Saturday, December 8, 2012

Today's agenda: 
1. Pump
2. Church (all saints day)
3. Nurse, for 2 straight hours because we lost the pacifier...
4. trip to ENT where we ran into an unexpected friend but also found out that we don't have a tongue tie:( I was hoping this would be an easy fix)
5. Pump
6. Nurse while looking for a recipe to use up veggies in the fridge
7. Continue to nurse while typing up this modified Moroccan recipe... forgive my lack of capitalization. i am one handing it. Now with the left hand.
8. dictate recipe to husband step by step while nursing

Moroccan Tagine Recipe from allrecipes with the additional modifications recommended.

Ingredients
1 tbs olive oil
1 sm onion
6 cloves garlic
1 peeled and chopped butternut squash (substituted potato and pumpkin)
1 can garbanzo beans
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 14 oz can chicken broth ( i didn't have veggie broth)
1 cup apricots, chopped
2 tbs honey
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 1 tsp cumin
 1/2 tsp ginger
dash of cayenne 

Directions
Saute onion in the olive oil with the spices about 15 minutes (you can add chicken or pork here too). Add the garlic 1 minute before finished.

Add everything else and cook for 30 minutes.


Lactation Chocolate chip cookies

I came across a good recipe a few weeks ago to help boost supply. I couldn't find any brewers yeast so I made the recipe without it. Now, I don't think it really helped but they were fantastic cookies. The comments recommended all sorts of alterations to the original recipe and I followed some of them so I needed another place to write this down so I don't loose it this time.

1 cup butter (or half butter, half apple sauce)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
8 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons flax seed meal
1 egg (probably optional, haven't tried it without)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups wheat flour (or 1 wheat, 1 regular)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips(I use the whole bag, just because)
1 cup walnuts
2 -4 tablespoons brewer's yeast (the more the better for supply, don't use if you don't need this for supply)

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3 Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
4 Add egg and mix well.
5 Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
6 Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
7 Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8 Stir in oats and chips.
9 Scoop onto baking sheet.
10 Bake for 12 minutes.
11 Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

These make the most delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Very substantial cookies! It also makes a ton of cookies. I'll count how many I get next time.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

So what do you do to prepare for a "Frankenstorm". Other than getting out of dodge which wasn't really an option we have been getting all of our yard stuff stowed away in the shed and most things in the basement off the floor. It's also consisted of getting our fridge and freezer cleaned out. I feel we are mostly in for power outages but who knows.

So today after our trip into the pediatrician for a weight check and in between pumping sessions, I have been cooking. I found a pretty simple vegitable soup recipe online to dump all our freezer veggies into. It's mainly onion, potato, garlic, freezer veggies, v8 and chicken stock with seasonings. Turned out pretty yummy!

I've also made two kinds of muffins. Wild berry muffins and chocolate banana nut muffins. They were suppose to be double chocolate chip banana muffins, but my mom used all my chocolate chips last week. (I'm not complaining, the cookies were good). The wild berry muffins were pretty good. Not overly sweet but I had to use apple sauce as the base instead of strawberry puree. The chocolate ones are completely edible, but would taste a LOT better if it had chocolate chips in it.

Now it's time to go wake up the kitten and make her eat. Her weight was up 6 oz since Friday but we haven't gotten her to poo much. I guess that's important too. We also found out her billi was high on Friday but no one let our doctor know. When the doc saw her today though she was very happy with her color. The orange has receded up to her shoulders and seems to be clearing on it's own.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The lactation consultant

Good evening! I will post Lucy's birth story a little later but I wanted to get down in writing our little visit today from the LC.

In light of an impending frankenstorm coming up the east coast, our LC made a house call on a Sunday. She is pretty great. She confirmed a lot of what I already suspected and came up with a plan for us.

Lucy is a sleepy baby. She's been tested for jaundice multiple times. She is also still loosing weight. We have lost a full pound. So we were refered to our LC by our pediatrician for dehydration. She is always falling asleep on me when we are trying to feed her. She looks healthy. She's responsive and has a strong suck. She is not overly eager for the formula we have had to supplement her with. I've been pumping but we need to get her weight to come up. She also gets tense during feedings and will often clamp down. VERY painful!

After watching Lucy in action and poking around into Lucy's mouth she determined Lucy likely has a tongue tie. Not the kind that Logan had. Logan's frenulum was tied all the way to the tip of his tongue. It was obvious and needed immediate attention. We had a hard time finding a doctor to clip it. I guess it has recently been described medically as cosmetic. But it's not. It negativly affects breast feeding because the baby can't get the nipple all the way into the mouth. This causes rubbing (read BLEEDING) nips. It also makes the baby easily tired. It also often causes speech impediments later and simply makes doing anything with your tongue more difficult.

Now, I've watched the procedure twice before (Logan's was clipped in a two part process). It's so simple! They just give the baby a little sugar water on a syringe. Stick in two little sticks to keep the tongue out of the way and a quick snip. No bleeding, no crying, no anesthesia. I don't understand why someone wouldn't get it fixed as a baby. To get it fixed later, it's a bit more involved and a bit more painful.

