby carrots)
  • salt, pepper to taste (plus any other spices you like; I also added some rosemary)
*I used chicken stock, but you can use vegetable, beef, or whatever you have, depending on what you're adding in



Directions:

  • In a large pot, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic until tender and translucent
  • Add stock, water, spices, and rinsed lentils; bring to a boil.  Cover and turn down heat; simmer for 15 mins
  • Add chicken, carrots, and any other veggies you like.  Cook until carrots are tender and lentils are plump; approximately 10 more minutes
You're done!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My poor sick baby :-(

C is sick.  He is congested, has a cough, and is wheezing.  I called the pediatrician just to be safe, even though I didn't think they'd say anything besides push fluids, use steam (I had already sat in the bathroom with the hot shower running), humidifier, etc.  When they heard he was wheezing they said I needed to take him to the doctor or urgent care (gotta say, freaked me out).

I got an appointment for that day.  Of course, he had taken a nap and wasn't acting sick at all.  He was smiling and cooing at a little girl in the waiting room, smiling at the nurse, flirting with the receptionist, he had his charm on full blast.  I felt so silly, and knew I'd look like the crazy paranoid first time mom who brings her kid to the doctor for every little thing.  I was like, "they told me to bring him because he's wheezing... umm... yeah he's acting fine now."

The doctor heard the wheezing, and was concerned (they don't mess around when it comes to babies and breathing), so he prescribed Albuterol and gave me a nebulizer to administer the medicine.  C freaks out for a second when I first turn the machine on (that thing is LOUD), but then he relaxes on my lap and lets me point this vapor into his face.

I told the doctor that I was a little freaked out about the wheezing because my husband has asthma and I'm worried that C will develop it too.  He said that because of C's age it's too early to call it asthma, right now it's Bronchititis (or bronchiolitis or something bronch- related), but we're going to treat it like asthma (enter Albuterol).  I'm REALLY hoping that this is a one-time thing and once he heals up we'll be done with breathing issues, but I'm preparing to deal with childhood asthma.

The cherry on top is I think I'm starting to get what C has (the cold, not the asthma).

I will not get sick, I will not get sick, I will not get sick...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

6 Months

We went to see the pediatrician today for C's 6 month appointment.  He is a big boy at 17lbs, 14oz and 26 inches long!!  He had to have 2 shots, but he took them like a champ.  He's on track for development and doing really well.

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving we're going to visit my dad's side of the family.  My grandparents have met C, but nobody else from my dad's family has.  I'm really excited for them to meet him, especially because C looks just like my dad.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What to cook when there's nothing to cook

Today is the start of my family's weekend, because my husband has Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off work.  Last night, there was nothing to eat because it was the end of the week and I desperately need to go grocery shopping.  I generally wait to grocery shop until we can go as a family, or I can leave C with my husband and go on my own because trying to haul groceries and a baby upstairs after a shopping trip is a pain in the butt.

I was scouring my pantry, fridge, and freezer, trying to find something that would make a decent meal.  I grabbed brown rice (found a great tutorial on how to make good rice on the stove here- though I add a bit more water than the recipe says), frozen, cooked chicken breast strips (make sure you read the label, many of them have seasonings/coatings that contain allergens), and a head of broccoli.

I put the rice on, and thawed the chicken in the microwave.  When the chicken was thawed and it was almost time for the rice to be done, I heated some olive oil in a pan along with onion flakes and garlic powder (I didn't want to chop onions and garlic for a quick, single-serving meal).  Once the oil was hot I added the chicken and my chopped up broccoli and tossed it around until the broccoli softened a bit (but not mushy) and the chicken had a nice golden brown color.

Throw the chicken and broccoli on top of the rice and BAM! Stir fry.  Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you like; broccoli is the only thing I had on hand (like I said, empty fridge).  It turned out surprisingly good, and outside of the time it took to cook the rice (only 30 mins total), it took all of 10 minutes to put together.  You can just use the microwave to heat the chicken, but the saute does so much for the flavor, it's totally worth the extra dirty pan.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Background

I just wanted to tell the story behind the inspiration for this store.  I love sewing and creating (heck, I got my college degree in fashion design!), and I love being at home with C.  Since he came along, I've been scouring the internet looking for things that he would like that I could make myself.  By making them myself, not only would I save money, but I also get to customize everything, from fabric colors/patterns, to how it fits, to size, etc.  I love taking a basic pattern and making changes to it (improvements, in my opinion, lol) to make it my own.  

My first foray into baby stuff was the crinkle tag blankets.  How neat is it for a soft, fuzzy, cuddly blanket to have ribbon loops that C can grab onto (I can confirm that the ribbons mean this blanket winds up on the ground a whole lot less than other ones do), and, best of all, to make a fun crinkly sound!  I found super soft bumpy chenille fabric for one side, and cozy cotton flannel for the other side.  I chose ribbons of different widths and textures; one was satiny smooth, one was sheer and had that netted texture, and the other was thick and woven.  I wanted to include as many different mediums as I could so baby can explore and learn through touch.

After I made C's blanket I posted pictures because I was very proud of myself.  I had a few people interested in some for their kids, and I thought that I could sell a few to make a little extra money (or at least to support my addiction to buying fabric).  I always buy WAY more fabric than I need because I'm paranoid about not having enough for my project, which means I always have plenty of leftovers hanging out.

My second project was an owl.  C has big, round, brown eyes that he got from his mommy (seriously, I can't even tell you how many comments we get on his eyes; they're his most prominent feature).  Our friends started calling him "Owl Baby," and it just stuck.  I ordered him an owl hat with big brown eyes from a fellow crafty momma, and from that moment on, I knew that C and owls would always go together.  Being a crazy first time mom, I started looking around for ideas for his first birthday party when he was 5 1/2 months old.  I happened upon this blog and thought, "OWLS!  Duh!  This is genius, why didn't I think of it before?"  An adorable stuffed owl on that page led me to this one, and I was ecstatic!  This was absolutely perfect for C, and I want to create an entire stuffed owl army with different sizes and colors!  

I tweaked that pattern a bit; changed the eyes, added a "butt" so the owl sits up on its own, and started with neutral colors (that just happen to match his owl hat!).  And here we are.  I've purchased the creator's commercial use license, which means I am allowed to create (by hand) and sell items using their pattern without infringing on any rights.  I think legally I would've been ok because of the changes I've made, but I want to give credit where credit is due and I don't want to step on any toes.

Currently I'm working on making pajama pants for my whole family to wear when we open Christmas presents (that's 9 pairs that I need to have ready in a month, oh boy), I have C's stocking to make, and I want to try my hand at making some cloth diapers (another very expensive habit of mine is buying diapers).  Right now my store is bare bones and pitiful with only two items, but soon (after the holidays, perhaps?) I'll be trying out new things, adding new items, and *hopefully* expanding.  I hope you enjoy my creations! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aaaaaand, we're mobile!

