Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life

This week has had its ups and downs. Last weekend, Sam and Jesse (and Charlotte!) came to visit us. We had a whole lot of fun hanging out, eating yummy meals, and going to see the wall of dinosaur bones. I could tell they really liked it. I've been there enough times that it's not quite as cool, but it's still very impressive. James and Sam went shooting, we all went to church on Sunday (minus James, Kenny, and Katie), and overall had a great time. I felt a lot less stressed than having my in-laws. I guess my brother/sister-in-law are more "at my level" and I don't feel like I have to impress them so much. Jesse did lots of cleaning for me, which was awesome, because Katie is starting to be awake a lot more and wants to be held - or else!

Katie is still doing very well at sleeping. She's only sleeping 5 hours-ish split into 3-4 naps during the day. I'm getting used to that, because she used to sleep more like 8 or 9 hours! She has a fussy/awake period from 5 or 6 till 9-9:30, when she finally goes to bed. The last 4 days, she has slept 6-7 hours for the first stretch at night, which means I've only had to get up once! She takes the record for my best sleeper so far. Still, Joseph and Kenny did 5 hours by a month. She seems to be gaining well, and she doesn't have to go to her one month appointment since the doctor said she was doing so well at 2 weeks. Therefore, I won't have any real stats to share.

The boys have been fighting a lot, but it's mainly because Joseph really wants to be the boss of Kenny, but Kenny isn't going to have any of that. I can't wait to see what goes down once Kenny can say more than 2 words at a time. I think the boys are going to have many world-class arguments. I remember having a lot of those with my siblings.

Speaking of which, Christian, Myles, and Mara will be coming next week for Thanksgiving! I'm so excited to host my very first one - and to have lots of leftovers to enjoy! We are going to go all out and make 4 different kinds of pie. I can't wait! Since I haven't stepped on a scale since Katie was born, I'm not going to feel the least bit guilty about eating lots of pie, namely, the French silk pie that I know will be delicious beyond all reason. (Heavy cream and chocolate are always a winning combination, in my mind.)

The biggest challenge this week is getting used to always having a kid awake, especially with Katie's shorter naps. If she wakes up early one day (say, 6:45) and goes down later (like 9:30), it doesn't give me a lot of time left with James. I know that's temporary, but it's a little tough not to have much (or any) time completely alone. Joseph is great at doing "quiet time" though, even though it means he gets a little cranky at dinner.

I love my kiddos. I know that family outings, once they can happen, will be tough again with a nursing baby, but I'm still so glad to be able to nurse at long as I want to. Kenny has has a gross, runny nose, and James has also been sick, but Katie has only had the mildest stuffy nose - not enough to interrupt her sleep or breathing. That is definitely a blessing. I have remained well too, aside from headaches for a couple of days.

Now, for pictures.
"Heyo, KK! Hold?"

happy boys with glow sticks

exploring Dino Natnl. Monument

my grown up baby (19 1/2 months)

Joseph touching the dinosaur bone

James's favorite hobby

Katie, 4 weeks old

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Love Technology

There are many things that I remember from my other kids that help me immensely with my baby girl. Newborns, at least for the first month or so, are pretty similar in their habits. They sleep, eat, and make dirty diapers. Sometimes I forget about the little things that drive me crazy. Take cluster feeding, for example, or the witching hours. I forget every time how challenging those are, but the internet has reassured (and reminded me) that I've been through this twice before, it's okay, and it won't last forever.

Katie is still a great baby. Just like her brothers, she only wakes up twice a night. Her nursing style is like Joseph - very slow and leisurely, unless it's the middle of the night. (Kenny was a gulper and still is. I never had to burp him either, because I'd sit up up and he'd burp the loudest burps I've ever heard from a baby!)

I can't count how often I've Googled things over the last month, whether about taking care of a baby, my recovery, recipes for dinner, or other stuff I want to know. I don't know what I'd do without internet in the house! Not only do I learn because of it; I also am able to express myself through my blogs, watch things on Netflix, buy stuff, and communicate through social media. I'm so grateful to live in this day and age where such a thing is available.

Now, back to my show on Netflix...

But first, I must relate the rest of this past week. It was pretty low-key. We had friends come over on Sunday. Scott and Chelsea are still remodeling their kitchen, so they cooked over at our house. We made apple pies, 3 of them, for dessert. They left us with a bunch of apples, so I dried them. 3 batches later, and I finished the whole box. Katie was unfortunately very fussy and awake from 4-7:30 on Sunday, so that put a damper on things. I had a huge headache by the end of the day. Luckily, that hasn't happened again.

I can't wait to take Katie out and about. Less than 3 weeks now!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Staying Inside

The past week was far less crazy than the week before, and for that, I am very grateful. I have been able to return to some sort of a routine, at least as much as possible when a newborn is involved, and minus working out. For a 2-week-old, Katie still sleeps very well. She wakes me up twice at night, which is exactly what the boys both did. (There are exceptions with growth spurts, but 2 is the norm.) I think she sleeps 16-18 hours for every 24. What a life, huh? :)

Joseph is now taking "quiet time" instead of naps. I don't need naps myself, so I'm okay with that. He gets to do puzzles or play with Play Doh, the stuff that Kenny would usually wreck in 2 seconds. He seems to handle less sleep all right, though sometimes he has a meltdown around 7 p.m. Kenny had a rough few days with naps, but he has since returned to normal and sleeps 3 hours every day.

