Friday, March 28, 2014

Seven Quick Takes 3/28




Tad had his actual 4-month appointment on Tuesday. He weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 24.25 inches. That's a growth of almost 2 pounds and 3/4 of an inch since last month. I think he's doing that thing where he alternates between gaining weight and gaining height.

Since I posted his four-month picture last week, here is a random picture of him wearing a penguin diaper:



It was actually a pretty good pediatrician appointment. They praised his incredible motor skills, commended our extended-rear-facing plans, didn't object to our delayed solids plan, and forgot to ask where he sleeps. (Which is good because I just went to Confession for lying about it...)

Of course, they didn't have any idea what I was talking about when I tried to explain his possible lip tie. (For example, "Can he stick out his tongue?" is not particularly relevant...) Fortunately, we have an appointment with somebody who actually specializes in such things later on in April. Prayers would be appreciated and all that.


The other day I saw a billboard that asked me whether I had an emergency preparedness plan. I told Scott about it and ended up giving this whole little speech about how having a plan isn't the important part. Having resources and skills is far more valuable in a crisis, because it enables you to adapt when things don't go according to plan.

Scott's very proud of me for breaking out of my Myers-Briggs mold.

(I'm INTJ and he's INTP. I'm pretty sure every argument we've ever had can be summed up by that one-letter difference.)


I was at the chiropractor on Wednesday and at one point she was holding Tad and handed him back to me with exaggerated reluctance. I said to him, "She can't keep you; she has enough kids of her own." Dr. D laughed and said that she loves her job because she gets to hold babies and then hand them right back. I still felt horribly awkward afterwards. Dr. D has three children, aged about 5, 4, and 2. While I'm sure they're quite enough to keep her busy, I feel like a bad evangelist for accidentally implying that three children is "enough." I guess I'll just have to keep associating with her until I have at least four children. (She's in my LLL group, so I'll see her even if I give up being chiropracted.)


Scott has had a cold this week. The first couple of days were very annoying, but then I enjoyed having him home the last couple of days. (He's been telecommuting.) Plus I enjoy sleeping in an extra hour and not having to scramble to get us all out the door in time for him to catch the bus.


The other day I didn't have much to buy at Kroger, so I went through the U-Scan and had the pleasure of bagging my own groceries. Seriously, having a bagger is not all it's cracked up to be. Last week I had ice cream and marshmallows and cans of tomato sauce all in the same bag. And raw meat NEVER EVER goes with anything else. Really, people.


Scott is probably the only one of my readers who will get this, but I am going to rant about it anyway.

During the most recent Agents of SHIELD episode, I kept yelling at the TV (well, the laptop), "This is where you all stuff cotton in your ears and tie your captain to the mast! Don't you all read!?" Obviously there would not have been much dramaz if the heroes had thought of that, but I am very disappointed.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tad's summer wardrobe

Just because I can.


Outfit #1: I found all these pieces at a thrift store. The onesie is Carter's; the jacket and pants are some other brand I don't recall. I am very proud of myself for finding them considering they're different brands and yet match perfectly.


Outfit #2: One of my retail therapy purchases from this past Friday.


Outfit #3: Part of the same set as #2.


Outfit #4: A baby shower gift from my friend Liza.


Outfit #5: A onesie from the set Liza bought; pants that my mother thrifted.


Outfit #6: A retail-therapy polo; shorts my mother thrifted.


Outfit #7: Same. (Except they're pants, not shorts.)


Outfit #8: Same.


Outfit #9: Polo and pants thrifted by my mother. (There's a tiny penguin! So cute!)


Outfit #10: Thrifted by my mother again.


Outfit #11: Onesie thrifted by me, shorts by my mother.


Odds and ends: A jacket, a hat, a white onesie.

I'd like a few more things (some more onesies, maybe another set of pajamas), but overall I'm quite pleased. Especially since I spent a grand total of $30 of my own money on all of these clothes. My mother seems to think it is her duty to outfit her grandson, and I'm not complaining. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Seven Sunday Takes





Tad turned four months old on Thursday. I do not approve. Also, I promise he does smile sometimes; he's just mastered deadpanning as soon as I pull out the camera.

