January 30, 2011

pregnant brain

Today I woke up a little late and was scrambling to feed myself and Ella and get to church on time. As I was getting ready I realized that there was something off with my vision. I tried washing my contacts out, but it didn't really help. I couldn't focus correctly and my right eye was blurry. As I was in church I tried to ignore it, but it became more and more bothersome. So I went home, took out my contacts and tried to sleep it off. But I started to worry. Could this be a mild stroke? HELLP syndrome? Normal pregnancy changes? I started testing my vision and realized that my right eye (the one I initially thought was blurry) was actually okay, but my left eye that was having difficulty. This was weird, and freaking me out a bit so I called my doctor. As I was working my way through the phone tree I touched my right eye...and found another contact lens. Oh my goodness. My 'stroke' was the result of putting in three contact lenses. One in my left eye and two in my right. I don't know how I did that (I did open a new pair today because the first ones I put in were scratchy). I was so glad I figured this out before calling my doctor and going to the hospital. Oh the pregnant brain.

{Of note, Ryan did ask me if I thought it was a problem with my contacts. No, I said definitively. I took them out and the problem was still there.}

January 28, 2011


Ella has an interesting way of ordering her world. She likes to understand and acknowledge connections. Lately she refers to people and things by how they relate to other people and things. Examples:
  • In her mind, she has three friends. Avery, Lily and Uncle Aaron. But she will often reference them according to the time she remembers meeting them. Avery is "My friend before Lily," Lily is "My friend after Avery," or "The one after Uncle Aaron," and Uncle Aaron is "The one after Lily." Sometimes she will refer to them by their names, but usually not.
  • She often refers to numbers as the one they are before or after. "I got up because the one after six was on my clock!" "Can we go when the big hand gets to the one before my favorite?"
  • She really likes family relations. As in, "Ella, do you want to go visit Ma Sue?" "Your mommy?" or "Pa, do you want to go to dinner with me and my mommy and your wife?" or "Brett is coming over tonight." "You mean Ty's Daddy?"

funny, funny little girl

January 25, 2011

parenting books

{I did this post for my work blog, and thought I'd put it up here as well.}

During my "nesting" for this new baby, I came across some parenting books and thought it might be worthwhile to pass on a few of our favorites. This list is by no means inclusive, but it's a good place to start. Happy reading!

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth
Last week I had a rough time getting my 2 year old to stay in her own bed. After one long night, and a few tears, I remembered this great sleeping book. I broke it out and re-read the chapter on toddlers. I followed Dr. Weissbluth's advice, and the next night was worlds better. His program is simple and it works, but you do have to be okay with listening to your child cry initially. If that's not your style, Nighttime Parenting by Dr. William Sears is a good alternative.

Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown
This is the book I give as gifts for baby showers. It's written by a Pediatrician and a mom, in a question and answer format. Things like, "How much should my baby be eating/sleeping/peeing/pooping at 4 months?" "How long are naps supposed to be?" or "I have chosen to feed my baby formula. What formula should I use?" It answers all those questions that you had at your well-child visit, but forgot to ask.

If you have a colicky baby, this book is a lifesaver. Dr. Karp explains different ways to soothe your crying baby. The techniques don't work every single time, but it's nice to have something in your arsenal when you're all out of tricks.

Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock
This is Dr. Lash's go-to book for child care questions. It's an oldy but a goody.

This is another of Dr. Lash's favorites. It is great for acute illnesses, "Do I really need to go to the Dr?" questions and behavioral issues.

Dr. Terry Brazelton has some great books on child development and behavioral issues (discipline, potty training, feeding, sleep, aggression, sibling rivalry, etc).

1,2,3...Magic by Thomas Phelan, PhD
This is a good discipline book for toddlers through school age children. It discusses how to effectively use time out. SOS--Help For Parents by Lynn Clark, PhD is another good one.

January 19, 2011


Today at Old Navy Ella climbed up and said, "I'm just pwe-tending that I live here with them."

January 18, 2011

hot tip

If you buy Pampers diapers, Amazon is the way to go. Through their Subscribe and Save program you get 30% off. You sign up for a recurring order (I do monthly) and a week before it ships they send you an email reminding you of your order so you can change or cancel as you like. You can also have the order come early, but it takes a few days to get here after you order it.

I wasn't sure it was a great deal until last week when I ran out of diapers a few days early (one of the downsides) and went to Walmart to buy some more. I paid $26.50 for 92 diapers. When I came home I found the diapers on my front porch (drat! should have waited) and realized that for $28.10 I got 156. I also checked Sam's club and the 156 count there is $38.98. If you join the Amazon Mom club you get 2-day free shipping, too.

