Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cooking by Letter - Very Veggie Soup

We have had a nice little cool snap here in the deep south.  Personally, I think this is what it should be like all month but we typically don't have that.  It has, however, given us some nice days to walk with Caleb...and he LOVES to walk. 
I can almost guarantee that he will calm down on a walk if he is fussy; however, that doesn't always translate to remaining quiet when we get back. 
Remember last year when we were cooking through the alphabet with Kate?  Well, this veggie soup was one of the last recipes we made. 
Kate really enjoyed it, though I'm not so sure about David.  We will have to make it again soon.  I love that it is healthy and gets LOTS of veggies in my family. 
Kate has been a really good eater but sometimes it is a little more difficult to get her to eat veggies.  With this soup, SHE was the one making it, so of course she wanted to eat it. 
She even got to grind the salt and pepper!  I did choose veggies that I knew she would eat and David could tolerate. 
I used all cabbage but might add some spinach next time as David seems to do well with that, it's more full of vitamins, and produces less gas. 
All in all, this really was a Kate made soup.  I think her favorite was stirring.  That and giving Daddy kisses before eating.  :-)

Very Veggie Soup
3 handfuls (I probably used about 3 cups) cabbage, escarole, or spinach
1 pound green beans (I used frozen)
6 carrots (I used mini carrots)
1 onion, chopped
8 oz corn
12 ounce can tomato puree

Tear or cut greens into small pieces.  Prepare green beans if using fresh.  Peel and chop carrots.  In a large soup pot saute onion.  Add all veggies to the pot, including corn.  Fill with enough water to cover the veggies.  Add tomato puree, salt, and pepper.  Then get to stirring!  Simmer, covered, for 1.5 hours.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Delivery (Caleb's Birth Part 2)

After a night of about 5 hours of sleep, the day that we would meet Caleb arrived.  I woke up and had to go to the bathroom.  Yeah, going without waking up David probably wasn't the smartest idea I had.  Little did I know but that stadol and phenergan had made me quite woozy.  I didn't fall or hurt myself but I did stumble quite a bit.  That was fun.  I seriously had to concentrate on that trip to the bathroom.  A little bit later the nurse coming in to take out the balloon.  Goal with the balloon is to dilate to between 4-6 cm.  She felt like I was about 6cm.  And of the whole procedure, taking the balloon out was the worst part.  I'd probably do it again if my doctor recommended it.  They said that frequently after the balloon comes out, the contractions get less intense.  I'm not really sure if I experienced this lessening of contractions or not because soon after, the doctor came in to break my water and start pitocin.  At that point, I was about 8 cm dilated. 

Y'all as SOON as she started the pitocin, my contractions got closer together and more intense.  My AWESOME nurse said that I could get the epidural whenever I wanted it.  I asked David what he thought and he basically said to get it whenever.  I waited about 10 minutes and asked for it.  I knew that I would just tense up whenever I got a contraction and that wouldn't help anything.  The anesthesiologist came is so quickly.  Now, an epidural was one of my biggest fears but so shouldn't have been.  I'm not sure if it was the anesthesiologist (apparently I had the chosen team as my nurse and anesthesiologist were the ones my OB chose for her deliveries with her kids) but it didn't hurt.  The worst part was the last little dose of lidocaine.  He numbed the area with three little "shots" of lidocaine.  Then he put the epidural needle and catheter in, gave me a bolus of meds (which just gave a sense of pressure but no pain), and taped it in place.  Then I was good to go.  I think I felt two more contractions after that. 

By that time I was 9 cm and we were just waiting.  I spent some time on my right side and then she turned me to the left.  Caleb wasn't a big fan of that as his HR dropped a little.  I was aware of this but was still super drowsy from the phenergan and almost fell asleep.  As soon as I turned on my back, that little beep indicating his HR bumped right back up to a good range.  Less than an hour after getting my epidural I was ready to push - without ever having to turn up the pitocin!  Again, my nurse was fabulous!  By the time the doctor got there, she didn't have time to put on her protective shoe covers.  I pushed once with her and our sweet Caleb was born.  Oddly enough, the only thing I actually felt was his shoulders. 