There are 2 types of tongue ties, posterior and anterior. Logan's was anterior - where the frenulum is connected too far down the tongue:
This is not Logan, just  pic I found on google.
Lucy's seems to be anterior - The frenulum is in the right spot but it's tied too tightly. This is much harder for a pediatrician to detect visually. The LC only discovered its likely existance due to feeling her suck reflex. She doesn't roll her tongue, rather she just moves it like a piston. She is sending us to the expert that just fixed her own tongue tie for a confirmation. I didn't find a good picture of this kind but I did find blog upon blog describing all of Lucy and my symptoms and attribute it to the tongue tie.

So, my little ladies inability to properly latch could also cause my supply issues. And this is why I will be power pumping around the clock for the next 3 days or until whenever the storm knocks out our power. Power pumping required pumping for 5 minutes every hour. This is suppose to raise the prolactin levels in your body to get you to produce more milk. Other variations of power pumping include pumping, waiting 10 minutes and then going through the let down process again on the pump.  We will also be doing the other supplements as well: oatmeal and more milk plus tea.

I said I wasn't going to go nuts with BFing this time... but I guess I need to give it a try at least. And I am glad it helped us find Lucy's tongue tie. It's a lot more common than people think and often goes undiagnosed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What tomorrow might bring...

I've been contracting all day and am just conflicted. Today I posted this poll on babycenter:


Hey moms, I'm in a pickle and would love some advice. I added a poll because I want to know what you would actually do in this circumstance not what you philosophically would want to do. I know philosophically what I should do but I am just so tired and irritated.
I've been in prodromal labor for 8 weeks. I was put on bed rest at 30 weeks, had to begin my time off work then. I had a couple close calls and trips to L&D early for contractions. I made it to 36 weeks, went off  bed rest and all meds. I had another contraction episode that sent me to L&D at 3cm. This week I had one more and I'm now 5 cm. They didn't want to send me home but I just didn't feel like I was in labor and they couldn't do anything yet to get me going and they wouldn't let me eat (which was beyond annoying). All the doctors are convinced I am going to go fast when I do go but here I am 3 days later still not in active labor.
I spent all of last night with contractions. All day today, especially while walking. They were 1 1/2 minutes long, 2-3 minutes apart but not painful and they went away when I laid down. I'm pretty sure if I go in now, the docs will want to help me speed some things up so I don't deliver in the car.
For some history, with my last my water broke at 5 cm, I got stuck at 5 cm and had to do pitocin then re-brake my water to get me to dilate all the way and I did it without an epidural. It was a horrible birth experience. I was in the hospital trying to deliver for 30 hours and I had nightmares for months. I really want a good experience this time as I am not doing pregnancy again. I follow the bradly books and I know I should just be patient and let my body prepare itself but I want an epidural this time anyway ( I am just terrified, I cannot do natural again!) What would you do?

Results:
Be patient, relax - 18
Strip membranes and natural inducing methods - 23
Let the doc help you out! - 38
IDK - 5
So, I called the doc tonight. He said to get some rest tonight if I can. Of course if the contractions pick up over night to just come in. If I still have consistent contractions while out and about tomorrow, to come in and he would help get me going. He said he's not too happy about me walking around at 5 cm and because I am on the eve of 38 weeks he's very comfortable breaking my water so long as I am still consistently contracting.

I cannot believe my water hasn't broken already though! Seriously, 3 days at 5 cm?? And let me tell you, I have not been taking it easy. Except at night. I have been trying to get all the sleep I can at night. I know it's controversial to get interventions before term but please keep in mind that I have been having these contraction episodes for 8 weeks! I've been told once I can get past 5 I'm going to go fast, and I do not want to deliver in the car. I hate making a choice like this, but I'm about to loose my mind. Please pray for the best.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Post Hospital Stay

Yesterday I felt pretty yucky so we headed in to the hospital. After an hour of walking in the hospital I went from 4-5 cm so they kept me. They were convinced I was on the eminent verge of labor. I knew better. My contractions just were not strong enough. Today I've been sent home at 5 cm and 90% effaced. Contractions seriously slowed overnight and I hadn't progressed but I have a feeling about tonight...

We'll be waiting for after rush hour before trying to get things going and then maybe heading back in. I really don't want to be delivering this little one in the car.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tired, crampy, ug

Oh I feel yucky today.  It started last night with spotting and nausea. When I laid down last night I was dizzy but so tired. Every time I rolled over last night I would wake up and contract. Today I just feel hung over. Very tired and out of it with some nausea and a pulling sensation in my belly. I'm now also having sharp cramping with no pattern. I'm also fighting weepiness...

I called the doc and they are having me come in to get checked out again. Maybe it's today. I keep trying to walk around but get too crampy and too tired.