This week has been really rough in stay-at-home-mom land. I think Tad is hitting his four-month growth spurt. While I'm glad he's not screaming all evening this time around, I could really do without him screaming for most of the morning. Even the sling doesn't put him to sleep. Taking him on an errand does seem to work, so I'm all stocked up on groceries but way behind on laundry.

(I handed him off to Scott yesterday morning when he started his scream-fest and Scott ended up calling his dad for help/advice within the hour. I feel a lot less wimpy now.)


On Friday I called my mom to see if she had any scream-fest advice, and she reminded me that stuffing him in his carseat and driving around had helped before. I pointed out that I didn't have any errands left. "You might want to make one up," she replied.

So I stuffed my hoarded allowance in my pocket and stuffed the baby in his carseat and went to the nearest Carter's outlet to find some summer clothes. I got this and this. (He needed a bigger frog outfit for his monthly pictures, and the polos were just too cute to pass up.)

Then Tad slept for almost 4 hours when we got home. (With some nursing interspersed.) Poor overtired cranky baby.


Tad's eyes are still a combination of dark gray and golden brown. I am really curious to see what color they end up.

Here is a picture that doesn't capture his eye color terribly well but is still adorable:

Why is my mother interrupting a diaper change to shove a camera in my face?


I forgot a cute Matthew story last week.

When we visited at the end of February, both littles were of course fascinated by the whole breastfeeding concept. (Recall that they were adopted and therefore not breastfed themselves.) Matthew kept pointing and saying "Drink?" and then "Where?" as if he expected me to reveal that I had a couple of bottles hidden under my shirt.

On the way back from the museum center a week later, I was letting Tad suck on my fingers in an attempt to calm him until we were done driving. Matthew was sitting next to us and he pointed and said "Drink?"

I told him no, Tad was just sucking on my fingers, but it occurred to me that from his perspective the idea of the baby getting milk from my fingers is probably about as logical as the idea of him getting milk from my chest.


Last Saturday, Scott and I did our federal taxes and Scott managed to find a credit I had missed that almost tripled our return amount. It was kind of awesome.

Then on Wednesday Scott told me that he got a raise. Granted, he's gone from Ridiculously Underpaid to $1/hr More Than Ridiculously Underpaid, but $40 a week is nothing to sneeze at when you're all poorish.

I'm giving St. Joseph the ultimate credit for both of those, by the way, since I prayed a novena to him with the main intention being that he'd help Scott provide for our family.


Kroger had blackberries on sale this week, so I currently have a blackberry crisp in the oven for our Sunday treat. This has no deep significance; I just get really excited about dessert during Lent.


The other day one of my Facebook friends posted a video making fun of The Notebook. The video was not that funny and kind of NSFW, so I won't post it, but here's a really funny quote from my super romantic husband:

"All I know about The Notebook is that there's a guy and a girl kissing in the rain, and I always think, 'Your notebook is going to get soaked!' Is that what this movie is about? 'I had this great romatic encounter but I lost all my passwords for Metroid!'"

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Farfalle"

This recipe was originally called Farfalle Leonardo and made with actual "bowtie noodles", but in practice we just call it Farfalle and make it with any kind of short pasta.

2 lb sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 sm (15oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
salt
pepper
16 oz pasta
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Brown sausage and onion, drain if necessary. Add garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer until thick, about 30 minutes. Mix with cooked pasta. Top with cheese. Serves 8

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: The hairs on your head





Tad's had a big milestone week. First, he started actually hitting the toys on his play gym instead of just staring at them. (His play gym is this one.)

THEN, since that apparently wasn't enough, he rolled back-to-front. He's not even four months old, you guys, and he can already roll both ways. I guess that's what happens when you're ridiculously active from the womb onwards.


The other week, the gospel reading was the one about all the hairs on your head being counted. (Or maybe that was mentioned at the retreat? I lose track these days.) And it suddenly made perfect sense to me. If I could, I would certainly count the hairs on Tad's head--not for any particular reason except that I love him and want to study and know everything about him.