He had the cord around his neck once and was a little blue.  He started crying within a few seconds and was none too happy to be out of his little cocoon. 
He apparently had some retractions at first and needed a little positive pressure to help clear out his little lungs.  He also grunted a little bit.  The pediatrician in me just kept saying "none of that.  Stop that!" because it could make him end up in the NICU.  Thankfully, he listened.  He was given APGARs of 9 and 9, but David and I both agree that he should probably have been 8 and 9 due to his slightly blue color. 

I finally got to hold my sweet baby.  What an awesome feeling!  I didn't want to let him go.  Our family came to meet him and Kate got to hold him. 

Then they left and we got to feed.  He did a great job.  Then he had to go to the nursery for bath, shots, exam, etc.  I got all situated and once the epidural wore off, we moved over to the suites.  I got to eat, we saw Kate and then waited on Caleb to be brought back.  Such a sweet day.  At the time, I didn't think I could be more in love...but I think I love him more each day.
(He did this in utero EVERY sonogram we had.  Turns out, he's trying to find his thumb.  Sometimes he actually gets it into his mouth!)

Monday, October 06, 2014

Beginning of Induction (Caleb's Birth Part 1)

So, I had an ultrasound scheduled the day after my due date to check to be sure everything looked good going into the weekend.  I had not had any changes in how I felt or contraction frequency (YES!  I had been having contractions for MANY WEEKS and even had two nights where I was up with some discomfort - though I now know that it was really NOTHING compared to what people really mean when they say discomfort with contractions - with no changes); so, I expected that we'd be going for the ultrasound and then heading out for a fun morning of going to brunch and shopping!  David had even brought a bunch of coupons.  We went into the ultrasound room and she immediately saw Caleb "practicing breathing," his heart looked great and his movements were good.  She tried to get some pictures and we actually saw his face briefly (it actually looked exactly what he looked like...chubby cheeks and round!). 

Then she moved on to the amniotic fluid measurements.  Despite being a doctor, I have NO CLUE how much fluid there should be; all I know is that I thought "that looks like really small spaces."  After that, we waited.  My doctor's nurse brought us back and said that Dr. Brantley would be here soon.  Hmmm...I didn't think that was part of the plan but okay.  Then after a little while, she told me to get ready for an exam.  Um, yeah...I KNOW that wasn't part of the plan!  When Dr. Brantley came in she said "I didn't anticipate this at all!  Your fluid is low and we need to come in to have a baby today."  Of course, I hadn't changed any...was only 1 cm dilated (I had been this for 2 weeks).  So, I'm in shock.  Then she says, "And I'm not going to be in town this weekend so the on call doctor will deliver you."  More shock...
(With Kate that morning.  No CLUE it would be the last before Caleb)

When she left to get everything set up, I just fell into David and started crying!  Yes, I was ready to meet my baby...and had been for a while.  But I didn't anticipate that EITHER...and wanted to go get brunch!  Isn't that silly...I was crying because I was missing brunch with my husband AND my doctor wouldn't be there.  I knew everything would be okay...but I wanted brunch and my doctor! 
Anyway, we walked over to the delivery suites and got set up in the biggest and best room they had.  We texted our families that they needed to come because baby would be coming.  Then David went and got brunch to go.  How sweet is he?!  It was SOOOOO good...and ended up being lunch.  He also got me a petit four.  
After we ate, he went home to get our bags, etc.  Of course, right as he is texting me that he's leaving the doc comes in to place my balloon.  I was worried that it would be something that I would want/NEED him to be there for.  Thankfully, it ended up being essentially pain and discomfort free...until right after, because that's when my contractions - which were apparently every five minutes since I had been admitted (though they weren't hurting I could feel the tightening) - became uncomfortable.  I could continue without much problem but they definitely hurt some. 
My parents came by and Daddy brought some chocolate covered English toffee caramels.  (Kate is sampling in the above picture.) Then they went to get Kate from afterschool and bring dinner back. 
Kate was very intrigued by my IV.  She kept asking why I had it and what it was.  I will say, the worst part of the IV was actually HAVING it.  It only hurt a little bit when she put it in but every time I tried to get out of bed, etc. it pulled a bit.  At one point, it actually hurt some but was still flowing and was definitely not causing an infiltrate.  The next day, my nurse pulled it back a little bit and it started flowing better and didn't hurt.  We think it was up against a valve in the vein.  Anyway, while Kate and my parents were there, I honestly didn't feel any contractions - they were great distractions.  As soon as they left, I started feeling them again...and they only got more painful.  
The nurse offered Stadol and Phenergan (as well as Vistaril to help me sleep).  She had actually been offering since around 4pm.  Can I say that 1. I should have taken it sooner (I waited through about 2 hours of painful contractions where I would fall asleep only to be awakened by the contraction every 3 minutes or so) than I did!  2. SO glad I didn't have it before Kate came.  I was afraid of how I would respond to the meds since the anesthesia from wisdom teeth had made me sick for 24 hours after.  As soon as she pushed the meds she said I'd feel effects quickly.  Um, yeah...about 2 seconds later my eyes got all dizzy and I couldn't keep them open.  She said to just give in and boy did I!  I slept for about 3-4 hours without waking up until a contraction woke me.  I asked for more meds and slept through until morning.

