Friday, September 26, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

10 Days Old

It's hard to believe that little E is already 10 days old! The past week has flown by in a blur of feeding, changing diapers, pumping milk, receiving visitors, and not getting much sleep. E appears to be thriving, and when we went to the pediatrician on Tuesday he had just about regained his birth weight. I had a fabulous lactation consultant come to the house the day we were discharged from the hospital and that was definitely a good move. I had done pretty well with nursing at the hospital, but the lactation consultant helped me with my latch, gave me a feeding plan, and gave me a pump to rent. Interestingly, this lactation consultant, recommended by my pediatrician, taught the breastfeeding class that D and I attended at the hospital the night before E was born--in fact, I was timing contractions during the class.

I'll write more about the week leading up to E's birth and his birth story in the next few days, but for now I've got to sleep. Here's a preview of what went on at our house in the week leading up to E's birth (this picture is from the day before he was born):


I took this photo the day before my son was born. I'm not sure how it ended up B&W like this, but I think it looks pretty cool.
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's A Boy!!

My son E was born on Friday, September 12th at 10:53am! He's 6lbs 8.5oz and 19.5". He arrived a week early and I was completely unprepared for an early arrival--I was counting on him being late. In any case, he's here and D and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Seeing how D is always concerned about privacy, I won't be revealing his name or showing pictures here (except for this first one).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nursery--A Work in Progress

A few weeks ago I was having my recurring anxiety dreams--I'm in high school and I have a paper due and I haven't read the book yet, or I'm in a play and I don't know my lines. These dreams are pretty transparent in meaning--I'm feeling unprepared. The lack of preparedness I was feeling had to do with not being ready for the baby--emotionally I'm ready, but as far as "stuff" I wasn't feeling ready at all. Now I know that practically speaking babies need very little "stuff"--just somewhere to sleep, somewhere to be changed, a car seat, something to wear, and that's about it. But of course these days we've been convinced we must have lots of special baby stuff, and I of course feel compelled not only to have it, but to make sure it's cute!

Now, when these anxiety dreams started creeping in, I had already had one shower thrown by my sister and my friend Wendy, both experienced mothers. I received a car seat, a pack n' play, and clothes so really at that point the baby's basic needs were going to be met. But I still didn't have anything for the nursery. I had bought fabric for the nursery ages ago, but didn't have a crib, changing table, place to put all of those little clothes, etc. I knew the crib was coming (it was delivered last Saturday), and we were still trying to figure out the changing table situation (we ended up getting a hand-me-down from a neighbor), but at least I could get started on the closet.

I had purchased some bins at HomeGoods but didn't have nearly enough for all of the stuff in the closet. Target to the rescue! I bought 2 Closetmaid bins, and then sent D to Lowes for some more. They fit perfectly in the closet and are the right size for all of the different categories of stuff. I made prompt work of filling them and labeling them. I felt much better after that and the anxiety dreams ended! The baby's closet is very well organized (at least until the baby actually arrives).
About a week ago my neighbors brought us their changing table and it's perfect. The baby's room is very small and is made smaller by having one wall entirely taken up by a closet and another entirely taken up by windows. Wall space to put furniture against is at a premium. This changing table, in addition to being cute, is nice and small.

Fast forward a week and we've got a crib. Now the room is looking much better! After a second shower thrown by my mother-in-law and D's grandmother I have just about everything I need!!! I've got crib sheets and mattress pad, changing pad cover, etc. Yesterday was my first day as a stay at home mom (to be) and I washed a ton of baby stuff and got to work putting the nursery together. Here are the results:

Now I know you experienced mom's are thinking, "she'd not going to want that there," "that will never work," or "I would be easier to have X over there," and I know that when the baby actually arrives and I start using the room I'll be moving stuff around. For now, it's just nice to have a room that looks ready for a baby to come home to. Tomorrow my mom is coming up and we're going to make the valance and crib skirt. This weekend D and I will hang the Bunny My Honey picture and the ABC needlepoint that my grandma had made for me when I was born.

My belly

I'm 38 weeks (give or take), but I don't look nearly big enough to be having a baby in the next few weeks. My doctor says the baby is probably about 6.5lbs and my weight gain is good (26lbs total), but my belly just doesn't look that big. I keep telling myself it's because I'm tall so the baby has more vertical space and doesn't need to stick out as far in front.

Here's a picture from August 31st (it looks like I'm sticking out my belly with my hands, but I'm just holding up my shirt):

And here are 2 from September 7th (heads are chopped off because D likes to be anonymous):

More cooking--Blueberry Cobbler and Macaroni and Cheese

tAfter the wild success of the banana bread, I was back into cooking. The next day I went to my favorite produce market and picked up a nice quart of blueberries with the intent to make muffins. Instead, I decided to make Blueberry Cobbler which I had made a number of times last summer. The recipe I use is fabulous and is from America's Test Kitchen 1996 Cookbook. It can also be found on the ATK website, but you have to have a membership to access it (current season recipes are free, back recipes require a paid subscription). D and I finished off the cobbler pretty fast, and I ended up making another one a week later with wild Maine blueberries which we brought to his cousin's house.

On Labor Day, I set to work cooking again. Two women in my newcomers club had recently had babies so I wanted to make meals for them, and also to start stocking my own freezer. I chose to make Macaroni and Cheese because pretty much everyone likes it (and it's usually a hit with toddlers, which both of these women have). I use the recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It's a classic baked mac and cheese with a white sauce and bread crumbs on top. It's delicious and freezes well. It's very similar to the mac and cheese my mom makes, though I think she usually uses just cheddar. I do about 1/2 cheddar and 1/2 gruyere, sometimes emmentaler. Really whatever cheese is available works--I haven't done this, but it's probably really yummy if you use all of the bits and pieces of cheese leftover from a cheese platter after a party!

Cooking again--Banana Bread

After a lapse of about 9 months, I have finally started to do some cooking again! My first foray back into the kitchen was to bake 2 loaves of banana bread one Friday afternoon. I baked the 2 loaves (one with chocolate chips) and left them on the counter to cool while I met up with a friend. When I came home about 3 hours later, the chocolate chip loaf was almost entirely gone, and D was lying on the loveseat holding his belly. Yes, my husband had eaten an entire loaf (just about) of chocolate chip banana bread! D is generally a very healthy eater, but he does have his weaknesses--if there are sweets, baked goods, or Ben & Jerry's in the house he has no control over the quantity he eats! Whole pints of Ben & Jerry's disappear in a matter of minutes, a box of thin mint girl scout cookies might last 2 days, and banana bread vanishes in a flash.

Here's the recipe for the magical disappearing banana bread.

2-3 overripe bananas (the browner the better), mashed
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. white sugar
1 egg
3 tbs. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour (I use white whole wheat or AP)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix all ingredients well by hand.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes (depending on the pan and the oven--I used to do the full time, but with my current pans and oven just an hour seems to do the trick--more than that and it's too dark).

Here's a picture of the banana bread I made about a week later (someone bought bananas and then didn't eat them all week--I think he wanted me to make more banana bread).

Baby turtle

Remember the nesting turtles? Well, I haven't seen any of those nests disturbed, but look what D found about a week ago...

That's a dime for scale!