Saturday, January 30, 2010

February Foodies

So since Ben arrived and I've been at home, we've gotten WAY lazy with our food. We're eating out a lot because suddenly it's dinner time, we have nothing thought out or defrosted. Starting this month, that changes. I've looked at the month of February and planned out my menu - surprisingly, I'm not repeating one meal all month. Here's my anticipated menu for the month - let me know if any dish sounds intriguing and you'd like the recipe:

Date Special Notes Dinner Sides
Feb 1 School Meatloaf Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Feb 2 School BBQ Chicken Scalloped Potatoes & Corn
Feb 3 School Steak Salad & Baked Potatoes
Feb 4
Tamale Casserole Salad
Feb 5
Burgers Macaroni & Cheese
Feb 6 Chochrek Delivery/Tiffany Shower
Feb 7
Chicken Parmesan Green Beans & Salad
Feb 8 School Tortellini Soup French Bread
Feb 9 School Fajitas Refried Beans
Feb 10 Jamie's B-day/School Bratwurst Salad
Feb 11
Tuna Noodle Casserole Salad
Feb 12
Chicken Enchiladas Spanish Rice
Feb 13
Chicken & Wine Sauce Peas
Feb 14 Valentines Day --
Feb 15 Pay Day/No Work Burritos Spanish Rice
Feb 16 School Rigatoni Bake Steamed broccoli
Feb 17 My B-day/School --
Feb 18 Ben Dr. Appt
Spaghetti Green Beans & Salad
Feb 19 New Leo movie out Dinner out?
Feb 20
Chili Cornbread
Feb 21
Caribbean Jerk Chicken Sweet Potatoes
Feb 22 School Texas Beef Skillet Salad
Feb 23 School French Bread Pizza Steamed cauliflower
Feb 24 School Stew French Bread
Feb 26 Mom's b-day --
Feb 27
Sheppard's Pie Salad
Feb 28
Pot Pies Salad & corn muffins

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Things I Wish I Had Known Before Giving Birth

(and yes – I know these are these I could have found out prior to giving birth….I just didn’t know about them and wish I had. Hence the title…)

(and for the sake of this posting, I’m referring to the baby as “he”…I have a boy – it’s easier for me)

1. The popular opinion is that you breast feed your child. You will find tremendous literature on how it’s the best for your baby and blather blather blather. You’ll also find woven in all that blathering the tone that if don’t want to breast feed or if you decide to supplement with formula so that dad can take some middle of the night feedings, well you suck. You’re a horrible mother and your child will grow up deformed. THIS. IS. NOT. TRUE. Your baby will thrive whether you breast feed or formula feed. The key is that you’re both happy and healthy with the choice you make. What good does it do either of you if you force yourself to nurse when it’s uncomfortable or just not what you want to do?

2. On the subject of nursing – don’t expect your milk to “come in” right away. This, in fact, takes several days after giving birth. It can take up to 7 days for your milk to come in.

3. You can’t spoil your baby in the early months by responding to him when he cries. At this age, his crying signals to you that he needs something. He needs a diaper change, to be fed, to be snuggled & comforted…he may be too hot or too cold or something in his outfit may be irritating his skin. The only way he can let you know that something needs tended to is by crying. It’s not spoiling to go see what he needs. That comes later.

4. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet or in books or that even family passes on as helpful advice. Your own instinct is your best guide…I did read somewhere that when it comes to your baby, you are the expert. That I believe. When in doubt, ask baby’s doctor.

5. Don’t feel the need to justify or apologize for the choices you make for your baby. If you’re comfortable and baby seems fine – then it’s not the wrong choice. It may not be the choice someone else would have made but luckily for them – it wasn’t their choice to make.

6. Always, always, ALWAYS pack a spare outfit in your diaper bag when venturing out of the house with baby. They’re called “blow outs” for a reason, kids. You’ll be thankful you have the spare outfit.

7. If you’ve had a baby shower, you’ll probably have this anyway , but – have several different brands of diapers on hand. You’ll find one you love (I personally will endorse the Pampers Snugglers – they’re soft, they fit great and they have this nifty little yellow line down the center of the diaper (on the outside) that changes to blue when baby has peed – it’s magic) and those you hate (Luvs. I hate Luvs. They’re stiff and icky)

8. Don’t stress about getting the cool play stuff just yet. The first few weeks your baby will literally do nothing but sleep, eat, and potty. When it is time for play – home made things work well. Babies are drawn to high contrast, so showing him a striped shirt or drawing black lines on white paper is really all it takes to grab his attention.

9. Be prepared for your child to intensely dislike baths. To the point of their entire body turning red with anger and crying the entire time.

10. Love. Strong love will just radiate from you and on to your precious baby. I saw a meth commercial the other night where the boy is stealing from his mom and knocks her down. This made ME cry and wonder how the heck I’m supposed to teach him to be strong and say no to drugs.

11. And speaking of crying. I don’t know about every one else, but the first few days (ahem, okay almost 2 weeks) I had random crying fits. It started when we got home and my sister in law had decorated the front of the house welcoming us home. I bawled. I cried while feeding him – he was hungry nonstop the first few days, I was tired and overwhelmed and felt like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Just keep plugging along – you’ll get the hang of it.

12. Becoming 2nd place. For the past 9 (okay, 10) months, you’ve pretty much been the focus of attention. Getting comments on your growing baby bump, all the doctors appointments, getting special treatment cuz you’re pregnant…the constant barrage of gifts…suddenly the baby is born and you’re like a 2nd class citizen. The focus is now on the baby and you’re left slightly behind, emotional, overwhelmed and unused to this “new” body you have. This also will pass.

