About every mom goes camera-crazy with their kiddos and I am no exception. I wanted a fun, bright, portable ‘background’ for some photos of The Sprout – something that would add the dimension that his fuzzy blankets just weren’t living up to. I scored this rug at Ross for $18. It is apparently made of recycled tee shirt strips in variegated colors. Neat-o!
Love the texture and rich colors of this rug
My oldest sneaked his ukulele into his little brother’s shot and it worked great!
The Bean has a best friend – an imaginary best friend: Wuzzie the Rat. Wuzzie became a member of our family about 5 months ago. The only rat Beans had ever seen was a dead one a cat had put an end to. It must have made quite an impression on him. When he first started talking to me about Wuzzie I thought it was a phase that would quickly pass – I mean, come on, a flying rat?!?. However, the Bean’s relationship with his imaginary friend has only grown. My son will talk to Wuzzie for hours at a time as he plays with his toys, we have to wait for Wuzzie, Wuzzie sits with us as restaurants, Beans shares his meals with Wuzzie and the best – I can threaten to send Wuzzie home as an effective form of discipline. No kidding. So I figured it was only fitting that I sketch what *I* imagine Wuzzie the Rat to look like. When I showed Beans the sketch he recognized Wuzzie right away. He then asked me why I didn’t draw him riding on Wuzzie. I guess thats the next sketch….
My oldest and I were in the mood for a ‘zert tonight (That’s Bean-speak for dessert) and I, of course, want to avoid refined sugar….what to do? What to do? Enter Coconut-corn!
3 Heaping Tbls Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Popcorn Kernels
1/4 Cup Xyla
1/4 Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 tsp Sea Salt
In A large pot with a lid heat the oil on medium. Add popcorn kernels – cook till popped, shaking the pot regularly as to not burn the popcorn. Once the corn is popped remove pot from stove and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.
This is a lightly sweet kettle-corn-like dessert with tropical notes from the shredded coconut and the oil. Super yummy!
So, the 6 week postpartum appointment with my midwife is fast approaching. I am so sad that this journey together is quickly coming to an end as Dr Wendy has been an amazing friend and resource. I really wanted to get her something unique and special as a parting gift – as opposed to a restaurant gift card or another cookie-cutter gift. So – because I just couldn’t help my crafty self – I had my favorite placenta painting printed on canvas for her. Hope she likes it!
Printed Canvas wrapped in protective plastic from shipping
Yes, I saved my placenta. No, I didn’t eat it or encapsulate it. Yes, I made art with it.
I gave birth to The Sprout 2 weeks ago, but painting with my placenta was not high on the priority list so I froze it. After a good thaw, I mixed some black and green acrylic paint with water and “bathed” the placenta.
I used a sea sponge to dab excess liquid off the placenta. I used 140# watercolor paper and would gently set the placenta on top of each piece.
Printing with the placenta
Placenta Print with acrylic paints and natural fluids
The resulting prints are beautiful, unique, displayable pieces.
Today was a quiet day. It was Shabbat, so it was perfect for a low-key indoor activity. The Bean is finally on the mend from this nasty sickness and the baby is just super-easy, so I though some painting would be fun. Beans painted a wooden “J” with a hook, a kitty cat that I had primed black and some garden plaques. When he was done with the garden plaques I painted the names of his respective grandmothers and great-grandmothers. We will send them off on Monday. Once again, a cheap, easy pastime for a three-year-old.
Ah! Its been a little while since my last post, but a LOT has happened. I was all gung-ho to get labor going ASAP well over two weeks ago. Enter the crud. Yes, my poor little Bean (who is NEVER sick) began to come down with something the day before Valentine’s Day. It started with a cough at night and progressed (or rather digressed) into a full-blown cold/fever/flu thing. Just horrible. Of course, I was due to have this baby any day and here is my three year old sicker than I’ve ever seen him. I was praying that labor wouldn’t start till Beans was on the mends.
After several VERY sleepless nights taking care of him, Sat night Bean’s fever broke and he started getting a little energy back. I went to bed that night feeling pretty crampy. Sure, I totally had the thought cross my mind that I could wake up and be in labor, but I was too tired to entertain the notion to the fullest.
At 5am Sunday morning I woke up to more cramping and Husby leaving for work. He used our bathroom and turned the fan on. The fan is super-loud and the noise was prohibitive of me falling back to sleep. It seemed like he was taking forever in the bathroom – so i started watching the clock, thinking he might have fallen asleep in there (for reals). It was only then I noticed that my cramping was coming exactly 5 minutes apart and getting stronger. I finally got out of bed to check on Husby, only to discover that he was long gone and had just forgotten to turn off the fan.