C has figured out how to get around.

"B!!!  Is he crawling?!?!" you say? No, no he is not.

C's mode of transport is a combination of rolling, scooting, and the worm.  He'll mash his face into the carpet and get on his knees/feet to scoot his butt up, then wiggle forward a bit.  Then he'll pull with his arms, then he'll roll a couple times, until he finds the corner of the couch and chews for a bit.

In between his rolling and worming, he lies on his belly and just relaxes on the floor for a minute (I'm sure that big head gets heavy!), then he's back up, finding his way around the living room.  It's really exciting and I am a super proud momma, but it does kinda suck that if I run to the kitchen to get something to drink or switch the laundry real quick, he's in a completely different place, facing a different direction, than from where I left him.

Crawling is just around the corner!!!


Oh yeah, and he says "Mama" when he cries.  Not so much when he's happy, but I like to think that he just really needs me when he's sad so he saves his special word for when he needs that extra comfort.  <3

Friday, November 12, 2010

I have a store!!

It's for all my crafty things.  Check it out:

B Fab Designs

I have a store!!!

Check it out:

B Fab Designs

Stuffed Owl

C is my little owl baby.  I got him an adorable owl hat, made by Jessica over at Playin' Footsie .  I decided that for Christmas I wanted to make him a stuffed owl!  I'm really happy with the outcome :)

The body is thick fleece, the eyes are felt.  The eyes and beak are stitched on by hand, and I used my machine for the rest.

I can make different sizes and colors, just let me know what you want!

Owl

Close Up

Next to a standard Sharpie to show size

Tag Blanket

I originally made one of these blankets for C, and he loves it!  It's bumpy chenille on one side and comfy flannel on the other.  The ribbons are different colors, widths, and textures, and the blanket makes a fun crinkly noise.  It's approximately 12"x12"

I've made a few for friends, and they seem to be a hit among babies!

Boy

Girl

Yay, I'm crafty!!

I made C a stuffed owl!  It's going to be a part of his Christmas present.  I found the pattern on the Toad's Treasures blog, and tweaked it a bit.  I changed the eyes to have an iris and a pupil, and I added a "butt" so it can sit up by itself.  I'm really excited about it, I think it turned out great!  (Plus, it matches his owl hat I got from Jessica!)  I need to get a picture of C in his owl hat next to his new owl friend, but that will have to wait for now.  Here it is:

Close up

And now, to give an update on C.  He is doing so awesome!  He's getting so big, smiling, laughing, babbling, and being super friendly.  He can roll from his tummy to his back and from his back to his tummy (which is making diaper changes pretty interesting lately). For the most part, he is a happy, friendly, laid-back baby.  I can't believe he'll be half a year old in just over a week!!! 

Since he's almost 6 months old, we'll soon being exploring solid foods, which is exciting.  I'm so excited for this holiday season, and to experience it all with C.  Here's a picture I took yesterday of my happy little guy in his monkey jammies:

Happy Friday everyone!


Roasted Veggies!!

Ok, this is a quick, easy, and delicious side dish.  You can use pretty much any vegetables you have on hand, I used a few of my favorites.  I don't have measurements for anything; it differs according to what you use, how much, and according to your taste.  It's super simple, so don't sweat it! (I used all fresh veggies)

Ingredients

  • Broccoli (you can get just the florets, but the stems are delicious, so I got the big heads of broccoli)
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Summer Squash
  • Baby Carrots
  • Potato
  • Onion flakes (or powder, your preference)
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Rosemary
  • Olive oil
Directions
  • Heat oven to 430* F
  • Chop veggies (except baby carrots) into bite sized chunks and put in large bowl:

  • Add enough olive oil to coat, and add spices to taste:
 
 
  • Toss everything together to coat evenly
  • Spread out on baking sheets in a single layer, and bake for 20-30 mins
  • Enjoy!!
I had more pictures, but my computer isn't agreeing with me right now.  Like I said, you can use any vegetable or any spices you like, use stuff up that's about to go bad, get stuff on sale, etc.  This would be a GREAT side to steak or BBQ.  I hope you like it!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sad day :(

Recently, C has been fussy, gassy, had diarrhea, and other symptoms that we had when he was teeny tiny and we hadn't figured out his allergies.  I tried to credit it to teething, since he's at that age.  Well, this morning he had blood in his diaper, which means it's another allergy.

So corn is going.  That's the next big, common allergen I know of, and like dairy and soy, it's hidden in everything (corn syrup, anyone?).  This calls for a complete reassessment of my diet, and getting rid of the few cooking shortcuts I have.  Any recipe submissions would be greatly appreciated :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Months

Yesterday, C turned 5 months old!  I really can't believe it, it seems like he just turned 4 months old last week.  He still has no hair, but is as cute as ever.  I get SO many comments on his big brown eyes, people call him owl baby.  I thought that was funny, so I had a friend of mine make him an owl hat:

She can make ANYTHING you can think of, and does custom orders!  Here's her shop, and her facebook album with some more pictures.  

C is doing really well, and growing like crazy (as you can see from the picture, he's a bit of a chunker)! He's laughing and cooing and babbling and blowing raspberries all the time.  He loves his daddy, and if my husband starts talking or moving around in the same room while C is eating, he'll pull off to stare at Daddy and see what he's doing.  

We have his allergies pretty well under control; I've eliminated the top 8 allergens from my diet (dairy, soy, wheat, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish), and thankfully it seems like that has done the trick.  I've tried challenging each of those foods (I didn't challenge peanuts because he'd had a reaction to everything up until then and I didn't want to put him through any more when I was pretty sure he'd react, and I don't eat seafood, so the fish/shellfish thing is easy for me), and he's reacted to everything I've challenged, so we're sticking with those eliminations and they're helping a lot.  I have a happy, healthy baby, and I'm below my pregnancy weight!

It's been rough getting used to this diet.  I have to cook pretty much everything from scratch to make sure that there aren't any allergens hidden in the ingredients, and I've had to find substitutions for foods.  Rice flour for flour, using 1/4 cup of applesauce in place on an egg in baking, spaghetti squash or rice pasta in place of wheat noodles, corn tortillas instead of flour, tahini paste instead of peanut butter (for the record, tahini paste does NOT taste good by itself, but I use it in Muddy Buddies and the chocolate and sugar cover it up well), and so on.  I miss my milk a LOT, and cheese on all my food, but I think I'm coping well.  

I'm nervous about the holidays.  We're going to be visiting family, so not only do I have to bring my cloth diapers to launder (C gets rashes from disposables), but I have to figure out how I'm going to feed myself.  I feel bad telling other people what they can and can't cook when I'm a guest (I prefer to eat at home before we go places), and I can't really trust food without cooking it myself or reading ALL  the ingredients used.  You wouldn't believe how many spices/sauces use soybean oil!  I just feel like I'm going to be a burden, so I'm going to have to find a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods when we get there to get myself food.  