The only time I ventured out this week (aside from Church) was to take Kenny and Katie to the doctor. Katie weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz., so a half a pound up from her birth weight - at 12 days old! Kenny weighed a whopping 25 lbs. A year ago, he was only in the 2nd percentile for weight. Now, he's in the 60th! That child knows how to eat, and he packs more food away than Joseph. Still, that's some crazy growth. I think he's going to end up kind of stocky like my family.

It feels like such a long wait until December when we can take Katie "out". Her pediatrician was pretty clear that RSV is a big problem right now, and it sends babies to the hospital. The boys went to Church after a month, but they were both spring babies. Still, we've made it through 2 weeks so far of being fairly homebound without goings nuts. I feel totally lazy since I've been watching a lot of TV to keep myself occupied. James and I both discovered that Duck Dynasty is a pretty hilarious show. Too many shows about "the South" make Southern girls out to be total witches who will never accept any outsiders. The women in Duck Dynasty are really pretty, kind, religious, and good moms. It's funny that their husbands all have such long beards. Anyway, James says I like it because it reminds me of home. I remind him that I'm not from Louisiana, and my hometown in Apex, NC is A LOT more "civilized" than Vernal. Haha.

I really need to get on the ball and take more pictures of my sweet little girl. I can't believe how nervous I was about having her. She's been an angel, and I've fallen in love all over again with a new little person who will be part of my family forever. I can't wait to see what the future brings, especially when I really get to know her personality.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Using Food Co-ops

In my area, Bountiful Baskets is the food co-op. I know that others exist, but I don't know any by name. Still, I want to reassure anyone afraid of trying them out that they pretty awesome! I've been getting Bountiful Baskets now for a year and half, and I don't think I'll ever stop. Some things I've learned along the way:

1. You don't have to get one every week. You choose how often. I do one every other week since that's what works for me, and the location I use only does them every other week anyway. (Many locations are every week, but Vernal is a small enough town to have only 1 going every other week.)

2. It saves money. How much depends on what you normally buy at the grocery store and what you buy. In Idaho, I only ever bought cheap veggies and fruits, averaging less than $1.00 a lb. I was spending about $30 per two weeks on produce. When I started doing BB, I spent about the same but got a much better variety of things to eat. In small-town Utah, it saves me money no matter what I buy at the grocery store. Produce here costs up to 50% more than what I paid in Idaho. I can still get by with spending $30 per 2 weeks, but if I bought only cheap produce at Walmart, I'd pay at least $40 to get the same amount of stuff, and it wouldn't be anything special.

3. The basket is standard, but BB also offers other awesome things. I've gotten the bread in the past, and it's really good. They also offer tortillas, coconut oil, granola, or boxes of fruit/veggies that are in season for a really good deal. Think big boxes of peaches, apples, or strawberries.

4. I can still buy my "essential" produce at the grocery store. I wait until after I've gotten my basket and then cross off anything I already got. I always have potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, as well as frozen peas and stir fry blend. In cans, I get diced tomatoes and corn. Since I get a basket every other week, this ends up being the perfect amount of veggies for the 4 of us for two weeks.

5. When I get my basket, I make a list of the all the fruits and veggies I received. I refer to the list when I'm making meals and use up the most perishable items first.

6. I don't plan my meals around my basket, but I do include the things I've gotten. (Some people can plan meals based entirely on veggies with no grains or meat, but that doesn't work here. We are hungry people.) If the veggie doesn't naturally mix in with the meal (like a casserole, soup, or stir fry), then I include it as a side. We often include more than one veggie and have some fresh fruit with dinner. I rarely do any complicated veggie sides. If I have to cook a veggie by itself, it's usually steamed or roasted with some seasoning, that's it. I don't have to make a whole separate recipe and get stressed out.

7. You won't get too many weird things. I have yet to eat something that I've never heard of. Most "weird" items you get will simply be a different variety of something you're already familiar with. Examples: savoy cabbage or Asian pears.

8. Nothing needs to go to waste. I can honestly say that I've found a way to like every fruit and veggie to cross my path. The internet is an amazing resource for learning to cook new things. Many things, as I've said before, don't need complicated recipes to taste good. If in doubt, roast it! When we can't use up things in time, I freeze them. That's pretty rare, unless we get extra celery or bananas. Bananas go into smoothies and the celery works great in soups. I don't think I've ever had to freeze anything else. We ate it all!

9. My favorite things about BB: saving money, eating a greater variety of fruits and veggies, being surprised, trying new things, saving room in my shopping cart (since Walmart's are so small!), and much better quality produce than what I can get at the grocery store.

10. A few cons: having to pick up the basket on Saturday morning (not always convenient), getting a few things I'm not in the mood for (but I've learned to like, so only sort of a con), volunteering - I never have, but I feel guilty about it. They say you get extra things to take home, but it's been impossible for me to go with either a nursing baby, pregnancy, or both. One day...

There you have it. We love Bountiful Baskets! They didn't pay me to say anything on here, because hey, they're run by volunteers. :)

If you want to see if they have them in your area, check out http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/.

Have you ever tried Bountiful Baskets or any other food co-op? How do you like it?