It's kind of nice to think of God as being like that with us.


Speaking of noticing minute details, we're pretty sure Tad has a lip tie and maybe a tongue tie as well. You'd think somebody in the round of doctors and LCs we saw in December would have noticed, but apparently that was left to me. (I did get my LLL leader to confirm at the last meeting. She said that she can't give me medical advice but she really thinks I should have him evaluated.)

So next week is going to be full of calling the pediatrician and his insurance company and probably a bunch of other places. Fun times.


One of my cousins got married just over the border in Indiana last week, so Tad was able to attend his first wedding AND meet his great-grandmother. (One of them, anyway. The other one lives in California.) On Monday we went to the museum center (minus Scott, because he had to work), and Tad enjoyed it a lot. See?


Relatedly, a funny Teresa story: The wedding was held in a church that had a children's center sort of thing advertised in large rainbow-colored letters. Teresa saw it and said, "Wherever there are colorful letters, there's bound to be kid stuff."

She's pretty smart.


On Tuesday, Scott commented happily on the weather as we were driving back from the bus stop and I said, "It's supposed to snow tomorrow." To which Scott replied, "Then we should take the baby to the park today."

I couldn't think of a good reason to say no, so we went and walked around the local park for an hour. Tad seemed to enjoy himself again.


The next day it did snow, and Tad and I walked around Kroger. Tad got hungry in the middle of the dairy aisle (maybe it was the sight of milk...) so I pulled him sideways, fiddled with my shirt, and continued on my merry way. Two different people complimented me on my sling, and I felt like a breastfeeding ninja.


Scott and I are trying to bring our post-baby budget back under control. (Though we figured out today that we should be getting a sizable amount back on our taxes, which should help make up the shortfall in our savings.) To this end, I started sneakily turning the heat down to 72 instead of 74. It took about 48 hours for Scott to notice the first time and he hasn't seemed to notice the second time yet. Though he reads this blog, so I guess my cover is blown.


One of my favorite things about breastfeeding is when Tad and I are side-lying and he unlatches with this deep sigh of contentment and turns his head so it's resting on my breast as if on a pillow and falls asleep. Seriously, it's the sweetest thing ever.

One of my not so favorite things is when he tries to nurse and suck his thumb at the same time. (He has some serious oral needs.) I'm telling you, baby, that will NEVER work.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

BOGO pork chop recipies

Garlic-butter pork chops:

Melt a stick of butter in a pan.

Add garlic, lemon, and either dill or chives, depending on your mood.

(The lemon can be juiced and zested, or just sliced if you're in a hurry. Or get two lemons and do both.)

Add about 2 pounds of pork, sliced into chops.

Cook over low heat until done.

Barbecue pork chops:

Method 1: Put about 2 pounds of pork in a pan with a few good glops of barbecue sauce. Cook over low heat until done.

Method 2: Use a brush to paint barbecue sauce over your pork and cook over a grill until done. (Use a George Foreman grill if your apartment complex does not allow actual grills.)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Fake it 'til you make it edition





Last weekend we all drove up to my parents' house so Mom and Tad and I could go on a mother's retreat in a nearby small town. I had fun, though I spent a lot more time waiting in line than I expected. (Almost 2 hours waiting for Confession Friday night, and a good half-hour for lunch Saturday.) Mom and I went to a thrift store on our way home. Sadly, I left the penguin diaper hanging up in their laundry room, so I have not been able to update that post with pictures.


Thursday morning, I told Scott about a dream I'd had the previous night in which I was having another baby and went to the hospital in labor but they were super crowded and I hadn't progressed enough so they sent me home. For some reason we didn't want to go home, so we went to this buffet restaurant where I laid into a buffet worker because he wouldn't give me pizza. It was all ready and everything but for some reason he set it aside because I wasn't allowed to eat it until a certain amount of time had passed. Let me tell you, you do not deny pizza to a hormonal pregnant lady who just got sent home from the hospital, even in a dream.

Scott's comment on said dream: "You know, if you still wanted pizza the hospital people were probably right that you weren't far enough along."

I love my husband a lot.


