Friday, August 15, 2014

Trying New Treats

Today we attempted TWO treats in ONE day! Since we have food allergies in the house (eggs and soy), AND we eat a paleo/primal based diet, treats require some creativity.

Treat #1:

Paelo AND vegan pancakes! Sounds perfect, right? I decided I would start with the waffle iron, because obviously waffles FTW. Since most waffle recipes require more oil, I did add extra coconut oil. Other than that, I just doubled this recipe from The Veggie Nook.

All the ingredients minus the coconut milk
My 21 month old LOVES to sit on the counter and help. She's a great little mommy's helper: pouring, stirring, mashing bananas with a fork, sampling the food. Even though it's a bummer she's allergic to eggs, I  have no qualms about her sampling the mix.
"Helping Mommy"
Major Bummer: the mix stuck to the waffle iron! I DID coat it in butter ahead of time, but I've used spray in the past and I've heard that can mess with the non-stick quality of the waffle iron. I scraped off as much as I could and Adara and I ate our precious ingredients.

So I did what any rational, pregnant woman who had been craving waffles for weeks would do: I threw away our waffle iron! I'm pretty sure it was not worth saving (having been scraped and with the non-stick not working), and I didn't want to deal with the heartache of another ruined waffle.

I then used the rest of the batter to make pancakes. They look very pretty in my pan:

Better with Blueberries
But this is what they look like when they are finished:

Not so pretty
I was disappointed that they didn't look like the pretty picture in the blog. I think people who make paleo pancakes for a blog must photoshop like crazy, because I've never made a pretty paleo pancake. I'm not sure it's even possible. 

However, it WAS very yummy! Adara and I ate as many as we could, and then saved a couple for Daddy. I thought the PERFECT topping would be whipped cream (we still eat dairy).

Adara didn't like it
As soon as I snapped this photo Adara said, "Take it off." So she didn't approve of the whipped cream, but I thought it was delicious.

Treat #2:

Home made fro-yo. Ours is better, of course, because it's full-fat instead of non-fat. Just a banana, Greek yogurt, and whole milk as the base. We did one batch with strawberries and froze it in ice cubes for "Popsicles." The next batch was with cocoa and we put in our ice cream maker. I ended up putting some of it in the freezer since I made too much for just  Adara and me.

Note: It's always a great idea to eat frozen treats outside. It's also a great idea to carry said treat outside for your toddler. Otherwise you might end up with this:

"I dropped it on the floor"
And all over the cabinet

My sweet daughter did try very hard to clean it up, and then was so happy when I gave her another bowl to replace the fallen one. We then enjoyed the rest of our fro-yo on our back deck where it doesn't matter if some falls on the floor.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's the little things

Who needs New Year's to make some goals? Not me, apparently.

A LOT has happened over the past year, and I finally feel like I'm "coming together" with my family, my house, and myself. I'm sure all of that will be turned upside down in a few months when baby#2 comes along. For now, I'm making some goals to help me be a better person. Basically a list of things I never regret doing.

Personal/Spiritual/Physical/Mental Health:

Bible/devotion time daily. This time has recently been moved to the evening before bed. At that time I feel no pressure to get anything else done, and can enjoy reading/praying before sleep. It's also a great time to "cast all my cares upon Him."

Get ready every day. This means get dressed, fix my hair (even if it's just a ponytail), and put on some makeup. I feel a lot better about myself if I look somewhat put together.

Exercise daily. Not exactly sure how to do this one yet. I can do some exercising with Adara, but I'd like to carve out some time for just me to workout without distractions. I have a yoga dvd that's good but I'm not super-loving it. I have an elliptical and a great neighborhood for going on walks. So I'm still working the kinks out here. Definitely worth it, though, because I always feel better when I exercise.

Shower every night before bed. Better sleep and personal cleanliness.

House Health:

Clean both bathrooms at least once a week.

Sweep all floors (we have no carpet) at least 2 times per week, and swiffer nightly.

Pick up house (toys, books, kitchen, etc) at the end of every day.

Family Health:

Get some work done for money throughout the week (this opportunity pretty much fell into my lap, but now it's one more thing to check off my list and feel good about).

Make and finish a craft/fun food item with Adara at least a couple times a week. Great way to try to new things with her!

Make enough healthy, tasty Paleo/Primal food with no eggs/soy,
AND stay within the weekly budget. I did this for the first time in a long time last week, and I felt VERY accomplished.

