Saturday, September 22, 2012

As a Mom I'm Quite Crappy!!

After this photo sparked a gigantic debate for being posted on Life with Levi's Facebook page an astounding number of Moms (and a few Dads) have spoken up about the awful, ignorant and downright rude comments that came from other parents.  The comments were directed towards any parent who had chosen/would choose to circumcise their son.  The comments were hurtful.  The comments were disgraceful.  The comments were unnecessary.  I completely understand that there are parents out there who choose not to circumcise for their own personal reasons, but there are also parents out there who choose to circumcise for their own personal reasons.  Who is anyone to judge whether or not a parent is a good parent based solely on this practice?  I agree that everyone is 100% entitled to their own opinion, but those opinions DO NOT need to be so blatantly hurtful to other individuals.  I feel that as adults we should be able to support each other, especially in the parenting community, through our differences in child rearing.  The purpose of this photo was to highlight the different choices these four particular women made in raising their children and how each is still loving their child unconditionally.  I feel like this is an easy task for any parent - loving their child unconditionally.  "Let's celebrate that."

Joining the other inspiring "Moms who are Crappy" here is my list of why I just don't cut it as a perfect Mom:

-  I had a mostly all natural birth. 

-  Labor and delivery for me was 4 hours and 45 minutes from first contraction to holding my daughter.  I'm happy about that because I don't know if I could have gone all natural if I had had a long labor.

-  I yelled at my husband (which made the doctor laugh) during delivery.

-  I needed stitches (because my daughter came out in 4 pushes) and while I was getting them I cried (it hurt so much worse than actually having the baby) and had to hand off my daughter to my Husband.

-  My daughter was away from me after birth for over an hour (Hubby was with her) and the nurses took her both mornings for inspection by the doctor for about an hour.

-  I stayed in the hospital as long as they would let me.

-  I asked for and received help from lactation consultants.

-  My daughter had been exclusively breast fed up until last week when we tried solids.

-  I plan on continuing to nurse my daughter until we both feel it is time to stop.  At which point she will most likely have pumped breast milk in her diet.

-  My daughter dislikes rice cereal so we are not going to make her eat it anymore.

-  I try very hard to eat healthy because whatever I eat, she gets through my milk.

-  My daughter had to be in the hospital for jaundice at 3 days old.  After the worst night of my life - watching her scream and cry herself hoarse and not being able to hold her or console her (yeah, try nursing a baby you aren't supposed to hold) - I yelled at the head doctor of the hospital and two residents.  They were a little more understanding after that and finally made her a little more comfortable.  

-  The first food our daughter had was pumpkin (because I had some left from the can I used to bake with).  Which she loves.

-  My daughter wakes me up every morning.  Sometimes, after I nurse her in the morning, we sleep a little longer snuggled up in bed together.

-  My daughter's first night in her own room was 3 nights ago.  I cried like crazy!

-  I shower (or take a bath) with my daughter every single night. (YAY for conserving water & time!)

-  My daughter is sleeping by 8:00 every night.

-  My daughter sleeps about 11 hours a night....

-  My daughter wakes up 2 - 5 times to nurse during the night.  I do not make her cry herself back to sleep hungry and alone.  I nurse her and she happily goes back to sleep with a full belly.

-  My daughter is dressed in a little girl outfit, with matching bow and socks, every single day.

-  I wear my daughter as often as possible when we are out.

-  My daughter wears an Amber Necklace around her neck and has worn it on some body part since she was two months old.

-  My daughter loves her binkies (pacifiers).

 -  My daughter is, and will continue to be, vaccinated.  

-  I plan most of my outings around her nap time (though we sometimes run late getting home).  I do this because she sleeps better at home than in the car seat (plus she is a social butterfly so she won't sleep if people are around!). 

-  I do every silly thing I can think of just to make my daughter smile.

-  I sing every song, read every book and recite every poem I can to my daughter because she responds to it and it makes her smile.

-  I give my daughter hundreds of kisses a day.

-  I say "Please" and "Thank You" to my daughter as often as possible so she learns her manners.

-  When I need a minute (or 15) from my daughter, and Hubby is not around, I put her in a baby toy (exersaucer, bouncy chair, swing etc.) and go about my business while she is contained.

-  I cry when I pack up my daughter's clothes that she has grown out of.

-  I buy only clearance or used toys and clothes for my daughter.

-  I don't have a calendar dating every milestone my daughter has reached.

-  I don't have a baby book filled with pictures.

-  I don't plan on hovering over her when she gets bigger.

My daughter is only 6.5 months old so I know this list will get much, much longer as time goes on.  For now it really appears that I am one "CRAPPY" Momma!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Little Bit of Rice, Please.