I had the gut feeling that this was “it” and decided to get some birth-prep & housework done while the Bean was still sleeping. I made up our bed with waterproof mattress protectors and an old set of sheets, made sure the birth supplies were organized, did laundry, dishes and vacuumed once Beans woke up. All the while the cramps had become contractions and they were starting to become distracting. At 8am I let my parents know that I was pretty sure this was gonna be the day and I gave my husband a heads up that he would need to come home soon. At 8:30am I let my midwife, Dr Wendy, know that I was having contractions with increasing intensity and that I would keep her posted.
My husband came home right away (He is a worrier about stuff like that) and my mom showed up shortly thereafter. The contractions were strong enough that I really needed to focus when they came on and I would just breath in and out quickly between them. At 11:15am I texted Dr Wendy and let her know that the contractions were 3.5 minutes apart and I could no longer talk through them. She said she would head over and she arrived around noon. My contractions continued at the same level for about an hour but moved to about 2 minutes between by 1pm. Dr Wendy took me into the bedroom and checked my cervix. I was dilated to a 3. Almost immediately after she checked me the intensity of the contractions kicked up a notch. Instead of just breathing through the contractions I started vocalizing more of an “ooh, ooh, ooh”. That went on for about an hour. I was sitting in the living room with everyone and would just get up and go to the kitchen to be alone every time a contraction would strike. I’d hold on to the top of the refrigerator and sway back and forth. All this time it was so great in between contractions. I was very restful and peaceful – I got to cuddle with my son and eat a sandwich. I absolutely LOVED laboring in my own home. Somewhere between 2pm and 3pm the contractions turned themselves up to hurt-like-hell mode. At this point those “ooh, ooh, oohs” changed to “Oh, Comeon! Comeon! Comeon!” with the occasional “shit” for punctuation. I went and tried to lay down on my bed and had Husby turn on Abbey Road for me. My son came in and snuggled me so I held off on the “shits”. We had talked for months about how when mommies have their babies they make a lot of noise but that they are OK. He was curious but not frightened. At one point my son even told be that I was doing a good job and that I sounded good!
Dr Wendy, observing the change in the sound of my laboring checked me again. I was at a 7. My husband and son started filling the birth pool. This was at 3:30pm. Again, almost immediately the contractions got more serious and Dr Wendy started setting up her birthing supplies in my bedroom – as she was afraid that we might not have time to fill the birth pool all the way. Dr Wendy also called the other ND, Katie, who was her assist for my birth. Dr Wendy had felt my waters bulging and advised me to put on a pad if I wanted to spare my light carpet. I hid in the nursery for my contractions. I was now “Ahh, Ahh, AHHHH”ing through the contraction and my occasional “shit” became a little more frequent “f*ck!!!!!!” At one point my husband came in and just looked at me – you know the look – that he desperately wanted to do something for me but was powerless to do so. I told him not to look at me.
My water broke in the nursery and I went into the master bath and let Dr Wendy and Dr Katie (who, by now, had arrived) know. Katie helped me out of my skirt and panties as I stood in the bathroom and (what we thought) were the rest of my waters gushed out. I was starting to feel pushy so I asked if it was all right if I sat on the toilet. They obliged me and BAM! More water poured out of me; like someone had turned on a faucet!
After sitting on the john for three or four contractions I stumbled to my bed and just wanted to lay down between the gut-wrenching waves of pain. I was feeling so pushy! Dr Wendy checked me again and I was still between 7 and 8 but my body was bearing down. At this point I started pushing. I was screaming during contractions but feeling exhausted but oddly peaceful between them. I remember the afternoon sun was coming through the shades of my bedroom and it was beautiful.
The midwives had stacked all my pillows up at the head of the bed and I was laying the top of my body over those pillows. I was on all fours. It hurt (even between contractions) to bend forward at the waist. With each contraction I pushed. It hurt something fierce. Finally, I felt the baby moving down and suddenly the relief was tangible while pushing. Nothing had ever felt so good as in that moment feeling like my pushes were taking us somewhere – I’m not sure if that makes any sense to those reading, but it *was* physical relief….Till that damn ring of fire.
