Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things I Love and Dislike about Pregnancy

We all know every pregnancy is different.  The way society reacts, or treats a pregnant woman has pretty much been the same since I was pregnant 9 years ago.  I thought it would be fun to jot down a few loves and dislikes about going through pregnancy:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fastest Recipe Ever

I’ve been at this whole “working mom” thing for four years now. It has taken my husband and me about that long to figure out how to get dinner on the table for our family of four.

But let me tell you, I nailed it with a recipe that’s easy, delicious and affordable. The coolest part is that my daughter, who is 4 years old, not only helped me make it, she actually ate it. I wouldn’t call her picky, but she’s not all that adventurous when it comes to food.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Discovering Common Ground

My daughter and her two (girl) cousins have always been very close. As only children, they are the closest thing to a sibling each of them has. So, it’s natural that they get so excited about coming together each summer to make the kind of memories they’ll laugh about when they are all grown up. 

When they came together this summer, they found things were a little different.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

With a Little Help from a Toddler

For our summer “stay-cation,” we decided this was the year to help with Vacation Bible School at our church.  Josh and I had discussed it many times in the past, so we were excited to actually be a part of the action.  

In addition to VBS, we wanted to tackle a house project, like cleaning out closets, the storage building and the like.  However, our daughter Emory, who is nearing age two, had different plans for us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Increasing milk supply

During eight months of exclusive pumping, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to produce enough breast milk for my little Jake. Most months I even had enough excess to build up quite a nice freezer stash.

Lately my five pumps per day (which is about all I can squeeze in these days) have been producing around 35 ounces total, which is exactly what Jake eats in a day. Not having that cushion of a few extra ounces makes me nervous. I could certainly dip into my freezer stash if we suddenly needed more, but I would love to be able to donate it to a local milk bank.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Banishing the question

What woman hasn’t at least once experienced this scenario?

Friend or acquaintance: How are you doing?
You: I’m doing well. I was feeling kind of sick yesterday but seem to have bounced back.
Friend or acquaintance: Sure you’re not pregnant?

The next response varies by person but honestly I wonder why this exchange is socially acceptable in the first place.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meatless main dish

As a registered dietitian I often am asked what I eat. And now that I’m pregnant with twin girls I get that question even more frequently.

So, what am I eating this week? 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Exercise, too?

I knew having a baby would mean that our lives would become much busier.  However, being a planner and someone who has a constant mental check list running through her head, there are still a certain number of tasks I want and NEED to get done for my own mental stability and well-being.  One of those things is exercise.  Working in health care I know how important it is to stay healthy, so fitting in some type of physical activity is always on my mental checklist.  Did I mention I like to check things off my list?  Makes me feel productive.  I like to feel productive.  

Our typical day starts at 5 AM when Shelby awakens and we see her giggling and starting to roll around in her crib on the monitor.  At that point we divide and conquer - one of us will go get her up and change her diaper while the other heats her bottle and grabs some coffee.  We watch the morning news in our bedroom while she enjoys her bottle and one of us has some coffee.  After that we have some happy time with our daughter as she coos and tells us in her baby language many important things.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jumping off a cliff

We went on a vacation a couple of weeks ago and went camping at Inks Lake in Burnet, Texas. (Highly recommend it--beautiful spot.) The water was nice and the weather was surprisingly cooler than we expected in the middle of July. 

One spot in particular was interesting -- it's called the Devil's Waterhole. The granite cliff is about 30 feet high, with a couple of flat spots that are lower. My little man watched people jump off the cliff into the lake, and he decided he wanted to do it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

An intermission

The summer season is in full effect and for many that means time for family vacation. I have vacation on the brain because my family and I took our annual trip to the beach last week.  Post vacation has me reflecting on my time away or as Merriam Webster defines vacation as a respite or a time of respite from something: Intermission.  In my typical Type A fashion I was involved with the planning of my family’s summer vacation. As the days (weeks) came close to our actual day of departure I tediously made shopping lists, packing lists, driving directions, and things to do on vacation lists.  As fate would have it, a wrench was thrown into my tidy little plan when I was forced to have emergency surgery the night before we planned to leave town.  I tried hard to conceal the panic I was feeling inside as I dished out instructions to my husband and sister before leaving for the hospital.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Can fear make labor last longer?

Fearing childbirth might make your labor last longer, according to a recent study.

Dr. Noushin Firouzbakht, OB/GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, says she agrees that when women are fearful and anxious about possible complications it seems to increase their labor length.

“In my experience, if the Mom is not relaxed the labor does seem to last longer," she said. "It’s the Moms who cling on to every fear, when they hear something happened to an aunt or a cousin and think the same thing is going to happen to them as well. But the reality is that’s not the majority of people.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Appreciation for “mamma”

Last week my wife got called out of town for work unexpectedly. She found out towards the end of the week that she would be flying out Tuesday morning and returning Wednesday evening. This meant that for the first time it would be the “solo Dad” show at our house. 

Most nights we tag team the nighttime routine with Elliot, so I wasn’t overly concerned about it. It didn’t seem like too difficult an assignment – pick him up from day care, feed him, play a little while, bath and bedtime. Simple. One of my normal nighttime duties is to rock him to sleep – partly because he seems to like it and partly because I won’t put up with his shenanigans. I think he respects this about me and is usually compliant.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Friday the 13th delivery

Proud parents Kris and Patrick with daughter Katie
Would you want to deliver your baby on Friday the 13th?

