Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Simple Sprite Cake
1 white cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 box instant vanilla pudding (3 oz. size)
8 oz. can of Sprite (the mini one)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
Mix ingredients on low until combined and then increase speed to medium and mix for about 2 minutes.
Pour batter into pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Recipe amended from here.
"Home is a place where we welcome each family member with a sense of belonging. Home is a place where we are free to bring the fullness of our womanhood to bear in every sphere of our life. A woman's place is in the heart- the heart of her husband, the heart of her children and the heart of her home. Home is a refuge that we create for every family member. Homemaking is a call to express fully our personhood and thereby enable every member of the family to understand his or her dignity and worth. I am the queen of my realm. I am the heart of my home." -Kimberly Hahn, Graced and Gifted
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I think this gummy recipe I saw at Not so idle hands sounds like so much fun!!! How cute would they be for Christmas gifts for the neighbors? I'm totally going to try them. :)
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Nursing is such a guessing game. At least it felt like it for me. You do what the tell you too, and just trust that your body will do it's job and work how it's supposed to, and feed your baby.
Noah started out with a bit of jaundice, which makes baby's sleepy and less interested in eating. And eating is how to get rid of it. Vicious cycle. So to start off Noah was so hard to feed because he just kept falling asleep! Everytime I would nurse him...seriously EVERY time...he would crash after just a few minutes and I would spend the whole time poking and proding and tickling him trying to keep him awake. And it wasn't easy. So, the nurses told me to take him off, burp him and wake him up and put him back on. Well...those of you that have ever endured those first few lovely weeks of breastfeeding know that once you get the little one on good, the LAST thing you want to have to do is take him off and try again. It was miserable. First hurdle, trying to keep him awake.
Next, (and this is gonna be a little graphic sorry...) my nipples got DESTROYED!!! Which I later found out, shouldn't ever happen. Seriously, they were cracked and bleeding and hurt so bad by about the 3rd day that I cried at the thought of having to put him on. Now I know it hurts the first couple weeks to breastfeed, I understood that I just had to push through it. But it was still miserable. And, unknown to me, but from about the first week on it was hurting even more than it was supposed to, I mean just BURNING, because I had an infection, mastitis. It was there but didn't rear it ugly head enough for me to realize it for a couple weeks. So for the more part of those weeks it was even more painful than it should have been.
Then, we actually didn't find out for about 3 weeks, but Noah was latching on wrong. He was biting down instead of sucking. Yeah...that was pleasant. Especially with the nipple situation...fun. So because he wasn't sucking efficiently, I was getting brutalized and he was getting very little milk from me.
And, for reasons we still don't know, whether it be his poor latch, or the fact that he slept more than he should so ate less, or just my stupid body, we don't know. But my milk wasn't even really coming in. People had told me that I would definitely know, and that you can feel it rush in, and your boobs get way bigger, so you just know. And I still had felt nothing like that. One side felt a little bigger, but that was about it. But I really didn't think anything of it at first. I just figured I was less sensitive to all these sensations than most people. And just trusted that my body was working fine.
So even through all this, by the end of the second week I was feeling really good about things. I felt like we were getting it down. It was starting to go a little more smoothly. We had taken him for his check-up when he was 5 days old, and he had lost weight, he was at 6 lbs 5 oz, down from 7 lbs 1 oz at birth. But they assured me that his was normal. A lot of babies lose weight the first couple days and as long as it wasn't too much they didn't worry. They also checked his bilirubin levels (jaundice) and those were fine too. Well within the safe range. So I was feelin pretty good up until his 2 week appointment, which happened to be my birthday...worst birthday EVER might I add, between the appointment, tests, and stress. Then most people (even family) didn't even remember...so that helped. lol Anyways...
This is when it all came crashing down. When we took him in, I was feeling good about life and excited to see how our little one was doing after the few weeks we'd had caring for him on our own. Kind of a check-up to see how we were doing too. But I was still a little nervous. Worried that maybe we were going to hear that we were doing something wrong. And turns out rightly so. He weighed in at only 6 lbs. 8 oz...he'd only gained 3 oz in a week and a half. I was HEARTBROKEN. When the doctor came in, and checked him over, he preceded to tell us that he wasn't gaining nearly as much weight as they would like, he should have been up to his birth weight at least by now. He asked me about feeding, how it was going. I told him honestly I wasn't sure and was doing everything I had been told to do, so I assumed it was ok. Fighting back tears the whole time. All I could keep thinking is that it was my fault our baby wasn't thriving. It was my fault that he wasn't getting enough food. And it was my fault he wasn't healthy. The doctor sent us over to the hospital to have some blood drawn. He wanted to check his bilirubin levels and his electrolyte levels. To make sure that his jaundice wasn't too bad, and that he wasn't dehydrated.
