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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Update and Toddler Menu

Life has been busy! My mom was here until yesterday morning, which means more got done than usual and I did less! In addition to all the work (we finished all the items on my wish list and more by the way) there were lots of chances to just visit. Not conducive to blogging I'm afraid.

Thanks to all of you who offered breastfeeding advise, either via email or leaving a comment! I was greatly encouraged by you and your experience. In the few days since that post, my little one has regulated some and is eating much better. I haven't weighed her since that last time (as STRONGLY recommended by one of you in an email), so I don't know anything definitive, but I am not so worried now. Perhaps I'll check her weight Friday since she'll be 4 weeks.

Enough of that... now for the reason you're all here... this weeks sample toddler menu. As always, email me for a printable copy.
Most of the dinners are out of my freezer (now that church meals have stopped and Mom is gone, I'm thankful to have done that advanced work). I feel like I've been in a rut as far as vegetables are concerned (perhaps its the new baby), so I'm going to be working on that these next few weeks. This week I'm incorporating some canned pumpkin and homemade garlic mashed potatoes to switch it up a bit. Don't forget to add spinach to those scrambled eggs. Oh... and I'll be finely chopping up some broccoli for the homemade mac n cheese.

Have a healthy week!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Input Requested: Breastfeeding Advice

For my select male readership (all 3 or so of you), please feel free to skip this post.

I have a question for those of you with lots of experience breastfeeding your children (or even just lots of children or even just some experience). My DS never did well nursing... and even when we figured it out, he then spit everything up. Convinced by everyone that "it always looks like more spit up than it really is", I wasn't worried. At our 3 month appointment however we learned that he had only gained a pound more than his birth weight! He wasn't gaining. So, knowing that history, please understand why I may be over reacting or over anxious where my 2 1/2 week olds growth and eating are concerned.

I am breastfeeding our little girl (as I'm sure you've figured) and it is just sooo hard to know whether she is getting enough. This is something I know everyone deals with. Because of this I pay close attention to her "healthy growth indicatiors". (Updated: I should also say... I have no doubt as to my milk supply, but she doesn't seem to eat much. It's really hard to get her to stay awake for a feeding. She only wakes up fully after her feeding.)

We have an old baby scale (measures in fractions of a pound, not in ounces). It is old (probably from the 50s-70s somewhere) that an older lady in our church lent to us, so we aren't sure how very accurate it is, but we figure it will give us a ball park idea of weight and help us watch whether our little girl is gaining. It's hard to say for sure, but if she is gaining weight, it isn't very fast. This makes me worry a little, but then I look at other "healthy growth indicators" and note that her urine is clear and that she has enough wet and poopy diapers in a day.

My intention is to watch the scale over the next couple days and continue monitoring (i.e. she isn't lethargic, how many wet diapers, etc.) her myself. If things start looking bad, or the scale refuses to move, I will call the doctor, but we really prefer not to drag my children to the doctors for every little thing. What do you with experience think? Is this a normal thing? She is spitting up some, but I don't think it's as much as DS was. Sometimes it's lots, and sometimes she doesn't at all. I just really don't feel like I can judge normal. I would appreciate any thoughts from you who have been there before and have more wisdom than I!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Salmon Stew Recipe! YUM! **UPDATED with Pictures**

I just have to share with you the scent that is wafting through my home. For those of you who have consulted our meal plan for the week, you will notice that we are having Salmon Stew for dinner tonight. Oh my... it smells yummy! Mom brought the recipe (one she got from someone at home and modified severely! ~ Does that make it an original recipe???) Here is the recipe for your own modifying...

Salmon Stew

(Or Fish Stew or Fish Chowder or Salmon Chowder)
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (we found a turkey sausage without MSG... but sorry, packaging is gone already)
  • 1 medium to large onion (or small if you don't like that much onion), chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped or pressed)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomatoes (cut up to your size preference)
  • 2 cups water (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 pound salmon (or other fish), skin and bones removed, cut into bite size pieces
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In Dutch Oven (large 4-8 quart pot) brown sausage (if links, remove skin and ground), onion and garlic. Add remaining ingredients, except fish, and simmer covered 45 minutes. Add fish and simmer 10 minutes until fish flakes. (Optional: may add pasta or rice. See directions for each for time required to cook them.)

