March 27, 2009

Tied in knots.

So yesterday I had both my one-week pediatricians appointment and my postpartum home nurse visit. It was a very rough day because the two of them tied me completely in knots. Here’s what they told me to do: Pediatrician in Red, Postpartum nurse in Blue.

Nurse her from ONE side first per feeding so that she gets the hinde milk. It’s the fattiest and without it she won’t grow as quickly. Nurse her from BOTH sides every feeding or she won’t get enough milk and won’t grow as quickly.

If you haven’t started her on a pacifier yet you should. Give it to her at night when she goes to sleep to prevent SIDS. Definitely don’t start her on a pacifier yet. She is too young and will have nipple confusion and won’t nurse as well once you give it to her.

Start pumping soon to stimulate your supply if you plan on both breast-feeding and bottle-feeding using breast milk. Don’t start pumping for at least 3-4 weeks so that your supply will regulate to the baby.

Give her a bottle with breastmilk sometime within the next week or she might get picky and later refuse a bottle. It is important to do both so that her dad can have that bond with her as well. Don’t even think about giving a bottle – even with breast milk – for at least another 3 weeks or she will get confused and have problems nursing.

She should be at her birth weight by 2 weeks or it’s a problem. Don’t worry about returning to her birth weight until the 3-week mark. Breast fed babies sometimes take longer to get back up to their starting weight.

Yeah. Yesterday was a clusterfuck of conflicting information. And all of it is supposedly “recommended” by the medical community.

So of course I did what any rational first time mother would do. I melted down, tried to apply all of it, and ended up with a kid who looked like this:


Luckily I have a good support system to talk me down. Because you know what? The one thing both the pediatrician and the nurse agreed on is that Nidea is beautiful. Both commented on how strong her little arms are. Both said she has great color and no sign of jaundice at all. The home nurse was impressed with her latching on abilities (even with, the horror, a nipple shield). And when she pulled her little head up off of the exam table the pediatrician said “Lifting up already? Wow she’s really advanced developmentally!”
Baby girl
So the bottom line is that we must be doing something right.

Even if we are doing things like gasp! Nursing from one side at a time or horror! Nursing on demand and not every 2-3 hours by the clock or fail! Offering her a pacifier when she’s squawky and not hungry*
Baby girl
So from now on the only piece of advice – assvice/medical/relative/friend/parenting book/etc. - that I’m going to take in full is this:

“Trust your instincts”

Because the only people who truly know what’s best for our daughter are me and Matt.
baby's first walk


* I haven’t done a footnote in awhile… yeah so the homenurse gave me one stern lecture that I thought was all sorts of crazy: She told me that it is “strongly reccomended” that any time Nidea is fussy and wanting to suck on something I should ONLY offer her a boob. Um… what now? Aren’t those supposed to be for eating? So I would be training her to eat whenever she’s bored? That’ll work out well for her in 15-20 years. Plus I’d be letting her chomp on me for hours with no purpose? Um, Ouch! Seems like the Worst Idea Ever. But again, according to her if I don’t do it I’m thumbing my nose at medicine and not doing what’s best for my child. Crazy-making I tell you. Crazy-making.

March 24, 2009

Week one powerball winner

First of all - thanks so much for all of the well wishes! I haven't quite had time to process it all or reply just yet but it means so much hearing from all of you!

So today is the baby’s (still not sure if I’m going to use her name on the blog or what – don’t want her 2nd grade classmates to google her and have a full and mockable history of her life) one week birthday and honestly it feels like we’ve won the baby lottery.
headed home

She is just so … perfect.

It’s cliché, I know. But I just can’t even tell you how wonderful she is. And I’m so afraid to even say this in case I jinx it and the music changes, she start screaming inconsolably, spits out the boob, and sprouts a 666 birthmark but….

She sleeps like a champ. Or as good as you can expect a newborn too. Nursing hasn’t been too big of a problem (more on all of that later). And overall we’re starting to feel pretty ok about this parenting thing.
What she's doing right now
I also might be high on post pregnancy hormones, caffeine, and percocet.

Or it might have something to do with this:
Headed home from the hospital

Matt is amazing. I am so, so lucky. He is just as capable, willing, and happy to care for her as I am. He’s even gotten pretty good at multitasking:
And it’s not just the baby he’s taking care of. I’ve been… sore. To say the least. Labor was pretty damn rough (more on that later, too).

And after we got home he presented me with a pair of aquamarine earrings. Our daughter’s birthstone. To wear to all of her big life events.
Yeah. I’ve won the family powerball.

we still love him
What about me? I’m awesome, too!

March 20, 2009

It's a...