That experience was a nightmare, one that unfortunately we had to relive about 5 times over the next few weeks. They don't just stick a needle into their arm and draw a baby's blood out. No, they take this evil little thing and scrape a gaping hole in his foot, and SQUEEZE the blood out into a vial. It is so horrible. He of course screamed the whole time. It broke my heart. And again all I could think was that this was my fault that he was having to go through this. And if only I had tried a little harder, fed him more often, or known that something was wrong. Because I thought I should have known. Mom's are supposed to just know when their babies are sick or unhappy. And I had had no clue.
The doc called us that night with the results. His electrolytes were fine for the most part. One was off but he thought it may have been just damaged from the way they have to draw blood. And his jaundice was barely within the normal range. So he told me that I needed to start feeding him every two hours, with maybe one or two 3 hour stints at night. And to come back in a couple days for a weight check. So it began...
For the next week I set a timer and fed him every 2 hours exactly. And being the lazy sleepy eater he was, I usually ended up feeding him for an hour and a half, so that left me with a half hour in between to sleep, or eat, or do anything really. It was hell. So stressful. And all this time he had started screaming for hours in the middle of the night. We didn't know what to do. The only time he would stop was when he was latched on nursing. But I was so sore that I couldn't bare the thought of leaving him on there for hours and hours nursing. My nipples needed recovery time. So we just had to hold him and let him scream for an hour or so til I felt like I had anything at all in there to give him and put him back on again. Little did we know, he was screaming because he was starving. It breaks my heart to think about it now. That this poor little guy who depended on me to take care of him and keep him happy and healthy, was so hungry that he was screaming and screaming.
So, we continued that for a few days. And it was so stressful, and we worked so hard at it, that I was sure it had to be working. I muscled through it, and fed him even when it hurt so much I cried the whole time. And when the day of his weight check rolled around I was feelin' pretty good again. Sure that this would have helped and all our hard work will have paid off. And we were again disappointed. He had gained a few more oz. But again, not nearly enough. So it was back to the hospital for another round of tests. (oh, and on another note, we had actually had to go back that night after the first test, and do it AGAIN, because the idiot girl who did it didn't take enough, she was a treat anyways let me tell ya, stupid little brat). So I had to go submit my little baby to getting stabbed and messed with again. I was really losing it at this point. When they called me about the results, he said again that his bili was still high, and not quite into the safe range yet. And that we needed to feed him still more. And start supplementing with formula...
Let me just tell you, that after being told over and over and over how good breastfeeding is for your baby. And it gives him the best start. And all these benefits it has that are going to make him healthier and smarter than the other babies. To put a bottle into his mouth honestly feels like you may as well be allowing him to drink poison after hearing all that. I cried every time we had to give him a bottle. And even still refused to do it as much as possible. Only giving him any formula when he was really screaming. And being at the end of my rope, not knowing what the crap to do, I called the hospital and made an appointment with the lactation consultant.
