Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life. Mostly, breastfeeding.

Time is flying as we are right smack-dab in the midst of school and work for Tim, work for me, applications for me, and oh yeah, that Lactation class I signed up for in September thinking I'd have time to do it. And oh yeah, it's due in like a week and a half. Good thing I'm mostly done, and I have lots of time at work when I'm in American Fork because no one needs help with breastfeeding in North Utah County. I'm learning so much though... if I thought I knew about breastfeeding before, wow, do I know a lot now. It's the class you take to become an IBCLC, so it's really thorough, and some of the assignments and tests are fairly challenging. The lectures are phenomenal. The professor is hilarious, and having worked in the field for decades, has so many great breastfeeding stories. I'm in the section on jaundice right now, and holy cow, do we get SO much misinformation on jaundice in the hospital from the doctors and nurses! Geez. I have moms come in ALL the time in tears because they are having trouble getting their babies to nurse because of getting bottles in the hospital because of "jaundice" and needing to supplement. Or wait, also there are like a bazillion reasons doctors and mother-baby nurses push supplementing in the hospital... and most of them are completely bogus. But, you probably don't care, so moving on to the next item of business.

Theodore: holy cow, he is growing up like crazy these days. He is starting to talk up a storm, though we are still worried about his hearing because he pronounces things crazy and most everything sounds the same, though we know what he means. His favorite words are: iPad, Pooh, Elmo (mel-mo), off/on, dad, apple, banana (nan-a), snow, owl, and of course, ball. He can identify every letter in the alphabet, and knows the sounds for well over half. He's even starting to sound out words when he watches Super Why, which is pretty impressive in my book. I think he may be reading before he talks in sentences. He is sleeping really well at night as long as one of us is with him, which we don't mind. And he still nurses 1-2 times a day, which I'm contributing to the fact that he has not had a single cold yet to date this season! Such an improvement over last year....

As for me, my applications are almost completely done and submitted. I've applied to five schools, and am wondering if should apply to more to be on the safe side, but I'm so burned out and running out of time that I don't know if I'll end up doing any more. Thusfar, Yale, Michigan, Wisconsin and Rutgers are done and submitted, and Urbana-Champaign is still in the works. I'm ready for it to be over with, all the application fees to be paid so I don't have to worry about it anymore, and at least one acceptance to be in the mail :) But.... only time shall tell. Hopefully the admissions committees don't hate mothers and babies because I wrote about having a kid in my personal statement. I was told it could either hurt or help the application, depending on who reads it. But, do I really want to go to a school that discriminates against mothers?

Doing a puzzle over Thanksgiving with Tim's dad and sister

Helping mom clean while wearing dad's hat and glove

Day after Thanksgiving was spent at the Dinosaur Park in Ogden

Nearly 27-months update

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Today was kind of awesome*. We accidentally left our bag of chicken at Target when we were shopping, and I was really bummed about having to drive all the way back to get it. On the way home, however, I decided to drop in to that overpriced baby box store known as Babies 'r Us. I have never bought anything at this place, I just wanted to see if they had the Britax infant seat so I could see just how big it really was and if it would fit in the back of our Civic. Well, they didn't have it, so I was leaving, when I spotted a lone Combi Coccoro box sitting in the aisle. Sweet, I wanted to check these out for a long time and no other store has them, I thought. I asked if they carried it, and they said no, it was just an online return. I asked her to price check... not that I would buy it at overpriced baby box store when I figured it would be a lot less on Amazon. To my amazement, it was $75!! I could not believe it. Apparently they were just wanting to get rid of it since they don't carry it in the store. Same car seat online at same store is $199.99.

Thus ends the epic car seat showdown. No infant seat after all, just a beautiful, carrot-colored Coccoro.

And you know what? I don't care if I am obsessed with car seats. In less than a year I'll be at a top 10 university (hopefully) getting a PhD. So, I get to obsess over trivial matters for the time being.

And then to top it off, I used two coupons and bought some new cloth diapers and a changing pad and wet bag for a really good deal. Happy birthday to me!

