Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Rave for 5 Minute Artisan Bread

I wrote about this bread the other day, but since then I actually got the book from the library (and have now ordered it for myself, plus the new 5 minute healthy bread) and made some other recipes with the dough and it is fantastic.  I apologize in advance for sharing this, but I made sticky buns from the dough and they are really, really delicious, and pretty easy.

I also made some Naan flat bread and have been making more pizza as well.  Usually when I make pizza I cook at a high temperature (500 degrees), I pre-bake the crust before putting on the toppings, and I let the dough rest before rolling/stretching it out.  But I've found that I can make a pretty decent pizza in 15 minutes by cooking at 450 (less time preheating the oven and reduces the chance of the fire detectors going off), not letting the dough rest, and not pre-baking the crust.  So for just a slight bit more inconvenience I can get a way better pizza than a frozen one in almost the same time.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Allie is 7 months

Our little cutie is doing good.  She is working on her cruising.  She's still a little wobbly and slow, but I'm sure in a few short weeks she'll be speedy.  She is also getting into the pulling all the books off the shelf stage.  I just can't wait till she actually wants to sit down and read a book.  Selena loves reading books, but it is hard to read to her and keep Allie happy at the same time.  It will be great when I can snuggle up with both of them and read. 

She got strep throat earlier this month.  It was very sad.  Babies should not get sick.  Fortunately she wasn't too upset as long as I held her so she spent most of the day in the backpack and slept all night in my arms.  She thought it was very luxurious to sleep in my arms and nurse all night long so she's been trying to continue doing that since.  She liked taking the medicine and she got all better.  But now she has a super runny nose and she uses every trick she knows to not let me wipe her nose, so she has spent the last couple days with a permanent booger encrusted on her nose. Yuck.

She's also been eating lots of new foods.  I'm being real lazy about it but she seems happy with what I'm giving her.  I just cut up whatever we're having into tiny pieces and let her have at it.  She manages to put lots in her lap, some in her mouth, but usually ends up gumming it and then spitting it out.  Which is fine with me.  She does manage to eat a bit, and I'm sure when she is ready she'll eat more. 

Christmas was fun.  I think she enjoyed all the wrapping paper.  She mostly got jammies and cloth diaper covers, but she has more toys than she needs, plus her sister got a ton and she can share with her.  It is funny though because Allie really likes toys.  Selena never really played with toys when she was little and still isn't too into them.  But Allie really enjoys crawling into the toy closet and finding all sorts of stuff.  I think she plays independently about the same amount as Selena does now, maybe even more.  She did get Sophie the Giraffe from her grandpa since I saw it blogged everywhere and she does like it but not excessively so.

She is still really grabby and abusive.  When you hold her she is constantly lunging for everything in sight and if she isn't doing that then she's giving you fish hooks, pinching your nose, pulling your hair, or just whapping you.  Sometimes when she is in the backpack she just sits there and pinches the back of my arms, which really hurts.  We definitely need to work on being gentle.  She's lucky she is so dang cute and you know she doesn't mean to hurt you.

She is getting more and more adamant about doing everything her sister is doing.  The other day Selena was painting and Allie was crying because I wouldn't let her paint too.  What baby cries because they aren't allowed to paint?  She likes brushing her teeth too.  She gets very mad if I don't bring her into the bathroom let her brush her teeth with her sister.  The other day she had a toothbrush she was playing with and she kept trying to brush my teeth with it, so I took it and pretended to brush my teeth, and she got so happy and gave me the biggest smile.  It was really cute. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Picture Book Recommendations

Here are a couple books Selena has enjoyed:

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity - Mo Willems is a funny author. His Elephant and Piggy series are good too. But these two books are really cute. We had to look through Selena's stuffed animals to find her and Allie their own Knuffle Bunnies.

Good Night, Good Knight - I've been surprised at how good some of the easy readers are. This is a cute story about some dragons who need the Good Knight's help to get to bed. The dragons are cute and it has some fun repetition in the story.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog Makeover

I gave my blog a little makeover. I think I like the minimalist look, but I'm not sure. I think that it would be fairly easy to add a background to this template if I want to. It was kind of fun dinking around with the blogger templates. I changed some font sizes and widened it a bit from the default.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Selena Update

Selena has been getting really cute in her imaginative play. She's been taking her toys and creating extensive conversations between them. She enjoys playing in her kitchen making pretend meals. Floyd was asking her to make him some bear cookies and she said, "We don't have any bear cookies. I'll make you some pretend ones in my kitchen." Both her and Allie got strep throat last week so we had a couple trips to the doctor so she started pulling out her headphones and using them as both a stethoscope and as a light to peer into her patient's ears and mouth. She uses Allie as her patient and says to Allie, "I'm Selena the doctor, and you are the patient." Then she tells Allie to open up her mouth so she can see how perfect it is. Completely adorable. She has also pretended she was the teacher and Allie and I were her students. She had us do art time.

As I mentioned she got sick last week. It was really sad. She had a fever, a sore throat, and an awful cough. Fortunately it wasn't the flu so we could get antibiotics that made her better fast. But for some reason I was kind of lame and didn't get her a shot, but chose to do an oral liquid for 10 days instead. It has been very hard to convince her to take the medicine. Lesson learned.

We have been cooking a lot lately. Most of the time she loves to help. Unfortunately her style of help is sometimes the opposite. She is frequently pouring flour into stuff she shouldn't or scooping ingredients out of the bowl or reaching in and eating the mix. So when she put a huge chunk of ginger in her mouth the other day I didn't feel too sorry for her. She also created her first recipe. Casadias are one of her favorite things to eat and I was nursing Allie and apparently she was hungry. So she goes to the fridge and starts taking tortillas, cheese, and much to my dismay eggs out. I'm yelling at her to stop and she continues to grab a box of eggs and hold it vertically, carry it over to the table, take the eggs out (thankfully there were only two left) and roll them across the table. She said she wanted casadias with egg. Despite my frustration with her in not stopping when I told her to, and getting stuff out of the refrigerator without asking I was pretty impressed that she came up with that all on her own.

She's pretty excited for Christmas. Getting our tree was fun for her. She really was looking forward to putting the angel on top. Every time she goes into the living room she points out the tree, notes how pretty it is, and talks about the angel on top. We've been recording Christmas movies on TV and watching them. She really likes "Rudolf with the shiny nose." I think she has watched it at least 5 times already.

Potty training is going good. She does really good at home and for short outings, but when we go visit family for the day or overnight she'll have a lot of accidents and then it takes a few days before she is back in the groove. But her diaper has been staying dry most nights and she will even wake up and go to the potty in the middle of the night.

Other random cute things she has said:

She just got finished watching an episode of Blue's Clues about opposites. She really doesn't like wearing clothes and most of the time she just takes them off, this time she provided an excuse. She said she was doing the opposite of me and since I was wearing clothes, she needed to take hers off.

Floyd loves to tease, especially me. One of the things he likes to tease me about is that I eat the scraps from meals. So Selena eats some of her lunch and is done and tells me that she saved some scraps for me. Or she'll just be talking and say that her and dad eat the food and then me and Dyna get the scraps.