Serve with Garlic Bread and salad.

UPDATED: It was delicious! I encourage you all to try it. It is a very easy and adjustable recipe! My 15 1/2 month old ate it too! :)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekly Toddler Menu

Email babychaser[at]gmail[dot]com for a printable copy!
Not much time today. My mom is here, but I wanted to get you all our menu for the week. Several of the recipes are ones my mom brought with her. I'll try to get you the recipes. :) Thankfully, mom is doing most of everything this week... cooking and cleaning included! :) Come Sunday afternoon she is heading home and it's all us again.
I have just a short bit of time before I have to nurse again (feeding ever 2 1/2 hours, but she takes an entire hour to eat each time... this leaves me right around 1-1 1/2 hours between feedings by the time I get her changed, cleaned up etc.) so I'm off in search of that feeling of accomplishment. Why is that so elusive these days!?!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dreaming of a White Easter

What fun! Here I am, on the day before Easter, the third day of Spring, watching giant snow flakes fall to a thin cushion of white. Spring is a lot different here than where I grew up in California (where we had festive Christmas t-shirts instead of sweaters and our Easter dresses were appropriate for the weather!) Though our weather has been beautiful this last week or two, it has been far from normal.

In other news... my mom was scheduled to arrive last night, but alas a day of delays and missed flights left her "stranded" at the Dulles Airport until tonight. Good thing my sister lives close to there, so they are getting to spend the day together before she makes her way the rest of the way up here. So... we are on our own one more day before help arrives! :)

Anyway... Happy Easter to all of you. I hope your plans are fun. As for us, we are just staying around here. :)



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When feeling good isn't!

Ugh! Other than being tired (from lack of night time sleep) I feel great! Unfortunately my body has been informing me in the last couple days that I'm doing too much! Because I've been feeling so good, and even motivated to get things done around the house, I've been doing things. I've been cleaning, keeping up with dishes (using paper is helping with this dramatically), keeping the living room picked up (toys are constantly reappearing all over), etc. Oh, and picking up DS (all 27 pounds of him)... after all... they only meant "don't lift anything heavier than your newborn" while I still felt weak, right? Apparently not!

Day before yesterday my body began showing me that it isn't healed yet, and though I feel great, I still need to be taking it easy. So... time to back things off a bit. (Sad too, because I really want to be participating in some of the spring cleaning going on out there... and since when do I ever feel like cleaning?) These past couple days... yesterday and today... I've tried to stay off my feet a bit more. Still I've been able to keep up on dishes, picking up toys etc., and basic care of DS, but instead of accomplishing great tasks during nap time I'm submitting to my DH and laying down... even napping!

This afternoon it occurred to me that perhaps 27 pounds is too much to be lifting (since DD isn't quite 7 pounds yet). What is a mother (at home alone all day) to do when she can't lift her toddler? I tell you, it's not possible! If the rule is (and it is) that DS can't touch the bassinet, how else is he to see his sister (he is allowed to see her any time he wants, he just has to ask... not touch the bassinet to pull himself up) than to be lifted up? How am I to get him into his high chair? Or the crib? I changed his diaper on the floor this afternoon instead of the changing table, but still....

Thankfully, tomorrow is the last day I have to deal with it for a while. DH has Good Friday off, so he will be home Friday... and my mom gets here Friday night and will be with us all next week! :) No more lifting for me for a while. In the mean time though... anyone have any ideas??? I'd love some help to get me through the next day or so.


Getting MY Toddler to Eat

Ok... this is going to make some of you more experienced mommies chuckle a little bit, but please, for my sake, do it so I can't hear you. I'm running on low levels of sleep and may take things a little too seriously!

In the last couple weeks (beginning right around the time our little girl was born ~ related??? I don't know) I have been going mad at meal times. Yes... I am the same Babychaser who brought to you the 8 strategies on how to get your toddler to eat, but things haven't been going well! I've found myself saying and doing things I swore I'd never do... right down to letting myself get frustrated. Ok... I take into consideration that I'm tired and therefore less flexible in general, but still.