*another great thing about today: I got my GRE scores in the mail today and scored 97th percentile on verbal and 84th on math and 96th on analytical writing... woohoo!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Single motherhood

No, Tim didn't leave me. But he did start working this week at Target, and has been gone pretty much all afternoon, evening, and night. I'm working mornings, then he leaves as soon as I get home and doesn't get back until we are fast asleep. It's weird being the one holding down the fort solely, and I thought it'd be a lot harder than it has been. Mind you,  my child is fairly easy-going and still takes long afternoon naps (though goes to bed fairly late... 10 or 11). I thought I wouldn't be able to handle doing the nightly routine alone after being so spoiled by our arrangement the past year, but really, it has not been difficult, and I'm feeling more and more confident in my ability to be a mother to two. Theodore and I have been watching a documentary on dinosaurs by the BBC the past few nights for half an hour each night, and we just lay in bed, cuddle, and have a midnight snack of cereal and yogurt. Knowing that I have to do everything has actually helped me get everything done.... the dishes get done, the teeth get brushed, the child gets to bed without a fuss. Our evenings used to get kind of chaotic as we negotiated who does what, and sometimes things got neglected.

I know I still have it pretty dang easy. One child, husband who is home in the mornings with him, two great jobs that we both enjoy, lovely house to live in, and knowing this arrangement will only be for a few months. But having my life be a little harder than before has been kind of nice, and now I feel like I can relate a little to my friends whose husbands are working nights or long hours. I used to think "how can they do that?!" but now I see how. With a lot of coloring books, play-doh (and by play-doh, I mean bread dough....), late night walks, and dinosaur documentaries.... that's how we're thriving around these parts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My baby wish list

We didn't really buy a lot of "stuff" for Theodore. Besides being financially insecure (which we still are.... sigh), I kind of wanted to shun the "you have a baby, you need ALL THIS JUNK!" mentality. We went through a few things to test them out (a crib, a swing, a travel system) but mostly I just bought them for really cheap on KSL and then sold them for more (actually, working on selling the crib still, anyone interested? It's super cute). We would keep it, but will probably be moving in Clementine's first few months, and definitely before she's ready for the crib (read: I'm ready to not cuddle my precious newborn all night long). Co-sleeping had it's upsides and downsides, but overall, I'm ready and more than willing to do it again. Theodore is a happy, well-adjusted, securely-attached and incredibly outgoing and confident child. Not sure where the co-sleeping fits into the causes, but if it did at all, it was worth it. However, we WILL be buying a king-sized mattress for our next "bed." I have the feeling there will be some nights where all four of us will end up together...

On to my wish list though. There are not many things, but after getting all experienced with the first kid, I have a really good idea of what I will definitely be purchasing once we settle down:

1) Changing table: one thing I considered completely unnecessary with my first baby. Who actually uses a changing table?! But with cloth-diapering and then a squirmy toddler, I realized how much I yearned for one. You see, with cloth-diapering, there is so much stuff to keep up with. Pre-folds, inserts, covers, spray, wipes, creams, pins, Snappis.... etc. For a while, we had a basket and then a drawer dedicated to all the materials, but it would have  been nice to have it all in one accessible location and go there to change every time. I love the pockets on this one from Ikea. But let's be honest, unless I could find it used, I'm sure I'll end up with an old, cheaper wooden one. Which would be grand by me.
Photo: Ikea

2) Didymos Wrap: ok, I like wearing my baby. That has been established. However, once Theodore hit about 18 pounds, it became pretty unbearable for my back. The Sleepy Wrap and Moby Wraps were just too bouncy and not supportive enough (LOVED them for the newborn stage though). I never have liked the buckles and everything on an Ergo and Boba. These are SO gorgeous and SO expensive. Sigh.... (ps: did just find one on KSL for $75 in this color below.... tempting....)

Photo: Amazon

3) Car Seat: So, kind of a generic want, but also an essential one. I really, really love the Combi Coccoro still, and they are re-doing it with those freaking awesome Britax-like LATCH connectors which seriously rock my car seat installing world. I would totally opt for another Britax Roundabout, but those things are so ginormous, there is no way I could a) fit two side-by-side, or b) rear-face it by the door. By the way, we turned Theodore around last week. He is now a veritable forward-facing toddler. I was really sad, but he was getting very uncomfortable and his head was inching closer to the top of the shell. I'm all for extended rear-facing, but I don't get how some of these car seat advocates have their four-year-olds rear-facing! Maybe it's our car...?