Our daughter has finally reached the point where she needs more than breast milk.  We had visions of being part of the Baby Led Weaning movement, but our daughter has had plans otherwise.  We do still intend to feed her whatever we are eating, we may just have to mush it up a little more than we had originally planned.  We also had not planned on using rice cereal - at all.  Studies have been done that prove it disintegrates much faster in breast milk than in formula.  Thus, baby is hungry again sooner even with the rice cereal.  We just wanted to skip over it like so many people we've read have done.  Even our doctor was behind us on the decision.  Well, as all parents should be aware, plans changed.

Our little lady decided about a month ago that she wanted to eat more during the night.  No more nights of almost 6 hours straight before she woke up the first time.  She was getting up around 5 times and it was becoming more and more the longer time has gone on.  Last night she woke 7 times in 11 hours.  This is not a good sleep pattern for anyone and it makes for a very cranky Momma, Baby and Daddy.  I need more than 1 - 2 hours at a time, otherwise I just feel ill when I do have to get up and function.  I don't need much, 4 - 5 hours of solid sleep would be a blessing. 

When the doctor asked us today at our well baby visit if we had any questions I posed this one to him.  He gave us the same remedy we had heard from so many others - rice cereal.  Just for a few nights before bed mixed with some breast milk then add in veggies and switch it over to just the veggies once she has the hang of it.  So, tonight, we're giving it a go.  Hopefully we all get some much needed rest tonight.  

We do both realize there is nothing bad or wrong with rice cereal.  We just did not see a point of giving her something to help her stay full if it would disintegrate so quickly and she'd be hungry again within the same amount of time as if she had only breast milk.  (You should check out the videos on You Tube documenting the tests.  It really is impressive to see the difference!)  We would rather it be something with a little flavor and those wonderful healthy vitamins to help her stay full longer.

Here's to using that old Scientific Method way of determining if it will work for us ; )

What plans change for you and your little ones regarding the starting of solids?  Did any of your visions change or were your plans carried out exactly as you had foreseen?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mom Art

Sometimes we just need a reminder.  I may not have as many years or children under my belt as so many other ladies out there, but I do need the words that it takes time.  Before our daughter it was so easy to be selfish with my time.  Now to give it all up, in the quest to find what works best for us here, in our home, is a rather humbling experience.  Even at 6.5 months old our little girl has taught us the importance of taking our time, moving slowly and above all patience - like we had never needed before now.

What are the virtues your little one has helped you to find again and again?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer Strawberry Coconut Cake

In order to use up the remaining strawberries (from the icebox cake on my last Pinterest post) I searched for a cake that had them specifically.  I love fruity things and I am cuckoo for coconut!  Fruity candle scents.  Fruity salads.  Fruity and coconutty cake? Yes, Please!

Here is the original post if you'd like to check it out:

Summer Strawberry Coconut Cake

Here is the link to the actual recipe (it is not on the original post):

Summer Strawberry Coconut Cake


1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix
4 T. strawberry gelatin powder
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
2 T. granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. pureed strawberries
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. coconut extract
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced
1 c. coconut, finely shredded in food processor
several strawberries to fill cake and garnish

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
2 16-oz. boxes powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl and stir together. Beat in oil, eggs, water, strawberry puree, vanilla, and coconut extract. Mix well. Stir in diced strawberries and coconut. Pour into two 8- or 9-inch round pans, greased and floured. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the cakes are pulling away from the sides of the pans.

Put pans on wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and leave on racks to cool completely. While cooling, make icing.

Icing: Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Add a tablespoon or so of milk if icing is too thick.

Spread some icing on first layer, then top with sliced strawberries. Place second layer on top and ice the rest of the cake. Cover entire cake in shredded coconut and garnish with fresh strawberries.

Cost for ingredients we did not have on hand:
Box of white cake mix: $1.98
Strawberry J-ello: $.68
Coconut Extract: $3.56
Shredded Coconut: $1.28
Total: $7.50

Total prep, mixing, and  baking, cooling and decorating time:
1 hour 45 minutes

As you will see in the pictures I cut the recipe in half.  I didn't see the need for Hubby and I to eat another entire double layer cake ourselves!  It worked out perfectly (though for some recipes this is not possible).  Our cake was sort of short, but super cute!

I diced the strawberries in the food processor, so they were a little more wet than they would have been if done by hand.  However, they worked out perfect.

Since I cut the recipe in half I had some leftover J-ello.  I added in the rest of the leftover strawberries, a little water and refrigerated.  We had some good fruity J-ello to enjoy as well!  (Now, if I could just figure out what to do with that extra cake mix...)

