Archive for the ‘Gen Talk’ Category

Waiting

For the last 3 1/2 weeks or so I have been having braxton hicks that have led me to believe this baby was going to arrive early. So much so that I have worked myself in a frenzy to make sure everything is prepared to bring him home.


1. Purchase Car Seat, clothes, diapers, and other baby essentials √
2. Stock house with groceries (several times; I didn’t realize how much the three boys I already live with eat and drink) √
3. Scrub house (again several times; I am sick of cleaning!) √
4. Get things in order at work √

And here I am am at 39 weeks and 5 days and we are still waiting. Every day and night while I am having the contractions I think, “today is the day”. Nervously I think about the labor and delivery and try to mentally prepare myself, and then the contractions go away. The anticipation is getting to me. We are all so excited for this baby to finally arrive that it makes the waiting even harder. We can’t wait to see him and hold him!

All night I had more contractions, and all I keep thinking is, “don’t get your hopes up, they are going to go away and we are going to have to wait some more”. But, as I am sitting here writing the contractions are still happening…SO, maybe…today truly IS the day.

Change is on the way in the next 4 weeks…and other random thoughts

I am 36 weeks today and I am feeling it. I feel real big and real uncomfortable. Sitting for prolong periods of time, trying to get a good night’s sleep, AND putting my socks and shoes on are becoming more difficult (almost impossible). I can hardly believe our new baby boy will be here in just a few weeks. I have been feeling really anxious about being “ready” for him, so Saturday my Mom and I went shopping at Babies “R” Us and picked up a few essentials. I got some long sleeved onesies, pants in the same material as the onesies, sleepers, newborn and size 1/2 diapers, booties, and a new infant carseat. (I am feeling less anxious now, thanks Mom!). I can tell I am nearing his birth, because I am experiencing both exhaustion and the “nesting” urge. For the last week and a half – during the day I feel like I am on the verge of falling asleep and then randomly I will get the strong urge to scrub the house. The energy bursts don’t last very long, but while I have them I have been getting a lot of good cleaning in. I also have the feeling this baby is going to come early. Which I am hoping doesn’t happen!! Mainly because I don’t want to have to brave the blizzardy conditions to get to the hospital or bring him home when it’s this cold outside.

That brings me to my next thought…We have had a loooooong winter. When will it end? I am blaming it on Punxsutawney Phil. I am mad at him. 6 more weeks, really? Since we got back from Arizona on the 7th it won’t stop snowing. It snowed again today and it’s is suppose to snow a few more times in the next few days. Our trampoline is practically touching the ground – weighed down by the layers and layers of old and new snow. Unlike the last 3 winters we have not had enough sunny days to melt the old snow away and according to the forecast, we won’t for a while. I am done with the overcast/gray skies, ice, snow, and feeling trapped at home because the streets are not usually plowed. Three blessings I am praying for- an easy labor/delivery, a healthy baby, and warm weather very soon!

Can’t get these chewy, delicious croutons out of my mind


For as long as we have lived in Indiana Jill and Quaid have highly recommended the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s. They particularly are fans of the fresh made Pumpernickel croutons. So, the other day after running some errands Ben and I and the boys decided to try out the salad bar and see what all the fuss is about. Well, let me just tell you I understand now. The croutons are REALLY good. So good, that I can’t stop craving them. I can’t get them out of my head. It’s bad…I even went to the grocery store and bought Pumpernickel bread so I can make them tonight. BUT, I looked up some copycat recipes, and funny enough they are not made out of Pumpernickel bread. They are actually made out of Dark Honey Wheat bread and they are deep fried. Here is the really simple recipe (slightly modified) taken from the RecipeZaar website:


Ruby Tuesday’s Croutons


SERVES 8 , 6 cups (change servings and units)
* 3 cups dark honey wheat bread, cubed
* garlic salt
* 2 cups oil (for deep frying)
Directions


1. Cut the loaf of bread into bit size cubes.
2. Deep fry for about 1 -2 minutes. They should come out semi soft.
3. As the croutons come out of the deep fryer, sprinkle with garlic salt.

YUM…I can’t wait to try this recipe and see how they turn out. Though, I think I will try to bake them rather than fry them.