Also a little TMI but I had "bloody show" last night. I'm not going to describe it. You can look it up. I did not know that it was different than "mucus plug". I lost that 2 weeks ago. But, they are definitely different. Never saw either one last time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

37 weeks

37 week appointment: Saw Dr. R again. I like him. He is the only one I think that genuinly remembers me when I come in. He is also pretty good at pelvic exams and runs on time. That's a big win in my book! He was surprised to see I was still pregnant. He checked me at 4 cm and said baby's head was fully engaged which was a change from last week. I had thought I had dropped Saturday night. He said this weekend if we had any of those contraction episodes to come in and he would be on call and we would be able to have this baby.

I am torn between what I know I should want: a completely natural, unadulterated, un-intervened labor and what I actually want: the baby out sooner than later. I don't really want to be pushing out a 10 pound baby. I also sort of feel I'll need pitocin either way because I don't think my body will ever kick in to high gear labor. I would LOVE my prediction to be proven completely wrong so we shall see. Half of me feels I should be insulted that Dr. R seems rearing to get this baby going and the other half is so relieved!

Trying to get my dad home for the Michigan vs. Michigan State game Saturday. I don't think it's going to happen. Sorry dad.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Prodromal Labor?

Relaxing today with DH and my dad. We've been to soccer practice and played some cards. We've also been cheering the Tigers on two days in a row now!

I read a post on babycenter while vegging and found a link to a blog about Prodromal Labor. It was written very well and really describes what I've been experiencing. I feel a little better knowing that all these contractions can count for something and may just be how my body progresses instead of chalking it all up to "false labor". I hate that term. It makes me angry. I don't think I am self diagnosing but I'll ask my doc about it this week. I don't think it matters one way or another what it is called but after reading the article I think I can be a little more patient.

Bella Dolce Births: Prodromal Labor

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Last weekend we went to a U-pick farm here in Maryland and got some great pumpkins. Logan became very posessive of his one but we baked it today while he was at school:)
I'm planning on making some bread and muffins out of this one. I found the recipe here but I have tweaked the recipe according to posters to this blog and included my own modified recipe below. Instead of canned pumpkin puree I used the pumpkin in the picture. We cut it in half, cleaned it out and laid it face down in a baking pan with about an inch of water. We then baked it at 350 for 45 minutes.

Recipe:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (an added ingredient)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (Original called for 3 cups white sugar, no brown)
  • 1 cup butter, really soft
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16 oz can of pure pumpkin or measure 16 oz of pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray or muffin pans. (I use liners)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whisk attached, dump in the sugar. Take the butter and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, so that it is half melted. Dump it into the sugar. Add the eggs. Cream these three ingredients together on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the pumpkin and combine well.
  4. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until each batch is just incorporated. Scrape the sides between each batch.
  5. Pour half of the batter into a one of the prepared pans. Fold the pecans into the remaining batter and then pour it into the other prepared pan. Bake side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean the top is golden. (I didn't have any pecans)
So step 5 for me went something like this: Fill the loaf pan. Put liners in muffin tin. Move muffin tin to a different counter. Pick muffin liners up off the floor and put them back in the muffin tin. Fill a muffin liner. Sit. Fill 2 more muffin liners. Sit. Fill 3 more muffin liners, make a mess and get frustrated. Sit. Ask Dad for help filling the rest of the muffin liners. The liners were flattish from a 2 year olds prying fingers and the batter was pretty sticky so I was having a hard time. I was alternately having a hard time breathing from this baby still being so high up into my lungs. Super annoying! We got the job done though.

In step 3 I realized I had no nutmeg, so we have no nutmeg in our bread. I also accidently switched to a different measuring spoon for some of the ingredients and I think I fixed my mistake.

The end result was fantastic. Very smooth, moist muffin with a slight crunch to the top. I think pecans and brown sugar on top would make for a really fun addition. It only took 42 minutes for my muffins to be done. I let the bread loaf go longer.
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

36 week update

I am still pregnant despite all pregnancy forcasts. I have been contracting for a solid week off and on. Most nights I experience very painful ones that last almost an hour 2-3 minutes apart but then they fade away. At the doctors today I am still a loose 3. Doctor said I will know when I am in labor because the pains will increase in intensity - I am skeptical, my water will break, or I will experience bleeding. He doesn't think I will cook much longer but said it's hard to say. He's seen women in my situation go full term. He doesn't think they will make me go to my due date though because the baby would be huge at that point.

I am off all medicine and all restrictions. All lights are green and we're just waiting for baby. Emotionally I am drained. The anxiety of going to bed every night for the last 7 weeks wondering if tonight will be the night is taking a toll. My abs are killing me. My dad is being very helpful in reorganizing my house and cleaning.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Car seat cover: phase 2

Oh my! This is the hardest project I have ever tried to put together. I am sure it's because I don't like following directions and constantly improvise. Regardless, I am not giving my directions because I don't even know in hindsight how I pulled it together other than I did a LOT of tweaking. There is a reason these are expensive to buy. So worth it. Just go buy one.



 There is elastic for the edging across the bottom, 2 loops on the side, and 2 loops in the back. I just copied what the original car seat cover has on it. The original is actually under this one because it has the padding needed.