(To be continued)

Friday, October 03, 2014


Like I said in my last pregnancy post, the next one would be a baby post...and it is.  However, it came about a little differently than I expected.  Before we get into the whole story, let me introduce my sweet little man:

Caleb Calloway
Born September 27, 2014
10:44 am

Weight 7 pounds 2 ounces
Length 20.25 inches long

I am completely in love!!!  I'm already dreading him not being tiny anymore.  Watching David with him makes me smile. 
I never saw him with Kate as a baby though I knew he'd be great...but actually seeing him with our baby just makes my heart happy.
Kate has done a great job stepping into the roll of big sister.  She is all about Caleb and wants to help so much.  I wish there was more she could do to help but right now most of his needs only mommy can help with.  
Kate does like to sing to him and he seems to like it.

I am just completely overwhelmed with the blessings of my family and that God has given us Caleb.  
Is it crazy that I already want another?!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gluten Free Sharpei

One of the things that David misses being gluten free is cookies.  Well, I've taken it upon myself to try and make many different kinds for him.  One of the things I miss with him being gluten free is just making up recipes AND making the best cookies EVER! 
You've seen them before on this blog.  So, I had to try them gluten free.  They definitely aren't the same but they are still very good.  Kate thought they deserved a little inspection while we were making them but I thought they passed. 
Gluten Free Sharpei Cookies
2 sticks (one cup) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups AP Gluten free flour mix
1 tsp baking soda
1-1.5 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars together in a mixing bowl until very smooth.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix together.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Place 2 tablespoon sized balls on the pan.  When pan is filled, place it into the oven.  Bake for 11-12 minutes (will be slightly undercooked).  Remove from pan and immediately squish the outside of the cookies toward the center of the cookie using the backsides of two spoons.  This gives the cookie its "sharpei" appearance.  Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes then remove to cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Toast from Grammy's

Kate spent spring break with David's family.  She came home with a "recipe" for brown sugar cinnamon toast.  She thought it was the best thing in the world.  I must say that I'm not shocked that she loved it.  I mean, seriously...who WOULDN'T!?!?!?  Toasted brown sugar? Um, yes, please!  So, one Sunday night her supper was brown sugar cinnamon toast with scrambled egg and fruit.  (Sweet supper prayers!)
I will be honest and say that I didn't follow the "recipe" but I'm pretty sure it was close to the same.  And, really, who can recreate Grammy's toast anyway!?  :-)  You could probably do this several different ways - mix the butter and sugar together, mix the sugar and cinnamon together, etc - but this is how I did it.  Kate seemed to approve.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toast
brown sugar

Spread butter/margarine on a slice of bread and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Be sure to put enough and to "pack" it down.  Then sprinkle this with cinnamon.  Place in toaster oven (or oven).  No, a traditional toaster will NOT work!  Toast and enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