Also influenced by her dad she will tell me that she needs to brush her teeth really good so she doesn't get cavities like me. (I recently had a cavity filled, but I have had far fewer cavities than Floyd has so I think this is a very unfair comparison, but it does get her to brush her teeth well.)

If you say something is hot, she'll say, "It's hot, but not THAT hot." She pretty much does this with anything you say. "It's scary, but not THAT scary." Then one day I caught myself saying it to Floyd. He said the cookies I made would get hard and I said, "They'll get hard, but not that hard." I'm not sure if she got it from me, or if I was copying her.

She calls Allie a tomato monster baby. Except she doesn't enunciate the first T in tomato so it sounds like a homato monster baby. Not sure where she got that from, but its funny.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Easy Way to Bake Your Own Bread

So this has been blogged all over the world, but I guess I'll join in too. This bread really is simple. I admit I have messed up this recipe the first time I made it (I used old yeast) and I was a little annoyed that all the blogs I read said it was idiot proof. But it really is easy and it takes only a few minutes a day and it tastes really good. Here is a link to the 5 Minute Artisan Bread Recipe. I've been trying to eat less bread, especially stuff that isn't whole grain, as it isn't good for blood sugar levels, but I have decided that if there is something I'm trying to eat less of and I make it myself then it is fair game. ;)

This bread tastes great. It has a slight sourdough taste. It is very convenient to always have dough in the fridge. Whenever I make a meal that would taste good with bread I can just pop it in the oven. It also makes good french toast. I keep my dough in a ceramic bowl with saran wrap over it with a small cut in it. I also took the suggestion of not cleaning the bowl between batches to get a head start on a sourdough flavor.

I have also used the dough for pizza. It isn't as good as this recipe, but since I always have this dough in the fridge it is more convenient. I'm impatiently waiting for the author's books at the library (see little amazon ads). I have heard there is a good cinnamon roll recipe and I also want to try to make sandwich bread. I would love to find a fairly easy recipe to make bread like Dave's Killer Bread. We spend a small fortune on that stuff every month.

The other great thing about this recipe is that it provides instant toddler entertainment. Selena loves to roll the dough, so I give her a chunk and a rolling pin and she is entertained for at least 20 minutes. We even used cookie cutters to cut out dough shapes and baked them for bread sticks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Allie's Half Birthday

Allie isn't a newborn anymore. She is a big moving baby. She started crawling, pulling herself to standing, eating solid foods, and getting teeth this month. It is amazing how they can learn so much in such a short amount of time.

She is an opinionated little girl and lets you know it. I can't believe how much she can communicate without talking. If she is on the ground and you stop to talk to her and look at her, you better pick her up. If you walk away, she lets you know her displeasure. She wants to grab and mouth everything in sight. If her sister has it that makes it even more desirable. She is constantly lunging out of my arms to try and get what she wants.

It is fun to see the absolute adoration of her sister already. She is always tracking Selena, watching her play, and wants to join in. Selena is fairly accommodating, but is also known to throw fits, or yell at Allie to stop slobbering on her toys. But other times she'll bring Allie toys and tell her to put it in her "baby mouth". Allie loves to play chase with Selena. I hold her and we run around the circle in our house chasing Selena, but Selena is so fast she laps us which Allie thinks is hilarious.

At the beginning of this month when she wasn't crawling but could scoot a bit it was funny because she was lying on Selena's bed (mattress on the floor) and was trying to play chase with me. She was facing away from me, but would turn around and smile and then start to giggle and turn back around and do her best to "run away" from me, but in reality only managing to scoot a few inches. So adorable.

She now can fit in the soft structured backpack carrier I made without sinking inside it and will be perfectly content back there for long periods of time. I had been putting her on my back a bit for the past couple months, but she was a bit small and would "fall" inside it so she didn't really like being back there for too long. But now she does and often falls asleep back there. I use it occasionally while shopping or around the house since it makes it real easy to cook and clean as long as Selena is occupied. I occasionally will give Selena a turn back there as well, but she is quite a bit heavier.

Today I swore that she signed for milk, but Floyd is accusing me of interpreting a random hand movement as a sign. But I don't know; it seemed pretty deliberate. But I've only shown her the milk sign a half dozen times or so... I don't know. I'm going to maintain she did sign it, and she is brilliant. :)

Her first teeth are poking through on the bottom and she is biting me a lot while nursing. Selena only bit a few times and stopped after a firm NO. Allie isn't cooperating so well.

We've given her a little bit of real food. I am really not too excited about feeding solids though. It is so messy. But we gave her some avocado, banana, and sweet potato. I also occasionally let her suck on an apple slice or a carrot. But I made a batch of sweet potato puree and froze it today so at least now I have some homemade convenience food.

I wish she would start consolidating her naps more. She still naps 3 - 5 times a day. Maximum of 45 minutes, often only 20 or 30. It makes for a long day when Selena doesn't nap at all and Allie's naps are so short that there isn't much of a break. A few times she has taken two long naps and those days have been so nice. With Selena I was able to work on longer naps, but when I try to coax Allie back to sleep I often have Selena or the dog come and check on us and thus completely waking her up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toddler Antics

Selena has always been a little monkey. Climbing on things. Jumping off things. But the older she gets the more acrobatic her antics become. She loves making dad be a jungle gym and climbs all over him. She also loves to ride on his shoulders. She likes climbing and flipping in and out of Allie's pack-n-play. We still go to Toddler Gym at the Y and she likes walking on the beam (the real sized ones), holding my hand, and then jumping off the edge. She also likes swinging upside down on the bars pretending to be a bat.

Her play is becoming more imaginative. She likes to play with her stuffed animals and baby doll and she makes them have little conversations. She likes blocks, and we build multiple story houses for her toys. She also really likes TV and her favorite show is Blue's Clues and she also likes to watch Kipper clips on youtube. I dislike her watching as much TV as she does, but it does make life much easier. I can have her watch a Kipper clip or two while I put Allie down for a nap and it prevents her from coming into the room and waking Allie. Or if I need to pickup the house I can have her watch an episode of Blue's Clues and get my chores done without her whining, or making messes faster than I can clean them up. It will be nice when she can read on her own, then she can read a book instead of watch TV.

For rainy day activities we've started doing some toddler yoga. I got Yoga Kids\ dvd from Netflix and got the books Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers and Little Yoga: A Toddler's First Book of Yoga. So far she likes the yoga dvd and the Little Yoga book. I haven't tried the Itsy Bitsy Yoga with her much. But she seems to enjoy it and it gives us something to do.

Halloween was fun. She dressed up as a pumpkin and was very excited about it. She remembered trick-or-treating last year and was excited to do it again this year. We just went around our cul-de-sac and she got plenty of candy. We've been slowly doling it out as bribes to go potty.