No worries, baby girl won't have the canopy on her seat in the car. I know that's a potential safety concern. AND with the black newborn insert (original to the car seat) you can't see any of my horrible buttonholes!
The car seat canopy wasn't too bad. I started contracting something fierce in the middle of it though and had to enlist my husband for his cutting, folding and ironing skills. He made the straps and bow pieces. I did the sewing in between really strong contractions. I seriously thought this might be it but I knew to wait and see and sure enough, the contractions backed off after about an hour. I followed the directions from this blog page.

I am beyond thrilled with how the bows turned out! I am keeping this template for next time I want to make big girl bows.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Car seat cover: phase one

When my son was just 5 months old we moved north to Maryland. I found myself as a stay at home mom and I hated it. I was lonely. I had no local friends and no real hobbies that I could do with an infant. I decided to pick up sewing to have something to accomplish each day. I remember my first week with the sewing machine. I wanted to consistantly throw it out of the window. I couldn't even get the thing threaded.

Hours and hours of youtube instruction later combined with a new needle (mine was bent) and some old swaddle blankets I started experimenting. I can tell you I did a LOT of seem ripping. Turns out I like sewing when it doesn't involve some type of pattern to have to follow and I don't need anything fancy like zippers or elastic. Well, today I tried something a little over my head: a new car seat cover.

You see, I found this really cute car seat on the internet with some directions on how to make it. I've been sewing squares for almost 2 years now so I decided to give it a go. Wow, so hard! I think there are many different ways I could have tried this project but here is what I did:

1. I chose my material and began pinning the fabric down to the original car seat cover starting with the middle panel. This was my first mistake I think. I think I should have done the sides first so that pinning the middle panel would have also pinned that pannel directly to the side fabric. When pinning I folded the edge of the fabric over  before pinning it down.
 Note my cute for a boy but not as cute for a girl car seat.

 These are the first pins I put in along the seem with the edges folded over

 One side pinned, ready for the other side. I cut the fabric on the other side before pinning it.

Finally adding the sides. This was really hard to do without deconstructing the whole thing. You can see how maybe doing the sides first, laying the edge of the fabric over the seem that would get the middle panel pinned to would be a little easier, maybe.

Thin I traced my holes through the back with a crayon and repinned everything as I peeled off my soon-to-be cover. Sewing the pieces together was a nightmare! Too many seems coming together in some places and not knowing what to sew first. Also the flannel ironed nicely to show me where to stitch, but the minky did not so I kind of had to guess where to stitch. Even with the pins it didn't help me much. I'm not sure how it's turned out yet because I got stuck on the next part...

BUTTONHOLES!
It is very reminiscent of wanting to throw the machine out of the window like my first week sewing. I tried watching youtube videos with not much help. Apparently there are three ways to make button holes depending on your machine: 4 step process on the machine, 1 step process on the machine and hand stitched. I have a 1 step machine but it will not make the holes as big as I need them. The 1 step process uses a special buttonhole foot attachement that guides the machine to exactly how big you need your hole.  Not working!

What I am now trying to do is use an alternative foot and act as the guide myself. I am meeting with very mixed, sloppy results. At this point I can get a good hole on the scrap and then move to my cover and make some really crappy ones. Here are my current attempts:

You'll have to come back and see the final product tomorrow. I don't think I have the patience to finish today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

35 weeks and dress rehersal

Today we took a "quick trip" into the docs office for contractions. I woke up at 2 am with very regular strong contractions. With IU I know this can happen so I made sure to wait a while to see if it continued. Every time I woke up through the night I still experienced contractions but they seemed to space out further and further. That's a good clue it's not the real thing yet. Despite this I decided to call into the docs in the morning to just check in. It's been a while since I had strong regular contractions. They had me come in for a check up and of course the contractions got fewer and fewer. They were still strong enough they were hard to talk through though.

I got to speak with Dr. B, whom you recall I love. I am 3 cm dilated, 70% effaced. Baby is 5 lbs 12 oz on the ultrasound. We didn't get any good pictures of it this time. I am to stay on the medicine until next week. He says it won't stop the contractions if I am really going into labor. It could still be tomorrow or in 2 weeks. Dilation doesn't mean a whole lot except we know the contractions are doing their job.

On another note I made another needed project for the baby room. It looked so easy to make a changing pad cover that I decided to do that instead of buy one. I have to say that it was pretty easy. In fact, the hardest part was measuring the fabric. It was one of those nice projects where you could make a million mistakes and it would still look good. I used the DIY Changing Pad Cover tutorial.

Monday, October 1, 2012

35 weeks!

Quick update: Big milestone today. I am off most of my restrictions today. I am still on the meds until next Monday but I very much want to quit them to get the ball rolling. I am being good though. My dad is here and ready to help with whatever we need help with. Mainly though he is here to watch Logan when it's go time. Yay!

Here's a little project I finished up over the weekend:)


Monday, September 24, 2012

Yay to the end of bed rest!