Pickles and ice cream…not me.


Like many women during pregnancy I have had many cravings, but mine tend to last the whole pregnancy long.


When I was pregnant with Elijah I could not get enough tamales, Mexican food in general, slushies from Sonic or Water-n-Ice, and seafood (mainly crabmeat and shrimp). With Jonah I craved hummus, edamames, pizza, french fries, and banana bread (specifically Emma’s recipe). I know these sound really gross together, but I did not eat them all at one time. ; ) With this pregnancy I haven’t had as many cravings as before, but I have had two specific ones so far; Chinese potstickers and sweets (mostly cake, pies, and anything chocolate).


So, I have been trying my hand at some good old home cooking and have discovered some great recipes. My favorite so far are the Vegetarian potstickers (dumplings) and Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipes I pulled off of the Smitten Kitchen and Allrecipes websites.


Vegetarian Dumplings

Adapted from Alton Brown


1/2 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
2 minced cloves garlic (Deb addition)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (I replace 1 teaspoon with hot sesame oil — delicious)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
35 to 40 small wonton wrappers
1/3 cup chicken stock or water


Preheat the oven to 200°F.


Cut the tofu in half horizontally and lay between layers of paper towels. Place on a plate, top with another plate, and place a weight on top (a 14-ounce can of vegetables works well). Let stand 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cut the tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrots, cabbage, red pepper, scallions, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, hoisin, sesame oil, egg, salt, and pepper. Lightly stir to combine.


To form the dumplings, remove 1 wonton wrapper from the package, covering the others with a damp cloth. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Place 1/2 rounded teaspoon of the tofu mixture in the center of the wrapper. Shape as desired*. Set on a sheet pan and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.


Heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Brush with vegetable oil once hot. Add 8 to 10 potstickers at a time to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, without touching. Once the 2 minutes are up, gently add 1/3 cup chicken stock to the pan, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.

I made a bunch of these and froze them. They keep really well in the freezer and are great for a quick meal/snack. I have since modified the Vegetable dumpling recipe and added ground chicken for Ben’s benefit since he is not a fan of tofu. Both turned out so good that I have not had the desire to go out to P.F. Chang’s for their overly priced but extremely delicious vegetarian and chicken ones.


Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:


• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 cups quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


This week I am going to make chocolate cream pie and pumpkin pie. I will post the recipes if they turn out good!

Anything new happening?

I have really been neglecting our blog lately, but honestly I haven’t had the energy to do much more than trying to keep up with the daily tasks that demand my attention. So I am going to attempt to catch things up in the next few posts…

Summer is almost over…

On Monday Elijah goes back to school. I am excited for him to start 1st grade and get back into a daily routine. Routines are good for all of us! His 1st grade teacher will be Mrs. Perry. I have heard really good things about her from my neighbor and from Elijah’s kindergarten teacher Mrs. Young. Although I wished at the end of the last school year Mrs. Young would have been his teacher again, I am happy he will get the opportunity to meet and get to know a new teacher.


The summer really flew by. Our summer started with a wonderful visit from Morgan – continuing with a family trip to San Diego (Sea World and beaches) and Arizona (visiting family and friends) – followed by a 10 day visit from Kenzie, Kaelyn, and Zack. We also spent a lot of late, late nights hanging out with our friends. You cannot beat the great Indiana summer nights of sitting around a fire-pit roasting marshmallows, eating smores, chatting, and occasionally spotting fireflies. The July fireworks (Indiana folk don’t just shoot off fireworks on the 4th; they last the whole month long) were great too.


As summer ends we have many new memories to reflect on and we look forward to the upcoming fall memories we will make.

Green thumb

With a lot of help from my parents I finally got two 4 x 4 “square foot” gardens set up.  It was quite a sight to watch my dad carrying the heavy bags of soil, compost, and peet moss from my car to my backyard. Late Thursday night we mixed the soil, compost, and peet moss together and added the twine to separate the sections of the garden and yesterday afternoon Elijah and Jonah helped me plant all the seeds and pre-started plants.  I am so excited to start seeing our herbs and veggies grow, but I am even more excited to start harvesting our own produce.


(I think I owe my parents some of the first harvests.)