I'd like to say she is potty trained, but its still a touch and go sort of thing. Some days great, other days not so much. We're making progress, but it is very slow. We've tried potty charts, rewards, etc and they work to an extent but not completely. I think emphasizing that she is in control of when she goes and not showing any reaction when she has an accident is what is working the best right now. I really wished I had waited longer before we first started. With Allie I am going to wait till she can pull her pants on and off by herself. With Selena I was going to wait for this, but I thought it was a long ways off, but it really wasn't, and I was anxious to get her potty trained before the baby came.

We have a new bedtime routine with her and it has worked out well. She now lets Dad get her dressed, read her bedtime stories, brush her teeth, and tuck her in, while I put Allie to sleep. Then I come in and snuggle a bit and sometimes I will leave before she is all the way asleep, which is a huge milestone. Now if she would just stay in her bed longer through the night... But I'll take what I can get.

Dealing with new behavior issues has been a challenge. It seems every few months she hits a new behavior stage and I get really stressed trying to figure out how to deal with it, and then I figure it out and relax a bit. Thankfully running away has not been a problem for a while. (Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by writing that.) I'm not sure if she outgrew it or restraining her in the stroller as soon as she bolted was the key to fixing that problem. Right now tantrum/crying when she doesn't get what she wants, hitting, spitting, sharing and not doing what she is asked are what we are working on. I am very lucky to have a private message board I belong to with a wonderful group of moms to get support and ideas from. There are a bunch of us with 2 - 3 year olds and babies so we are all in the same boat. Specifically two pieces of advice I have gotten that have worked really well are for not picking up her messes when I ask her to and for dealing with spitting. When she says no when I ask her to pick something up, I physically take her hands and help her pickup what I want her to. As soon as I do that she picks the rest of the stuff up happily and willingly. It is like magic! To deal with the spitting I take her to the sink and have her spit in the sink over and over till she is tired and bored of spitting. So I have small successes and I am working really hard on maintaining my patience and teaching her acceptable ways to behave.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5 Months and Almost Crawling

Allie is 5 months old and is working so hard on crawling. She is up on all fours and moves her legs up, sometimes gets her knees off the ground in a sort of downward facing dog yoga pose, but she hasn't quite figured out how to move her hands so she either ends up scooting backwards or landing on her chest. She also has a move where she is almost getting to a sitting position, which is funny because she can't really sit. When you put her in a sitting position she tips over after a few seconds.

She is very grabby. While you are holding her she will lunge for everything near her reach. When she gets something she studies it hard until she drops it and goes for something new. She also is already very into what her sister has. Whatever Selena is playing with is at the top of her must grab list.

She's a bit ticklish and you can get her giggling pretty good by tickling under her arms. Lifting her over your head is another good way to get her smiling.

Sleep is a struggle. I really don't understand why it has to be so hard. Sleeping is fun! Why don't these kids understand that? She rarely naps for longer than 45 minutes and I really think she, me and Selena would be a bit happier if she would nap a bit longer, but she won't. It doesn't matter if she's napping on her bed, in my arms, in a baby carrier, in the stroller, or in the car seat she always wakes up after 45 minutes. Every once in a while I can get her back down by nursing her right when she wakes up, but more often than not that doesn't work either. Night time sleep hasn't been great either. She's had a few really rough nights where she was awake for a couple hours in the middle of the night, mostly due to the fact that Selena is waking her up. Makes for a tired and grumpy mommy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Simplicity 3856 - Sewing Toddler Pants

I used some of the Marcus Brother's fabric to make Selena some pants. They are super cute. Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention to the measurements on the pattern and neglected to make the pattern longer so they were way too short. So then I added a ruffle. They are still a bit short, but I'm going to make her wear them for a bit and then I'll retire them and save them for Allie. :)
Here is my complete review of the pattern.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Interview With Selena

I saw this on another blog and thought it was a cute idea.

When do you feel happy? When do I feel happy dad? Hmmm. A dolphin makes me happy.

When do you feel sad? When you (Mom) put me down.

What do you like to do? Turn around in circles. Just like when I do pirouettes.

What does dad like to do? My daddy likes to go to poker.

What does mama like to do?

What does Allie like to do? Allie likes to roll over and crawl.

What is your favorite color? Blue

What do you like to eat? Fries

What do you like to drink? Drink my milk in this cup

What do you like to play? With baby doll

What is your favorite toy? Baby doll too.

What makes you happy? When you (mom) play with baby doll.

What makes you sad? Allie loves you, and when Allie gives me kisses it makes me happy.

What is the best thing you do? To play with baby doll.

What are you excited about? Baby doll

Where do you like to go? To Dyna.

Where do you not like to go? To work, just like my daddy does.

What is your favorite song? Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

What is your favorite art activity (cutting, gluing, painting, sewing, drawing)? Cutting

What's the best part of being 2 1/2?I love babies. I love all the babies.

Do you love taking naps? No, I don't need to take naps. I don't want to take a nap right now.

What are you going to do with your sister when she is older? (starts singing) Play, play, play, mama, Play big mama. Play, play, play all day. I like to play all day. I like to play with baby doll.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lickity Split Bag

I bought this pattern after I read Made By Rae's blog post about her perfect bag. She describes it as a stroller/diaper/shopping bag. The fact that it could be sewn up quickly was the main selling point for me. Size wise the pattern piece is very similar to the Amy Butler Nappy Bag I made earlier, but it has squared off corners and of course ties at the top instead of being connected. I think that I might like this bag better than the Nappy Bag because stuff seems to get lost in those pointed corners plus you can untie this bag and dig through it, or dump it out if necessary.

I've made two of these so far and as promised they are a quick sew. Even cutting out the pattern is quick. The second one I made in exactly one hour from start to finish (no pockets) with Selena "helping" me.

I used Marcus Brother's Porcelina collection for the fabric. I bought 6 yards of fabric from this collection and I think I am going to use it up quickly. The bag below was made for a baby shower gift.

Homemade Ice Cream That is Better Than You Can Buy

I got an ice cream making machine for Christmas and have spent the last nine months making lots and lots of different kinds ice cream. It is really addicting and is a step towards fulfilling my goal to not eating any processed foods. ;) My first few batches were not very good, but the more and more ice cream I make the better it is. Here is what I've learned so far:


I have the Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Makers. It seems to be a really popular machine. Lots of great reviews on Amazon, and can be found at most any store. It is very easy to use. It has a bowl that has some special freezing potion inside it. You keep the bowl in the freezer all the time and pull it out when you are ready to mix up the ice cream. It is open on top so you can peek inside and see how the ice cream is doing. It is big enough to make about 4 - 5 generous servings of ice cream. It takes about 15 - 30 minutes for a batch of ice cream to thicken up. My only complaint is that some of the non-stick coating has scraped off when I scoop the ice cream out of the container. I am sure that the stuff is not good for you to ingest.


I bought Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments and Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. I first started reading these recipe books and it talked about how much better homemade ice cream was than store bought and I didn't exactly agree with them as my ice cream hadn't turned out that great so far, but then I tried the Lemon Ice Cream recipe in the Perfect Scoop and changed my mind. The Strawberry Sour Cream one is also a favorite of mine. The flavors are really strong. The strawberry ice cream really tastes like strawberries and the lemon ice cream really tastes like lemon. Mmmmm. I prefer the Perfect Scoop over the Ben and Jerry's book.