So... DS won't eat. He liked it yesterday, but today, not so much. I find myself working very hard not to make rules I don't want to enforce (i.e. just one more bite, eat your fruit, you HAVE to eat this first). I don't want to start those food wars. Most likely, he will get through this little food fickle faze (ok... I know that phase is spelled with a "ph", but I had to go with the "f" this time... and you may as well use a "z" when you are deliberately spelling something wrong!) without my threatening his life. He did it again last night... just didn't want to eat. So I let him not eat. He was plenty ready for breakfast this morning!

Ok... so my Works for Me Wednesday tip! Sometime early last week, we were having one of our troubling (read: frustrating) meal times and I just kept hearing all my advice on getting toddlers to eat roll through my head. I was feeling pretty lame! He would not eat, except occasionally from my fork. Then he stopped eating from my fork. He was pushing it away (a behavior issue we are working on) and often getting it on me or the floor (not ok in our home). Before doing anything that would not have been becoming of the Proverbs 31 woman (you know... the one who has kindness on her tongue), I gave up and gave the child a fork!

Now, let me tell you... I've been wondering when my toddler would be ready to start using silverware. I have almost asked you all several times for your advice. Apparently he's ready! He ate his whole meal with that fork. It took longer, sure... he isn't real coordinated with that fork. I help sometimes, and sometimes I let him battle it out. Sometimes he holds the fork in one hand and shoves food in with the other.

What am I saying??? If you have tried everything and can't get your toddler to eat, try giving him the fork and letting him try it for himself! Just don't go far... those forks can be dangerous! :) Hey, it's working for us!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Gifts

We have been honored and blessed to receive a number of little gifts with the birth of our little girl. Just this morning a package arrived in the mail from an aunt (mine not hers). Inside was a little baby figurine (one of those that is part of the series that grows up each year) and a stuffed animal. A familiar scene played itself out. I have found that each stuffed toy that has entered our home this past week has been instantly claimed by my little boy. It seems that 15 month olds love stuffed animals of all kinds... even today's pink and white puppy dog.

I have to tell you, it's so cute! He walks around with whatever animal he has (last night it was the teddy bear that is more than half the size of him) tucked under an arm or hugged against his body. Then sometimes he will lay down on the floor (linoleum or carpet, doesn't seem to matter) and suck his fingers (something he only does at bedtime). It's really cute. Right now he is sitting in his little toy basket (the one that holds his toys when he doesn't dump them all out) holding "his" new dog and looking at it's tag.

Isn't it fun to watch a toddler's personality emerge!?!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Toddler Menu and some happenings

Email me at babychaser[at]gmail[dot]com for a printable copy!

Apparently we are getting meals this week too! What a blessing as my mom arrives Friday night and will be a big help for week three. I feel kind of silly receiving meals when I feel as though I could be taking care of things, but then I remember that DH has been doing a lot of the work up till now keeping things looking nice and running smooth. Today it's back to work for him and mommy is on her own! I'm just excited that I got the toys picked up, our menu plan done, and DD's had a bath (in an attempt to get her awake for a feeding.) Now here I sit... typing one handed while my precious little one nurses (and DS naps), and I am so thankful for the delivered dinner in my fridge... cause I'm tired! This little girl was up a bunch last night (again!) I could certainly use a nap... but we'll see what happens. I'm not great at laying down when there are things I want to get done. I would love to get the dishes done (not many since we're using paper plates) and start a cycle of laundry (that means moving it over, starting a new load and folding the old one.) Basic straightening would be nice too... so DH has a nice home to come home to (he didn't sleep well last night either!)
Anyway, all that to say "Here's this week's menu!" Get more inspiration at MPM!

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Friday, March 14, 2008

My Feeding Record

I am breastfeeding our newborn, and I must say... it is going soooo much smoother than it did with DS! She actually nurses! Go figure. I shouldn't be surprised. There were lots of people praying that this would go well. I am thankful to the Lord for helping us with it. We are still working to keep my one week old awake (or getting her awake) for feedings, but other than that, things are great in the eating department!