{yes, this girl is still in diapers. she tells us that when her baby comes she is going to start going in the toilet...}

January 10, 2011

a few random things

  • When we were in Paris Taylor and Ryan discovered this remote controlled flying hovercraft (I am sure that is not a good description). Ryan recently got one for work and brought it home to test it out. Ella loves it. In case you can't understand Ella at the end, here's a transcript: "What's the matter helitopter? It says, 'I want to get up in the sky.'"

  • Last week when I went to the OB I was measuring small and I had lost weight. She assured me that everything was probably fine, but we should do an ultrasound just to make sure. Between this visit and the ultrasound I had a dozen people (mostly patients) tell me "You're having that baby in February? You are so tiny!" I didn't take offense because I knew they meant well, but it made me cringe, just a bit, every time. The only safe words to say to a pregnant woman are "You look great," and don't take offense if she starts crying :) We had the ultrasound today and everything is indeed fine. Baby is growing well and right on track.
  • I got this clock for Christmas. These pictures aren't great, but see if you can figure out what time it is. 10:40 or 11:40? 7:25 or 8:25? 11:20 or 12:20?

  • The baby is not breech, so I'm going to try for a VBAC. I realized that while I've seen a lots of babies born I'm pretty clueless as to what labor really means. So I'm doing some reading. Anyone have a favorite book? I'm looking for something along the lines of "The practical girl's guide to labor and delivery." {I am having an epidural, as it is recommended for a VBAC.}
  • Good Sunday night (ie, trying to make food from your cupboards without going to the store) meal: A knock off of Bajio's Green chicken chile. Loose directions: Marinate chicken breast in lime juice and southwest seasonings. Grill and shred. Meanwhile, saute onions and green chiles and garlic. Make a reduction out of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, cumin and some chili pepper. Add the reduction to the onion/green chile mixture and cook until caramelized. Add chicken and black beans to mixture. Serve over nachos, in tacos a salad or a quesadilla.

January 6, 2011

Book Club

I joined a neighborhood book club a few months ago. Normally I am opposed to book clubs. Not on moral grounds; it's just that I don't want to feel like I'm back in Mrs. Cunniff's AP Literature class dissecting characters and musing on plots. But I liked the people involved in this group so I gave it a whirl. And it was fun. So fun that this month I hosted it at my house. I was feeling domestic and put together a light dinner. Butternut Squash Soup, Crusty Loaf Bread, Lemony Arugula Salad and Pumpkin Cupcakes. Sounded like a good menu. And it was. But everything was a little off. Not enough that it was bad, but enough that you just wanted to tell people, "I know this is okay, but really, it can be so much better." No one likes the apologetic chef, so I tried to keep my mouth shut. But here, on my personal sounding board, I'm telling you how it could have been so much better.

I didn't add the curry, and maybe I should have. But the real downfall was the consistency. It needed a little cream. It ended up a roasted vegetable puree. I did cook the onions a little longer, which was a good thing. Next time I may try her original recipe.

It needs more salt. Probably double what the recipe calls for. I forget this about half of the time.

Lemony Arugula Salad
2 bunches arugula
3/4 c candied pecans
1 c grape tomatoes
2/3 c fresh parmesan
1 avocado
zest of one lemon
1 T white wine vinegar
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 t dry mustard
2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

My downfall here was that I used all of the dressing on the arugula was drenched. Dripping. I think 1/4 to 1/2 would have sufficed.

These were delicious. I ate two.

At the last minute I fell victim to the "I am going to run out of food" mentality and added another soup. This was probably a bad idea because I was rushed and the other food suffered because of it. But here's the recipe anyway. It was easy and fast.

Tomato Basil Soup
1 1/2 cup water
31.5 oz spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cup half and half
4 1/2 oz pumpkin
2 chicken bullion cubes
garlic powder
chopped basil

January 4, 2011


Ryan's been doing P90X {also known as Jane Fonda for men} for the past 5 weeks. Tonight Ella decided to get in on the action.

You may recognize some of her moves from Daisy's quinceanera, where they do the Mambo.

January 2, 2011

new year, new header

I've been wanting a new header for a while now and my friend Karissa Winkle was sweet enough to design one for me. Karissa specializes in wedding invitations and is amazingly talented. She suggested a sub-header, and threw out "Embracing the Chaos" as an idea. That sentiment got me thinking. In theory, I love being the type of person who can roll with the punches and embrace the chaos that inevitably surrounds all of us. But it's just not me. While I don't think I am totally type-A, I'm always one to quell the chaos (or at least attempt to) rather than embrace it. I haven't been able to come up with a mantra I like better, so for now we are embracing the chaos. And perhaps I'll be better for it.

Anyway, thanks Karissa. You're a gem.