Happy Monday! We had our 34 week appointment this morning. I was so nervous! Last time I went in at 34 weeks I ended up in L&D for 30 hours. This time was much more pleasant. The medicine seems to be working really well for me. I had the doc check me out to relieve my fears mainly. I am 1/2 a centimeter dilated (That's less than before) and 50% effaced which is about the same as 2 weeks ago and the baby is still really high. That means my occasional contractions right now aren't really doing anything except keeping me in bed. That's GREAT news. I'm not ready for labor yet. I'm showing no other issues. It also means they are going to be releasing me from bed rest! They want me to keep resting for just a few more days and they are going to keep me on the procardia for the next 2 weeks but other than that I am good to go. The doctor even went so far as to predict I will go full term. I don't know about that but I'll take it.

I would like to try to go back to work in the mean time. I somehow did not make it into the sick bank so I am not getting paid to be laid up. I also miss teaching. It keeps my mind off of worrying about the rest of this.

We had a great weekend. I cheated on the bed rest anyway. I felt being so close to 34 weeks that it was safe. My friends in town gave me a wonderful baby shower for the little girl. I think we are all set on clothes through 6 months now. We also had soccer again on Sunday which was so nice.

I love the weather lately. It's very crisp outside! I've been sleeping with the windows open and it got down to 45 last night. I slept like a rock. (Well, a very pregnant rock that needs to wake up to roll over a couple of times in the middle of the night.) I love that both my babies will be born in transition seasons.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pre-labor Anxiety

I have been having anxiety nightmares off and on for the last two years and they have intensified in the last month. I am terrified of delivery. I know a lot of women are scared of labor and delivery. It's a painful process and there is so much unknown. I tried looking things up online and I am just not finding anything helpful.

First of all, I had a horrific experience last time. I went into labor early and no one encouraged me to stop labor. After 12 hours my water broke but I wouldn't dilate. Then the pitocin which no one told me would make things more painful. Then they broke my water again and all hell broke loose. It was so much pain I would have rather someone cut me open and tear the baby out. Then they took my son away and we weren't allowed to hold him. And then I didn't bond or produce much milk. My current doctor reviewed my history and shows much more competince on dealing with complications and believes things were done badly with my last delivery. In the mean time though, I have all this trauma from the first delivery. No, I have not forgotten one second of that horrible experience.

Next, I don't trust my body at all. A lot of what I read is this nonsense about "your body knows what it is doing, trust it and let it do what it knows how to do." Baloney. If I know anything from this pregnancy and the last is that my body doesn't know how to deal with pregnancy at all. After bedrest and the last delivery, I also know my body has no idea what it is doing when it comes to labor either. So, that makes two of us; my physical and mental selves. This leaves me very little confidence in labor and delivery. I do trust my doctors but I can't count on them being the ones to actually deliver me and you can't plan on what nurses you get and my poor husband remembers the same trauma from last time too so he is also none-to-confident.

I have also been told to ignore most of my contractions, so what if they finally do really kick in but by then it's too late and I deliver on my kitchen floor, or the car, or the parking lot? I am definitely getting an epidural this time but what if it doesn't take? I already know I react in funny ways to medication. What if I am too late? What if I do get an epidural but then panic when it comes to push and I can't do it? Trust me when I say I thought about all of this before getting pregnant but pushed it all aside so that we can have this second child but everything seems so eminent!

My final anxiety of the moment is "what if I go into labor before my dad comes to town?" We have an idea but it will just depend on who picks up their phone! They won't let our son into the delivery room and I can't do this without my husband. So, lets all hope my body holds off until Wednesday! That's 5 more days...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ham and Mushroom Risotto

I love making risotto. It is one of my go to staples in the house because as long as you have stock, wine, and arborio rice you can make any type of risotto with whatever leftover veggies or frozen veggies you happen to have on hand. My husband is also a huge fan of my risottos. Tonight he has announced he will be making a risotto and I am to give him the ingredients for it. Now risotto is not hard but you do have to babysit it a bit. My husband is the ultimate perfectionist though so I am sure it will be fantastic! (He made us Paula Dean fried chicken last night with home made mashed potatoes that were all To-Die-For!)

We decided on a mushroom risotto so I browsed online for a recipe that had something a little more fun than just mushrooms and I found an awesome looking bacon, mushroom, spinach risotto. I'm going to modify the recipe a bit below.