Back to car seat needs: Love the Combi. Will probably get it in the future. I didn't really see the need for an infant seat with Theodore and he was in a convertible after a few months (because I hated, hated, hated our cheap Graco infant seat that I could never get installed correctly, bounced all over the place and just sucked in general). BUT, that being said... I'm kind of wanting to invest in a nice infant seat, especially since I know I have small babies and we could use it for one year plus some. I never keep my baby in the infant seat outside of the car, but I remember a few times when it was ridiculously cold, it was super nice to have him all bundled up underneath that car seat cover-up thing before we head out to the car. And seeing as how one of the places we may live next year includes Wisconsin (or Connecticut or New Jersey), we may be in for a very, very cold winter. So, do I want to spend the extra money (well, technically my parents are buying us a car seat for Christmas, but if I buy the infant seat, I'll have to replace it in 18 months or so...) and get the infant seat even if I could only use it for a  year because maybe I'll be living somewhere very cold? Oh, the car seat dilemmas in my life. Why, oh why, do I worry so much about them? Anyways.... that being said.... if I did buy an infant seat, I'd probably go with the Chicco KeyFit or Britax Chaperone. In fact, it would either be the Britax Chaperone in Cowmooflage or the Chicco KeyFit in Limonata because of this study here on toxicity of car seats (darn you, Maren, for giving me another thing to obsess over!) Now, not only do I have to consider the safety of the car seat and the quality, I have to figure out which COLOR is less toxic (even though I was pleasantly surprised the Cowmooflage was least toxic... everyone knows I love a cow-print car seat).

So yeah, three things we'll be buying for this little girl (or probably not buying, but wanting to have). Luckily, we already have a full six-month wardrobe courtesy of my good instincts and an on-campus clothing exchange with tons of baby girl stuff. So, we won't need to be buying any clothes, though I did pick out a few adorable BabyGap outfits for a dollar each at DI the other day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


We went trick-or-treating. Theodore was crazy about it. He was really awesome at first, saying thank you and please and taking one piece of candy when prompted. We knew it was time to quit when he shoved his hand in, grabbed a handful, turned around and ran.

(I know this is upside down...)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My impeccable maternal sex-determining instincts

 Clementine is indeed a Clementine.

Um, how freakishly cute is that little Tigger?

We went camping last weekend in AF Canyon. It was cold... very, very cold but also very enjoyable. That is Mt. Timpanogos in the background.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Food times

Have I mentioned I love fall? I think I have. One of my favorite factors about fall is the cooking. Cooking in the summer is pretty lame. Especially if you lack air conditioning. Who wants to slave over a hot stove and create a hot meal when it's hot outside? I, for one, do not. But, as soon as the weather cools (and the pregnancy nausea subsides, in our case this year), it's back to the kitchen for me. I'm not terribly domestic and HATE most housework with a passion, but I love to cook. And I like to think I'm quite good at it.

One of the greatest foods of fall is the butternut squash. I don't think I ever ate butternut squash until I was married. Maybe when I was single and in college, but why did my mother never utilize this versatile and wonderfully delicious vegetable?! Mmmm... butternut squash soup, butternut squash ravioli, and last night was Maren's recipe for butternut squash mac and cheese. Served alongside pumpkin chocolate muffins.... and grilled chicken and peas.

I also have to share my mom's Brunswick Stew recipe. Guys, seriously, make this. It is absolutely to die for. Maybe I just think so because it's my mom's recipe. I don't know. To me, it is heaven in a bowl.

Step 1: Boil chicken breasts (1-2, depending on how much chicken you like) in chicken broth and some water until cooked, tender, and falling apart. I actually used leftover crockpot rotisserie chicken from the days before and boiled the carcass for a few hours to make broth. It worked well. My mom thinks cooking whole chickens is gross. So yeah, proportions for chicken broth to water I don't know exactly, but maybe 2 cups of broth to 1 cup of water?

Step 2: Next, add -
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
About 2 medium potatoes, diced into good-sized chunks
About 3 carrots, cut into chunks

Step 3: Cook for.... 20 minutes? 30 minutes? Just simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender-like. Then add about 1/2-3/4 bag of frozen baby lima beans and a good bit of frozen corn (2 cups). Cook for 10-ish more minutes.

Step 4: Add one whole stick of real butter (if you are watching your figure, 1/2 stick would probably do, but don't skip it entirely!). Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with a large hunk of homemade bread. This is crucial.