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday EVER, and I'm not going to be able to eat anything!  I'm going to try and cook as much of the traditional holiday foods in an allergy-friendly way.  We'll see how everything goes.

I can't believe my little boy is growing so quickly.  Here's a picture, but I couldn't get him to sit still for a second, so he has a blurry arm that he was waving around and kicking, lol:

Trader Joe's

I took a trip to Trader Joe's today, and got some awesome stuff!  The TJ brand of soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies are free of the top 8 allergens, and they're SO delicious!  They don't even taste like substitute-cookies, they taste like real, soft, chewy, yummy cookies!  Wow, that was a lot of exclamation points, lol.

I also tried some of their brown rice bread.  It has good flavor, but is a little dense; not light and fluffy like wheat bread.  But, I'll take it!  I also got some brown rice four tortillas, which I haven't tried yet.  I got some gluten free brownie mix and pancake/waffle mix!  They call for an egg, but I'll substitute apple sauce.  OR, the lady working at TJ (who was immensely helpful) said that sometimes she uses canned pumpkin for an egg substitute.  How delicious does that sound?  Pumpkin waffles, or cookies, or whatever?

Today was a really good food day for me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spaghetti... Squash

Pasta is one of my favorite foods EVER.  Unfortunately, it's no longer a part of my diet, and rice pasta is $$$.  Now that it's fall, squash is all over the produce section.  So I thought about making spaghetti, with spaghetti squash!

Ingredients: 

  • Spaghetti Squash (half a squash was a large serving for me, so a whole one would probably serve 2)
  • Pasta Sauce (I just used jarred marinara, you can use whatever you like)
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400* 
  2. Cut squash into quarters, once across the middle, then split in half
  3. Use a spoon to clean out seeds and "guts"
  4. Put quarters flesh up on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 mins to an hour
  5. Meanwhile, heat up marinara sauce
  6. When the squash is done, use a fork to shred flesh and make "noodles"
  7. Toss in sauce and serve
This turned out really good, and it's super easy! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sauteed Squash

This is a great snack or side dish.  I use half a squash for a small meal for myself, and it would probably be enough for 2-3 servings as a side dish.

Ingredients:

  • Squash of your choice (I prefer butternut)
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Pepper
Directions:
  1. Peel squash with a carrot/potato peeler (If you're using something like a spaghetti squash where this is difficult, skip this step)
  2. Cut squash into roughly-same-sized cubes (you can cut off skin if you skipped step 1)
  3. Put in just enough oil to coat the pan, and add squash and seasonings (you can change seasonings depending on what you have and what you like)
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until squash is soft all the way through and is just beginning to look translucent.  If you have bigger pieces that aren't cooking well, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the squash to let them steam a little.  
  5. Serve and enjoy!
This is fairly quick and very delicious and filling.  I've made the squash savory, but I'm considering trying a sweet squash in the future (saute with some margarine, add vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar?).  If I try it and it turns out, I'll post the recipe :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We saw the allergist yesterday

He did a scratch test for basic allergens (milk, soy, wheat, egg), and they came out negative. This doesn't mean that C isn't allergic, it means that he won't react with hives or a respiratory issue, which is good.  The doctor said that he most likely has what is called eosinophilic proctocolitis.  It's when his body has an immune reaction to certain foods/proteins when they reach his lower digestive tract.

He told me to continue avoiding dairy and soy, but nothing else should be causing problems.  Since the last time I tried to reintroduce some foods there was a mild reaction, I thought I'd try again and see if maybe he just had a bad day before.  Well I ate wheat yesterday, and 3-4 hours later C got super fussy.  I thought, "well we saw the doctor today, he got poked for the test, he didn't nap well because we were out, maybe it's that," so I had some pasta for dinner.  He was fussy all night, wouldn't go to sleep until an hour later than he normally does, and just had a bad evening.

Fast forward to this morning; he had a poopy diaper.  There was lots of mucous in it, and maybe a little blood.  I called the allergist to see if the scratch test could've caused a reaction like that and they told me no, so it was definitely the wheat.  I feel so bad, because I noticed reactions last time I tried, but I tried again because a doctor told me that it didn't make sense for him to be reacting.  So I went against my instincts because a doctor told me to, and C had to suffer for it.  I can handle another 8 months of going without so C is healthy and comfortable.  It's not his fault or his choice that I have to restrict my diet, so I'm not going to punish him for it.

Here's some info I found: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10634300

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

C's 4 month appointment

Today we saw the doctor for C's 4 month appointment and vaccinations.  He is 15lbs 4oz, 25 inches long, and his head is 16.16 inches around.  That's a little above average for weight, average for height, and a little below average for head size.  But, he's right on track on his pace, and that's what we're looking for!!

He had to take an oral vaccine (he's great at those), and 3 shots, 2 in one leg and one in the other.  He wasn't very happy about the shots, but he calmed down right away after I scooped him up.  I fed him before we left the doctor's office, and he fell asleep in the car, with an unhappy look on his face:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pot Roast

I made this pot roast in my slow cooker (of course), and it was delicious.  I made a lot so it lasted Bryan and I a few meals, but it would serve 4-6 people I think.  A lot of people brown the meat before putting it in, and that adds nice color, but it was delicious even skipping this step.  Also, I have a large Crock Pot (9 quarts, I believe) that I used; you can halve the recipe for the smaller, standard-sized ones.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pot roast (Mine was actually two 1-lb portions)
  • 4 large or 8 small potatoes
  • 1 large bag baby carrots
  • beef broth (I had one box)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp dry rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • water
Directions:
  • Put meat in bottom of Crock Pot
  • Top with garlic, onion, potatoes, carrots,and spices
  • Pour beef broth over top, and add water until everything is submerged
  • Cook on high 6-7 hours, or on low all day
You can really add whatever you want or have on hand to this recipe.  Celery, turnips, etc. would work, but we like potatoes and carrots best.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keeping myself in sight

Recently I had a friend ask me if I was ok, and he seemed really concerned about me.  I looked at him like he was crazy; of course I was ok, what could he possibly be talking about?  He said that recently I've been really quiet, and he wanted to make sure I didn't lose myself.  I'm also a wife and a person; he doesn't want to see me lost in my "Mommy" identity.

The truth is, I just don't have anything to contribute to most conversations.  I'm a stay at home mom and all my time is spent with C, so unless the conversation is centered around diapers, spit-up, naps, or breast feeding, I'm at a loss.  I don't want to be "that mom" who talks only about her kids all day long, and thinks that everyone else in the world is just as fascinated by their antics as she is.  C is the center of my world; I love him, I think he's the cutest, smartest, funniest, most handsome, genius baby that's ever been born.  But, I know that not everyone feels that way.  Nobody wants to hear baby talk all day long (some people like my husband and C's aunts and grandmas have a much higher tolerance), and that's all I have to give.