Though you probably wouldn't know this by seeing our home, or even knowing me personally, but I need some sort of organization. When it comes to feeding and monitoring my baby, I can't just wing it. My memory is worthless and I have no idea what is going on. The hospital gave me a "Feeding Diary" for the first week, and it was very helpful, yet it still lacked something. Well, today we finished up that page and I was left with an "ahhh... now what am I going to do" kind of a feeling. Ok... so not really. I had a system for DS last year, and it worked... still it wasn't my favorite. Something better had to be out there. Well, it's possible that there is something out there somewhere, but instead of finding it, I just put together all the things I think I need, and I created something... and I made it pretty. 'Cause really... I just had a baby girl... and everything needs to be pretty and girly right??? Anyway, I thought I would share it with you and make it available. :) Someday I hope to have the ability to make things download-able for you, until then, if you want a printable copy, send me an email at babychaser[at]gmail[dot]com, and I'll send you the pdf. :)

So here it is...

Yes, I know... impossible to read! :) So I made you this sample of one day...

I filled in some examples, but here's the way I have it designed to work. My source says that my newborn (in her 2nd-4th weeks of life) needs to be fed 8-12 times, have 6-8 wet diapers, and 2-5 poopy diapers each day. You will notice that the minimum number for each row is filled in with pink (sorry mommies of boys... if you want a copy, let me know and I'll try to make a boy version). This is to help you see at a glance if your little one is reaching the goals.

In the "Feedings" row, you should fill in each box at the time of feeding with an "R" or a " L" depending on the side you started feeding on. (If you are bottle feeding [and I understand that many people need to or choose to for various reason] as I had to do with my DS after a while, write the number of ounces fed in the box.) Above the feeding boxes, write the time you started the feeding.

In the "Wet Diapers" and "Poopy Diapers" rows, fill in the time in each box as you change your babies diapers. This is one of the main changes I made in the feeding records I've had in the past. Most of them have a place to check off, but I can never remember if I remembered to do that, or if I missed recording it. And with no way to know when I checked it off, I was at a complete loss. So now I can know whether or not I remembered to write down that 4 o'clock diaper change. [Sigh of relief!] I worry about these things you know. :)

So there you have it! Let me know if you want a copy, or if you have any ideas for making changes! :) I'll try to make a "first week of life" version, and I'll post the revised version for the weeks beyond week 4 when I get there. :)

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One Week Old

Wow!! A week of my sweet daughters life has already passed! It's amazing how time flies by. Here is a picture for those of you who have been waiting with baited breath! Sorry, but since we work to keep family faces off my blog, feet will have to do for now. I will try to get a picture with some perspective up soon. She really is soooo tiny! She weighed in at 6 pounds 5 ounces yesterday at the doctors. Tonight on our home scale (a really old one) we got 6 and a quarter pounds. That works out to be approx 1 ounce less, but take into account that our scale is less accurate and is a different scale than they used yesterday and we're just going to call tonight's weigh in the starting point. Now that we know where she falls on our scale we will be able to monitor whether or not she is growing from the comfort and convenience of our own home. :) And my favorite part is that I won't have to wonder if she's getting enough or it she's spitting up too much (like DS did). [Sigh of relief!]

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Google Images

Who'da thought Google could come through on yet another level for us!?! (Is anyone else constantly impressed and appreciative of Google?)

I have no idea what made me think to try this (desperation??? It does help pass 15-20 minutes), but a couple weeks ago it hit me. Let me tell you...

I've been seeing my 15 month old learn new things every day. It's amazing to see! It's like the light went on this past month and he suddenly understands that everything has a name. Since we've been teaching him sign language (and I'm so glad since he still isn't talking!), it's been especially fun because at the same time he understands that the signs he's learning are those names!