It's a Girl!
She was born on Saint Patrick's Day at 5:25 pm. A St. Pats baby! We named her

Nidea Catherine.

after my great-grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother), and Matt’s paternal grandmother. Catherine is also the patron Saint of the Arts – something we found particularly appropriate for the daughter of two architects.

Day 1

She weighed 6lbs and 13 oz and came into this world facing up – making for a very long and tough delivery. She’s 19 inches long and seems to get more beautiful by the second.
Day 1

So far everyone is resting and recovering well... and I'm starting to get pretty decent at typing with one hand so hopefully there will be more updates soon!

getting ready to go home

March 15, 2009

Beware the Ides of March

So Happy Ides day everyone!

Yes. It’s also my due date. I look like this:
March 15, 2009 - my due date
Not much has changed. I’m starting to think that this kid is never going to come. But as Matt put it – when have either of us ever been early to anything in our lives? Never. So why would we think our kid would be punctual?
March 15, 2009 - my due date
40 weeks pregnant = not a punctual kid

That or Gizmo just wants to celebrate St. Pats in style.

Anyways I have a much funner post coming about maternity leave but it’s on my computer. I am posting this from the laptop that my awesome dad lent me for the time being. Which means I’m writing from my couch. I can not even begin to tell you how amazing that is. Also: LAPTOP!!!!!

Oh and in case you need something to do while waiting for baby pictures (or an actual baby)… here’s a serious internet time suck:

Internet Meme Database

Although their video on how All Your Base Are Belong to Us is becoming extinct made me sad inside. I remember watching that in studio back in the day… something like summer ’00. Funtimes….

March 12, 2009

My one freezer meal: Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas

So the one piece of assvice I kept getting from people is that before the baby I NEED to make a whole bunch of meals to freeze. Because once the baby comes I won’t have ANY time and if I don’t do this clearly I am unprepared and unfit. And have you frozen any meals yet? Because you need to do that. Even just some soup. You know you can’t take a newborn to the grocery store, right? And I DON’T HAVE A KITCHEN SO STOP ASKING ABOUT THE FREEZER MEALS THANKS.

Literally the second my kitchen was fully functional I felt immense pressure to get something, anything, into my freezer. If for no reason other than to get the assvicy coworkers off of my back.

Enter the easiest freezer recipe I know - Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas. Ok disclaimer - I know this is probably a complete bastardization of a dish and that there are probably people out there who find this recipe as offensive as I find it when people serve the pasta separate from the sauce. But I’m not Mexican or Southwestern and I kindof am salty at Arizona in general since I read somewhere that they wanted to build a pipeline from the Great Lakes to solve their “we live in the desert but want lush golf courses” problem. But it’s quick and it’s easy and it freezes well. So take it for what it is.

Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas:

(this makes a shitload but you can easily halve the recipe. This is one of those setups where it’s as easy to make one as it is a billion.)
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast – I used the kind that come individually frozen in a bag since they were on sale this week and used an entire bag
  • Salsa – I used a BIG jar.
  • Can of diced tomatoes pepper and onion flavor, drained.
  • 2 bricks of reduced fat cream cheese – you can probably get away with the non fat kind but it won’t be as melty and I’m thinking I’ll need the comfort of melty cheese postpartum.
  • Corn Starch (may not be needed)
  • Chili powder (if you want)
  • Cayenne (if you want)
  • Any other Mexican-type seasonings that you like
  • 2 packages of Mission Flour Tortillas size medium
  • Big can of enchilada sauce
  • Big bag of shredded cheddar cheese mix.
  • Cooking spray
Step 1: Put the chicken, salsa, drained tomatoes, and half of the cream cheese in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. I didn’t even bother thawing the chicken first.

Step 2: The crockpot mixture probably looks nasty at this point. Don’t worry – it’s just part of the process. Mix everything together while pulling the chicken apart with 2 forks. Drain off some of the liquid if it seems too runny. Add in the rest of the cream cheese and wait for it to melt and mix in. If the mixture still seems too runny add corn starch as needed. You want it to be goopy and delicious. Like this:
Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas
Step 3: Flavor with any spices that you want to add. I threw in some cayenne and some chili powder to give it a little more kick.

Step 4: Spray the bottom of a baking dish with nonstick spray.

Step 5: Assemble the enchiladas.
Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas
I just put a spoonful of the chicken mixture down the middle and folded the tortillas Chipolte-style. Top, bottom, then the sides. Place them seam side down in the baking dish like so:
Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas
This made enough for two full pans!
Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas
Plenty for both dinner and the freezer. Also isn't my new glass tile backsplash awesome?

