Monday, September 30, 2013

Post-Partum Body

Friday was the first day I was able to wear my regular wardrobe, meaning no maternity/stretched out clothes. It felt so good! A lady at a restaurant even told me I looked "fabulous." I still can't fit into everything, and although my tummy is almost flat, it's very flabby, so there's still work to do. But not a lot! Here
I am dressed for church on Sunday:

Yes, I chopped off all my hair! I don't love it though. A few weeks ago we had a fiasco trying to find a salon, so I just went to Fantastic Sam's. I picked out an asymmetrical A-line from a magazine, but the lady had a hard time figuring out the cut and it ended up too short and looking uneven on accident instead of on purpose. Once it grows out a little, I will get it redone at a nice salon.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers

For Justin's birthday I made him stuffed green bell peppers (adapted from this Emeril recipe) and they came out just okay. Sprouts had red bell peppers on sale, so I bought some so I could try the recipe again. This time they were delicious!

  • 4 bell peppers (I prefer red)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic (or 2 tsp. minced)
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce
(seasoning measurements are estimated, so feel free to add more or less)

  1. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Pour enough water into a baking dish to cover the bottom, and stand the peppers in the dish.
  2. Saute the onions in oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the beef and seasonings and cook until browned. Stir in the rice and tomato sauce. 
  3. Spoon the stuffing into the peppers. Cook for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Let them stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Five Week Baby Update

Today Gabe is 5 weeks old. It feels like I gave birth to him forever ago. He has grown so much! At his two-week appointment he gained nearly a pound. By now he's probably well over 9 lbs. Gabe's really long too. I love the little rolls on his legs! Caden was scrawny.

He loves being in our arms or on our chests. He almost always falls asleep right away in the Baby K'tan. We also bought a carrier for Justin, and Gabe fell asleep in it too. I'm excited for this carrier because it can carry Caden too, and I want to go hiking as a family once the weather cools down and we get back in shape.

Gabe sleeps a lot, but not for long stretches of time. The most he's ever slept at once was 3 1/2 hours; usually it's about 2 hours. Most of the time he wakes up from a wet diaper, though he can sleep through a dirty one. I won't let him, which means more waking up for both of us. Right now I think he's going through a growth spurt because he wants to nurse nearly every hour! This means little sleep between him waking up from hunger and lots of wet and dirty diapers from nursing so much.

Unlike Caden, Gabe will take a pacifier, though not all the time. He's still learning how to keep it in his mouth and gets really angry when it falls out.

During the day he is awake for longer periods of time, but is only a little less grumpy. I love the moments when he is content and listens to me talking to him. He loves the sound of running water too (but otherwise is not too fond of bath time).

I forgot how much attention a newborn requires. On the one hand, I'm enjoying holding such a small, snuggly baby. On the other, I can't wait for him to get a little older so he sleeps longer and is more fun to play with!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Best Big Brother

Caden has welcomed Gabe with open arms--and lots of kisses--since the day Gabe came into the world. He loves Gabe so much! Caden is such a good helper. When I say Gabe has a dirty diaper, Caden gets everything ready.

When Gabe cries while I'm busy doing something, I'll ask Caden to talk to him. Caden even helps keep the pacifier in Gabe's mouth without me asking. I hope this kindness continues and they become good friends and close brothers!

And just for fun:

New haircut on Friday!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

First Family Date

Tuesday evening we went out as a family of four for the first time. Justin was really craving Korean food and the restaurant was a little drive away. We were a bit nervous: it's hard enough with just a 3-year-old or a newborn, let alone both at once! It proved to be an adventure.

When we got to the restaurant, Caden was upset because he felt carsick. Justin had to repeatedly take Caden to the bathroom, but he never threw up, thank goodness. Gabe woke up from a dirty diaper, and then I nursed him and got him to sleep again while Justin was with Caden. Other than those little episodes, dinner went well. The service was much better this time. The waitress was really nice and gave Caden a plastic bag in case he puked and some free rice.

After dinner, we stopped by Deseret Book to get a gift for a friend since we were already in that part of town. I found a wall hanging with the perfect quote for her. Then we went to Bass Pro Shop. Caden had a field day there! He loved the fish tank, animal tracks, tents, even the taxidermy. And we found a beautiful painting on sale for Justin's grandma.

We ended the date with Dairy Queen. Justin and Caden went in first while I nursed Gabe again in the car. Then I ordered and helped Caden eat while Justin changed Gabe's diaper. But when we got back to the car, Justin said we had no more diapers! I didn't realize we had used them all and I hadn't expected us to be out that long. There was nothing nearby, so we had a wailing baby until we finally found a grocery store.

Although the night wasn't perfect, we had a great time together and it still went more smoothly than I had anticipated.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What to Expect after a C-Section

Justin with Caden
There is plenty of information about what to expect during pregnancy. But with 1 in 3 women in the U.S. having a C-section, it is important to know what to expect afterward (taken from the Mayo Clinic with inserted notes from me):

After the procedure
After a C-section, most mothers and babies stay in the hospital for about three days. To control pain as the anesthesia wears off, you might use a pump that allows you to adjust the dose of intravenous (IV) pain medication.