I suppose that I have lost some of my old personality with being a mom, but I feel I'm a better person for it.  I'm more patient, calmer, more confident, a better listener, etc.  I don't really miss the "old" me because I'm so happy in my role as a mom; I feel like I have a purpose now.

I feel bad because I know that so many stay at home moms get burned out and feel like they need to reclaim their old selves; I haven't gotten there yet and C is almost 4 months old.  It's like that burnout is waiting for me and it's only a matter of time before it hits.  I try and maintain a sense of balance so that doesn't happen, but I don't know.  Am I just lucky? Am I naive to think I may avoid severe burnout?  Am I wrong for letting my "Mommy" identity take over and pushing everything else aside for C?

I feel like there will be plenty of time when C is older and more independent for me to "find myself" and do things on my own, have hobbies, etc.  Right now, he depends on me to be there for everything, and it's the least I can do to be the best for him.  Right?

By the way, here's us:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, September 13, 2010

My craftiness :)

Today I made a ring sling (a baby carrier)!!  I used a dark gray linen, finished the edges with black bias tape, and added a pocket to the tail to hold my phone, keys, chapstick, whatever.  I'm very proud of myself!  Here's a picture of me and C:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

I love my slow cooker; it makes it super easy to cook, and if C is being fussy I don't have to jump up to get something out of the oven at a certain time.  Flexibility is awesome.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salsa (I'm a wimp so I use mild, but you can choose whatever heat level you like)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (with liquid)
  • 1 can black beans (with liquid)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
Directions:
  • Put chicken in bottom of crock pot
  • Cover with salsa
  • Pour in corn and beans, along with liquid
  • Make sure everything is covered with salsa/liquid
  • Cook for 4 hours on high, 6-8 on low
I served it over rice, or you can shred the chicken and make tacos.  It's also really good with cheese, but I have to refrain :(

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bedtime

So I just finished reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.  She had a lot of good tips, and I've used just a couple and we're already seeing improvement.  She mentions that babies usually get tired early and most need a 6:30 or 7 pm bedtime for optimal sleeping (C goes to sleep between 8:30 and 9:30 pm most of the time).

When I thought about it, C usually gets a little fussy around 6 or 7 pm.  Maybe he's tired and would go down then, before he got his second wind.  Makes sense, right?  Perhaps not.

Tonight I started his bedtime routine at 6:30 or 6:45.  He had a bath, jammies, we laid in bed to nurse, and relaxed.  I had the room dark, some relaxing music on, etc.  Nope, wasn't going to sleep.  I tried reading, and while he relaxed, still didn't fall asleep.  Then he decided it was playtime!  He was squirmy so I sat him up, and he was smiling and talking and cooing and being adorable.

Lo and behold, around 8:50 he starts to act tired.  I nursed him for less than 5 minutes, and he was out like a light around 9 pm.  Just another area where C doesn't fit into the "most babies" category.  I guess I can start bedtime early and have it last for 2 hours, or I can start it late and have it last 20 minutes.  Either way, C will go to sleep when he's good and ready.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cute/Gross Video

So here's a video of C laughing and having a good time; then he spits up, lol.  Enjoy :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Garlic Chicken Flavored Couscous

So couscous is diverse, super easy to make, and takes almost no time at all.  I got a box of plain original couscous (10 oz.) and added some of my favorite flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box plain couscous (I use the Near East brand)- 10 oz.
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (from a jar, of course)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
Directions:
  • In small saucepan over med-high heat, lightly brown garlic (if using fresh garlic, use olive oil- the jar has plenty of liquid to avoid burning)
  • Once garlic is fragrant, add chicken stock, salt, olive oil, and onion powder
  • When liquid comes just to a boil, stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat
  • Let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with fork before serving
This makes about 5 servings; since I don't have many options as far as snacking goes, I like to make extra so I can pop something in the microwave for a quick meal.  This would go really well with the chicken recipe I posted yesterday!  

Enjoy :)

Quick, delicious grilled chicken

We eat a LOT of chicken around here.  I'm not a huge red meat fan, and chicken is fast, easy, and diverse.  I tried this last night, just throwing things together from my spice cabinet, and it turned out really yummy.  Even better?  It's super fast and something you can throw together in a few minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (medium sized)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic (I used the pre-cut jarred garlic)
  • 1 tsp rosemary 
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp season salt (I know this sounds like a lot, and you can use less, but I like salt and it wasn't too overpowering for the dish)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar (or whatever you have on hand; it just adds a little depth to the flavor)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • *you don't need to be exact with measurements, and you can add or subtract different spices according to your preferences
  • **I use all dry spices

Directions:
  • Put everything but chicken into quart sized freezer bag
  • Cut chicken into 1" strips, trimming fat, and put in the bag
  • Seal bag and mash around to thoroughly coat chicken
  • Grill (I just used my countertop electric grill) on med-high heat until chicken is cooked through.
Another note: I was making some acorn squash to go along with this chicken, so I put the chicken in the marinade in the fridge until just before it was time to eat.  You can make this a day or a few hours ahead and just toss on the grill when you're ready to go, since it only takes a couple minutes to cook through.    

You can have it plain, depending on your diet restrictions you can put it in a tortilla with some veggies and have a wrap, put it on a sandwich, make tacos, whatever.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

COOKIES!! (Top 8 Free)

I made these today, and they are actually quite delicious!!  Fresh-baked cookies were always a weakness for me, and it's been hard going without.  I found a recipe that was wheat-free, but it called for an egg, which I am currently going without (for a reminder, the top 8 allergens are dairy, soy, wheat, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish), so I had to find a substitute.  They turned out deliciously chewy. Enjoy!

**EDIT**
Enjoy Life makes allergy safe chocolate chips, and they're AMAZING!!  I put them in these cookies the next time I made them and they were so delicious.
· 
  • 1/2 cup dairy free margarine (I use Earth Balance dairy and soy free margarine)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed 
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (this replaces the egg)
  • 2 cups rice flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
Cream the margarine and sugars together. Add the applesauce and cream the mixture until fluffy. Add dry ingredients. Beat the combination well. 

Bake at 350 F for 12 - 15 minutes.


The original recipe called for nuts and raisins, but I can't have nuts and I don't like raisins, lol.  They're a great base cookie, and you can mix in whatever fits your diet; chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc.  


(They don't look very pretty; I just plopped spoonfuls on the cookie sheet.  But they taste good!)

He Rolled Over!!

Today, C rolled from belly to back, I'm so proud of him!!  Of course, he wouldn't do a repeat performance for his daddy, but we have time for that :)

He's doing so many new things lately; cooing, "talking," he's learned to fake cough, and he's smiling and laughing a lot more.  Here is a video of him talking and laughing with his best friend, Ceiling Fan:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to Square One

Ever since we went on our trip, C hasn't been doing so well.  He's had a rash on his face that recently spread to his chest and legs, he's been fussy, spitting up more, etc.  At first I thought I had eaten something contaminated with dairy or soy and that's what was causing the reaction, but it hasn't improved much and since we were out of town when I was reintroducing some things, it was hectic and rushed and not done properly.