So far I have made strawberry, plum, mango, lemon, peach, fresh mint, chocolate fresh mint, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate, mixed fruit, roasted banana, chocolate banana, and chocolate chip ice cream. I am looking forward to making my own ice cream sandwiches, and pumpkin, ginger, and strawberry apple ice cream.


  • All ice cream comes out soft serve, even what you buy in the store. Putting it in the freezer before you eat it will harden it up.
  • When you harden the ice cream in the freezer many times it comes out icy. I kind of like the icy taste for fruit ice creams, but for chocolate I do not. Recipes that have you make a custard with a minimum of 5 egg yolks makes for the creamiest and least icy ice cream.
  • Chilling the mixture in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably over night, before you churn it, will help make stiffer ice cream.
  • Keeping the ice cream in the ice cream maker longer also makes for stiffer and creamier ice cream. I keep it in till the ice cream starts climbing up the paddles and is fluffy not runny.
  • Filling the ice cream maker no more than half way allows for more air to be whipped into it and also makes for a creamier, more scoopable, less icy ice cream.
  • The Ben & Jerry's ice cream recipe's have you use raw eggs. Catching Salmonella from raw eggs is really quite rare and eating raw eggs doesn't bother me, but it does bother some people. If you don't want raw eggs, you can make a custard first, but raw egg recipes are a lot easier to make. The Perfect Scoop describes how to make a custard very well. I could not taste the difference between using raw eggs, or making a custard when only using two eggs. I have not tried using a 5 egg recipe with raw eggs.
  • To chop chocolate or to make chocolate chips you can put a chocolate bar in the freezer and then grate the chocolate with a cheese grater.
I am working on the perfect chocolate ice cream recipe. The problem is the more chocolate ice cream I eat, my idea of perfect changes, but I will share what I have so far soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

She Doesn't Stay Where I Put Her

Allie is 4 months old and is very proficient at rolling both tummy to back and back to tummy so if I put her down she doesn't stay in the same spot. She is starting to show an interest in everything --including food, but I'm making her wait for that. When something looks interesting she will reach out her hands and lunge for it, and if you give it to her she manipulates it in her hands and then tries to put it in her mouth. She loves to talk and is always saying a lot. I feel bad because I can't always stop and listen to what she has to say. She can sit up and stay balanced for a few seconds. She is tall and lean. She has grown out of most of her 6 month clothes and is into 9 month. It is weird because I am putting outfits on her that Selena wore when she was walking. I think she might be teething because she is very drooly and her favorite thing to do is gnaw on your hand. She loves her family and is always giving big smiles to everyone, and if you are lucky some giggles. She'll give you good giggles when playing peek-a-boo and if you tickle her armpits. She tolerates her sister holding her, cuddling her, dressing her (note the large shoes in the picture) and occasionally bopping her on the head pretty well.

She is pretty cuddly and she smells so good. She didn't really have the baby smell when she was a newborn, but now she does and it is so delicious. I love breathing in her baby breath and getting baby "kisses" all over my face. I call her babylicious. I'm sad that these baby moments are for such a short amount of time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hypnobabies Birth Video

So I was having a hard time whether I wanted to share a video of Allie's birth or not. But I figured this one is pretty modest, and I finally figured out how to use my editing software to make it even more modest. I like Hypnobabies so much that I want to share and show how well it works. In the birth stories I wrote it is easy to focus on the intensity and hard parts but really the majority of the time I was very relaxed and happy. I used the Hypnobabies Home Study Course for Expectant Mothers for the birth of both of my children (see their birth stories here). In the video below I am about 9cm dilated and having a contraction/pressure wave. It really is pretty boring. I'm pretty much just sitting in a tub. I am listening to one of the hypnosis scripts and probably just saying the word "peace" in my head. I remember in the car on my way to the birth center the script was saying that all I was feeling was pressure and tightening and thinking, "Really you call that just pressure and tightening, it feels like a bit more than that to me?", and then when I got in the tub and was able to completely relax I thought, "Hey it really is just pressure and tightening. How cool is that." Between contractions I was able to chat with my mom and midwife.

I first avoided hypnosis as a childbirth tool because I thought it was too hokey and new age, but I came across some reviews on Amazon for some HypnoBirthing programs and they seemed really positive, so I bought Marie Mongan's book HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing and read it, and listened to the sample track that were provided with the CD that came with the book. After reading the book I realized that self hypnosis wasn't really that kooky. It was simply visualization and conditioning your body to react, in this case relax, on special cues, both things I had done in college for x-country and track. It also seemed that something I used for athletic competition would work for childbirth since it is an endurance event as well. After further research I found out that there are a few different hypnosis for childbirth programs and the consensus online seemed to be that Hypnobabies was the most complete program and worked the best. (Here is a great link on the comparison of HypnoBirthing and Hypnobabies.) So I ordered the home study and started listening to the scripts. I admit that the first script I listened to was pretty corny and I started having doubts. But I continued doing the practices and listening to the scripts and the rest of them were very relaxing, and worked very well at helping me not be scared about birth, and preparing myself to give birth. I did not take any other childbirth class. The Hypnobabies course is very complete and really has everything you need to know. My one complaint with it is that it recommends the Brewer diet (massive amounts of protein) and from what I've read, most childbirth professionals agree that the Brewer diet is too extreme, but if you ignore that the program is great.

My experience was that it made both of my children's births almost painless. They were not easy, but I can't relate with comments about birth being the most painful thing ever experienced, or when someone talks about early labor being painful. I can relate to talk about being completely exhausted. I think Hypnobabies is an excellent way to prepare for childbirth. Even if you want an epidural, things don't always go as planned, so having extra tools available is great, and it may even surprise you how well it works. It is also still useful. I use the techniques when I am tired and want to relax, or when I am not feeling well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2 1/2 years

Half birthdays seem to be more of a milestone to me than real birthdays. Maybe because now I think of her as being closer to three than two, so by the time she turns three I am used to the idea.

So in an attempt to shorten the amount of time it takes me to get her to bed I had been telling Selena that two and a half year old's go to sleep by themselves. We started talking about this about two months ago and she seemed fine with it. But when it was bedtime on her half birthday, and I was going to leave her in her room by herself, she started saying that two-and-a-half year old big girls were scared and that when she grew bigger and bigger and bigger and was three, THEN she could go to sleep by herself. She was getting a little panicky, and she was very convincing. So I still lie next to her at night. She has pretty much stopped napping. Maybe once a week she'll take a nap, so she is falling asleep a bit quicker. Half an hour after the lights go out, versus an hour or more. She still has some days that she takes an hour to fall asleep and it drives me nuts especially because she has started biting her nails.