Here is a layout of what we are growing:

blueprint3


Here is a picture of the garden today:

garden-picture-p


You may have noticed in the bottom right square of one of the gardens there are crumbs of some kind.  I think Jonah thought dumping the tortilla chip crumbs in the garden will help the plants grow.


I will post some pictures later on when things start growing in.

What’s been going on with our little guy…

Last week at this time Jonah was in the hospital.  It all started last Thursday (03/12/2009) when Jonah began having the dropping spells again.  The best way I can describe it is it is he momentarily loses control of his body.  Ben describes it as if some one turns off and on the lights for him.  I am not sure if he loses consciousness or not, but his body goes limp and he falls forward.  Usually he does not have time to catch himself.  It started in the morning and after several bouts through out the day I called his Pediatrician’s office.  The last time Jonah had these spells his doctor thought it was caused from an ear infection throwing off his equilibrium.  Just a few days prior he finished 10 days of Amoxicillin and during that time the dropping spells stopped.  When I spoke with the Physican’s assistant at Dr. Hodson’s office I explained what was happening and she said Dr. Hodson would call in a prescription for a stronger antibiotic.

Unfortunately, before I could go pick-up the prescription Jonah had a passout spell, fell forward, and hit his forehead on the tile in the kitchen.  I had just filled his sippy with apple juice and turned for a second to put the apple juice away in the refrigerator.  As I was closing the door I heard Jonah hit the floor and I gasped.  Dang, all day I was watching him so closely and in a split second this happened.  He started crying and I rushed over to him to pick him up and check him out.  As I was picking him up his body stiffened and he went into a seizure.  I carried him over to the couch and laid him on his side.  Of course Elijah was frantic asking me if I was going to call the paramedics again.  (As a similar thing happened 21 days prior and I called 911 in a panic, where he was brought to the hospital in an Ambulance).  I asked Elijah to get me the phone as I watched my poor little guy having another seizure.  This is one of the hardest things a parent can see.  I feel so helpless.  In tears I frantically started calling Ben, but he wasn’t answering.  Then I called my in-laws, and my father in-law answered.  While bawling I unsuccessfully tried to compose myself, and said, “Jonah just passed out again, fell and hit his head, and is having another seizure’.  My father in-law told me they would be right over.  Within the next few moments Jonah’s seizure stopped and he fell asleep.  A huge lump was protruding from his forehead.  I put a cold cloth on his forward and tried calling  Ben again.  I finally got a hold of Ben and told him what happened and that his parents were on their way over.

Once John and Teri got to our house, Teri (G’ma) sat with Jonah while John and I rushed to Target to pick up Jonah’s prescription.  When I got back Jonah woke up  enough for me to hold him and give him some medicine.  When Jonah is not feeling well and most of the time he is very much a Momma’s boy and only wanted me to hold him for most of the night.  Grandma Teri did manage to hold her baby grandson a few times and around 9 pm we all settled down in the living room and put on a Barney episode for Jonah to watch.  Barney is one of Jonah’s favorite shows.  When we were a few minutes into the show, I commented on how far the bump on his forehead protruded when G’ma looked down and said, “What is he doing?”.  Jonah went into another seizure.  Worry took over me as I helped G’ma put Jonah on his side.  G’ma started praying over Jonah as I cried and held Jonah’s hand and caressed his arms and back.  After it was over I took his temperature.  This seizure was unprovoked.  He didn’t have a fever, what could be causing this?  The panic and worry started turning my stomach and I immediately called his Pediatrician’s office.  As the office was closed, I eventually received a call back from the on-call Doctor.  Dr. Fledderjohn was very comforting and gave me instructions on what to do through the night.  She told me to wake Jonah up in a little bit to check if he acts normal, if he is alert.  She strongly advised me to call the Neurologist the next day to get Jonah in for evaluation.  She was concerned that Jonah has had so many seizures in the last year and now they don’t seem to be Febrile seizures anymore.  She also said to call their office the next day if the Neurologist couldn’t see Jonah the next day.  Dr. Hodson (Jonah’s Pediatrician) could talk to the Neurologist’s office and hopefully get him in sooner.