For Risotto you have 3 phases: Sautte, boil, cheese etc. (DH requested the 3 phase explanation)

Ingredients:
4 cups or 1 box stock (chicken or veggie)
desired quantity of ham or bacon (about 8 slices bacon)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme
4 minced garlic cloves (we used 6)
8 ounces baby bella mushroom, 4 ounces other wild mushroom ( quantity is not important to be exact)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (we ended up putting almost a cup! I like to just cover the contents.)
4 cups chopped baby spinach (or however much you happen to have. If you hate spinach you can use 1 cup peas or 1 cup chopped asparagus. You would just need to through it in a little earlier to cook, maybe when you are half way through your stock)
1/2 cup parmasian or asiago cheese or a blend of both
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
Saute:
1. In a deep frying pan begin cooking ham (or bacon) until crispy. You can chop it first or wait until later to chop it up.
2. Put veggie or chicken stock on to simmer while ham is cooking.
3. Chop onion and mushrooms while ham is cooking.
4. Remove cooked ham with slotted spoon and add onions and thyme (you may need to add a little EVOO to help if your ham wasn't greasy enough.) Cook on medium about 6 minutes
5. Add mushrooms to the onions, cook about 8 more minutes stirring occasionally
6. Add Garlic (DH loves his garlic so we add it so almost everything) then add rice and stir cooking about 1 minute
Boil:
7. Add dry white wine. We had a Riesling on hand. Stir until almost all is absorbed into the rice.
8. "Stir in 1 cup hot stock (I use a ladle and eyeball it); cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total)." What does constant mean? You don't have to continuously stir. You can stir, walk away, couple minutes later stir some more while you do other things like wash dishes or give the toddler a snack.
 Cheese etc.
9. Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and pepper and ham.

The reason you stir risotto a lot and use a special rice is to really bring the starches out of the rice into whatever you are cooking. You will notice at the end that the final product will really stiffen up.

Update: It turned out very, very good! I recommend 1 slice of think cut ham as the quantity, and no salt. There is a lot of salt in several of the other ingredients. I think DH put in 6 cloves of garlic (I told you he liked the garlic) The thyme was a really nice touch. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crafting in bed

One of the sad things about bedrest is that I am not suppose to leave the bed for very much and that includes sitting at the sewing machine. I've been struggling to find any way to be productive or at least keep my mind occupied with something other than trash tv which are currently over run with political ads these days. Today I actually found some crafts I can do in bed.

Today I started with blankets. I know, you can't put a sewing machine on your lap in bed, but I can iron and pin everything I already had cut out and make it ready to sew! I used every pin I own to pin down the 3 swaddle blankets I had made for myself and 2 burp clothes bedecked with girly fru-fruness. I only own one of those small ironing boards so that fit on my lap nicely.

Next, I've been wanting some MSU hair bows but I thought how hard could it be just to make them? I looked up those bottle cap logos and only found printable ones which led me to thinking well maybe I could make my own bottle cap decorations for the garnish to my bows. I did some online learning via youtube and went to amazon looking for the supplies and came across a review of bad epoxy which led me to some good stuff. This is the site I found. I decided to buy some resin and molds to make my own jeweled ribbon garnishes. I figured this might come in handy as most all my friends have little girls and my own seems to have hair already. If it works out you can send me your requests or come over and play with my materials.

That accomplished I was still left without a craft. I started looking at bow tutorials on youtube. I tried some different techniques with ribbon I've had sitting around forever. Some turned out better than others but I am pretty pleased. The orange one is my current favorite and this is the site I found the tutorial on.
I bought some alligator clips at amazon to back the ribbons with, but for these little ones I just used some ribbon of the same color and hot glued velcro to it. Next time I am in Joannes I think I will also pick up some cute buttons to put in the middle of some of the ribbons. I want a little football or block S for the middle of the brown one and maybe a butterfly for the middle of the purple one. I have had a hard time finding ribbon online! I'll need to pick more of that up too next time I am allowed to go out.

This was the mess of my bedside workstation!


Monday, September 10, 2012

My baby girl has hair!


At least, that's my take away from today's appointment. I'm sure it's the least important message I got today but it's the one that keeps running through my head. You can see it as bumpiness in the photo. I also think she looks a bit like Logan. Same nose for sure and crazy kissy lips. She kept puckering them out in the ultrasound.

Now to more important matters. I met a new doctor today and I liked her too. The first thing she asks me is "tell me more about your last delivery". She said with everything she read and what I was confirming she was convinced my last delivery was handled poorly and I should not have delivered when I did. She's the 3rd doctor to hint at this but the first to put it so bluntly. She thinks I just have an irritable uterus and should be able to go at least another few weeks on bed rest. Now, I am glad I had the US lady check on my cervix too because otherwise I don't think I would have had the complete picture. It's much shorter today than it had been last time. So, I am glad I have been on bedrest because changes are occuring. Even still the doctor was pretty optomistic about going 2 more weeks at least.

Today I have had only 2-3 contractions. I am 32 weeks and I feel pretty good. Baby girl was measuring 4 lbs 2 oz and right on track. She is still head down and looking great. I also got my flu shot. Oh, and did I mention the weather was perfect today? I need to get a lounge chair I think!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bedrest Update

Is it Bed rest or bedrest? I keep getting auto-corrected for the compound word but I seem to see it that way on reputable sites, so I'm not really sure. I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm just making a quick update to the tragedy that is bedrest. Here are some of my  current thoughts.

1. Bedrest is not a luxery vacation. Trust me. Maybe if I had been running around crazy all summer I would appreciate some time in bed, but I have spent all summer on the couch taking it easy so this was not at all welcome.