We went to the Mariner's game a couple weeks ago which was quite an adventure with the two girls. We had fancy seats in a restricted area, but we didn't use them much as we were out and about with the girls. We took Selena to the playground and she got so excited. We were walking there and Selena was saying, "There is a playground at the Mariner's game? Dad, there is a playground at the Mariner's game! The playground is my favorite." When we got there it was very crowded and lots of the kids were a bit older and pretty rowdy, but Selena jumped right in and started climbing around. When she finally came out she seemed a bit overwhelmed, so she sat with me for a while. When it seemed like a bunch of kids left I asked if she wanted to try again. She is pretty small so she had a hard time climbing up one of the parts to the slide, so we would have to reach in and help her. Then she would slide down the slide and then run back to the entrance yelling "Go away big kids, go away!"

So another question I have is, can Selena read my mind? I came across a thread on a mommy message board about two year old's seemingly reading there parent's minds. There have been a few times when I have thought this might have happened but I dismissed it as coincidence. So I decided to pay more attention next time it happened. So I was putting Selena to bed and she was playing with a stuffed pelican but was calling it a duck. She asked me what it ate, but because she was supposed to be going to sleep I didn't answer, but in my head I was thinking fish. All of a sudden she says, "Fred eats fish." So I was kind of weirded out because she thought he was a duck and I don't think ducks eat fish. The next morning I realized that Fred has fish embroidered on the inside of his mouth. :) So there was a rational explanation. But tonight I was putting her to bed and thinking how she was growing up and looking more like me and how cute it was that she was getting freckles. She had been jabbering about something and all of a sudden she said, "I have freckles and I'm going to scrub them and scrub them. When I get bigger and bigger I get freckles. " Kinda weird.

Another cute story is we were headed to the playground and I had her and Allie loaded in the stroller when I realized I forgot my keys. So I buckle Selena in so she won't run away and run into the house to get my keys, but I could't find them. I remembered that Selena had been playing with them the night before. So I go outside and before I even said a word she says, "They are in my closet." She knew as soon as I left to go inside to get them that I wouldn't find them because she had left them in the toy closet the night before. Allie had also been fussy when I put her in the stroller and she was holding her hand and had comforted her. So cute!

She loves to ride in the stroller. I have been trying to walk to places that are within walking distance rather than drive. Selena has been very good at helping me keep this goal. She now insists that we walk to the library and the farmer's market instead of drive. She even uses the argument that Allie doesn't like the car to convince me, but sometimes she is less cute and whines and cries.

Potty training is also going really well at the moment. In the last four days she has only had one accident and she was sick yesterday (she had a fever and threw up, so sad) so she had a pretty good excuse.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Allie is 3 months old. Her latest milestone is rolling over from her back to her tummy. I was pretty surprised when I had set her down and walked out of the room and came back and found her on her tummy since she hadn't really seemed to be trying to roll over very often. I didn't think she would do it again for me, but she did. Now pretty much any time you set her down she flips over. But then she gets kind of mad because she can't get back to her back. I've been kind of surprised that she has kept doing it. Selena would always complete a physical milestone a few times and then not do it for a few weeks and then start doing it all the time. I guess Allie is a quick learner.

In the last week she has decided that she absolutely hates the car. Car rides are no fun. I feel like a baby torturer. She has also decided in the last week that 5 and 6am are good times to get up. I'm blaming the rolling over. She rolls over and then gets all mad because she keeps knocking her binky out of her mouth when she moves her head back and forth, and after she does that a few times she figures she might as well wake up. Luckily Selena's been sleeping in so after getting up for an hour we go back to bed and get to sleep in till 8:45. I did catch her sucking her thumb while sleeping last night, so I'm wondering if the thumb will supplant the binky.

Other random tidbits include that she now can ride in the backpack which is more convenient than a front pack. When she gets fussy I can load her up and still be able to get some chores done. She loves the stroller as long as its moving. We've been walking to the farmer's market, Target, the library, and out to eat. She doesn't seem too bothered by the abuse her sister dishes out. She hardly ever poops. I think she goes about 2 weeks between bowel movements. She loves baths, holding people's hands, talking to people, and being naked. She has also started to show interest in toys.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Salad Ever

I have always hated salads. I hardly ever would eat one. Probably because most salads have iceberg lettuce and/or light salad dressing. Yuck. About a year ago I went to my sister-in-law's bridal shower where there was a salad bar and it was really, really good. I added a few things to the salad I had there, and now I am eating one every day (and craving it if I don't) for lunch. I admit while it is super tasty it isn't completely filling. I usually have a half a sandwich or some raviolis as well.

  • Organic spinach or mixed salad greens. I get these at the farmer's market every Saturday. The mixed salad greens makes interesting salad because you get different tastes every bite. Once there were sprigs of dill in it, and that was so good. Floyd teases me and says I'm eating weeds, but I do think there are some dandelion in the mix so I guess I might be. Buying packaged lettuce at the grocery store is not very tasty, and they probably add some sort of preservative or something. Buying romaine or spinach at the grocery store is a better bet. I have mixed results with the spinach at Fred Meyer. The spinach from the farmer's market was the sweetest spinach I've ever had. This is definitely an instance where the fresher it is, the better it tastes.
  • Organic unsalted hulled sunflower seeds. I buy these in the bulk section at Fred Meyer.
  • Regular cottage cheese
  • Organic canned garbanzo beans
  • Organic berries - I've tried strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. All are good.
  • Random organic veggies. I like green onions and carrots. Sometimes I use cucumber, broccoli, or avocado.
  • Dressing - 2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar (I eyeball it), a pinch of sea salt, and grind in some fresh pepper. Mix it in a bowl and sprinkle over the top.
This salad has a ton of anti-oxidants in it to flush out all the yucky stuff in you. The veggies and sunflower seeds are packed with vitamins. The cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, and olive oil give you a nice amount of fat to help you absorb the vitamins. The whole thing is delicious. Make sure you don't leave anything out, because it really isn't as good if you do.

Let me know if you try it and enjoy it.

This is part of my What I am Eating series.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cereal Bad, Eggs Good

So my New Years resolution this year was to eat less processed food. The number one processed food I ate was cereal. I love cereal and I would eat it every morning for breakfast. But in my effort to fulfill my resolution I decided to switch to eggs and peanut butter toast in the morning. The switch has almost been life changing. I have always had to eat often. If I didn't eat every 2-3 hours I would get seriously grumpy, and feel like I was going to pass out. I always got angry when I went to someone's house around lunch time and there was no food. I didn't understand why most people had no problems delaying or skipping meals, but I did. The symptoms became even worse in the past few years because I've been pregnant or nursing. My grandmother once mentioned that I might be hypoglycemic, but when I looked it up the symptoms had nothing to do with me. But after I stopped eating cereal I read something about carbs causing spikes and drops in blood sugar and cereal being one of the biggest culprits. I read up on hypoglycemia again and found a link about REACTIVE hypoglycemia, and the symptoms of that fit fairly well - fatigue, dizziness, sweaty, light-headedness, irritability, increased appetite, craving sweets, runny nose, usually 2 -3 hours after eating a high carb meal. The treatment is to exercise, eat often, avoid sugars, carbs, alcohol, and caffeine, and increase protein. I have always instinctively did all those things except avoiding the carbs and increasing protein. By changing what I ate for breakfast I was fulfilling the last two things and I have felt a remarkable difference. I still get hungry sometimes, but it isn't as soon, and I don't feel like I am going to die if I don't get food immediately. Sometimes I have wondered if it is in my head, but when we run out of eggs I will eat cereal for breakfast, and a few hours later I feel like I am going to pass out. I am much better off eating whole grain toast with peanut butter or even nothing at all.