Step 6: Top the enchiladas with enchilada sauce and pile on the cheese:
Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas

Step 7: Cover with foil, label, and freeze. Feel smug about how prepared you are what with your ONE freezer meal and all:
Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas

Step 8: Spray foil with non stick spray and cover. Bake at 350 for 25 min until cheese is bubbly. Uncover and cook for 5 min more.

I served them with a box of Zatarans black beans and rice. One pan was enough for Matt, Andy, and I to stuff ourselves silly and still have plenty leftover for lunches the next day.

So ok. I have a meal in the freezer, my house is clean, and as of today I’m officially on maternity leave. The missing trim pieces for the kitchen will be in and assembled tomorrow. So really I just need the actual baby. Seriously, kid, it’s about time to come out now.

March 11, 2009

Phase 87,000: Gizmotopia

So no pictures of the kitchen – or the baby – yet. Both seem to be stalled out at about 95% done. Boo. The baby’s room, however, is done, done, DONE!

Some of the details… well first of all there’s the Loom Crib:

Then there’s the quilt my aunt made me:

That – combined with my love of the fisher price rainforest line of gear - ended up being the inspiration for the entire room. I pulled the black polka-dot fabric from the quilt out and my mom used it to make bumper pads:
(yes. I know that bumper pads = DEATH TRAPS OMFG. Please don’t comment on it.)

And super-cute curtains:
We repainted the previously burgundy wall to the same shade of bright, stoplight, fire engine red as the curtains. The paint color, btw, is named “Three Cheers for Pooh” which I find HILARIOUS for a baby’s room. Three cheers for poo, indeed.

Speaking of which – I set up a changing area using fun little organizers from Ikea:
The knobs came from the discount bin at Target and totally work with the jungle thing I have going. So do these fun little wall stickers that match the Rainforest line:
My fav. spot in the room is this:
The rocker was a shower gift from my parents and it’s one of those places that if you sit down it’s almost impossible to ever get up. In a good way. My grandma made the quilt and the pillowcase. Both are so beautiful and perfect for my little rocking spot!

My mom picked up a little table at a secondhand store and took a crappy, army green, Ikea lamp that Matt and I used to have in our room and turned it into this:
So I have a little station for a water bottle and a book or whatever else I need while I’m stuck in the rocker nursing for hours (cell phone so I can twitter… you know... the basics).

The furniture in the room is mine from when I was a kid – gotta love all that shelving:
Clearly there’s not much on there now but if this kid is anything like me the shelves will be filled with books in a few short years.

And the blanket my knitting friends made me even has its own home:
(more on this later because it is SO deserving of it’s own post)

And of course the crazy ceiling fan that I was so excited about:
But it didn’t throw out as much light as I wanted so we also hung up this paper lantern that we bought when we lived in San Francisco:

Which will give the baby something fun to look at while they are being changed!

So yeah. The room is good to go. Just need an actual baby to put in it!

March 10, 2009

Happy 29th Matt!

So yesterday was Matt’s 29th birthday but since we’ve been a bit um… preoccupied we didn’t have any plans for it. At all. So when I wasn’t in labor yesterday I decided what the hell – I’ll throw him a surprise party!

Clearly all you need for that is a DQ ice cream cake:
Matt's Bday

Matt's Bday

And some friends:
Matt's Bday
Totally doable on like 8 hours of notice. It was a super fun time even if it was low key. Plus Matt was beyond surprised so that’s fun.

And yes – that is our kitchen in the pictures. It is about 95% done. I’ll post lots of pretty shots of it when it’s totally 100% finished. But we’re still waiting on some trim pieces that are ordered… and we have to finish up some painting details… so we're close but not quite there. We worked our asses off last week getting it to this point. Everything is put away. Everything is functional. And thanks to my mom spending all day Friday (and the weekend before that) helping me clean our house is no longer covered in a film of construction dust. So yeah – just about ready for this kid to show up any time now…

March 4, 2009

Guess the gender/date contest!

So since my office is running a betting pool on the status of my womb I figured it would be fun to do one on here, too. Complete with fabulous prizes! So the contest is to guess two things:

Will this hat and booties have a pink ribbon or a blue one:
Baby Set

And when will this baby decide to make their grand entrance?

Don’t worry – I’m not going to make you guess uninformed. Here are some factors to consider based on the old wives tales I keep hearing about:

If you have lots of morning sickness it’s a girl, if you aren’t sick at all it’s a boy: OH THE PUKING. So this one goes solidly to the GIRL column.

Baby Set
The hat, btw, is another one of my leftover sockyarn mindless knits. It’s knit out of Fleece Artist Merino Sock leftover from my Spring Socks. I threw in some yarn overs to keep it interesting.