Here are photos documenting the process:


Taste and evaluation:

This is one of the most refreshing cakes I have ever tasted!  It is so light and full of flavor.  We kept the cake in the refrigerator so it was quite chilled when we ate it.  I think it added to the enjoyment to have our cake cold.  It is a perfect summer cake - very refreshing!  I was pleasantly surprised that the strawberries did not overpower the coconut.  I was worried since there were so many berries.  The coconut added a soft tone to the strawberries and really complimented them well.  


This is going to be in my permanent collection of cakes to make!  This recipe was very simple to follow and the ingredients were easy to find.  I am very pleased at how beautiful the cake turned out!  The pink is so vibrant!  This would be a perfect 4th of July cake as well as a little girl's birthday party.  I would be willing to guess that you could change the strawberries for raspberries, but don't hold me to it (I'll try later and let you know).   I give this recipe and it's creator kudos for a job well done!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

All's Well that Ends Well

I feel that it has been way over do to write my next post.  The past week and a half has been quite tiring on this end and I would like to explain.  I'd also like to say that I hope to never have such a long time away again for such a reason.

My Husband is in the Navy.  His current job is quite exciting  - he's a Hovercraft Craftmaster!  He flies hovercrafts.  He spends his days at his command either flying, providing maintenance to his craft or doing boring paperwork.  He is a very physically fit person and thoroughly enjoys his mornings PTing (physically training).  Last Wednesday while running the obstacle course on base he fell, landing on his rear end.  Normally this type of fall would warrant a little rub on the area and not much else.  However, he fell over 8 feet off of a platform. 

It had been raining (like it does so often in our area) and the course was slippery.  He usually just jumps down from the platform and continues on, but for some reason on this day he decided to be careful.  He tried climbing down and dangling so he'd only drop 2 feet or so.  In the process his hand slipped before he was in position resulting in him falling and landing on his bum.  He stayed put for a minute, got up, checked for tingling/pain/numbness, felt nothing out of the ordinary so continued on the course. 

Later in the day he was sore.  Sore enough that he actually went to see someone about it.  In typical Navy remedy fashion they gave him some Ibuprofen for the discomfort.  But the doctor felt it was a serious enough incident to take some x-rays.  Thank goodness!  It turns out he really did do some damage to his back (not his booty).  The next step was to head over to the hospital for a CT scan.  After lots of waiting in the emergency room (because that's how the military healthcare works) he finally got to see a doctor who...ordered more x-rays. Again, the doctor was concerned enough that he said my Hubby needed a CT scan (Duh!  That is why he was there in the first place!!).  Well, those results came back and it turns out that he had a compression fracture in his T12 vertebrae.  It was serious enough that the doctor admitted him immediately, put him in back brace and told him he'd be there at least overnight.

As you can imagine Hubby was less than thrilled at this whole occurrence. Fast forward to the following morning.  I pack up the baby and head over to see our wounded man.  After a few more doctor visits, a consultation with a prosthetic technician, and some not-so-good hospital lunch food my Husband was released on the terms that:

1.) he was getting a custom brace made and should be in it on Monday (Labor Day).

2.) he had to be back Tuesday for more x-rays to see if the brace was helping.

3.) he had to leave the brace on whenever up and moving or lay down without it all weekend.  No out and about.  No lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (which our daughter is).  No bending, twisting, working out, etc.  No driving.

4.) he was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday if the brace was not doing what it needed to be.  The surgery would fuse together 5 of his vertebrae (T10-L2) permanently.  He would lose about 10-15% of his mobility due to this surgery and most likely have pain in the area later in life.

After a very long, tiring, and boring weekend we all headed back in for the follow-up.  We got the most amazing news!  He didn't need surgery!  The doctor was very happy with how the brace has been supporting him and feels that if he heals how his back is currently holding he would be able to live a very active life.  Then came the bad news.  No working for 30 days (minimum).  No driving.  No lifting. 

It has been hard on my Hubby because he is usually so active.  The brace is uncomfortable, keeping him in a strange position and itchy.  And he wants to be doing much, much more with our daughter. 

It has been frustrating for my daughter and I because we have become accustomed to him interacting with us both more often than he is capable of right now.  Plus, I'm whooped from 100% baby time! 

We are looking at the positives of the situation and focusing on his improving status.  We are very thankful that the outcome wasn't more serious (because it could have been so much worse).  I am impressed with the level of care he received at the naval hospital.  It was unexpected and is apparent that they had concern for my Husband's welfare.  There have been a few emotions surrounding this incident, and I'm sure more will come as he heals (he could be in the brace for 3 months or longer which means the same limitations apply).  I am just so very thankful that he is o.k..

Have you had scary medical moments in your or your loved one's life?