Soon after your C-section, you'll be encouraged to get up and walk. Moving around can speed your recovery and help prevent constipation [it hurts to poop] and potentially dangerous blood clots.

While you're in the hospital, your health care team will monitor your incision for signs of infection. They'll also monitor your movement, how much fluid you're drinking, and bladder and bowel function. [You will have a catheter until you can pee on your own. You will also be put on a liquid-only diet for a day or so.]

Discomfort near the C-section incision can make breastfeeding somewhat awkward. With help, however, you'll be able to start breastfeeding soon after the C-section. Ask your nurse or the hospital's lactation consultant to teach you how to position yourself and support your baby so that you're comfortable. [A nursing pillow can help.]

Remember that trying to breastfeed when you're in pain might make the process more difficult. Your health care team will select medications for your post-surgical pain with breastfeeding in mind. Continuing to take the medication shouldn't interfere with breastfeeding. [An important factor in establishing breastfeeding is immediate skin-to-skin contact. Learn what your hospital's policy is and see if you can have nurses postpone the baby's tests for an hour or so if the baby is healthy so you can hold your baby as soon as you are stitched up.]

Before you leave the hospital, talk with your health care provider about any preventive care you might need, including vaccinations. Making sure your vaccinations are current can help protect your health and your baby's health. 

[Bring things to do for those three days in the hospital! You won't get nearly as much as sleep as you expect.]

When you go home
It takes about four to six weeks for a C-section incision to heal. Fatigue and discomfort are common. While you're recovering:
  • Take it easy. Rest when possible. Try to keep everything that you and your baby might need within reach. For the first few weeks, avoid lifting from a squatting position or lifting anything heavier than your baby.
  • Support your abdomen. Use good posture when you stand and walk. [You may also have to sleep in a reclining position instead of on your back for a few days.] Hold your abdomen near the incision during sudden movements, such as coughing, sneezing or laughing [it hurts when you do any of these!]. Use pillows or rolled up towels for extra support while breastfeeding.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water and other fluids can help replace the fluid lost during delivery and breastfeeding, as well as prevent constipation.
  • Take medication as needed. Your health care provider might recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other medications to relieve pain. Most pain relief medications are safe for women who are breastfeeding.
  • Avoid sex. Don't have sex until your health care provider gives you the green light — often four to six weeks after surgery. You don't have to give up on intimacy in the meantime, though. Spend time with your partner, even if it's just a few minutes in the morning or after the baby goes to sleep at night.
It's also important to know when to contact your health care provider. Make the call if you experience:
  • Any signs of infection — such as a fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C), severe pain in your abdomen, or redness, swelling, and discharge at your incision site
  • Breast pain accompanied by redness or fever
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Bleeding that soaks a sanitary napkin within an hour or contains large clots
  • Leg pain or swelling
[Before being discharged and at your two-week postpartum checkup, your doctor will remove the dressing, which hurts like a million bandages being ripped off (at least for me). Your incision site may continue to be sensitive for months.]

Anything else you C-section ladies would like to add?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Watch Me Grow Pregnancy & Baby Month Stickers Review

Throughout my pregnancy I took a few belly photos with pregnancy month stickers on my tummy. They were courtesy of Watch Me Grow Stickers, which primarily makes pregnancy and baby month stickers. Isn't this one cute?

I was given this set to review:

*Creative designs and wide variety to choose from
*Good customer service

*A couple of the images were fuzzy, but only in this set. The other designs have higher quality digital images.

I wish there were a way to save the stickers to reuse them with the next pregnancy/baby. Maybe use wax paper? Any ideas?

Check out Watch Me Grow Stickers for more cute sets! And you can use the code CLOSET for 20% off their new closet dividers!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Haloopa Joop Baby Booties Review

Sophie from Haloopa Joop in England generously sent me a cute pair of navy baby booties to review. She knit the booties from Shetland yarn and packaged them in a lovely gift box.

They looked so cute on baby Gabe!

*Adorable, warm, and well made.
*Room for growth.
*Laces to keep the booties on Baby's feet.
*Baby liked them. And so did Daddy.
*Beautifully packaged.
*Great seller!

*Hand wash only.

Here's a little about the seller, Sophie.

I live and work in Nottingham, UK. I work full-time and run Haloopa Joop in the evenings and weekends. Haloopa Joop is an opportunity to take my knitting obsession into another arena and keep up a happy process of sharing my skill and improving it by way of constant feedback and the creative process. Haloopa Joop is an online store selling hand-knit items and knitting patterns.  

Hand-knitting takes time, lots of time. The booties here took 9 hours to make. That means a lot of care and attention has gone into the making of them. There is also a lot of opportunity to adapt each individual item. That's something that is quite important to me as I'm 6'2" (well above average for a woman) and now I can make sweaters with nice long proportions ;) I think it's a better world if the customer isn't requested to fit into something that isn't ideal for them, and if the maker can keep a very close connection with the product and a focus on skill and design rather than profitability and mass production. 

Check out Haloopa Joop for more cute baby booties, knit items, and knitting patterns!
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