40 Weeks - Still hanging in there

It is officially my due date and baby still hasn't made his arrival.  The past week has been fairly low key.  Saturday, I took Kate to get her hair cut
and one of her friends came over to play.
His mom is actually my one of best friends, so we enjoyed letting them play while we got to chat.  The rest of the day was spent napping, grocery shopping and watching college football (Roll Tide and Hail State!!!!).
Sunday, Kate had a special breakfast treat - a donut from Donut Palace.  I think she enjoyed it.
 I took Kate to church while David was at work.
Then we grilled out chicken kabobs for lunch and napped again.  Then Kate and I took a little bike ride before she went to her Building Blocks class at church.
She LOVES it.  We also watched a little bit of Mary Poppins.  Such a fun movie.

Monday, David and I got to spend some time together since he isn't on service this week or next in anticipation of baby coming.  We also got to take Kate to school together.
She LOVED that!  I got a text from a friend who needed help with something for the school, so I made peanut butter cookies.  We ate supper outside that night as we have been having some BEAUTIFUL weather these past few days.

Then later that night, David and I actually sat down together and watched a movie.  We always talk about it but never get around to it.  Getting Kate in bed on time definitely helps with that.  After that, I had a little bit of a reality hit while David was praying for us.  He was thanking God for the time that we had gotten to spend together that day, time with Kate, and for the provisions God has made.  Prior to that, I had been just watching my belly move with baby's movements.  All of a sudden it hit me that our lives are going to be changing (for good) very soon...and I felt a little overwhelmed.  Blessed and excited, but overwhelmed.  I thought "I just need more time of THIS."  Overnight, I thought I wasn't going to have it - as I was awake until around 330 with what I'm assuming were contractions.  I thought I was going to have to call our overnight "on call" friend.  Thankfully, around 330, things calmed down and I was able to sleep for about 2-3 hours before my alarm went off.

That day, I had an OB appointment, so I wasn't concerned; but we did pack the car JUST in case we had to stay.  Um, yeah...NO CHANGE!  All that contracting and no change.  She said that she doesn't doubt I was having contractions, it was just not enough to do anything.  So, we now have a plan and will have a baby at some point within the next week - either at his own choosing or eviction.  I'd prefer his own choosing, but we shall see.  I laid low for the rest of the day but did make a yummy new supper that has potential for lots of different options.

Yesterday, it was Kate's school picture day.  I think she looks cute myself!
I worked on an art project for the nursery and David planted berries.  Other than that, we just rested and enjoyed each other.  I'm loving this time with him and at home. 

I took a due date morning walk but not sure if it's doing any good other than helping me enjoy the beautiful weather!
Next pregnancy post - will be a BABY post!!!!

Due Date: September 25, 2014  
How Far Along: 40 weeks

Fruit/Veggie: Pumpkin, Personal/Mini Watermelon  - 19-23 inches, 6-9 pounds
Gender: It's a BOY!  

Exercise: Still exercising almost daily...though I still haven't gone to the gym, I'm just not feeling the machines!  I took a break Tuesday after my OB appointment since I had such a difficult night the night before.  However, I have been LOVING the morning walks and still doing my "video" after.  David even went with me yesterday.  :-)  

Sleep: Sleep is questionable.  I have had a couple of nights when I slept FOUR whole hours in a row without waking up, which was fabulous.  However, throw in a couple of contraction filled nights and that doesn't help much.  Oh well. 

Cravings:  Not much to speak of.

What I love: Feeling and watching the baby move! Still SO going to miss that.  Maternity leave!!!  Time with David this week.  Knowing that in less than a week we'll have baby with us (but that is also a little bittersweet).

What I miss: turning over in bed easily, being able to sleep well - I know that I won't necessarily sleep more with baby but hopefully that will be because I'm feeding him rather than an inability on MY part to sleep, being able to pick things up off the floor (I seriously make a sound whenever I pick something up off the floor!)

What I'm looking forward to:  meeting baby!!!!  Finishing the art project I have for baby's room - started painting the letters and will try to get toward finishing it later today or tomorrow.

What I'm thankful for:  Getting to spend time with David and Kate, friends who are willing to help if needed, a job that allows for maternity leave, God's provision for us