Anyway, just like using field trips to stores to help teach my little one, I have also started using Google! We don't get out much during the days (as DH generally has the car and we aren't in a great-for-walking area), nor do we have a very big house or tons of varied things to look at in it. So when DS is craving dogs or fish or bunnies or whatever, I just pull up Google images and type in the animal we are looking for. I then scan the page for a good picture (meaning relevant, not necessarily well taken) or drawing or stuffed thing or whatever and click on it. It brings up a picture of whatever and DS gets very excited... signing whatever it is over and over (if he doesn't know the sign, or doesn't do it right yet, I sign it to show him... every time). The smiles it brings are great!!! Plus, with the vast types of dogs or fish or bunnies or whatever, I am helping DS learn that a dog can look like this and like that, that it can be a stuffed dog or a real one. His understanding grows more and more every day! We do sounds too if the animal makes a sound... woof woof! That makes DS giggle! :)

It works for me!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Make Ahead Meals!

Today is Tuesday, and therefore Kitchen Tip Tuesday over on Tammy's site. Just to poke my head into bloggyland, I thought I would mention a GREAT kitchen tip!

When expecting a baby, spend a little extra time making a double batch of whatever you are making for dinner. Doing this once or twice a week the month or two before your baby comes will give you a nice selection of meals to take out of the freezer and warm up in those sleep deprived weeks after baby comes! You can bet we are taking advantage of the time I spent last month! :)

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Toddler Menu ~ Heavy on the Lunches

Last week I made you wait... this week we'll just get right to it. :)

Just a few notes: As it says, our dinners are an unknown this week as different families from our church will be providing meals for us this week (as we adjust to our new little family member). Because of this I really don't know what the nutritional content of our evening meal will be. So... to compensate for this I've tried to plan in a balance of things into the 2 meals and 1 snack I have planned. Some days we may not end up as balanced as normal, but one week isn't going to kill us... and I've decided that it's a fine trade off if I don't have to make and clean up dinner all week! :)

Also, because my sweet husband has taken a week of Paternity Leave (praise the Lord for that), and will be home with us all week, I've planned more substantial lunches for us than normal. They are easy, and probably increased our grocery bill this week, but I know my husband will appreciate more than we normally put together for DS and I. (By the way, many of you will appreciate that my husband and father-in-law are doing our grocery shopping right now! ) What wonderful men God has blessed us with!

Oh, and what are "veggie eggs"??? I'm going to add chopped mushrooms and olives to the scrambled eggs to add some "veggies" to his daily menu... just incase dinners aren't so balanced!

For more on dinners and such (since you will find that lacking here this week), check out Meal Plan Monday!


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thanks for your prayers!

Well, we are home with our princess! :) Thanks for your prayers. I already have her birth story started in my journal. I'll work on getting it typed up for you all. Truly, it went SO much more smoothly than my DS's birth! Just a couple hours after she was born I was up and around feeling great! :)

Basic stats: Born at 2:28 pm on Friday, March 7th. 6 pounds 10.4 ounces and 19 inches long! :) Oh... and soooo cute! :) (I'm not biased though!)

We've been home now just a couple hours and I'm already worn out! :) DH's parents will be here before DS is up from his nap and we will enjoy having them here for the next couple days! :) I'll post when I can, otherwise, I do have a couple things ready from before to put up this week! :)

Blessings to all of you!

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Heading in

Ok... we're off to the hospital... I'll be back when I can!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

39 week check up!

39 1/2 weeks now, and I had a check up this morning! All is well. I'm still measuring small, and she thinks that means this baby may be smaller than DS was (at 9 pounds I'm really hoping so!) She's saying she would expect her sometime this weekend, but we'll see. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I think I'll try to work extra hard to get things done just in case! :)

I made Kelli's refrigerator rolls this morning (I was supposed to make them yesterday since they need to be in the fridge 8 hours before baking). They will be good with tonight's dinner and then last through the weekend. If we are here to enjoy them, great! Otherwise it will make something easy for "whoever" is taking care of DS. :) They are tasty!

I'm expecting a new friend shortly. She is due at the end of this month with their first... a little girl. I met her and her husband a couple weeks ago when they were visiting our church and it turns out they live just minutes from here and haven't lived here long. I was more than happy to answer her call out for a friend! :) I'm sure it will be a delightful visit... even though my home isn't as ready as I hoped it would be. Oh well... hospitality isn't about cleanliness all the time!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Altering my Menu to Please my Husband!