So, I'm going back to a top 8 free diet.  No dairy, soy, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish, or shellfish.

Sorry for the lack of recipes, I haven't been doing anything new.  Since I'm restricting my diet so much again, I'll have to come up with some new stuff soon, and I'll post when I can.  :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

CPR Class

So today I got certified in CPR, child/infant CPR, AED, and First Aid.  This certification usually happens in several classes spanning a few weeks.  We did it all in one shot: a Saturday class from 8:30 am to 6 pm.  I've been wanting to take infant and child CPR since I found out I was pregnant, and just got around to it.

Since Bryan is working and I'm breastfeeding, I have the genius idea to just take C with me!  He's a super awesome baby, no problem bringing him along right?

....... yeah........

The first half of the day, C was AWESOME.  He just hung out, slept a little (ok, 30 mins, which doesn't really count as a nap, but I'll take it), and hardly cried.  Everyone commented on how chill he was, and how he was such a great baby.  Then, the afternoon came.

No naps, being in a strange place, no beds, etc. led to a grumpy, grumpy baby in the afternoon.  I checked with the teachers beforehand about bringing him and they said as long as I was ok with it, so they were extremely understanding, and I did whatever hands-on stuff I could do, but most of the afternoon was spent standing, walking, bouncing, rocking, and shushing C.  Not to mention the MASSIVE amounts of spit up that happened all day, soaking through two bibs (and when I say soaking, these bibs could've been wrung out, it was insane) and an outfit.

The good news is, even though I was standing most of the time and bouncing and trying to fill in the little circles all at once, I was still the first one done on the tests and got 100% on both of them.  I feel so nerdy and special!!  The bad news is, my body HURTS.  It's 8:30 pm, C is asleep (thank goodness), I'm eating and I will be in bed very, very soon.

A long, exhausting day, but now I can save people :D

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Redondo trip pictures

So our trip to Redondo Beach was a lot of fun, even if it was cold.  Living in Las Vegas, and it being the weekend ending July and starting August, I packed capris, shorts, tank tops, and flip flops.  So when I got there and it was in the 60's and 70's (it's SUMMER, California!  Those temperatures are reserved for October/November!), we had to stop at a store and buy me a sweater.  Here was the view from our hotel room:



Saturday we went to a wedding.  Here's C in his fancy duds:





On Sunday we went to Huntington Beach.  Well, we walked the pier.  There was some sort of surf competition in town, so the beach looked like this:

On Monday we went to the actual beach (Redondo), and it was cold.  And windy.  And overcast.  Generally not pleasant.  I put C in the Ergo to keep both of us warmer, and he slept through everything.  Here are some pics from that:




And here's Estee getting scared by a seagull :P



Before we headed back home, we met up with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for dinner.  Here are some pictures of the family, and of our travel group:




Then, it was time to head home.  Which was good, because C was SO done with vacation:


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Whole Foods= My hero

We went on vacation this past weekend, and I was really worried about food.  Thankfully, there was a Whole Foods within walking distance from our hotel!  They have a ton of allergy free options, and everything is clearly marked and labeled, making shopping much easier.

It is more expensive to shop there, but I try and just get stuff there that I can't get at the regular grocery store (bread, mayo, snacks, etc).  Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there, it's definitely worth a trip :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vacation

We just got back late last night from a 4 day vacation in California to attend a wedding (congrats, Liz and Matt!!).  C did SO well in the car and in general, and we had a lot of fun.  I'll post some pictures soon :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

This was an experiment that I threw together, and it turned out surprisingly well.  My 1 1/2 year old niece LOVED it and ate 3x the amount she normally eats at dinner.  I don't have exact measurements, because it depends on how much chicken there is.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breast (1 for each person eating)
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • BBQ Sauce (your favorite kind)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chicken Stock
Directions:
  • Put chicken, onion, and garlic in Crock Pot
  • Put BBQ sauce in until almost covered
  • Put in 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Pour chicken stock until everything is covered
  • Cook 3-4 hours on high
We served it over brown rice (we serve pretty much everything over rice), and it was a good, soupy, hearty meal. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Diet update

I've been eating corn for the past 3 days and everything is going well, so corn is back in!!  I want to reintroduce wheat next, and then egg.  If I could get my bread and pasta back, life would be awesome.

Baked Sweet Potato

I LOVE sweet potatoes, and this is a great snack, side, dessert, breakfast, whatever!  It's yummy, tastes like candy, and isn't entirely unhealthy.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potato
  • 1tsp Vanilla
  • Brown Sugar
  • *Butter/Margarine (optional)
*I use earth balance dairy and soy free spread

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Put potato on cookie sheet (on foil)
  • Bake for 40-60 mins, depending on size of potato
  • Remove skin, mash in bowl with vanilla, brown sugar, and margarine.  
You can add more or less brown sugar depending on how sweet you want it.  The margarine isn't necessary; it's plenty moist without it.

Yummy Oven Fries

These are pretty quick and easy, and fairy healthy, even!

Ingredients:

  • Russet Potatoes (one for each person)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Dry Rosemary
  • Olive Oil
  • Dry Basil
*Amounts vary depending on how many potatoes, and how much flavor you want.  Sorry I'm not being more specific, but I just add spices until I like how they look, lol

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • Cut potatoes into wedges, skins on
  • In large mixing bowl, toss fries with spices and enough olive oil just to coat
  • Put on cookie sheet (Whenever I use a cookie sheet I line it with foil so cleanup is a breeze) in a single layer
  • Bake for 25-30 mins
  • Broil for 5-10 mins to get crispy brown coating
I'm not a huge ketchup fan, so I dip mine in A1 steak sauce.  These are super easy and very delicious!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Restrictions & a New Recipe

So, C was doing much, much better with no dairy or soy.  The problem is, he's still very gassy; I don't know if he just happens to be a gassy baby or if he's allergic to something else, so I'm omitting more.  The pediatric GI suggested omitting corn, because he's seeing more and more corn allergies, and there's corn syrup in everything.  I did him one better; I'm cutting all 8 top allergens, plus corn.

So now I have to cook without dairy, soy, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, fish, or corn.  The fish/shellfish is no problem; I don't eat fish anyway.  I was never huge on nuts in general, but lately pistachios have been my quick go-to snack, and now they're out.  I hardly ever eat eggs (unless they're cooked into something, like cake), so I didn't think that would be a problem, but like I said, they're in a lot of stuff.  Wheat is rough (bye, bye bread), and corn is really hard.  That means no more Slurpees, no Pepsi, no candy (first my chocolate, and now I can't even have Sour Punch!), most juices are out... there's a LOT of stuff with corn syrup in it.  My beloved junk food is now prohibido.  I'm hoping that C shows a lot of improvement, and in a week or so I'll start trying to reintroduce some foods to see if he has a reaction to them.