Girls steal your beauty boys enhance it, so if you look like crap it’s a girl and if you’re glowing it’s a boy: Um. Well… I think I can sum up my appearance during pregnancy with comment by a coworker: “Now that you don’t look like death anymore you’re glowing!” Plus I haven’t really had too many breakouts or any of that going on so yeah… we’ll call this for BOY.
Baby Set

If you crave salty food you’re having a boy, sweet food it’s a girl:
Where exactly do hamburgers fit into that? Really I haven’t had any crazy cravings – just an insatiable need for protein. If I don’t eat MEAT I get all jittery and unhappy. I went through a cheese phase for awhile…So I guess that’s salty? I have forced Matt to take me to get ice cream on several occasions… but that’s more of a “If I can’t drink I’m going to replace those calories with Malley’s” type of a situation. So I’m going to leave this one in the undecided column.

If you’re carrying low it’s a boy, high it’s a girl: I am carrying like this:
38 Weeks Pregnant
Pic taken on Monday at 38 weeks pregnant.

But we’re pretty sure the baby has dropped. For the whole series of belly shots you can check out the flickr gallery here. I don’t think I was carrying low or high – just wherever the kid would fit! So I’ll leave this one as undecided, too.
38 Weeks Pregnant
High? Low? More like anywhere and everywhere.

If dad to be gains weight it’s a boy, if not it’s a girl: Well despite my best efforts to fatten him up with a steady diet of hamburgers I think Matt has actually lost weight during this pregnancy. Of course that probably has more to do with the basketball team he’s on and the pilates classes he’s been taking than anything I’ve done but still. It’s not cool to weigh as much as your husband. So, sadly, this one goes into the GIRL column.
Baby Set
The booties are the stay on baby booties – same as I made for Jennifer. I ran out of the Fleece Artist so I used some basic, white, undyed for the tops. I think they turned out pretty cute! But clearly they need a ribbon.

There’s another old wives tale about your wedding ring on a string but that sounds like a lot of work… instead here's some other thoughts:

My mom immediately thought I was having a girl. Because she has always thought I would have a girl first. Since before I was even pregnant or married or any of it… and I have to say her mom spidey sense is usually pretty good. Dude! Will I get the crazy mom spidey sense when I become a mom? Because that would be AWESOME.

The coworkers betting pool is slanting to the boy column. So the people who see me every day think it’s a boy.
Baby Set
So then there’s the question of when…. Some dates to consider:

March 09: Matt’s birthday. This is also the day we keep telling the baby to come on… as in “stay in there until daddy’s birthday or we won’t have a kitchen for you to come home to!” Nine is also a number that shows up in Matt’s life a lot. His birthday is the 9th. He was married on the 9th. His first kid will be born in 2009. Etc. So there’s that.

March 11: This is the day I’ve thought the kid would be born since the beginning simply because 11 is my lucky number. Also there is a full moon that day and don’t full moons induce labor?
Baby Set
March 15: The due date. Less than 10% of babies are born on their actual due date but who knows? Gizmo may want to make the Caesar part of their name stick!

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day. My Grandma Bobbie right away said she thought the baby would be a St. Pat’s baby – and she’s usually right about stuff like that. She also declared that it would not rain on my wedding and despite some showers in the morning by the afternoon it was the most beautiful fall day you could imagine. Also 17 is a number that shows up in my family a lot. My birthday is the 17th, my parents’ anniversary is the 17th, and a bunch of my cousins also have a birthday on a 17th. Plus I packed this outfit as my going home outfit so I’m kindof hoping:
Baby Shower!
Shamrock on the butt = ADORABLE.

March 22: My brother’s birthday. Also the day we’ve been referring to as D-day since the beginning since if I’m still pregnant then they will induce.

So what do you guys think? Leave your guesses in the comments and I’ll come up with a fabulous prize for the winner… I’ll decide what exactly once this kid is here but it will probably involve a gift certificate somewhere and some chocolate. Or possibly yarn if the winner is a knitter!

Oh and I know there are quite a few family/friends types out there who read this but never comment - please do! I'd love to hear what you guys think is going to go down...

March 3, 2009

Remember when

So remember when this used to be a knitting blog? And I made all sorts of cool things and even designed a pattern or two?

Yeah all I’ve got going now is this:
Baby Hat
Basic, stockinette in the round, baby hats out of leftover sock yarn.

This one was knit out of leftover Austermann Step on size 2 needles. I think it’s nice my kid will have aloe in their hat… even if I never regain the mental capacity necessary to finish their sweater.

Edited to add a kitchen/baby update: I am happy to report that there is no longer a stove in my dining room. A pile of boxes and an inch of construction dust, yes, but no stove. So…progress! I’m also happy to report that the baby is still chillin' in the womb. Hopefully that will remain the same until at least next week sometime so we can get a little further with everything… getting down to the wire!
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