I'm not sure if I'm being a hypochondriac. Reactive hypglycemia is hard to diagnose because you have to get your blood sugar taken 2 - 3 hours after you have eaten and are in the middle of a "crash", which is hard to time. It is supposedly pretty rare, but I've talked to many people who seem to have some of the same problems. So I'm not sure if I really have it, but I know that I feel so much better if I act like I do.

Since I've been eating eggs every morning I now have a very discerning palette as to good and bad tasting eggs. For a while I was getting fresh eggs from my egg lady, but she lives about 30 minutes away and I can't make an hour long trip every week with 2 kids to go and get eggs. But they do taste the best. The next best are Naturally Organic eggs (not Naturally Nested though the packages look similar). I get them at Fred Meyer, but I've seen them at QFC as well. They are free range (which is better than cage free),organic, and come from Everett, so they are local. They taste almost as good the eggs from my egg lady and are worth the extra money. Some people worry about the cholesterol in eggs, but your body needs cholesterol. If you don't eat it, then your liver will manufacture it for you, which isn't a good thing (but I can't remember why).

I also get Dave's Killer Bread for my toast. This bread is at Fred Meyer and Costco. It is expensive (but it is a better deal at Costco) but it is so good. Whenever I have guests over and I make them a sandwich they always comment on how good the bread is. It is organic and doesn't have HFCS or hydrogenated oils. It also has lots of seeds and grains, but it isn't dry at all.

For peanut butter I get freshly squished peanut butter at Fred Meyer. There is a machine that chops up your peanuts and pours it into a container for you. It is much better than commercial all natural peanut butter, like Adams, because for the most part the oil doesn't separate, and it is easy to spread. You make it on the spot so you know it is only peanuts.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nutritional Philosophy

So I haven't been able to find much time to sew. I get a couple hours kid free late at night, but I'm usually tired, and sewing while tired is not a good thing. So, while I haven't been able to make anything crafty lately, I still have been able to make food, since we need to eat. I am not a good cook (I have a strange aversion to following recipes), but I've been getting better, so I'd like to share what I've been eating.

In the past I've never really cared about what I ate. I was a multi-sport athlete through high school and college so I required a lot of calories and I ate whatever was convenient. I mostly ate carbs and not very many vegetables. I took a class in college my senior year called Body Image, and nutrition was discussed a bit and that was pretty much the first time I really ever thought about nutrition. Basically what I took out of the class was that the closer a food looked like its original form, the better it was for you. But since I was an athlete and carbs provide instant energy I still ate very carb heavy. Once Selena was born and I was not anywhere near as active as I used to be and had gained a bit of baby weight I started thinking more about what I ate and reading more about nutrition.

The funny thing about nutrition is that it is very complicated so there are lots of conflicting studies, and advice. The U.S. Dept of Agriculture has changed their recommendations multiple times over the years. There are various diets that recommend low fat, or low carb, or low calorie. There are vegetarians who say meat is unnecessary or vegans who say we don't need to eat anything animal related, or people who think we should eat a lot of meat. Then there are the food producers who spend lots of money trying to market their various concoctions as healthy. It is very hard to know what is really healthy and what is not. I find it funny that if you take a few people who are conscientious about what they eat there will probably be some stuff that one person goes out of their way to eat but that another person absolutely will not touch. Based on my research and readings I try to aim for whole, unprocessed foods. The less processed it is, the better it is for you. I believe in eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. I think its better to listen to your body than try to count or measure your intake. I believe in making changes to eating habits slowly so your body can get used to it.

Here are my opinions on:

Meat: I am sympathetic to vegetarian and vegan arguments against the unethical treatment of animals as source of food for us, but I do think that meat is important nutritionally for humans. I do not believe that red meat and/or saturated fat is bad for you. Meat provides lots of proteins, amino-acids, and fats that are body requires. You can get most, but not all, from other food sources, but not in the quantities and ratios necessary. However I think the way we raise animals does not provide us with that best nutrition. In general chickens and cows are fed food they are not meant to eat and thus we have less nutritious meat. They should be allowed to graze on green grass and eat what they are meant to eat. When possible I try to get grass fed and/or free range meat, if not available I try to get organic, and/or supplemental hormone free.

Fish: I think fish is a very important, most specifically for the Omega-3 DHA it provides. There are tons of well conducted studies that show eating fish causes vast improvements to your health. I do not eat enough of it and have been taking a fish oil supplement instead, and it causes dramatic and noticeable differences in my mood, and energy levels. If I forget to take it I am a very grumpy person. I would rather eat more fish than use a supplement, but have not got to that point yet. There are large problems with fish being polluted and environmental concerns about overfishing.

Dairy: I think dairy offers a lot nutritionally. I think we should be eating it in its most unprocessed state. The pasteurization and homogenization of milk kills lots of the beneficial bacteria that make milk healthy. I do not drink raw milk, but if I had a convenient source I think I would. I do drink organic whole milk, or eat whole milk yogurt. I try to get pasteurized versus ultra-pasteurized when I can. I eat free range local organic eggs.

Oils and Fats: I think hydrogenated oils are very bad for you and try to avoid anything with hydrogenated oils. (This guy has a great idea to boycott hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.) I think vegetable oils are ok when not cooked. Cooking vegetable oils causes free radicals to form, so I try to cook with butter instead. I would use lard if I could find it. I try to avoid all soybean oil as well as other processed soy products as the chemical structure of soy is very similar to estrogen and the body sometimes acts as if it is estrogen and I would rather not mess with my hormones. I do not believe that fats make you fat.

Sweeteners: I prefer maple syrup, honey, or plain sugar. I think not eating any sweeteners would probably be the best, but I'm not ready to make that leap. I avoid high fructose corn syrup as well as corn syrup, but I think plain corn syrup is better than HFCS.

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are shown in many well conducted studies to improve health dramatically. Nuts are packed with vitamins in amounts you can't find in any other foods. Some people avoid them because they are high in fat, but once again I don't think fat is bad, and I think you should eat as many nuts as you are hungry for.

Grains: I think these should be eaten as sparingly as possible due to the fact that they cause spikes in blood sugar which is stressful for your heart. Also many baked goods have aluminum in them and I don't think that is good for you either. I do eat whole grain bread daily. This one is really hard for me, but I try to avoid crackers, chips, cereal and non-whole grain bread.

Fruits and Vegetables: Eat as much as you want of these. Some say to eat less fruit, or not potatoes, but I say eat away. Eat organic, local, fresh and in season for the best nutrition and the best tasting food.