So what can I eat, you ask?  Basically: meat, fruit, veggies, rice.  So I'm trying to be creative and I make a huge batch of something so it lasts me 2-3 days before I have to try and come up with something new.  Here's a recipe that I tried that turned out really good (and it's for the Crock Pot, which is my best friend because I get nice, from-scratch, home-cooked meals without slaving away in the kitchen) and is super easy:

Chicken & Veggies Over Rice

Ingredients:
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced (I tossed it in our mini food processor)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced (I used the kind out of a jar)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 16-oz can chopped tomatoes (keep liquid)
  • 2 handfuls baby carrots
  • Chicken stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions:
  • Saute onion and garlic in olive oil to bring out flavor
  • Put chicken at bottom of crock pot, veggies on top 
    • I used chopped cucumber instead of carrots in mine, but it didn't turn out so well.  Next time I think it'll be much better with carrots, but you can use any veggies you want: zucchini, asparagus, turnip, etc.
  • Put garlic and onion in
  • Pour can of tomatoes (with liquid) over the top of everything
  • Pour chicken stock until veggies are just covered
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours
We served it over brown rice, and it turned out delicious, and the chicken was amazingly tender.  This is going to definitely be one of my go-to recipes, and I'll try it with different veggies, or maybe even substitute beef and beef stock to make it almost like a roast.  Very easy, very versatile, very delicious.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm gonna be skinny whether I like it or not!

So Connor has been doing much better since I cut out dairy and soy, but still not great.  He's still very gassy and has a painful, upset tummy a lot.

We've started a new, stronger (and more expensive) medicine for his acid reflux, and I'm cutting more out of my diet to try and help him.  I've cut out the top 8 allergens, plus corn, and (hopefully) once he improves I'll reintroduce foods and see how they affect him.  That means I'm not eating dairy, soy, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, wheat, or corn.  I'm eating mainly meat, veggies, and fruit right now.  I only cut out the other 7 things yesterday, so I haven't noticed a difference yet, but I'm really hoping it starts working soon.

My hope is that I'll be able to figure out what triggers a reaction, and once we get his issues under control, and hopefully reduce or eliminate his medication.

Good news: he's growing like crazy, and is almost 11 pounds now!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Garlic Chicken "Pizza"

So, this isn't real pizza because there's no cheese, and I've never been big on tomato sauce (I think there's always too much on pizza), so I omitted that, too.  This was something I threw together real quick for lunch, and it turned out ok.

Ingredients:

  • Bake-at-home pizza crust
  • Grilled chicken, shredded (half of a large breast)
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced very thin
  • Olive oil
  • Various spices (I used rosemary, basil, seasoned salt, onion powder)
Directions: 
(these are based off of the cooking directions for the pizza crust, and revised)
  1. Heat oven to 450*
  2. Brush crust with olive oil
  3. Top with chicken and garlic
  4. Add pinches of spices
  5. Lower oven temp to 425*
  6. Bake on cookie sheet on middle rack for 10 minutes
This turned out pretty good.  You can use whatever you want on top, I was trying to find a way to use the grilled chicken I had leftover from yesterday's lunch.  You can also dip it in marinara sauce if you want, and of course, if you can have cheese, go ahead and throw that on top.  I should really start taking pictures of stuff before I eat it...  I'll try and remember for next time :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My new food blog:

http://youmeanihavetocook.blogspot.com/

Turkey Meatballs

I originally made this dish with penne pasta and a homemade sauce that didn't turn out so great, so I'm going to hold off on posting a sauce recipe until I find one I like.  I used Barilla pasta (picture below), and they also make a line of whole wheat pastas.  I can have beef, but I like turkey better and it's healthier, so I used that instead.  Any of my recipes that involve ground turkey can easily be made with ground beef as well.
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • a pinch of:
    • Rosemary
    • Oregano
    • Basil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Directions:
  1. Mix everything, minus olive oil, in medium bowl 
  2. Roll into balls using palms (whatever size you like)
  3. In large frying pan, heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom
  4. Cook meatballs over medium heat.  For larger ones, turn to low and cover to make sure they cook all the way through
These are super fast, easy, and if you have the meat, the rest you can pull from your fridge or spice cabinet.  I've also formed them into patties to make some delicious turkey burgers.  If you're cooking on the grill, just eliminate the olive oil, but make sure to use some sort of cooking spray so they don't stick.

Poor Baby :(

I posted before about how we're dairy and soy free.  We didn't know that Connor was intolerant to soy, we eliminated it as a precaution because of it's correlation with dairy intolerances.  Bryan found out online, and I did some further research, and we found out that most people who can't tolerate soy can tolerate soybean oil, because it's highly refined and usually doesn't trigger a reaction.  I was so excited, because a LOT of food has soybean oil, and it would've meant a lot more things I can eat.

So the day before yesterday, I ate soybean oil to see if we got a reaction.  BIG mistake.  We had such a bad day yesterday.  Connor didn't sleep, he was super fussy, gassy, had stomach pains, and diarrhea all day.  He wouldn't let me put him down, and I had to be either up and walking around or rocking or bouncing him all. day. long.  It turns out, he's not only soy intolerant, but also extremely sensitive to it.

Today we're already doing better.  He's still fussy and gassy, but it'll take a couple days for the soy to get completely out of his system.  This means that not only do I have to learn to cook (eek!), but I have to cook from SCRATCH.  No boxes or shortcuts, because almost everything has dairy, soy, or both.  I think I'm going to create a food blog (never thought I'd type that sentence... ) about recipes I've tried, how easy they are (I'm going to try and stick with fast and easy until I get some cooking skill under my belt), and how they taste.  I'll add a link once I get it going.

Here's a picture of Connor from earlier today:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1 Corinthians 13

For those of you that aren't familiar or don't have a Bible handy, here's the chapter:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.


Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  


Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophecy in part,
But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."

I read this chapter this week, and the bolded part stood out to me (verse 10).  I had heard the "love is patient, love is kind" passage, as well as the last verse, but I had never read the entire chapter.  To me, verse 10 is the most powerful.  When perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  This speaks to the cleansing power of love, and of faith.  No matter what we have wrong with us, or what wounds we have, love comes in and washes them clean, heals them until we are perfect despite our flaws.

This makes me think of marriage; how you can take two incomplete, flawed people, but once they find love and become a single unit, they are also suddenly complete individuals on their own.  I had never been able to find the words, but this verse has said it for me.  Love does not take away, it adds to us and fills gaps in our hearts.  If we have a relationship in our life that is chipping away at us, we know that it can't be love, not the pure, healing love that we all deserve.  The people in our life should heal us and lift us up, and we should do the same for them.  Love is not a game of give and take; if both sides are giving 100%, they are also gaining 100%.