So what are some of y'all's favorite exercises? Any other Paleo people out there with recipe suggestions?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

God's "Family Planning"

First post for Baby #2:

Alex and I had originally planned to have two kids fairly close in age. Two and done. Whenever the second one happened, great! I started getting "baby fever" when Adara was 13 or 14 months old, and each month  I would take a pregnancy test. Negative every time. After a few months, I decided to let go of this desire to have kids really close in age and not worry about it anymore. If it happened soon, great! If not, then not a problem.

One morning I woke up with a weird feeling. I just felt different. I was trying to wait to take another pregnancy test. I had bought the expensive ones, and I didn't want to waste another test on a feeling.

Half-way through the day I decided to take it anyway. I took the test and left it on the bathroom counter and left to switch out laundry while I waited. I told myself it was silly-that it was too early. Even if I was pregnant, there probably aren't enough hormones to show up on the test.

I came back in to find this:

It says "Pregnant"
I texted Alex, and he was elated! I was very excited too, but a little cautious because it was SO early to take the test. We decided to only tell a few people, and wait until I was a little further along to spread the news.

During this time, I also started a PRN job in Registration at MRMC. I hadn't told hardly anyone that I was expecting. I decided to wait until I was more established in my position, and had at least heard the baby's heartbeat.

First appointment is mostly paperwork, overview, and try to find the heartbeat. The nurse couldn't find it, but said that it was early enough that I shouldn't worry. I tried not to.

Second appointment the nurse AND my doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. At this point I thought I was right about 12 weeks, so SOMEONE should be able to find a heartbeat. My doctor didn't seems concerned, but decided to see if she could get me an ultrasound to make sure everything is ok, and to verify my due date.

I got in right away, and Adara got to sit with my while the tech did the ultrasound. I got to see my beautiful tiny baby!  They said everything is fine, found the heartbeat, and confirmed my due date as January 8th, 2015. The doctor said my uterus is just tilted right now, so that's why they couldn't find the heartbeat.

The next time I returned to work, I excited told my boss and some of my co-workers. Smooth sailing delivering that news. Then of course I came home and posted it all over facebook. It's so exciting to get to share our news with "the world."

Since I had a pretty detailed account for Adara, I am going to try to keep up this blog for our next baby too. Feel free to join us in praying for our new addition!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Just Kidding

I'm still trying to decide whether to share this post or not. I'm not a failure. I'm just learning. This is my first time around, and sometimes I just have to try something and see if it works.

I made such a big deal about weaning Adara. I shared it more than once on Facebook, and then wrote a long blog post about it. The one right before this one.

Then five days later, just when I thought I was done with both nursing and pumping altogether, I caved.

I was a little concerned that Adara would not do well with cow's milk. Both Alex and I have varying degrees of lactose intolerance. I called Adara's pediatrician to ask about an alternative to cow's milk. Her nurse said that I could try goat's milk and see if that helped, but that it was important that Adara have some kind of mammal milk until age two. I've tried goat's milk before from the grocery store, and it's just as painful to my digestive system as regular cow's milk. Recently Adara woke up from her nap crying and pointing to her tummy, so my concern grew. Still, I thought organic milk might be better, so I decided to stick with organic cow's milk for now.

The chaos started last night. Dinner, playing with Adara, bath time.

Then came the screaming. She would not, would not put on her pajamas. She could not, could not drink her bottle and go to sleep. (We'd read a lot of Dr. Seuss that day.) I decided to let her stay up, since we'd been home all day. She just kept crying and screaming and getting more and more upset. I finally just put her in her crib and let her cry herself to sleep over the next ten minutes. I was feeling very discouraged, especially since the day before had gone so well.

This morning was a breeze, and I got my hopes up again. She saw the bowl I didn't put up from last night, pointed to it and said "ice, ice" for ice cream (we had frozen yogurt last night). So her breakfast was a small bowl of frozen yogurt, pickles (also leftover from last night) and three strawberries she saw in the fridge. That's a pretty good breakfast for her. She drank a minimal amount of milk from her bottle.

 I brought some water in another bottle and a bag of pretzels for our grocery shopping trip. Sometimes grocery shopping is stressful with her, but today was great. I allowed her to help push the cart, and she loved smiling to all the elderly who shop at the same time. We stopped by Chick-fil-a to bring lunch home. Alex is home sick today, and requested I bring something home. We drove home and Adara helped me unload the groceries.

Then the waterworks started again. She wanted my lemonade, but she didn't really want it. Everything made her upset. Giving her fries with "dip" made her upset (which she loves), going outside made her upset (which she loves), taking a bath worked for a few minutes, but as soon as she got out she got really upset again. She pushed me away, and pushed Alex away (he had stepped in to help, even though he was feeling really terrible), and then screamed and screamed when her towel wouldn't stay wrapped around her. I began to question my resolve to be done nursing her. Alex looked at me and said, "you can nurse her again."

