Monthly Archives: January 2010

Week two under my belt.

I’ve been contemplating what I want to say here for a couple days now. It seems every time that I analyze my parenting abilities it comes off to other people as accusatory and critical of their parenting abilities. That is not my intention here. My intention is to simply be honest about what I’m going through and how I’m feeling and how I’m processing what I think I should be doing with what I’m actually getting done.

So week two, Stephen went back to work. Much of the week I felt I was barely keeping my head above water.

We only managed to get out of our pajamas once and that was due to the fact that I had an appointment one morning with my doctor (Rash update: Despite antihistamines and steroid creams, it spread over my whole body, but today was finally the first day that I was not completely consumed by the need to scratch. As such, it looks like I’m finally going to be in the clear on this thing. Whew!). Also on that day, since we were all dressed, I decided to brave Target with both kids. One hundred dollars worth of random stuff later (some that I actually planned to buy, some not really), I survived.

Stephen got a cold and stayed home sick on Wednesday. The kids picked up the cold on Friday, but then it seemed to not be bothersome yesterday and came back with vengeance today. I was really determined to get out of the house and make it to church for the first time in well over a month though and was unwilling to admit that they were sick until we were in Ventura in the chuch parking lot with Stephen telling me that there was no way we could go in and leave Bean in the nursery because she had the most disgusting snotty nose  accompanied by sneezing, coughing and that stuffed up sound about her. Still, everyone seems to be handling their symptoms in stride. And we spent the day at the Channel Islands Harbor instead.

I did manage to cook dinner four nights this week.

I’ve had to utter the phrase, “I’m only one Mommy,” entirely too much. It breaks my heart often that I can’t do everything and be everything to everyone.

Sprout makes the challenges I thought I was facing with Bean seem like a cakewalk. I guess she was my chance at an easy baby. Bigger babies are supposed to be easier and sleep better, right? Um, yeah in this case not so much. Particularly when said baby is gassy and refluxy all the time. I’ve figured out that part of the problem is in nursing. I’m calling the pediatrician’s office tomorrow to see if they have a lactation consultant they can recommend. It really is that bad. He also pretty much refuses to be put down almost all the time. And this isn’t a slightly fussy kind of he can cry it out and be OK thing he does. We’re talking full on red-faced, nearly hyperventilating hysterics that sometimes turn into a coughing and gagging fit within a couple seconds.

Because of this, I constantly question whether I’m doing a good job with Bean. I guess I just kind of felt like when I was finally not pregnant and feeling gross and uncomfortable that she would get her Mommy back. And that really isn’t the case.

Everything we do these days seems like a constant rush. Getting frustrated over her slow eating because I’m on a ticking time bomb schedule for how long Sprout can last in the swing. Not being able to give my full attention as she points to everything thing in sight to ask for its name because I’m trying to comfort the baby that won’t stop screaming.

When I put her down for a nap I simultaneously miss her and feel relieved that there is only one tiny person on me, needing me, taking from me.

Yesterday, even with Stephen here, just using the bathroom felt like a luxury.

I knew this would be a challenge. I knew it would be hard. Heck, once I started showing, I couldn’t go anywhere without at least one person commenting that I had or was going to have my hands full. I just don’t think anything could have completely prepared me for what lay ahead.

I know I’ll get through it. I know this is just a season. Everyone in similar predicaments says when the youngest is about two years old they become the best of friends and life is just peachy. Most days, two seems quite a ways off though and I’m counting down the minutes until 6pm when Stephen gets home from work.


Filed under Family, Parenting

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you are about my age and had parents that grew up in the 60s and 70s, you probably didn’t see Brussels Sprouts at your dinner table growing up. That’s because our parents were given this vegetable in the most disgusting manner possible: boiled or steamed. This results in a slimy, pungent ball of leaves in your mouth. There’s no way I would have touched them either. As a result, most people only think they hate Brussels Sprouts.

I think it’s all in the preparation though and will venture to say that most people actually will like them if done right. I, too, was in disbelief until September when my friend Brooke made some roasted Brussels Sprouts for me (different recipe). So don’t knock it until you try it. Besides, there is bacon involved and we all know that like butter, bacon makes everything better.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


-1 package fresh Brussels Sprouts
-3 slices bacon
-1 Bartlett pear
-olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°.

Cut Brussels Sprouts in half.

Chop pear.

Slice bacon into thin strips.

Catch toddler getting into your secret stash of Jelly Bellys.

Scatter sprouts, pear, and bacon on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Place in oven for 20-30 minutes or until Brussels Sprouts are tender and slightly crispy around the edges.

Serving suggestion:
While you’re at it, go for the whole classic ’60s meal of Brussels Sprouts, mashed potatoes and meat loaf. Only make Ina Garten’s meat loaf and not the dry brick you’re thinking of.


Filed under Gourmet Lisa

Bean at sixteen months

Yesterday Bean turned sixteen months old.