2. Bedrest is not easy. It is so hard not to cheat. It's partially hard not to cheat because I don't really know what the rules are. I am on a modified bedrest meaning I have bathroom and kitchen privilages. I'm suppose to stay in bed on my left side most of the day though. I cheated today. I left the house to go for a car ride. But, it was either do that or run from the house screaming so I figured the car ride was better.

3. Bedrest hurts. I am literally sore from laying in bed. I'm going to have DH pick up an egg crate mattress cover. That's what the nurse recommended.

4. People on bedrest don't really want to hear about how much fun other people are having out and about and they don't want to hear people complaining about not being in bed. It's an irrational, ungrateful time. With HG I didn't and don't wish that on ANYONE. (bedrest is better than vomiting) but with bedrest I kind of wish I could wish it on a few people so they could understand what it's like a little better.

5. I'm on bedrest for a reason, obviously. We are trying to prolong this pregnancy as long as possible. That being said, I am terrified of going into labor! I could go tonight or in 2 months. The anxiety is horrible! If we can hold off I know what we will do with our 2.5 year old, but if we go tonight I have to hope someone on our list will pick up our call. I have very lovely, caring friends but I know how huge an imposition it would be to call at 3 am with an urgent request to pick up a toddler. Our neighbors are on standby but they are incapable of watching a toddler.

6. People on bedrest should never google it. Reading things like "bedrest is not proven effective" or"There can be medical risks to bedrest" and the like don't inspire following the rules. This actually led me to calling the doc today to see if bedrest was necessary for me. I completely LOST it last night because I have been feeling good physically. No regular contractions. I have been getting contractions periodically, usually just before my time limit is up on the procardia but that is it. I decided to call the doctor and plead for lifted restrictions. The nurse was so nice on the phone and listened to my predicament and answered all of my off the wall questions with sufficient detail and confidence to appease me. She reassured me that if I was still having ANY contractions than I was still on bedrest especially because I am already on the procardia. This isn't something where you just go on the drug and trust the drug. She also said (and I didn't know this) that now my contractions were under control and only happening periodically they wanted me to call if they increased at all. This is different then what I was told last time. I was told to just ignore them and I told her that but she said it's different now that they are under control.

So, I am still here, still ticking the days away and a little less crazy than I was last night. 31 weeks yesterday!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

BBQ pulled pork - slow cooker style

Well, we have survived a week of bed rest. Not enjoyable. Much harder than it sounds. We went through a few days of angry denial and a few added hours of "why me?" but we did make it through. Bed rest is like house arrest really. I am to be laying down most of the day. I can get up for the restroom, shower, get food and that's about it. I'm not 100% good every day but I'm not less than 90% good every day so I think that's ok. What has helped me mentally is really seeing the cause and effect of bed rest. If I stay horizontal and take my meds every 6 hours, then I don't contract much. If I try to do too much then my body tells me immediately.

Today I wasn't perfect. I was so sick of the house that DH took me for a car ride through the country. I love the country roads around here. So beautiful! I also helped with dinner but the total number of minutes on my feet were less than 30 minutes. This was an easy dish and I'm going to share it because I sort of compiled a couple different recipes to get this product.

I used the directions for pulled pork I found off of pinterest. That recipe did not have a rub to the pork and I wanted a rub so I found one online that had ingredients I liked and adjusted some of the quantities according to my common sense (I didn't want 3 tbs of salt!) I then went looking for a BBQ sauce because we didn't have a bottle of anything I liked. This one has also been altered (It did ask for more vinegar. Again, that seemed too much and I'm glad I reduced the amount of that and the mustard. The end results were good) 

BBQ Pulled Pork - slow cooker style

Ingredients: 3-6 pork chops (bone in or out, you can remove the bone later)

Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard (or I used just some dijon mustard spread onto the chops)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons coarse salt

Sauce:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup yellow or brown mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (this was not enough to make it spicy, add more if you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • dash of Worcestershire (not needed but I love it)
Directions:

1. Dry rub the chops on both sides
2. Put a layer of sliced onion
3. Layer 3 chops
4. Add the rest of the onion
5. Add BBQ sauce
6. Cook on low a couple hours. We had 3 chops and cooked them for 6 hours which I am sure was more than enough time.

7. Put falling off the bone cooked pork into stand mixer with flat attachment and slowly "pull" Works like a charm!

8. Add sauce with onions to the blender to blend up those onions. At this step I realized I could have cooked in carrots and celery as well and just blended that all into the sauce too to give everyone more vitamins. I don't often use a blender and I am not sure what I did but as you can see I made a mess. Oops!

At first I thought the sauce was still a bit vinegary but when combined with the meat and on the bread it was really good. I think I will keep playing with it.
Yum! This was only 3 chops and more than enough for my whole little family although next time I would do 6 so that I can freeze some left overs. Very easy meal! But, I am glad DH is doing the dishes. I made some monster dishes with the slow cooker, blender, AND stand mixer :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wanting more information? Don't we all.

So somewhere deep down inside my mind I keep hearing voices that say don't post stuff on facebook, but I then do regardless. Since this update is much too long for facebook (or text message) anyway I thought I would just update you all from here.