In my menu post this week I mentioned that I first pick a couple meals from my husband's favorites, then I fill in the week with some variety. I wish I could say that my menu shift this evening came from a sincere thoughtfulness toward my husband and trying to please him, but in reality, I simply forgot to look at my menu and thought... "hmmm... what should I make with the fish??? Ooooh, I could do that... he would like that".

So what did I do??? First off, I made the Tilapia into this Lemon Parmesan Tilapia that we have enjoyed before. Then I decided it would be good with rice (DH loves rice). Then I thought to myself... "oooh, he loves rice, but he REALLY loves rice pilaf!" This is when I got to the place where I decided to make something for dinner with the desire to please my husband in the kitchen! I was so excited about how excited he would be. I hate that I have gotten away from this mind set. It's amazing and sad how fast we forget to PREFER our husbands to ourselves, our desires, and our time. Really it didn't take that long to make the rice into Rice Pilaf!

I started with this recipe, used olive oil for browning the rice, and added chopped onions and mushrooms too! :) That was tasty! We never have celery in the house, so I didn't use any. :) I also used a powdered bouillon to make the "stock". :) It was really good, though I will add less or no Cheyenne pepper the next time. :) Not sure it needed it.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

DS's Birth Story ~ The Conclusion

(Here we are for the conclusion of my 15 month old son's birth story (stay tuned in the next couple weeks for our little girl's... she isn't quite here yet!) I'm so excited to get it done before our littlest one arrives. I was worried I wouldn't make it. :) If you missed the first part, or the second part, check them out first! :) Blessings!)

For the first time all night I got some sleep. It wasn’t terribly restful sleep as I was still aware of the contractions every 3-4 minutes, but it was some. As 9:30 rolled around, I began noticing a stronger presence of contractions. The Nubain was wearing off. It’s tough to know what to do, but with things still a ways off, we decided to go for a second dose. Again, I’m sure that nurse was going slow on purpose (really she was great, my perception was slow motion though!) Finally I had it and was able to relax again.

What happened next was both a blur and very detailed in my mind (that’s difficult to be able to say). Before long I was feeling sick again (the second time I was throwing up since arriving at the hospital. Turns out, I was in transition! Everything from that moment on moved much quicker. Sometime in the minutes just after 10 a.m. (yep, only 30 minutes into my second round of narcotics) I was informing my nurse that “something” felt different. “Ok she said, we’ll check things out.” It was several hours… ok, minutes… ok, probably less than that, before she finished up what she was doing over by the sink and came over to check my progress. Yep… fully dilated! Nice. “Ok,” she said, “we’ll just have you push with this next contraction to get things moving.” (ok… I don’t remember her exact phraseology here, but it was something like that.)

Not much more time passed and a contraction started. This was my time to push. As I was wrapping up that push I could hear my nurse talking (not to me… evidently she pushed some button that put her in contact with the nurses station). All I heard was, “Um… I need Dr. So and So, neonatal, ….” (she then listed several other things… but I’m medicated you remember), “because we just pushed once and I already see a head!” I may have been medicated, but that still seemed fast to me. Not nearly as fast, however, as the buzzing in my room after she stopped talking. As slow as those people seem to get you your pain medication, they waste no time when a baby is about to be born.

Before my next contraction started (I really have no idea how far apart they were at this point), my doctor was there waiting. At the conclusion of that next push (#2 if you are following), my doctor asked if I wanted an episiotomy. Now, I have to explain something about me… I don’t make decisions well. I’m always “afraid” I’ll make the wrong one. This is true in restaurants or whatever! Now, add narcotics and sleep deprivation and ask me something really important (as opposed to what kind of salad dressing I want on my side salad) and expect me to know the answer… I don’t think so. The problem is that I knew my answer… I didn’t want one… unless I needed it. But with my medicated mind, I couldn’t think fast enough to say that. So what I did say was, “can I think about it and decide after this next contraction?”

I have a very pleasant doctor, and she said that was fine. Well, it would have been fine, except that my little boy was born on the very next contraction! And let me tell you… I should have had the episiotomy! I tore completely as my “little” 9 pound .2 ounce baby boy was born into this world! Praise the Lord I didn’t feel it… or anything else my sweet husband told me happened after that.