• New words
-yummy/nummy nummy: all food is now referred to this way, when she wants something to eat she says, “nummy nummy?”
-hat: she likes putting various objects on her head and calling them a hat.
-Bubba: what she calls Sprout

• We’re still working on the hitting and aggression issues that I talked about last month, mostly with time outs.

• She got the book version of Raffi’s “Down By the Bay” for Christmas from Stephen’s Aunt Nancy and she loves it and the song. I’d had the song in my iTunes for awhile, but the book really turned her on to it. I think it has replaced “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” When she wants us to read the book or sing the song she’ll sing “I do bye, I do bye” to the tune of the song. She gets really excited when Stephen plays it on guitar, too.

• Lately she’s been obsessed with our shoes and trying to walk in them

• Her LittlePeople farm, tractor and animals are one of her favorite toys right now.

• She’s just started a tiny bit of imaginary play, mostly involving food. The first time I noticed it she was carrying around one of our canvas shopping bags and pretending to pull food out of it and snack on it. She also likes to stack three or four of the cylindrical giant-Leggo-type blocks that came with her LittlePeople bus and pretend to drink out of it like a cup. Maybe it’s time to get this girl a kitchen and some play food?

• She’s been teething since Christmas (actually, I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever have a teething-free Christmas). She’s got FIVE teeth that have broken through the surface, but are not all the way in yet. So, the teeth she already has are the central incisors (upper and lower) and lateral incisors (both upper, left lower). The teeth that are coming in right now are the right lower lateral incisor, and all four of the first premolars. I used this diagram to help me through that.

• The other day I bought her a cheap baby doll to help her deal with me giving Sprout so much attention. She doesn’t really try to mimick me much yet, but she likes carrying the thing around saying, “bebe, bebe” over and over. It is somewhat helpful to be able to tell her to go find and take care of her baby when I have a fussy Sprout occupying my attention.

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Filed under Family, Parenting

It’s OK little brother

What’s the matter little brother?

Do you need your blankie fixed?

Maybe a hug will help?


Filed under Family

A side by side comparison, week one

Here are both my kids (!!!) in their first week of life:

Stephen and I have been saying that Sprout has such a serious look about him. I was looking through Bean’s week one photos and she definitely already had her playful look going on even then. She was even halfway smiling and looking excited in several of the photos. I saw a lot of glimpses of some of her trademark faces. I already see such a difference in Sprout’s dimeanor. It will be interesting to see his personality and faces develop.


Filed under Family

Even more pictures of Sprout.


Filed under Family

Five Days

This is what we’ve been up to…

-Told everyone
-Stephen and Sprout slept most of the day
-I was wired and wrote up my birth story. I was also pretty bored, honestly.
-Our friend Cara and her little family stopped by for a visit and they brought us dinner. The first few meals after giving birth are always so amazing tasting for some reason. I am not the only person that has experienced this phenomenon. Combine that with the fact that every meal around here for over a month has been fast food or something quick and easy from Trader Joe’s freezer section and I think the soup and bread she brought us has been one of my favorite meals of my life.
-We all slept

-Sprout’s first pediatrician appointment. We saw the backup doctor because the main guy is out of town. LOVE our pediatric group! The pediatrician was super supportive of all our choices and really friendly and easy to talk to
-Sprout had a major meltdown in the In-N-Out drive thru.
-I finally caught up on my sleep and took a long nap all afternoon.
-Midwife came for our one day check. Everything is going good.
-“Baby feast” with Stephen’s sister’s family and afforementioned Cara’s family. Stuffed myself with too much good food. Guys did their usual Mario Kart marathon.

-Stayed in our jammies all day.
-Stephen did a lot of laundry.
-Sprout started looking yellowish.

-It rained a lot.
-Took some pictures of Bean and Sprout.
-Pictures made me think Sprout was really yellowish, especially compared to Bean.
-Called the pediatrician and was told to bring him in.
-Rain + wind + babies + lack of covered parking = not fun. I felt like the sky was one giant hose spraying us down as we tried to load the kids in the car. Gutters were mini-rapids wherever we went.
-Doctor didn’t think Spout was too yellow, but decided to take a blood sample anyway. Heal prick #1 for our little guy. Bean was very concerned.
-Went to hospital to get PKU and hearing screening. Hospital has a parking garage so we didn’t get soaked again. Admitting took FOR-EV-ER. Then the lab took FOR-EV-ER. Heal prick #2 for Sprout. He was not a happy camper. By the time we were finished, the nurse that does the newborn hearing tests was already gone for the day.
-The sun came out. A good thing for Sprout.
-We ordered pizza.
-We slept.

-Made an appointment for the newborn hearing test
-Snuggled with Sprout
-It rained a lot.
-I made our last Trader Joe’s freezer selection for lunch
-Planned a menu for the week and made a grocery list.
-Made an appointment with my doctor because my PUPPPS rash (it’s a pregnancy related belly rash that looks really ugly and itches a lot) is getting worse, not better.
-Put Bean down for her nap for the first time since Thursday.
-We went grocery shopping with both kids after the sun reappeared.
-Sprout had a major meltdown in the parking lot of Whole Foods.
-I made dinner. I really missed my cooking. We had rosemary lemon chicken (it was OK, too much rosemary though), roasted herb potatoes (these were really yummy), a simple salad (romaine, cuties, green onions, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt) and some toast.
-Checked out the news.
-I blogged.
-Going to take a bath.
-Going to sleep.