I found this verse so moving, so I had to share.  It reminded me of the power of love, and the way I should be loving in my life.  So many times we are looking inward, trying to see what we can get from a relationship, when that attitude only hurts both parties.  I'll keep this chapter bookmarked in my Bible so I can take a minute every now and then to reevaluate myself and my relationships, and hopefully it will allow me to love more fully, and be a little more selfless.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Connor Update

Since I last wrote, we found out that Connor has a cow's milk protein allergy.  We've been to the hospital and doctor several times for a range of issues including Acid Reflux, vomiting, fussiness, and blood in his stool.  I cut dairy and soy from my diet (60% of babies with cow's milk protein allergy also have a soy allergy), and Connor has been doing much better.  He's gaining weight, and is in the 25th percentile for height and weight, and the 50th percentile for head size.

We saw a pediatric GI today and he looked at Connor's symptoms and agreed that it's a cow's milk protein allergy.  He said that I need to stay dairy and soy free until Connor is 6-9 months old, and at that point we'll do some blood tests and see if we can reintroduce some foods.  It's been a rough few weeks, but we're working through it.

Here's a picture of Connor at 1 month old:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Connor is losing weight :(

So at his one week appointment, Connor was gaining weight and was up to 7lbs 8oz (he got down to 7lbs 5oz in the hospital).  A week later we went back to the doctor to get Connor circumcised (which ended up not happening, but that's a different story), and he had lost weight and was back down to 7lbs 5oz.  The pediatrician told us to feed him every 2 hours and to come back today to check his weight again.

All week, Connor had been eating every 2 hours or less (occasionally making it to 3 hours, but a lot of times only going one hour between feedings), and I thought for SURE that he would've gained weight.  Well, he lost another ounce, and is down to 7lbs 4oz at this point.  I know my supply isn't an issue, I have a ton of milk, I just don't know why he's not getting what he needs!

So, now we're giving him formula so we can monitor how much he eats and his calorie intake, and we'll see the doctor again on Friday.  In the meantime, I'll be pumping and saving my breast milk for future use.  If on Friday he is still losing weight (or isn't gaining), we'll have to check him into the hospital until we figure out what the issue is.  I'm so afraid for my little guy, and can't help but feel guilty.  Bryan is supposed to return to work on Saturday, but he has more time available to take off if we end up having to take Connor to the hospital.

I'm really hoping that after our appointment I can go back to breast feeding, or at least pumping and giving him breast milk in a bottle.  I also hope that whatever is going on with him is easily fixed or managed so Connor isn't sick or in pain; I feel so helpless for my poor little baby.  Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

We had a fun Memorial Day yesterday; it was our first outing with Connor (besides doctor's appointments), and he did so well!  We went to grandma's house for a BBQ, then to see Bryan's friends who are in town for just a few days.  We had a lot of fun.  Here's us at grandma's:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life at Home

Connor has been doing really well at home.  He has his days and nights a little mixed up, but it's not too bad, because Bryan and I are pretty nocturnal anyway.  He is so precious and amazing, and has such a serious little face.

We saw the pediatrician yesterday, and Connor is doing very well.  He's gaining weight and is almost back to his birth weight, and he's generally healthy.  Even though we're pretty sleep deprived, I'm so happy he's with us, and I could sit and watch him sleep all day (which I do quite a bit, actually).  Here's the view I have right now:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Connor is Here!! Our challenging first meeting:

Here's the story of Connor's birth; if you want you can skip the details and head straight to the pictures at the end of the post :)

On Wednesday, May 19th at 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I had an ultrasound and a doctor's appointment because I was measuring way big.  At the ultrasound, they estimated Connor to be 8 lbs 9 oz, in addition to having high levels of amniotic fluid.  My doctor knew that I wanted to avoid a C Section, so he sent me to the hospital to get induced because the bigger the baby, the more likely I was to have a C Section.  I was nervous about getting an induction, but SO excited to meet my baby!!

I knew that once I checked in to the hospital I'd only get ice chips to eat, so Bryan and I went for one last dinner as just two of us at California Pizza Kitchen.  Then, on the way to the hospital, I had Bryan stop at Golden spoon, and I got a small frozen yogurt :)

We got to the hospital at 6 pm, and pretty much immediately started Pitocin to start contractions.  We had a slow start, and it took a while for them to pick up.  When I went in to the hospital I was already 2 cm and 80% effaced; at around 5 am on Thursday the 20th, I was almost at 3 cm, so the nurse broke my water, which put me at a solid 3 and 100% effaced, and started to help the contractions along.  Once the contractions started getting painful, my back was also cramping, so I asked for the epidural sooner than I may have otherwise because back labor was not fun.  Then, the wonderful man with the epidural came, and I felt great.  Even though I was in labor for 23 hours, I slept through most of it.  After my water broke, I progressed much quicker.

At around 4 pm on the 20th, I was completely dilated and started to push.  I wasn't in pain (thanks, epidural), but it was very tiring work.  I pushed for 50 minutes, and Connor William was born at 4:59 pm.  He had a very big head, and even though my doctor gave me 2 episiotomies, I still tore, and had to get stitches from front to back.  On top of that, the doctor had to use the vacuum to help Connor out because I just wasn't making as much progress as I needed with the pushing.  He ended up being only 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long, but his head circumference was 14 inches!!

As soon as he was out, Bryan cut the cord and they put him on my chest.  He was so amazing and beautiful, I couldn't believe it!  The doctors were concerned with his cry; instead of the loud, deep cries that babies need to clear all the fluid out of their lungs, Connor had softer, faster, shallow cries.  He ended up going to the NICU for a while and they took some chest x-rays and monitored him to make sure that the fluid wasn't a problem, and to raise his oxygen levels.  Turns out that he's great!!

Meanwhile, I wasn't doing so great.  My uterus wasn't clamping down like it was supposed to, and I was bleeding heavily.  While labor and delivering was a piece of cake thanks to the epidural, immediately after was a different story altogether.  While the epidural was still in place, I could feel a lot.  They had to "massage" my uterus to try and get it to stop bleeding, which basically means that a nurse was kneading my gut, and it hurt SO bad that I started vomiting.  I hadn't had any food for 24 hours, so it was all bile.    They put a shot of something (I'm not sure) in each thigh to try and help with the bleeding, and my doctor was simultaneously trying to stitch me up and control the bleeding from my uterus at the same time.

My mom told me that at one point she looked at the monitor and my blood pressure went WAY down, while my pulse went way up.  My doctor ended up using 40 packages of gauze to soak up blood, and the delivery room looked like a war zone when they were done.  My mom and sister stayed in the room with me, and Bryan went to the NICU with Connor.  I wasn't worried about Connor because I thought they were just doing the usual tests and measurements on him, and when I saw him he was crying and seemed to be doing well.  Apparently what was happening to me was pretty scary, but I was just focused on the pain and wondering why the nurse was being so mean to my stomach.  I had to have a few rounds of IV antibiotics to make sure I avoided infection since I had such a big tear.