Vitamin Supplements: I haven't really found any research that supports my opinion, but I don't think vitamin supplements should be necessary if you eat a wide variety of whole foods. Apparently it is impossible to get all your daily vitamins without a supplement or eating fortified foods. I think that means the daily recommendations are not correct. Many argue that our food production is so pitiful that we have removed all the nutrients from our food and that is why vitamin supplementation and fortification is needed. I don't know it seems wrong to me. I do however take a fish oil and vitamin D supplement daily. I also take a prenatal vitamin when I feel like I haven't eaten very nutritious.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Favorite Toddler Books for the Month

She'll be Coming Around the Mountain - Level 1 Bank Street Ready-To-Read - Cute book with new verses to the song, and fun pictures.

Doing the Garden - Sarah Garland's books are really simple and just tell a short story of basic things moms and kids do. The illustrations are great and add to the story. It is very easy for us to relate to the mom, her two kids, and the dog.

Abiyoyo - When my mom taught preschool, her preschoolers loved it. My sister recently taught at a daycare/preschool and the kids loved it there too. Selena of course loves it as well.

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig - Cute twist on the three little pigs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

27 months

Selena is still being a handful. She is lucky she is so dang cute. Her toddler logic is really funny. For instance:
  • She told me she is a little adult. I told her that she wasn't an adult she was a kid. She said kids are little adults and big people are big adults.
  • She was playing dress up and she put on a princess costume and then told me that she wasn't a human anymore she was a princess.
  • I told her that she was too cute and she said that she was a big girl she wasn't cute anymore she was lovely.
  • She likes to say, "And that's the truth."
  • We were out at a restaurant and she needed to go potty and she says, "This is a nice potty"
  • She likes to attempt to look under the bathroom stalls and ask what people are doing. This has been especially embarrassing for Floyd.
  • I wasn't feeling well and she didn't want to go play with Floyd so I told her that she should go down and pick up her toys, and she said, "I know. (and this is always said with really cute emphasis) I'll make you some toast so that you'll feel better." So I told her that was a good idea. So she runs out of the room saying, "I'm going to make toast, not go pick up my toys."
If I had wrote this post four or five days ago I would have said potty training was going really well. We were consistently down to about 1 accident a day and that was usually during nap time when she was wearing a pair of thick undies with a diaper cover so no mess, 100% poop in the potty, and we even had some days with no accidents. It seemed like if we reminded her, and put her on the potty often we had good success. We went to the zoo and she wore regular underwear with no waterproof cover and was good the whole entire day. But the last few days have not been so great, lots of pee accidents and even some poop ones. She is even having accidents 5 minutes after we put her on the potty. I don't know. It is really frustrating because I think she is doing it on purpose. She says she doesn't want to wear diapers, and she doesn't want to go on the potty. Grrr.

She really seems to enjoy being obstinate and doing exactly the opposite of what you ask. She thinks time-outs are fun, "Am I done yet? Am I done yet". She has started hitting a bit. She will only take a nap about two or three times a week, but at least now she is sleeping longer at night so she is at least getting closer to the number of hours she needs to sleep in order to be a more pleasant person. But sometimes she'll crash at inconvenient times. I'm trying to institute having quiet time in her room, but am having a hard time keeping her in there. She keeps coming out and asking "is it time yet?" Basically she is a lot harder to parent and I'm wondering what happened. It seems pretty sudden. Well I guess its probably the fact that Allie is here. She does love Allie, but I guess it is hard sharing her parents.

She absolutely loves the garlic mozzarella raviolis from Costco. Its funny because she is kind of a picky eater, and doesn't usually like her food to be mixed, but she loves the raviolis. She also ate chicken the other day for the first time in a year. We were pretty surprised. We always offer her everything we are eating, but there are some things we really don't think she'll actually eat and chicken is one of them. When she was a baby she would eat anything, but she has become more picky. Another thing she really likes is ketchup. The other day I asked her if we should make homemade french fries and she got really excited and her eyes got all big and she kind of stuttered and said, "yes, yes, yes, and with ketchup?" and then proceeded to run into the kitchen and get the ketchup out of the fridge and go on about how she would help me make french fries with ketchup.

There really isn't anything she is into at the moment. I keep trying to find something, but I've kind of run out of ideas. We've done drawing, play-dough, puzzles, cutting, painting, blocks, alphabet, numbers, shapes. It seems like books and TV (ugh) are the only thing that consistently hold her interest. She actually seems to trying to figure out how to read. We sometimes do the clips on Starfall's website, when I want to be on the computer and she wants to be entertained. So she knows the sounds of some letters and pretends, sometimes kind of successfully, to sound out words. She's a precocious little one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

2 Months Old

Here is an update on our little Allie-gator.
  • She weighed 10lbs 1 oz last week.
  • We found a binky she likes.
  • She's been working on her hand control and is good at knocking the binky out of her mouth, and she tries really hard to nudge it back in.
  • She coos a lot and is good at saying "goo."
  • She's smiley.
  • Loves to be naked.
  • Loves baths.
  • Loves her family.
  • She will fall asleep in the swing sometimes, but still prefers to be put in the baby carrier, and walked up and downstairs to fall asleep. For one or two naps a day she will let you set her down and she'll stay asleep for a while.
  • She does not like to be in the baby carrier while awake. Which is kind of inconvenient.
  • Has joined the rest of the family and joined the go-to-bed late club. Apparently our kids haven't gotten the memo that kids go to bed early.
  • She tends to be fussy in the evening.
  • She likes holding my hand while she falls asleep.
  • She has slept through the night a few times.
  • She does not like the library. She cries every time we go.
  • She is very gassy. She often tricks us into thinking she has a dirty diaper and thinks its hilarious.
  • She is very wiggly.
  • She snorts a lot when she cries.
  • She does pretty good in the car as long as she has a clean diaper and isn't hungry.
  • She had some bad baby acne, but it is gone now.
  • She has pretty bad cradle cap. I scrubbed her head for 30 minutes and got rid of most of it, and a couple days later it came back.
  • We love her and love seeing how she grows.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Toddler Book Recommendations

Favorite books we've read in the last month.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Terrific Twos

So I was really trying to be optimistic about the behavior of my two year old, but despite my best efforts Selena has been a bit more difficult. I feel like such a smart parent when I am able to trick her into doing what I want, but it has been harder to do lately. I'm not sure if its the stage she is in, or if its just that I'm tired and trying to do too many things at once. But sometimes I just want her to do what I ask without having to think about how to phrase the request in a way that will conform to her two-year-old whims. The biggest problem, again, is the running away. She had been doing really well and we had made multiple library visits and did not have any running away, but since Allie has arrived she once again is taking off. It is really frustrating.

Sleep has also been a problem, or actually is the root of a lot of her behavior challenges. She has always been difficult to get to sleep, and that hasn't gotten any worse but she has been waking up early and refusing naps, or only taking a short one. Occasionally refusing naps isn't new either, but she usually would only do that when she had slept in that day. But now she is waking up early and refusing a nap and trying to live off of 8 - 10 hours of sleep a day, which is not enough for her and she is very whiny and obstinate on those days. And since she is so hard to get to go to sleep I really don't know what to do when she wakes up early. Her behavior is so much better the days she does gets enough sleep. However I am partly to blame because we did try a week of skipping naps because then she would go to bed earlier and faster. My hope was that she would still wake up at the same time and thus get the same number of hours of sleep for the day, but she foiled my plans by getting up early and being super grumpy by the end of the day. So now we're back to naps and I've been trying to stay consistent on nap and bed times but she is so resistant to a schedule.