I was able to get Friday off and I was so grateful since Friday turned out to be a hard day for all of us.  Thursday night was rough too.  I am a light sleeper and I was so worried for Jonah that I couldn’t sleep.  My stomach was in knots.  Every time Jonah moved, it startled me.  I was sick to my stomach worried that he would have another seizure.  Friday morning we woke early, after Jonah had a couple of bananas (his favorite) around 9 am I gave Jonah another dose of his antibiotics.  Once again we put Barney on for him and within a short time he fell into another seizure again.  This time I looked at him seconds before it started and saw his little body go limp, so I laid him on his side and held him.  Ben and I couldn’t help to think there was a connection between Barney or the antibiotics as possible triggers.  After the seizure passed I immediately called the Neurologist’s office to see if he could be seen that day.  The earliest appointment we could get was for Tuesday, so I then called Dr. Hodson’s office.  As we laid next to our sleeping baby we waited for an answer.  I jumped when the phone rang at 11 am.  I guess I did manage to close my eyes and catch a small nap.  Thankfully Dr. Hodson’s referral assistant managed to get Jonah into see Dr. McGuire (Neurologist) at the Carmel office at 1:40 pm.  I stirred Ben and gave him the news.  I felt so bad for him too.  We were both trying to catch any moments rest since we both did not get much sleep the night before.  After I got ready I called Jill to ask her to come over later to be here when Elijah got home from school.  Since the Neurologist office was 40 minutes away I was unsure if we would be back for when Elijah got home at 3:50 pm.  I am so glad I called Jill.  Our conversation was very comforting to me.  She was glad to hear we were taking Jonah into see the Neurologist and she was so supportive of our decision to get him in for evaluation.  Of course she was worried for our little “neeners”.

On our way to the Neurologist’s office Jonah had another seizure.  We pulled over to unbuckle him and move him to his side and when the seizure stopped we once again started on our way to the Doctor’s office.  We got lost!  After we got turned around and had to back track we finally got to the Doctor’s office 10 minutes late.  As I was filling out the paperwork Ben put Jonah on the floor and was supporting him with is legs as Jonah played with my purse.  Seconds before the Doctor walked in, Jonah had a passout spell again and bump his head on the floor.  He got a carpet burn right next to the bump he got the night before.  Dr. McGuire walked in as Jonah was bawling.  During the first part of our visit with her Jonah soon calmed down and feel asleep.  Dr. McGuire took took down his history and discussed with us her thoughts on what could be happening.  As she examined him she expressed her concern on how his body was not reacting to her poking and prodding.  She strongly felt it would be best to get him into the hospital for tests.  She did not want to send us home on a Friday and it would not be easy for us to get Jonah in to see a Doctor over the weekend if he had more seizures before Monday.  She direct admitted Jonah to St. Vincent’s hospital in Carmel.

We immediately headed over to the hospital and got him admitted around 3 pm.  As we were speaking with various Doctors and Nurses Jonah had another seizure.  Before the night was over he had one more and the nurses gave him a medicine via IV that would stop the seizures.  Between 5:30 pm on Thursday and 5:30 pm on Friday he had 6 seizures.  That night was a blur.  Ben and I were exhausted, emotionally drained, and weak from not eating.  Throughout the afternoon and evening Jonah under went a EEG, EKG, MRI, Spinal Tap, and Urinalysis.  He was sedated for the MRI, Spinal Tap and Urinalysis.  The Neurologist reviewed the EEG and MRI preliminary results and did not see any issues.  However she decided to start him on anti-seizure medication the next day.  By 10 pm Jonah was sleeping soundly and Ben and I tried to settle down and sleep on the hard futon in the hospital room.  At some point in the night I moved to Jonah’s bed to protect him from falling off the bed or pulling out his IV.  As the sedation wore off, Jonah tried to get up, he was very unsteady and unhappy with all of the tubes and cables attached to him.  Ben and I took turns laying with Jonah.   The next day Jonah could not be contained.  The side effects from the sedatives made him hyperactive and unsteady.  He could not walk without holding our hands.  He walked like he was drunk.  From 7:30 am until 10:15 pm we walked around the Children’s hospital and visited the play area many times.  We covered ever inch of the 3rd floor.  The effects of the sedative given the night before made it so he literally could not stay still.    Since he only took a small nap from 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm (interrupted by the nurse taking his vitals and giving him his anti-seizure medicine), we did not get a chance to get much sleep.  Dr Patel (Dr. McGuire’s Neurology partner) met with us Saturday afternoon and cleared Jonah to be released.  He viewed the MRI results and the other preliminary test results and said he did not find anything that they felt would cause the seizures.  He explained the medication Jonah would start taking and evaluated Jonah one more time.  Soon after Dr. Furr came in to evaluate Jonah and she did not see any ear infection or other issues. Though, she decided to keep him one more night.  She said the other Doctor’s concurred with her that Jonah must have a slow metabolism and thus it was taking a long time for his body to get rid of the Pentabar.  Finally around 10:15 pm Jonah settled down and went to sleep for the night.  Ben left to go home to work on his homework, take a shower, and hopefully get a better night sleep.  Saturday night was a better night for both Jonah and I.  At 4:30 am Sunday the nurse woke us up again to take Jonah’s vitals and have me give him is anti-seizure medicine (Keppra).  He got a Popsicle for being such a good boy and letting the nurse do her thing.  So there we were 5 am on Sunday morning watching cartoons as Jonah enjoyed his Popsicle.  At 5:30 am Jonah fell back to sleep and we enjoyed a few more hours rest.  At 7:30 am Jonah was up for the day.  A few more Doctor’s visits and many more trips around the 3rd floor of the hospital and we were set to be released.  Ben arrived around 11:30 am and we were on our way home.