She was so great. So encouraging. Helped me so much and was so patient telling me what to do and what was going wrong. This is when we found out he was biting. And the only way to train him out of it was to latch him on and PRY open his mouth by pushing so so hard on his chin to open it more that I seriously thought I was going to break him. Again, heartbreaking to have to handle your sweet newborn baby like that. She also told me that to help build my milk supply, I had to start pumping for 15 minutes on each side after every time he ate, and again, I HAD to feed him every 2 hours. No exceptions, so slacking or fibbing a bit on it. EVERY two hours. We also had to start supplementing with formula while he ate. Taking a little suringe and putting some slowly in his mouth while he was nursing. To try and get some weight on him. So we did it again. We had a weight check in a few days, so hopefully this would help. But as soon as I got home and on my own again. I felt lost, yet again, and we called her the next day and came back in to get more help. This time we weighed him before we fed him and after, and tho we had fed him for over an hour, and she was sure he had got tons, he hadn't even got an ounce...Another blow. So she told me again to keep trying to up my supply and come back in again if I needed help. This time we had to invest in a good pump. So we bought one, it was about 300 bucks. Nice. But it was the one that one of the consultants I had talked to at the hospital told me was best, so whatever we had to do to make it work. Only to find out a few days later that it wasn't good enough and we had a rent a hospital grade one anyways. Terrific, another $100. So my next week went like this, feed Noah for an hour and a half, waking him up and switching sides over and over to try and keep him awake. Then put together the pump and pump for 15 min (I was able to do both sides at once), clean the pump, put the few drops I had gotten out (literally only a few drops in the bottom of the bottle) into the fridge to help supplement the next time, have about 10 min to eat or rest or use the bathroom or whatever, and do it again. Day and night , for over a week. Only to find out at the next weight check/more blood drawn, that he still wasn't gaining enough (he was only 6 lbs 14 oz and a month old), and now they were worried about that wonky electrolyte and wanted me to take him into primary children's to get an ultrasound of his liver done... (he ended up being fine, we went a few days later and they said everything looked ok)
So at this point I had had it. I broke down in the exam room with the doctor. I just lost it. Bawling and telling him everything I was doing to increase my supply and get more down him. And that I didn't know what more I could do. I asked him about herbs and meds that I'd heard could help, But was still doubtful. He was so great with me tho. He told me that sometimes, for whatever reason, mothers just aren't able to nurse. In his words "that's why Moses had a wet nurse." He also told me that most of the time when a mother has this much trouble with nursing, the milk will usually dry up after about 2 or 3 months anyways. So he prescribed me the reglan and told me I could give it a try. But that I should talk it over with my hubby and decide what we wanted to do because nursing obviously wasn't going well and wasn't healthy for Noah or Me when it was going like this.
So I was done. I had had it. I was sick of hurting my baby. Sick of making him unhealthy. Sick of putting him through all this. All because that's what everybody told me was best. That's what had always been implyed that good mothers do for their babies. Good mothers that love their babies, nurse them. But this obviously wasn't best for him. I took him over yet again to the hospital to have him abused. And all the while I was crying and trying to decide what was best for my little guy. By the time I got done at the hospital I had decided. I was done. I couldn't do it anymore. This was taking such a toll on my emotions and my body that I had not even had a chance to enjoy my baby and snuggle the little guy in weeks. And I wasn't about to continue that. I wanted to be able to enjoy this special time of his life. And start to bond with him. And there was no way I could do that like this. To be honest, as hard as it is to say, I actually started to resent him sometimes. It hurt so bad to feed him between the Mastitis and his biting, that I was beginning to resent what this little one was doing to me. And that's NOT ok. So we were done. That's how it was decided. I had thought at first that I was going to nurse him on and off as much as I could. And we tried. But I had had it, and my milk all but dried up as soon as I had stopped the frequent nursing/pumping routine. So we were done.
After that things changed DRASTICALLY!!! and fast!!! He was eating all the time. Went back to never crying. And just being a snuggly, happy kid. I had no doubt that our decision was what was best for him. It was obvious to anyone that saw him. Or sees him now. He's such a chubby, healthy, smiley, giggly, active, and sweet little kid. It was for the best. And yes, I cried every time we gave him a bottle for the first little bit there. But seeing how much it helped him and how healthy he was made that go away. I knew what was best for him, and trusted that.
So there it is. I know I shouldn't feel the need to prove myself, but I do. I know that people judge when you don't breastfeed your kid. I used to be one of them. But sometimes, it really isn't the best thing for them, despite what they say. And who knows, maybe I'll be able to nurse the next one. I'm sure gonna try. But maybe not. And next time I'm gonna know what's going on and be able to take care of it. It may just be genetic. My sister had a hard time making enough food for her little boy too so maybe it's just not in the cards for us. Who knows. So there's my story. And despite what I'd been told prior, Noah is doing fine with formula. He eats a ton. He's chunky as can be. And we are both so happy and able to enjoy each other finally. (and not drive the daddy nearly as crazy... lol poor guy) Take a look, see? What a cute, healthy kid. :) (this is his "Mom I'm so sick of that stinkin' camera" face. lol)