Some superstitious Mamas avoid delivering on Friday the 13th if they can help it, said Dr. Daren Tate, OB/GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Round two – Not a TKO, but close to it (some days)

Here I am, again, experiencing the joys (and sometimes uncomfortable stages) of pregnancy. Feeling life growing inside your body is a feeling like no other, and one I thank God for allowing me to do once more. On the other hand, as I sit here typing this blog (and I must mention my frequent “potty breaks”), I can only giggle and think, “Here we go again – round two!”
I compare pregnancy to boxing, because some days you feel as if you’ve literally been knocked out, and then you have those days when you’re so excited that you’re pregnant, all you do is smile while rubbing your stomach.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lessons learned in foster parenting

Raising children can honestly be draining and rewarding at the same time.  Fostering to adopt is a process filled with a roller coaster of emotions that I could never have prepared myself for.  Just as with my biological boys, there are days where I feel like I have made no progress with some of the simplest things and I begin to doubt my ability to be the best Mom I can. There are days where I see a spark of hope or  I see a glimpse of progress with our girls. Little things like sitting at the table to have our meals and not in the corner. Or perhaps not eating stickers but eating squash for the first time.

I have learned that in order to be able to foster to adopt, you don’t have to be Supermom, you just have to be Mom.

Here are a few tidbits I picked up along the way (no particular order):

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The best eating plan for women with PCOS

As a female currently suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), I know what it is like to deal with dreaded dieting.  Even as a dietitian, with all that I know and practice (for the most part) myself, I struggle to make sure to get in enough "healthy foods" that will optimize my health and wellness with PCOS.  For the past 10 years I dealt with doctor after doctor, trying to figure out what in the world is wrong with me, and finally, 2 years ago, I met my current OB/Gyn and was diagnosed.  Finally, some answers.  Due to the fact that I don’t actually fit the bill for classic PCOS, I was never observed for it which led to years of confusion and multiple trials with different birth control, hormones, and uncomfortable testing.  The ultimate reason for my diagnosis?  My new doctor happens to suffer from PCOS herself and looks for it in her patients, especially those that don’t "fit the bill"- she doesn’t show classic signs, either.

So what does this diagnosis mean for me now?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Paging Dr. Facebook

“Don’t post that on Facebook.” 

This was my mother’s advice to me when my two-year-old came down with what we’re pretty sure was a MRSA outbreak.

If you’re not familiar with MRSA, it’s a strain of bacteria that’s resistant to many antibiotics. And the more we use antibiotics to treat it, the more resistant it becomes. (I’m no medical professional, so you might want to check out our Health Library for a more accurate description.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Making homemade baby food

I loved the idea of making homemade baby food for my 7-month-old, but the make-it-as-you-go approach just wasn't working well for us. Our evenings get too chaotic, and sometimes you just need a grab and go option.

Then a friend referred me to this blog post, and I really loved the system she used for making big batches, storing, and freezing.

Here’s an example of how I used her method to make apple baby food for Jake:

What I used:
      • four red delicious apples
      • apple corer/slicer
      • peeler
      • large bowl
      • large cooking pot
      • distilled baby water
      • strainer
      • food processor
      • spatula (a small one works well)
      • Tovolo perfect cube trays (though any ice cube tray would probably work)
      • large zip lock bag
      • freezer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mommy envy

I have nieces and nephews whom I love dearly and on many family occasions when we are all gathered together, I can often be found interacting with them trying to catch up on all the things that are important to them in their lives.

While I find this pretty normal, my daughter recently shared with me that it really upsets her to see me “loving other children that don’t belong to me.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July safety

When it comes to enjoying fireworks on Independence Day, know your city’s laws and keep safety top of mind for you and your family.

Firework injuries are commonly seen in the emergency room on July 4th, said Dr. Hoyt Frenzel, medical director of the emergency department at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. Never light, hold, then throw fireworks. Small fireworks might cause pain and burns, but larger devices can cause severe tissue damage. It is better to set the fireworks on the ground, light them, then run away. Or better yet, leave the firework displays to the professionals! Even sparklers should be used with caution.

“Sparklers are fun for kids, but they’re very hot and a common cause of eye injuries in children,” said Dr. Frenzel. “Never let young children run with a lit sparkler. Close parental supervision is important.”

More safety tips from the American Red Cross:

•    Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
•    Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
•    Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
•    Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
•    Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
•    Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
•    Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
•    Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Struggling to let go

Every day is a struggle.  Especially being a single mom with a teenage boy.  I have always tried not to smother him or turn him into a “momma’s boy.”  Ever since he was little I have encouraged him to be independent and strong.

Several years ago I divorced, and so began for my son, at the time age 12, the every other week plane trips to visit his dad in San Antonio.  I was not surprised when I took him to the airport for the first time and I was going over the list; gate number, flight number, time…then he said it: "Just drop me at the curb, I can do this myself.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tickled Pink

We are excited to announce that we will be having a baby GIRL this fall!  Our family (son included), could not be happier. We are preparing for pinks and pastels, playing dress up, and a ton of clothes she may never wear.  Adding to this happiness is the fact that so far, our sonograms have come back with “normal” results. 

Since I last wrote this blog post, I have had several sonograms.  One with the perinatologist, one with my OB (both of these were for the total body scans to check for abnormalities), and one in Labor & Delivery.  All have been nerve-wracking, but the relief afterwards has been a weight off of our shoulders.