Elijah spent Friday night and Saturday night with G’ma and G’pa.  We are very thankful that G’ma, G’pa, Jill and Quaid helped us out with Elijah while we were at the hospital.  Elijah got to spend Saturday (03/14/2009) with Jill, Quaid, Caleb and had a super fun day.  I know Elijah is very concerned for his brother and that weekend was hard on him, he is a trooper!!!

Jonah has been taking Keppra twice a day since Saturday.  So far he is doing good.  The other test results from Friday (03/13/2009) came back and they have not found anything concerning.  Jonah did have a slight elevation of platlets and white blood cells which the nurse who called with the results said that usually indiciated a slight infection.  Jonah has a follow-up appointment with Dr. Hodson this Monday.  We will talk with her then and see if he should continue with the antibiotics.

Yeah Spring!


Yesterday was the first day of spring.  Finally!  It was a really long winter.  As soon as we are clear of freezing temps we are going to head to the nursery to get trees and plants for our backyard.  I think this year I am going to try square foot gardening.  I am hoping to grow tomatoes, herbs, squash, cucumbers and peppers.  I am really excited!

18 Wheelers

Alright, so I know that this post is probably going to come off as sounding like it’s another negative rant against the state of Indiana – If thats the case, I apologize in advance to those of you who might otherwise be offended.

So here goes — I believe it was probably about a year ago that I first was told that Indiana was classified as being the “crossroads” of our country. I wasn’t sure exactly how to interpret that until I started to do a lot of driving here on the freeways. Shortly thereafter, it quickly hit me upside the head.

Truthfully, I can’t believe the sheer number of semi’s on the freeways here in Indiana. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, these diesel trucks are friggin’ everywhere. I feel sorry for the daily commuters who average more than 30-45 minutes a day on the freeways here. Undoubtedly, they would have to share a much greater frustration than I experience anytime I’m on the road for an extended amount of time. The really bad part of having so many truckers on the roads here is getting stuck either behind one, or , getting stuck in between a pair. Alternatively , having debris and other random shit flailing at your vehicle isn’t a big treat either.

I’ve noticed that we have quite a few truckers who reside in our neighborhood as well. I certainly don’t have one thing against people who choose to make a living from driving, although, it does incense me somewhat that several of them feel free to drive their 18 wheelers down my street. Most of them park in their driveways, however, there are a few that simply leave their rig on the side of the curb making it impossible for more than one car to drive by that same spot simultaneously. I know, not necessarily a huge deal, but sometimes an annoyance depending upon who’s driving on the opposite end.

As unrealistic as it may sound, I wish that these types of vehicles were only allowed to drive on the road during certain times of the day/night. While I know that this type of thinking may seem a big illogical, a little wishful thinking never hurts.

/rant