13. Never go out of the house without wearing your breast pads. Even if you think it’s a waste of time to wear them because you never seem to leak. You are tempting fate and Murphy’s Law if you go out without them.

14. Strangers. Strangers do odd things – it must be because they’re trapped in a tractor beam leading straight to your baby. You’ll get compliments and questions and yes, they may even think it’s appropriate to touch your baby while you’re attempting to change him in the bathroom at a restaurant. Don’t know why but they do.

15. Bottom line is know you can trust on your own instinct. You have one – it’ll kick it. It’s always okay to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated or whatever. It’s okay to want to spend some time away from your baby – after all, this is new for you. You’re not used to having a little person that requires your total undivided attention. So it’s okay to wish for a few minutes of old normal.

What about you, mom’s? What sort of things did you wish you’d known before coming home with baby?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, he isn't dead yet

So, he's on his 6th week now. He's officially 5 weeks and 3 days old today. He's really doing great. He's started to show his personality a bit, we're getting lots of smiles and some laughs out of him, depending on what we do. He's trying out his voice a bit, starting to make some cooing noises when he's pleased. We're getting better sleeps at night these last few nights. He's going roughly 3 hours between feedings - some times less, some times more, so an average of 3 hours. It's delightful. Nick and I are sharing the feedings so we each get at least a 4 hour stretch of sleep which is FANTASTIC.

The days are odd for him. He sleeps wonderfully in his crib at night but we can't really get him to sleep there during the day - which is fine, but he doesn't sleep in his play & pack either. He wants to sleep right beside you, or better - in your arms. I have him fooled for the moment and think I may have found a solution to having him near and able to get stuff done. I set him on our bed this morning, propped up on my pillow while I got ready for the day. I think being able to smell me and hearing my voice nearby makes him think he's close beside me. So taking that theory, I've pulled his pack & play into the dining room beside the table and have him laying on my PJ shirt. I'm all set up with my Valentine's Day crafting project, my computer, etc. He's napping blissfully, unaware that I'm tricking him. :-)

I'm discovering my own inner "stay at home mommy" routine. I've always had the desire to craft and always came up with these ideas that never went anywhere. Since having Ben, I've completed one idea (the Christmas card) and I'm working on another (it's a secret til after Valentines Day).

Other than that, there's really nothing much new to talk about. Nick's mom came and stayed with us for about 10 days (she stayed a few nights over at my moms like old times) and got to spend lots of good quality time with Ben. Nick's back at school and I think I'll let him go the whole week this week. Insert guilty smile here. He missed class on Monday because it was his mom's last night and I made him come home early on Tuesday. He took his mom to the airport Tuesday morning, was home for about an hour and discovered he had to go in for a meeting, was gone for several hours, home for a few hours and then left for school. It was the first day that I'd spent almost the whole day with Ben alone, I was exhausted (been up since 5:30 that morning and slept poorly that night) and Ben was gassy and fussy. I was overwhelmed. Nick decided to skip class on Wednesday and I just didn't have it in me to make him go. This week he will. He'll go to all 3 classes and stay the whole time (unless professor lets class out early) and I will be fine with Ben. :-)

We had some friends over for dinner last night and that went okay. The company was great but Ben was a little fussy - he was way overtired and fighting sleep like a champ. Other than that, it was nice to get together with friends. We're having more friends over on Friday and I have a baby shower to attend on the 6th (I'm way excited and way overspent on my presents...I'm a little embarrassed at myself but I just love buying baby gear).

So that's my news! Off to my 6 week postpartum check up this afternoon.

Until next time...

Monday, January 4, 2010


Oh my. I had the best of intentions. Let's start at the beginning - these events were set in motion on Christmas Day.

After Christmas festivities, we came home and posed with the new beeebeee in front of the Christmas tree and took our photo for some Christmas cards. I uploaded to Snapfish, picked my photo layout and ordered Christmas cards. They were finally delivered this afternoon. I've been having buyers remorse from the instant I hit "submit" on Snapfish. I wanted to do an announcement but I ordered Christmas cards (and they weren't that cheap). I've been having an internal debate ever since on what to do. Send out the Christmas cards, order announcements and send them out separate? Combine the two some how? I finally decided I really want to do announcement, so I set out to get a cute picture of just Ben. I got the area all set up and staged (I won't reveal too much because I want the photo to be a surprise). He was sleeping pretty heavily, so I oh-so-gently stripped him of his sleeper and onesie. I got him all the way to my little studio area and he woke up hungry. So I stopped and fed him, got him all settled down again and posed when he had a massive poopy blow out. So. Got that all cleaned up and had him nekkid (I had such a cute idea for a nekkid baby pic) and took about two pictures when he peed everywhere. So I was done at that point. Got him cleaned up again, back in his clothes....and he spit up. Nice.

So, I picked one fo the pictures I took and am looking for a layout I like on Snapfish when he had another big poopy diaper. I made Nick change this one, citing existing trauma from the last diapers I changed. The next thing I hear is Nick saying "oh, man, buddy!" Nick took off the diaper to change and...Ben peed. All over his little face. Bath time! Since his umbilical cord fell off, we decided to try his new bath. Yeahhh......... I got it set up on the counter and was putting water in when Nick oh-so-helpfully pointed out that water was running all over the counter and floor. So. I got THAT all cleaned up and saw on the bottom of the bath that said "to prevent leakage"...sigh. I followed the directions and started filling it up again. When, again, Nick pointed out that water was going all over the counter and floor. By this point you can imagine some pretty naughty words were escaping my lips and falling on my innocent little boys ears. Hey - he's gonna learn them soon enough. At least he can't repeat them yet. So I cleaned up the water again and took another gander at the directions and FINALLY got it right.

Now he's bathed, changed, swaddled and napping beside me.

Good grief.