First, I am doing fine and still pregnant. By fine I mean... still pregnant. The better I feel physically, the more stressed I become mentally at not being able to be in school and trying to rewrite all my lessons for a sub. And I've been in the hospital off and on for the last 3 days so I guess that is enough to try anyone's nerves. Now for the details:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week my belly just hurt. I think just normal achyness. Saturday night though I went to bed with some bad cramping. They did not feel like contractions. I have been getting the braxton hix contractions since 20 weeks and put myself on a modified bed rest then. I came off that bed rest in preperation for school last week. The cramping did not feel like any belly hardening. For some history on me, my last labor consisted of a lot of contractions that just hardened my belly and didn't hurt in any way. Those contractions sent me into labor at 34 weeks. I did not really feel painful contractions until I was about 7 cm dilated after my water broke. So, when I was laying down Sunday afternoon feeling mildly painful cramps that were coming in waves about 4 minutes apart I became very concerened.

We headed into L&D where my husband had to leave me. We had our 2 year old fast asleep in the car for his nap time. That is when I decided to post on facebook. I had made a few calls to baby sitters trying to find someone but then had to give up and just go with it for the moment. We got several calls from amazing friends who volunteered to take Logan but at that point I wasn't sure what the prognoses was going to be and he was fast asleep. I was hooked up to an IV for fluids (it took 3 trys!) and monitered. I was contracting about every 3-4 minutes. They gave me 3 rounds of turbutaline and managed to get the contractions down to nothing for an hour so they sent me home. No one checked my cervix. After talking with my dr. S, the doc on call and Dr. B the doc I saw on Monday it turns out the resident dropped the ball on that one.

As soon as I got to the waiting room I felt contractions coming back on. It was dejavu from my first pregnancy all over again. I ignored them. They were weak. They were very few. I went home and went to bed. The nurse had given me the ok to head to school the next day so that was my plan. As I was laying their Sunday night I could feel contractions off and on but again, I ignored them hoping they would just go away. At 3 am I was woken by the contractions which seemed much stronger and upon timing them were coming about 2-3 minutes apart and continued to do so until 4:30 when I finally woke DH up pretty upset. OBVIOUSLY upset. For one thing, this was exactly like when I went into labor with my first and I was only 30 weeks along. For another thing, it was my first day back with kids at school! I was angry and scared to death.

We piled Logan in the car and headed to the hospital. Apparently no children are allowed in the hospital so DH had to take Logan in to daycare at 6:30 when they opened. While he was out anyway he ran a bunch of errands to get things situated for the both of us for the day. In the mean time I was hooked up to an IV again for fluids (took 3 trys again, both hands and arms are bruised up and down now!) They gave me another round of turb and sent me in for an ultrasound. It was the longest ultrasound of my life. Seriously, like an hour long. I have no idea what they found but they measured a lot of stuff and did finally get a close up of our little girls face! She has the biggest poofy lips I have ever seen. I only can hope she will grow into them! Cervix was still long but open.

Dr. B is my favorite emergency doctor of the group and ironically the only man OBGYN I have seen. He is a wealth of knowledge that he freely shares on all things. Here is the rundown of what they found: my ffN test came back negative. This implies that my body is not trying to go into labor. It is not fool proof, but a good confidence builder that the baby will not deliver in the next 2 weeks. I am 1 cm dilated which is not great being so early, but doesn't mean a whole lot. He thinks I will deliver early given my history but he also thinks we can make it 2-4 more weeks at least given bed rest and the procardia he prescribed. Procardia is a smooth muscle relaxant they use often in blood pressure patients. The procardia knocks me out. Good help for bed rest.

One thing I didn't understand then was why all the contractions. After being poked around in the ultrasound my contractions picked up big time and were actually painful and coming more frequently. Both the doctor and the nurse assured me that they would likely not go away and that I would just get use to them. My nurse had 7 children, all preemie. She had been on similar treatments and told me that if I was actually going into labor, then I would know it. There was nothing more they could do for me in the hospital that I wouldn't be able to do for myself at home until I was actually in labor. They did give me the steroid shot to help the little girl's lungs develope more quickly and I had to go in for a follow up today.

Today's follow up was horrible. I was late. The office lady had the nerve to make me feel guilty when not once have they ever gotten me in on time. (One time I even waited 2 hours to be seen). This sent my blood pressure through the roof. (Although I didn't have many contractions this morning. They seem to come on in waves.) Dr. S was not as positive about the ffN test, but she agreed that my cervix was still good and hadn't changed in the 24 hours since I had been in. She wanted me on bed rest only a week and then reevaluate. How am I suppose to manage this with school?  Things need to be planned. I love Dr. S. She is really nice. But she stressed me out.  I got my second round of steroids. My weight had gone up 5 more pounds in the last week (probably from all the IV fluids!) One thing I do have to say is that my nurse was wonderful today and very understanding in the doctors office. It helps.

And I am still pregnant, thank God.