This next part is the saddest to me… they showed me my little boy, had my husband cut the cord (he really didn’t want to… we told them he didn’t want to, but they offered anyway and he did it… and so wishes he hadn’t. My job this next time is to make sure no one asks him to do it), and then whisked him over to the little bed in the corner of the room where the neonatal doctor and nurses waited. I chose this hospital because they do all that right after birth stuff right there on your belly. I wanted him to be right there on me. I wanted to nurse him as immediately as possible. That is why I didn’t want the medication. But because he came so fast after the second dose, they had to take care of my poor little guy before I could have him. (I’m slowly trying to get over this.) I remember thinking to myself… “pay attention… don’t miss anything”. I watched as much as I could from my bed… thankfully they were still in the room.

While they were doing that, and after I had sent DH over with the camera to watch him, the nurses were talking to me. I have no idea what they were asking or saying. All I remember is thinking to myself, “ok… they are asking you a question… it’s your turn to talk now… you have to answer them… open your eyes and answer the question.” Yeah… apparently the meds made me sleepy and loopy and sleepy some more!

So that is the birth story for my 15 month old little boy! Took me long enough to get it written down. I aim to write down my sweet daughters as soon after she is born as possible. :)

Thanks for reading along with me! :)


Toddler Menu ~ A sample menu and a "How to" for creating your own!

It's Monday again, and with the advent of a new week, I bring you our toddler menu! :) Find the rest of them here. I've got to tell you that I've been struggling to keep our grocery budget on budget these past few weeks and I'm not even sure why. I was also struggling for ideas this week, so I too visited my past week's menus and put together this weeks schedule of meals! :)
I am wondering if any of you are still struggling to create your own complete menu for your little ones, so I thought I would share a quick how to. If you are short on time or just impatient to see what you can feed your children this week, feel free to skip on down to the menu! :) No hard feelings. ;)

How I plan our menus:
  1. start with dinners: I try to assess what we already have on hand (sometimes even which meals I skipped from last weeks plan). I then go through the sales ad for our grocery store and pull out any coupons I have as well. I try to choose a favorite or two of my husbands and then fill in with variety. (i.e. he is going to be excited about the steak and meatballs this week... then I filled in with other things like pizza and fish... usually there would be a chicken meal in there too.)
  2. fill in the day time meals to create balance: Once I know everything we are eating for dinners... right down to the side dishes, I can fill in the rest of each day. I take a look at which veggies I'm serving and whether there is bread, or more or less protein in a given meal. I then spread out the rest of the "food pyramid" across the day and week.

This does take some time, and it isn't always easy, but I find that with practice it is getting easier. Keep a handy reference of what your little one needs to eat and how much of it so you can compare... eventually this will be second nature. :)

I hope this helps you to create your own menu... but if it's just easier to follow mine, here it is. :) Enjoy!

Want a printable copy??? Email me at babychaser (at)

For more family dinner ideas, try MPM!

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

DS's Birth Story ~ Part 2

(Ok... so I started this story back in December in honor of DS's first birthday, but unfortunately I failed in bringing you the rest of the story. Now, with DD (hopefully) just days away, I really want to get the rest of this story in. I would hate to jump right into this next birth story and never give the same of my little boy. This is just the second installment... lots more to write!) :)

**Miss part 1 of my little boy's birth story??? Find it here!**

DH was awake now (after 1 a.m.) and ready to put in new contacts (since the other ones needed to soak another few hours before they would be ready to go back in). I was thankful that I thought to gather all our hospital gear where we wouldn’t bother DH’s parents, but DH’s slippers (who needs shoes at 1 a.m.) were still in his closet. He went in to get them and to let his parents know we were leaving… and we were off.

I had 3 phone calls to make on the way to the hospital… my parents, my sister, and good friends of mine (who made me promise to call when we were on our way just as I made them promise me a couple years before). We made those quick calls in the short 10 minute drive to the hospital.