So I did.

She immediately stopped crying and calmed down. After about a minute, she looked up at me with the biggest smile I've seen in a week. If I thought it was appropriate to put boob photos online, I would have snapped a photo of that precious smile just to show you how much it was worth it to nurse my precious child.

We read books for about half an hour, then I nursed her before nap time with absolutely no drama. As much as I thought I was relieved to be done nursing, I'm a million times more relieved to be able to comfort my baby and provide nourishment that won't hurt her tummy like cow's milk.

So maybe we'll be done by the time she's two. We'll see.

Monday, April 7, 2014

No Longer Nursing (the first 48 hours)

Whew. What an emotional couple of days.
We'd bee talking about weaning Adara for a while now, and she was already headed that way on her own. She absolutely loves going outside, and will chose that over nursing any time. We were down to nursing in the morning, at night and usually once or twice sometime in the day. This was a drastic decrease from even a few weeks ago, when she was sick and teething.

The problems started about a month ago when I finally got my "time of the month" back and nursing became more painful. At least, I assumed that's why. It probably was a contributing factor, but Adara isn't a gentle nurser-she would pinch and bite me. She wasn't being intentional as much as she just wasn't being careful. Nursing was no longer a relaxing, productive time for us. I loved my baby, but I was starting to resent her because of the pain involved.

A couple of days ago, we finally decided that she was done. She can eat plenty of food, will drink other drinks, and can go to sleep without nursing. At that time I'd only put her down for a nap without nursing, but hadn't gotten her to sleep at night without nursing her right before laying her down. That made me extremely nervous. Add that to all the hormones running through me (TOM plus no nursing) and Saturday was a really emotional day.

Then I backed into a friend's car in our driveway. Thank goodness for car insurance. How embarrassing. Seriously, if you're going to stop nursing a baby (very nearly) cold turkey, don't plan on doing much else.

That evening Alex volunteered to do Adara's bedtime routine to help. That was a mini disaster. Adara loves her daddy very much, but she is very used to me putting her to bed and she cried and cried and cried. I hid in the shower so I couldn't hear her. She finally went to sleep, and amazingly slept until 6:30 am. We'd prayed that she would sleep all through the night.

Sunday was much better. I woke up at 4:30 am and HAD to pump. So I did and went back to sleep. I gave Adara the pumped milk later in the morning, and she drank all of it. This happened a number of times throughout the day. I had time to pump, because Alex was home and played with her while I pumped only long enough to keep from being engorged. I have never experienced mastitis, and I'm going to try really hard to avoid it.

Sunday bed time was much better. We went to a birthday party for a friend of ours-they had a little girl about six months after we had Adara. Adra got to run around and get REALLY tired before we headed home. This time Alex got Adara ready for bed while I pumped. Then I rocked her while she drank her bottle. At first the asked for "ju ju" (we called nursing "mama juice" and so she says "ju ju" when she wants to nurse), but I kept offering her the bottle instead, and she took it. She sat the same way as when she nursed, and lay her head on my chest while she drank her bottle and I sang to her. She still cried when I lay her down and took the empty bottle, but this time she was saying "ba ba ba" because she wanted the bottle instead of me. To me, this is progress. I don't think babies are supposed to suck on an empty bottle. Plus, I don't want her to be hooked on a bottle-I just want to use it to help her transition. She fussed for only a couple minutes and then went to sleep. This is very similar to how she used to act when I first started putting her in her crib, and she adapted beautifully. She slept again until 6:30am.

Today I started mixing breastmilk with regular milk. I'm just using regular whole milk. I didn't have a chance to pump before her nap, so she just got a bottle with some cow's milk in it before her nap, and she drank the whole thing! Whole thing=2oz. That's about all she drinks at one time. I rushed over to pump after I put her down to nap(still crying, but fell asleep in about 5 minutes), and only pumped about 2 ounces. I'm hoping I don't have to do this longer than about a week. Pumping is super boring.

If I could re-do, I probably would have pumped more in the beginning and kept a stash for  this time, so that she could drink more pumped milk to help with the transition to no breast milk
at all. But she's already doing wonderful-if she asks to nurse, I usually read her a book and offer her an alternative drink, and she's fine.

This is one of the biggest milestones yet! I feel a little sad, a little guilt for not nursing her longer, and also relieved that we are done.