Filed under Family, Ramblings

Bean and Sprout

The first meeting of Bean and Sprout didn’t go off completely smoothly. Upon first seeing him, Bean wrinkled her nose into her trademark stinker face and whined.

In her defense, it was nap time. I tried to get some pictures that first day, but they came out quite blurry. I kind of still like them though simply because they are the only documentation of her mood.

She almost cried and said, “No!” a whole bunch before proceeding to flail around in protest…

Then she tried to hit him while saying, “No!”

At that point we decided not to try and push her anymore. Meeting over, downstairs to play, and then back over to Aunt Ruth’s house for the rest of the day.

She is very slowly warming up to him, but we still have to remind her to be gentle and if she’s in a cranky mood, forget it. I did, however, manage to get a few pictures of them this morning and Sprout was not maimed in the process. Progress!


Filed under Family, Parenting

A few more pictures…


Filed under Family

Sprout is here!

Hopefully I’m not too long winded here because everything happened so, so fast!

Here goes. I was feeling a bit down last night. Texted my midwife and was telling her I was having a hard time with all the “what-ifs” because of the past few days. What ifs like, “What if I don’t have my baby by the end of the week?” or “What if something is wrong and that’s why I’m not going into labor?” That was about 9:18pm.

We watched a couple episodes of The West Wing (on DVD) and went to bed.

At 1:40am I woke up to pee. I got to the bathroom and felt a gush before I had a chance. I was kind of confused because with Bean I felt a big bubble and then felt it pop and then felt the gush. This felt more like the fluid had just been sitting in there for awhile and came out.

So I told Stephen that I thought that maybe my water broke, but I wasn’t sure. I told him to call our midwife. He kind of ho-hummed about it. I still wasn’t having contractions.

Got back in bed and another gush. Ran back to the bathroom. Another gush. Yep water definitely broke.

Stephen still hadn’t called our midwife. I was kind of annoyed. I nagged, he called at 1:45am.

By about 2am I was definitely having contractions.

We started timing them.

Called the midwife again. I told Stephen to make up the bed (for a homebirth you make up the bed with two sets of sheets with a giant plastic sheet in between… you get the first set all yucky and then when you pull those and the plastic off you have a nice ready to go made bed).

I decided I wanted to take a bath. Yesterday in the shower I forgot to shampoo my hair and thought I might try to wash my hair too while things were still light. Except then I’d have a contraction and decide I didn’t want to afterall. I stayed in the tub until about 4am. This time the water actually did help me manage the pain for most of my labor a lot better. The key was a folded up towel on the bottom of the tub so that it wasn’t so hard to sit on.

Then I started to feel like I really did not want to be in the tub. I just had a feeling things were about to change and that I wanted out.

Made it to our bed. Contractions got much more intense. I didn’t scream much like last time, but I did have some issues with breathing. I started to hyperventilate a little at some point and felt all tingly all over. Stephen had to really coach me to breathe and I still wasn’t doing that great of a job. I’m pretty sure this was transition.

I know my brother-in-law came at some point during that and picked up our daughter. Stephen wanted to go talk to him, but I needed him so he didn’t. Eric managed to find the keys to our van and everything Bean needed on his own and get out without me basically even knowing he was there. Awesome.

Right around 5am I started feeling the need to push. Did two contractions on my side laying down like this. Then I told Stephen I needed to push. He said I didn’t, but I knew I did. After the first few pushes our midwife arrived. Pushing seemed to take forever this time, but really it was less than an hour. I guess Sprout was slightly transverse at first, but then he turned posterior. He was also much bigger than Bean. The sliding back part after you’ve pushed during a contraction is still the part I hate the most, it is so uncomfortable.

Stephen says he’ll likely not forget the point when Sprout was crowning and I yelled, “Burn! Burn! Burn!” instead of my usual grunt. He said I sounded like a Puritan which hunter. Someone’s been reading a little too much colonial history lately, I think.

Anyway, at 5:49am he was out and up on my chest. For all the worry about being post-due Sprout was born completely covered in that lovely white cottage cheesey vernix stuff. At 41+4 Bean only had a couple of very small chunks. So my midwife is fairly certain he was born right on time.

So here’s a testiment to my husband’s improved Bradley Method coaching skills. Sprout weighed in this morning at a whopping 8lbs 14oz (Bean was 7lbs 4oz), but I managed to only get one tiny little tear and that was because Sprout came out with his hand up by his cheek. Stephen helped me breath correctly and mostly stay calm through almost every single contraction. I couldn’t have done this well without him.

And because pictures make the story here are the first few we have:


Filed under Natural Living, Parenting, Pregnancy and Birth