When my son crowned it hurt like hell. It was taking every iota of physical stamina I had to make sure he STAYED crowned and didn’t slip back up the birth canal. Between the contractions and the screams, I was excited enough to ask if he had hair and what color it was. (Black, by the way) All I wanted to do was to push that head out the rest of the way, but Dr Wendy coached me to slow it down to avoid tearing. Now, THAT sucked. I think I laid down some serious whining over that, but I held off – I didn’t just push him out. I held off as long as I could and then pushed with all my might. I felt that head pass through and had – for a nanosecond – the thought, “OMG! the pain is OVER!” But then i felt his shoulders slip through and that just took my breath away. I didnt have but a fraction of a second to contemplate the pain of passing his shoulders before he was out. And even MORE waters gushed out! I half turned around and said, “Give me my baby!”. It was 4:28pm.
Dr wendy told me to turn back around and she would pass him to me. She handed me me son and he was SO amazing! He was curled up like a little ball and just wanted to snuggle. My husband looked so proud! We let the Bean come in to meet his little brother and it was pretty magical. The Sprout weighed 9lbs 12oz and was 21 1/4′ long. He is the SWEETEST little baby. All he does is eat and sleep and snuggle.
It was an absolutely wonderful experience birthing at home. I would never want to birth in a hospital again. And this experience exceeded my most positive expectations!
My best friend is hosting a sprinkle for the new baby and I though I’d try my hand at making a little something special that I had never made before: Cake Pops. I know these hardly qualify as “real food” but we’ll try our hand at converting to a crunchier alternative once we get the fundamentals down! I watched about a dozen tutorials on how to do it and this is what I came up with to make it the most simple experience. I completely ruined the first half of my cake pop batch through trial and error, so it looks like there won’t be enough pops to take to the event. But, hey! I know how to do these puppies from here on out.
One boxed cake- baked
One tub of pre-made frosting
30 pop sticks
2 bags of Wilton’s Candy Melts
Piece of styrofoam
Mini ice cream scoop
Start with baking and cooling the cake.
Once the cake is completely cooled use your fingers to crumble it into a fine grain.
Next, spoon in a little less than 1/3 of the container of frosting. This is essentially two giant spoonfuls. DO NOT use too much frosting. Mix in the frosting to the crumbled cake with your fingers. It becomes a dough-like blob that you can shape.
Frosting and cake mixed
Now use the mini ice cream scoop to measure out uniform amounts of the mixture. Use your hands to roll into tight, solid balls.
Melt about a quarter cup of the candy melts in a glass cup.
Dip about 3/4 of an inch of the ends of the pop sticks in the melted candy.
Pop stick dipped in melted candy
Insert into cake balls. Freeze for half hour. This will keep the sticks from coming out of cake balls when you candy coat them.
Cake balls with sticks
Melt a tall glass full of the candy melts. I did this in the microwave – took about a minute and twenty seconds. I did this in twenty second increments. I originally tried to use white chocolate chips and this was a disaster. They melted too thick and thats how I ruined half of these cake pops.
Remove cake balls from the freezer and dip one at a time in the melted candy.
Dip cake balls
Dip them down far enough in the tall cup that the candying on the stick is covered. Gently twist the cake pop as you bring it out of the melted candy. Poke the cake pop stick into the styrofoam block and allow the candy to harden. Super easy cake pops! The next time I make these I plan do do so baking a cake from scratch with Real Food ingredients and using stevia-sweetened cream cheese for the “frosting”. I’m at a loss for what to do to reduce the refined sugar content in the candy melts. I’d love to hear ideas on good substitutes!
The Beans and I are usually pretty active. We love to hike and garden and go on grand adventures as well as undertake all sorts of projects. But lets face it. I am one LAAAAAAZY pregnant lady. So even though my precious, active son really, really wanted to go somewhere and “do” something today, I just couldn’t bring myself to get us going. So I pulled out the bag of “rainy day” projects. This is a bag of easy, fun art & crafts material I horde for days such as this. Beans decided that he wanted to paint a birdhouse and a horse. Awesome. Plant the kid at the kitchen table with his little wooden (and did I mention cheap?) items and let him have at ’em with some (equally cheap) acrylic paints. It had been my intention to prime these wooden paintables and then spray paint them with a solid color BEFORE the Bean got to them…but I just never got around to it. I promised him I would take him to Michael’s and let him pick out some more things to paint tomorrow – I’ll try to get right on top of those and paint a base color on them as soon as we get them home – It just tends to make them look so much more finished…. So, Beans painted a horse and a birdhouse: it killed an hour, cost less than $3 and satisfied my son’s desire to “do” something. Win, win, win. AND he’s going to give them away as gifts. Whatta sweetie!