Also on Thursday, I went to Kroger and ended up in line behind an older lady who complimented Tad's cuteness (naturally, since he's ridiculously cute) and told me that she has 12 grandchildren of whom the youngest is 3 years old and she keeps telling her kids they should have more babies, though she supposes they all did their bit. (She didn't mention how many children she has.) I made a comment to the effect of, "Well, you can never have too many babies," and she agreed and then trotted off with her cart.

Side note: It's weird to me that grandma-aged people don't look OLD to me anymore. I suppose technically my mother is grandma-aged too, but she doesn't count since she's pretty young. But I see somebody who looks about the age of my oldest uncles and get a shock when I realize they're probably in their 60s and possibly have several grandchildren. (My dad's older brother has a granddaughter going into high school.) And Tad's other grandmother is exempt from fasting this year for the first time since she weaned her last baby. (Am I allowed to say that on my blog? Sorry, mother-in-law, but you're the one who pointed it out.)

Also, an open letter to the bagger guy at Kroger: Raw ground beef does NOT go with shredded cheese and frozen mixed vegetables. Eww.


We've been social butterflies this week. First was the retreat/visiting my family. Then on Tuesday we went to Scott's parents' for the annual Eating Cupcakes and Sharing Our Feelings event. I like cupcakes enough to get over my aversion to having feelings in front of people.

Then last night we went to a soup-and-rosary potluck thing at the home of a lady I met via Facebook who happens to live 15 minutes away IRL and is friends with my mother-in-law. (Bonus: No temptation to gossip.) She has very polite children and we had fun, though Tad got terribly overstimulated and cried the whole way home. Then we had an alligator wrestling/nursing session and he conked out and slept for 3 hours. (He slept for about 9 hours altogether, with a couple of breaks to dream-feed, and is on his second nap of the day now, at a little after noon.)


The other day Scott asked me if I had gotten over not feeling bonded to the baby. (And then we went on a chemistry tangent.) My feelings were hurt for a minute because can't he tell I feel bonded? Then I remembered that he reacted to my initial confession of detachment with confusion, so apparently I've been acting bonded all along even when I don't feel it, which is comforting.
 

I've been feeling a bit blue this week in general. Maybe I'm just overtired from all the socialization, but it feels like my life is an endless, pointless round of dishes and laundry and errands and changing diapers and paying bills and trying to put food on the table. (Except we don't use the table because it's buried under a permanent layer of paper detritus.) It's not even the baby's fault; I'm pretty much back at 100%, but now I've remembered just how insufficient my pre-baby 100% was.

Is Lent over yet?


On the plus side: This face, you guys. And the whole baby, for that matter. He's at an exhausting but endlessly delightful stage and it just makes my grinchy little heart grow three sizes.

I thought about cropping out the dirty dishes and half-unloaded dishwasher, but decided they were appropriate in context.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My version of retail therapy

Yesterday, my mother and I went to a baby/child themed thrift store and she paid for a bunch of stuff for me.

- Some not-pre-owned things: Reusable breast pads (boring, but I've been wanting more and couldn't find them at Wal-Mart), and a cloth diaper with PENGUINS on it (my impulse buy, about which I am very excited even though my son is going to poop on it).

The cloth diaper got my mother double punches on her store rewards card, which is why she paid for about $40 of stuff for me instead of the $20 she offered to spend.

- A sea creature onesie, 6-9 months. It was just cute.

- A basic 3-piece set in light green, Carter's, 6-9 months. The onesie was in a different place than the shirt and pants, but they go together perfectly so I'm super excited that I found them all.

- Two blue button-down shirts, one striped and one with a subtle check/plaid sort of pattern, 12 months. I didn't realize that I had gotten out of the 6-9 month section, but these are so awesome I'm glad I accidentally found them. Tad will look very cute in the fall.

This post really needs picture illustrations, but I am not on my own computer at the moment and I want to publish this so I can get 7 posts in 7 days. This cheater will update in the next day or two.

A memory

I had forgotten this, but Friday night I remembered:

When Tad was about an hour old, I put him on my chest and he wobbled his way over to my breast and managed to latch on and suck a few times. I remember I said something to Scott like, "Look, he's doing it!" It was just so amazing that he somehow knew how to do this while he was still all tiny and purply and covered in vernix.