I'm recovering really well, but it's tough.  I'm taking Percocet for pain, Motrin for swelling, stool softeners to help keep my stitches intact, and prenatals so me and Connor continue to get what we need while I breastfeed.  I can't stand for too long or get up too quickly without getting dizzy or nauseous, and walking around, getting up and down, and even changing positions on the couch or bed is pretty painful.    I have to have someone else hold Connor while I get up or down because I'm not stable yet and need both hands to support myself.

Breastfeeding is going well; my milk came in quick, and Connor only needs short feeding sessions before he's full because I have so much.  We're still getting used to each other and trying to figure everything out.  Bryan has been amazing and such a huge help, and my mom is here helping too.  Sorry to everyone that we've been MIA, but we really haven't been calling anyone because we're trying to adjust, and since Connor's birth was a little on the scary side, I haven't wanted to tell the story over and over.

Now for the fun part: pictures!!!

First picture; 7 lbs, 12 oz and 20 inches long.  Born at 4:59 pm on Thursday, May 20th


Going home!!


What are you lookin' at?

Monday, May 17, 2010

So today I'm 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  That means only 5 days to go!  Well, 5 days until my due date.  Hopefully Connor comes before that, but he might just hang out for a while.  If he got here tomorrow, that would be super awesome! 

So, I'm measuring big for how far along I am (my giant baby fears may be coming true), and I'm going to have an ultrasound on Wednesday to see how Connor is growing and to check the levels of his amniotic fluid.  I'm nervous about the ultrasound; they are notorious for being off (when my sister had one the DAY my nephew was born, it was off by almost 2 lbs!), and I'm worried that if it shows Connor being too large my doctor may want to go the c section route.  I think I could handle a pretty big baby (I mean, it's not like I'm a small girl, lol).  I don't mind having a big baby, I just want him small enough to push out!!  

Sometimes I feel like I'm SO ready and it could happen at any time, and other times I feel like he's just gonna hang out in there forever and there's no way I'll go into labor on my own.  If he's not ready and my body doesn't want to cooperate I will cook him for as long as he needs (granted, I won't be happy about it), but since he's already large, I'm worried he's going to get too big for me.  I'm really nervous and don't want to get a c section.  

Anyway, here's a picture of my belly from today!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bryan is sick :(

So for the past few days, Bryan has been feeling pretty crappy.  He was achey, feverish, and had a sore throat.  He finally decided to see a doctor when he could barely turn his neck because it ached so bad.  Turns out, he has Strep Throat!  Of course, it would be difficult for him to have found a less convenient time to get sick since the baby could come at any time, but he's started antibiotics and hopefully he'll be better, or at least past the contagious stage by the time I go into labor.

In addition to the Strep, he also has a pretty bad sinus infection and the flu; he's on antibiotics for the Strep and the sinuses, on an antiviral for the flu, on Sudafed to help with sinuses further, and Ibuprofen for the fever.  It took a lot for me to get him to stay home from work today (he likes his job way too much), but I convinced him that if he got the rest of his squad sick, they'd be pretty upset with him, so he agreed to take one day off to allow the antibiotics to kick in.

I hope he feels better soon!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Moving!!

So Bryan and I got the keys to our new apartment today, and we'll be moving over the next 3 days (since it's his weekend).  There is a LOT to do, and I'm pretty useless as far as packing/moving goes; we may have more disorganization, but better that than me go into labor in the middle of a move!  Wish us luck, and hopefully we'll be at least semi-settled in before Connor gets here :)

And... HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY MIKAH!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mommy View

Here's what I get to look down at every day (notice the absence of feet, lol)!!  The right side of my belly is rounder because that's where Connor likes to hang out.  

As of tomorrow (Saturday) I will be 37 weeks along, which means I'm full term and Connor could literally come at any time!!  I can't believe it's getting so close!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm no longer a student!

I'm done with school!!  Now I can concentrate on getting everything ready for the baby to get here.

I had a doctor's appointment today; Connor is head down and low.  I'm a week away from full term, so if I go into labor in the next week or so he'll try and stop it, but Connor is getting big enough that if he really wanted to come, he would probably be ok and not have problems.  Anytime after next week, if I go into labor, I'll get a baby!

My doctor didn't say anything to make me think that he'll come early, but was basically just saying that if he did, he'd be ok.  Since Bryan and I are moving in a week and a half, I hope that Connor can hang out long enough for us to get settled in our new place at least, and I hope that moving doesn't send me into labor!  I'm getting REALLY uncomfortable but I want a healthy baby, so Connor can keep cooking as long as he needs to.  If he decides he wants to come out soon, I'd be ok with that too :)

It's getting so much more real; I could literally have a baby at any time!  I can't wait until I can post pictures of my outside baby!

Speaking of pictures, my good friend Bret (bretanderson.com) took some maternity portraits of me today, and I can't wait to get some from him so I can post them!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

So... Close...

After a couple of late nights and some fancy computer help from Bret, I think I am done with my portfolio class.  I have to go in tomorrow, print a few things out in the library, and give a presentation, but I hope I'm done.  Also, I'm waiting on paperwork to be returned from my internship that of course I put off until the very last second, and I'm a bit worried about that getting faxed in on time.  No internship paperwork = no graduation...

In addition I will be running around the school like a crazy person trying to get all of my graduation paperwork filled out, signed, and finalized by the 15 different people who need to contribute because, of course, I couldn't have possibly done any of this in the past 10 weeks, I had to wait until my last day of class to do everything.

The good news is, my portfolio looks fancy and professional (at least I think so; I hope my teacher and my grade agree), and the end of my schooling is within reach.  At the end of all this, the only thing I'm interested in is sleeping.

In less than 2 weeks, Bryan and I will be moving This makes me nervous because I will officially be full term, which means that Connor could come at any time.  If he can just stay in long enough for us to get our bed, his bassinet, changing table, and pack and play assembled in the new place, I'll be happy.  If the rest of the house in in boxes, so be it, but I at least want his stuff ready.  Also, I need to have the car seat base installed and our hospital bag packed, but of course I don't know when I'll do any of that.

Right now he just needs to keep cooking so I can get everything ready (I'm sure that if I go past my due date that statement will come back to bite me in the butt).  The good news is, Bryan and I found a pediatrician that we really like, and I think we'll be happy with him.

Ok, it's after 3 in the morning and I'm exhausted.  I'll hopefully get a decent amount of sleep so I'm not a zombie during my presentation, and I fully plan on going to bed early tomorrow.

I can't wait until Bryan and I have an outside baby that I can give updates on; I'm sure it will be much more interesting than my current tales of procrastination.  Until next time :)