On a positive note potty training is going pretty well. She had three days in a row where she had hardly any accidents and I was tentatively excited that we were done with diapers, but then the next day she had a lot of accidents. Since then we've had some really good days and some not so good days. I'm hoping that she'll have it all worked out in a month. Once again sleep has been affecting the potty training. On the days where she hasn't slept she doesn't do well making it to the potty. But we've been keeping her in undies pretty much all the time except for at night. We've been using Gerber training pants with a pull on diaper cover over them when we go out or for naps. She's had some accidents when we go to the neighborhood park, but hasn't had any when we are in a public place.

She has learned to open doors which is a pretty inconvenient milestone. I am blaming this on part of the sleep problem. I think she wakes up during her nap and when normally she might whine a bit and go back to sleep, now she sees the doorknob and decides to leave her bedroom. She has also managed to let Dyna out in the front yard.

After doing really well with her new sister, she went through a couple weeks of pretty strong jealously. She would tell me not to feed Allie, to put her down, that she wanted to snuggle mom without Allie, etc, etc. But she seems to be doing a little better now and when she is in a good mood she is very helpful in trying to entertain Allie to keep her from crying. She does this by dancing, reading her a book, giving her toys, or a binky. It is really cute. However she does have a very inconvenient desire to wake Allie every time she is sleeping. I try to explain to her that if Allie is sleeping then I can play with her more easily, but if she wakes Allie up then I'm going to have to pick Allie up and won't be able to play with her, but she doesn't seem to get it.

She is addicted to swings. A nice neighbor friend gave me a key to the private park just outside our cul-de-sac so we've been making daily trips to the park to swing on the swing. This has been very nice. I've always been so annoyed that we couldn't visit the park and that it was very rude to lock people out of it. We also made a trip to a spray park, but Selena only went in the water for about 5 minutes then headed off to the playground to swing on the swings for an hour.

Drawing is cool again. She is back to making her stick people and she draws pictures for everyone in the family. She has little stories for the pictures. It is really cute.

We didn't do much for the 4th of July. We went over to some friends for a bbq. We got a kids pack of fireworks and set them off for Selena. She liked the smoke bombs, but then hid in the car for the rest of them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

6 weeks postpartum

I am six weeks postpartum. I think medically I'm not considered postpartum anymore, but I just read some book that said if you are still changing diapers and waking up in the middle of the night you are postpartum. So I was still postpartum from Selena and 9 months pregnant. :)

Unfortunately I still don't feel completely recovered. For me the c-section was a much harder recovery than my first daughter's birth, but considering how big of a surgery it is, it is amazing how quickly I have bounced back. I know lots of women have a lot of pain as a result, and require medications, but I was very fortunate and never experienced any pain. I took the prescribed ibuprofen for a week, but never needed the Percocet. The hospital gave me a support belt to wear and I am so glad they did and I highly recommend it, especially if you are like me and don't like taking medications. I wore it for about 5 weeks. If I took it off I did get a bit uncomfortable but when I put it back on I felt better. I think it really helped me be comfortable and aided in the healing process.

My scar is still a bit raised but it is getting flatter. If I poke about 2 inches around the scar it kind of feels bruised. If I poke closer to the scar it is numb. I've heard that it can take years to get full feeling back, so that is kind of weird.

I started running 5 weeks after Selena was born. I think I'm going to try at 8 weeks this time, but am not sure how it will go. I still feel some tugging on my scar if I over exert myself. I'm hoping that in a couple weeks that will go away. I'll probably wear the support belt. But I also feel that my stabilizing muscles in my abs, hips, and knees are weaker than they were after my first so I'm kind of worried about injuries. I was in much better shape during my first pregnancy than I was with this one. I'm going to have to take it pretty slow.

Emotionally it has been hard having two, and when two children are crying the postpartum hormones don't help. I've had a few meltdowns. My midwife is a big advocate of using magical fish oil to help regulate hormones and mood and I have noticed that the breakdowns I have had are on days that I have forgotten to take my fish oil for a couple days. So if I start feeling on the edge I start taking the fish oil and it does seem to help.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

1 month old

Allie, or as I like to call her, Allie-gator, is almost a month old and we have started to figure her out. The biggest source of frustration for me, and probably her, was nursing. Every time she went to eat she would cry and this was hurting my feelings and making me cry. The biggest problem was that I had too much milk and she was choking on it and having a hard time staying latched, So I went to (the best site on breastfeeding advice, I highly recommend it) and it said instead of switching sides for each feeding try nursing on the same side for 2 - 3 feedings in a row. So I tried it, and it worked. Pretty quickly too it only took a day or so and my supply mostly regulated itself. I am not engorged as much, and Allie isn't choking on my milk as often, and because my supply is better I was able to easily stop using the nipple shield.

She is a very efficient eater. She only nurses for about 5 min at a time. She does eat fairly often. About every 2 hrs during the day and every 3 hrs at night, but because she eats so quickly it is easy to manage. It has been much different than nursing Selena as a newborn. Selena would nurse for 45 min to an hour and a half, every 2 - 3 hours. I remember once she nursed for 3 hours straight. I am very thankful Allie is quick because the last week or so Selena has decided that being a big sister has its drawbacks, and has started to get jealous. Her new mantra is "I need my mommy" and she most often whines and cries this while I am feeding Allie. But Allie is a growing girl and weighs 9lbs 4oz. I'm not sure how tall she is, but she is on the verge of growing out of all the 0-3 month clothes.

I also figured out that Allie really doesn't like to have a dirty or wet diaper. I was offering to feed her every time she fussed, partly because I wanted relief from my engorgement, but also because that was what always seemed to work with Selena. But this was just making her mad because she wasn't hungry, and really she just wanted her diaper changed. She loves being naked so we also let her hang out naked for the few times during the day that she is awake.

She sleeps a lot. I'm pretty sure she sleeps way more than Selena did as a baby. Which I hope bodes well for the future since Selena is really a challenge in the sleep department. Allie pretty much slept for the first two weeks of her life and only woke up to eat. Now she is awake a little bit more, but not for very long stretches. She does prefer to sleep while being held, preferably in a baby carrier while you are walking around. But she sometimes will stay asleep if you set her down. I can usually get one good nap a day out of without holding her. Fortunately I have a wide variety of baby carriers so holding her isn't too much of an inconvenience and I love having a snugly baby next to me.

She isn't a fan of the swing and has been resistant of the binky. Dad and Nana have been able to manage to give her a binky, but I haven't. She has enjoyed the couple of baths she's taken at home. She doesn't really like car rides, but seems to do okay if you load her up while she is deep in sleep. She's starting to give us real smiles and her head control is getting better. I'm excited to see her personality start to develop.