No matter what happened after that, nobody can ever take that moment from us.

Seven Quick Takes 2/28







Situations in which I have babyworn in the last week (and a half): 

A. Shopping at Wal-Mart. I find this remarkable only because it seems like a funny contrast. Babywearing at Whole Foods or something wouldn't be remarkable at all. 

(I was only picking up a couple of things and it seemed silly to get a whole big cart to use as a glorified stroller. Now I kind of prefer wearing him--I have more cart space and he doesn't cry.)

B. While receiving Communion. Bonus: He was actively nursing at the time. I could probably get theological about that, but I won't right now.

C. While brushing and flossing my teeth. I made sure not to spit on his head.

D. While changing a diaper. Not his; another baby's.

How I look most of the time these days.

Scott went to the office FOUR days this week. (Monday through Thursday.) And I only cried once, and I'm pretty sure that was hormonal.

On Thursday I even added an extra level of difficulty by babysitting Liza Jane's Baby J for about 2 hours while she and her husband went car shopping.

Baby J was pretty calm, which was good because I realized I had no idea what he was trying to tell me when he did fuss. I don't think of myself as being very good at reading my baby, but the contrast made me realize that I'm at least getting better. Even when I can't tell what Tad is unhappy about, I have an arsenal of things that usually calm him. With Baby J I was kind of like, "Um...you want a bottle?" (Yes.)


Unfortunately, all of this baby-care (or maybe something else, but probably the baby care) has made my bum knee act up again. I'm twenty-four years old; I shouldn't have a bum knee. (I've had this since I was 22, actually. I lost 40 pounds and it got better but then I got pregnant and it's been iffy ever since.)

I also have this perpetual stiff spot between my shoulder blades. I kind of just want my chiropractor to follow me around and crack my back at intervals.


Nursing success of the week: I figured out a modified football hold that actually works. The trick is to turn him so his legs are sideways across my back rather than pointing upward (so he's latching from the side rather than from underneath). I will have to try it with my next newborn; I'm not sure if the fact that Tad has good head control helps with the working-ness.

(Of course, it's not like I NEED to be able to do football hold to breastfeed, but it's nice to feel like I'm not limited to one position.)

Also: My favorite breastfeeding moments are when we're just waking up in the morning and Tad is sleep-eating and it's all cozy and snuggly and such. Except sometimes I really have to pee.



When Tad was wee I just put him in sleepers and changed him when he pooped up his back. But nowadays I'm starting to feel the desire to dress him as if he were a small adult--when we go out, he wears a shirt (onesie) and pants; when we go to Church he wears a collared shirt and non-denim pants. Except he only has three pairs of pants, so I need to work on that as I compile his 6-9 month wardrobe. (He's tracking pretty well with his age clothes-wise--now that he's 3 months he's wearing more and more 3-6 instead of his 0-3s.)
 
He's like a tiny college student with his hoodie and jeans, except he'd need sandals with his socks. :)


Since Ash Wednesday is coming up, I've been pondering how to balance penance and motherhood. (I was pregnant for the last two weeks of Lent last year but didn't know it yet, so I haven't had to deal with this before.) I will definitely go meatless and dessert-less on Ash Wednesday and might try to reduce my caloric intake a bit, but I definitely won't go too low because I don't want to compromise my milk supply. (Tad is much too young to participate in the fast.) And I'll probably be boring and give up dessert for Lent. I also want to add in some family prayer (I suggested to Scott that we could do night prayer together), and I need to talk to Scott about maybe upping our usual Sunday donation. A couple of years ago I read that the three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and I've found that helpful in structuring my penance ever since. It helps curb the tendency to a) just give up sweets and call it a day, or b) do 15 different things none of which I can sustain for 6-7 weeks.



I had an amusing conversation with a certain 19-year-old on Facebook the other day. I still think his major premise is flawed, but I won't disillusion him.

(I actually prefer it when Scott has at least a mustache, probably because he had one when we got married and I got used to it.)




For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!