When we did arrive, I assured DH that I could walk from whatever parking spot he found because I didn’t want to go in without him. I may rethink this before March… it wasn’t the closest spot! :)

My nurse met us at the entrance to the maternity ward and talked with us (me in a wheel chair from the moment we entered downstairs) on the way to our room. She informed us that she had just finished prepping my room for the morning induction and that regardless how far along I was, they were going to keep us there (so much nicer than being sent home to return in the morning!)

She had me change into the lovely hospital gown and hooked me up to the fetal monitors. I know some people are better able to relax at home without all this machinery around them, but I was better able to relax in the hospital where I no longer had to worry about when to call, when to go, what is happening inside, etc. After the paperwork was done and I had been monitored a while she unhooked me and set me free to do whatever would make me more comfortable (walk the halls, soak in the Jacuzzi, etc.) We tried several things, but I was most comfortable in my bed where I could at least sit or lean on something.

Once back in bed (decidedly the best place for me), we decided to try to rest so we would have energy for later. DH bedded down on the hospital chair turned bed next to me and I tried to rest through all the contractions. Thankfully I think DH got some sleep, but it is really hard to sleep, restfully anyway, through regular, increasingly painful, contractions. :)

At 7 (my scheduled induction time), the doctor came in and broke my water… to “speed things along”. It is exactly what they planned to do had I just arrived and not been in labor, so it really worked out. Whatever it did… it definitely increased the intensity of my contractions. Around 7:30 DH (who is leery of any medication for the most part) asked if I wanted to take something to help with the pain. I fully intended to have my baby without medication. I didn’t want anything to affect him. I didn’t want anything to affect being able to nurse him right away. I didn’t want anything to affect my being able to be alert through his first minutes. At this point though… I wanted to hear my options again, so when DH got the nurse, I told her just that.

She was very patient as she explained my options. I looked to DH, and we decided that Nubain was the best bet. From what I understood, it would simply take the edge off the pain, and my favorite part… it only lasted 2 hours, so it wouldn’t affect the baby at birth! Ok… we were decided. Of course now that I decided I wanted something, every second she took to get it to me seemed like years. From my perspective on that hospital bed, she was dragging her feet getting it all pulled together. (Amazing how your tolerance for pain decreases when you decide you want the meds!)

To be continued... hopefully before this little girl comes. :)


What's in my Hospital Bag?

Ok... so this became a rather large issue to me last night at 11 when we were getting ready for bed and I was having some contractions. :) I just knew that if I didn't get everything ready, I would certainly be in labor before long. DH was thrilled when I asked him to pull out the luggage from the back of the closet so I could pack it... at 11 pm when he was already practically asleep. :) My sweet darling did it for me anyway though! I was thankful to already have a list of things I wanted in my bag. Here it is!

Labor and Delivery Hospital Bag List:
  • chapstick (a must for me anytime, especially in the dry hospital air!)
  • socks (my mom sent a crazy pair... I'll try to get pictures sometime!)
  • scrunchii (do I even have to explain?... I have a lot of hair!)
  • nail file (a rough nail would make me crazy!)
  • eye drops (for DH and his contacts)
  • Cliff Bars (I still need to get these, they are DH's favorite and I thought they would be a nice snack for him)
  • tooth brush and tooth paste (I'd hate to have a bad taste in my mouth and no way to fix it... plus, I need it for postpartum anyway)
  • Journal (I need somewhere to put all those "can't blog them till later" thoughts)
  • Suduko book (in case we are bored and have the energy)
  • brush (probably not needed till postpartum, but might as well have it now)
  • birth plan/hospital paper work
  • magazines/book
  • moisturizer (goes with the chapstick at the beginning of the list!)
  • camera and video camera
  • Husband (he would love to miss this part... but I'm making him come!) :)

Postpartum Hospital Bag List:

  • shampoo and conditioner
  • face soap
  • make up (I don't wear much very often, but maybe it will help me feel pretty after child birth!)
  • Home going outfit
  • underwear
  • nursing bra
  • nursing pads
  • socks/slippers
  • Home going outfit for baby
  • baby blankets

Any other ideas ladies?? What did you bring with you??? Or what did you wish you brought? Let us know! I would love any ideas (I hate regretting things later!)

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