Friday, December 13, 2013

One Year Appointment

I decided to resurrect my blog for this post about Adara's one year appointment with the pediatrician. I went to her appointment, expecting a perfect health report, and I came with three topics to discuss:
1. How to ensure proper nutrition as Adara continues to transition to real food-should she be taking any vitamins/supplements?
2. Our whole family has been breaking out in hives, and we think it's because we're allergic to the trees-could that be what is bothering Adara too?
3. Recent articles about vaccines and outbreaks-like with whooping cough. Is there cause for concern, since we aren't vaccinating Adara?

We arrived at her appointment a half hour before her appointment-the pediatrician is in Cool Springs, so I always leave early in case of traffic. We got into the office half an hour after the scheduled appointment time. Good thing Adara likes toys and other kids.

She DID NOT like the nurse or pediatrician touching her. Normal developmental milestone of stranger anxiety. I don't remember how tall she is, but it's in the seventy-somthing percentile, and her 19 lbs 8 oz is in the forty-something percentile. She's not such a chunky baby anymore, since she's walking all over the place. The nurse had to prick her toe to check her hemoglobin levels, so I ended up nurse Adara to keep her still. The levels came up much lower than they should be, so the nurse checked with the other toe just to be sure. That level came up even lower than the first! Adara loved her pink band-aids on her toes.

I explained to the pediatrician that I'd stopped taking my prenatals, since I eat plenty of meat and a pretty healthy diet. She explained that a pregnant or lactating mom only gets about 1/8 the amount of iron needed through diet alone. Now, she said, my body and the baby's were depleted, and we need to get a supplement for now to get the levels back up. She said they would check her levels at her 15 month appointment. She recommended a supplement that they conveniently sell at their office-for both of us to take. She said I should never stop taking something without checking with a physician first. She also said the Whole Foods brand prenatal as the cheapest one she could recommend.

So we got it, and almost a month later I am happy to report that we are both feeling and acting much better. Honestly, I haven't noticed a huge difference with Adara, but I know that I feel SO much better-I feel like I have my brain and energy back! That stuff is NOT cheap, but we started ordering the larger bottle online, so that saves a little bit, and it definitely seems to be worth it.

The iron issue covered my nutrition question for the most part. The ped. said that I am doing great still nursing 5 or 6 times a day, and to keep focusing on whole foods for Adara to eat. We have some days where she acts like she loves food, and other days where all she wants to do is nurse. Typical.

2) Hives. Probably a virus, since we all also got sick (said the ped.). Alex now suspects it was because we were in ketosis  with our diet. We're now adding in (somewhat healthy) carbs to see if that helps.

3) I asked about the vaccines. Now, I don't remember the stats exacts, but she said something like 80% of those who get whooping cough are those who are already vaccinated. She said that, just like the flu, some vaccines need to be updated because the strain mutates. She said that the pertussis vaccine is simply outdated, and that "herd immunity" is simply a theory, not a proven fact. The pediatrician didn't seem concerned, so neither am I.

I go back in February for her 15 month appointment, and they will check her iron levels again. It has been a challenge to get her to take it, but Alex does it best by playing with her and giving it to her in small amounts.

Here's to keeping a healthy baby girl :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Top 5 strangest places to breastfeed

What an awkward topic....sort of...I suppose it depends on what circle of people you frequent. If you don't want to read about breastfeeding, skip this post.

Breastfeeding is a challenge, no doubt about it. I don't know anyone who said it just came naturally. I'm way better at feeding Adara than when we first started. Now I feed her when she's hungry, tired, bored, or hurt. It's an easy solution to many problems.

I've found myself feeding her in some unusual situations. I found them amusing,so I thought I'd share:

- Breastfeeding in the shower
Before she could crawl, I could sit her next to the shower and talk to her. However, she started crawling into the shower with me and crying for me to pick her up. So I took her clothes off and cleaned her with me. She quickly discovered her food source while I was holding her and decided she wanted a snack.

-Breastfeeding while changing my clothes I used to put Adara in my lap while I changed from pajamas to regular clothes. I don't as often now because as soon as I take my pajamas off she latches and snacks away.

-Breastfeeding while changing Adara's clothes
She is SO wiggly! I tried to get her pajamas on and the only way to keep her still was to feed her. So I did, and finally got her in pajamas.

-Breastfeeding while going to the bathroom
Maybe that's gross, but she'd fallen and was screaming and I wanted her to stop. She did.

-Breastfeeding while riding in the car
She stayed in her car seat the entire time. I sat/leaned beside her. Alex drove. Mileage accomplished, and baby fed. No bottles necessary.

So where's the strangest place you've fed your baby? Am I the only one whose done these?