Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to make lobster bisque

This isn't my recipe. I got it from this link: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/12/crockpot-lobster-bisque.html and there is a couple of changes I would/did make.

3 cups chicken broth- I'd make sure it was low sodium

8 oz clam juice
14.5 oz stewed tomatoes and juice

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced

1 large leek, diced (just the white part!)

1 T dried parsley

2 tsp Old Bay seasoning mix
1 tsp dill
1 cup heavy cream (to add later)
Same as heavy whipping cream
2 lobster tails (to add later)

lemon slices as garnish
also need a large crock pot and an immersible mixer

How to make:

Combine broth, clam juice, tomatoes, onion, chopped mushrooms, leek, parsley, dill and Old Bay. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Use the immersible mixer to blend everything together into a broth. Add lobster tails, cook on high for 30-45 minutes or until the tail has turned pink and meat is fork-tender. Remove lobster tails from crockpot, add in heavy cream.

Take the meat out of the the lobster tails with a fork, add to the soup. Serve with a lemon slice for garnish!

My personal notes:

Use low sodium chicken broth. It could also stand for a bit more cream. Heavy cream is the same as heavy whipping cream, which confused me when I was in the store.

After the first step, you're going to look into the crockpot and say, "Wow, that's a lot of mushrooms." Don't worry, they blend up nicely.

Also, here is what a leek looks like-
I had to ask two kindly older ladies to help me find one in the grocery store (they weren't labeled). I asked two because the first didn't know what one looked like either.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Christmas list

Yes, I know that it's not yet Christmas, but Batman and I are celebrating it today. We're going to be at our parent's for actual Christmas eve/Christmas day and we wanted to have a special day for just the three of us.

Want to hear about the loot? Of course you do!

For Mo-mo
We actually said that we wouldn't buy her anything because her grandparents are going to be getting her stuff, and I would just hit up the after Christmas sales if she needed anything. Oh well. Who can stand to buy their baby nothing for their first Christmas?

Playskool Busy Tumble Top
By far her favorite present. It's pretty darn noisy.

Ugly Doll- Poe
She was unimpressed with it but I think it's cute

These flexible plastic balls I bought because the toy store didn't sell Winkels and it looked vaguely similar.
Can you tell that I already threw away the wrapping for this one?

5 pack of Baby Legs
For those of you who aren't moms, BabyLegs are like baby leg warmers. They're good for adding an extra layer of warmth in the winter, they protect baby knees when the kid starts crawling, and they're easier than pants during diaper changes. But they're stupidly expensive. I would never pay the full $12 price tag for one pair--it hurts my frugal heart to even consider it. I bought 5 pairs for $25 using www.babysteals.com.

For Batman
It was a very DVD heavy Christmas for Batman. He picked out the watch, knew he was getting some Buffy/Angel but not how many, and the other two DVDs were a surprise.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3 and 4

Angel Season 2

Family Guy Season 7

Simpsons Season 12

a watch
From Kohl's. We walked over to the watches, I picked up this one and said "This is the one I would have picked out if you weren't here." He approved.

For me!!!
I asked for/picked out:

A Painted Pony
Yup. It's covered with boots. Isn't it nifty? I can add a tallymark to that 101 goal too.

Trivial Pursuit for the Wii

A necklace
You can't really see it here but it has the words "I stole fire" very lightly carved into it. I've been wanting some of the jewelry from this website for awhile--I think it's all very creative and unique. The artist has some neat "lost" words that have been taken out of the dictionary due to to not being used anymore. I love this piece but it's not quite what I pictured--the words are very faint and difficult to read.

The 30 Day Shred
To get rid of the baby belly.

A ring
From Kohl's. I like jewelry but I don't have a lot of it--and no guady rings.

I was suprised with:

Godiva Chocolate
Mmmmmm. Good job, Batman. There's no actual Godiva store around here so it's not the lovely golden box but who cares? They're delicious.

An awesome bracelet

From Kohl's. It's amethyst and purple, not blue as it looks here. Gotta love a husband that picks out jewelry by himself!

A puzzle
2,000 pieces and meets my rigorous color specifications. I hate doing puzzles that are all practically one color, I think that they are boring and pain in the butts.

Clue: Harry Potter Edition
It was Draco Malfoy, in the Room of Necessity, with the cauldren! Hahahahaha. Anyone want to come play it with me?

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I like lists. I like creating them and crossing things off. I like organizing them by day, by subject. I go grocery shopping every other week and my lists are organized in the rough order of the layout of Walmart---toiletries first, frozen foods, snacks, canned goods, meat, fresh fruit and veggies.

Lists give me that warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment that most people get from, you know, actually accomplishing things. I contemplated asking for a fancy-dancy phone for Christmas just to have a new way to create and organize lists.

I'm not sure if I should be proud of this or not.

Here's my list of things to do before I leave for St. Louis next week.

1. Get eyebrows waxed. They are looking distinctly unibrowish.

2. Go to post office to stop mail.

3. Go to homeless shelter to donate canned goods and diapers.

4. Write up the minutes from the last MS Walk meeting and create a list of the larger businesses in Carbondale. It's embarassing how long I've been putting this off.

5. Transfer photos to flashdisk for my mother-in-law.

6. Pack.

7. Make cookies. I make an awesome no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookie. I made a batch two days ago and they're already gone. My grandma loves them so I need to hide some of these for her.

8. Finish stepmom's last cross-stitch cat. I'm so close to being done that I can taste it (tastes like thread?). I've been working on these things for like three years. And when I'm done, not only can I cross it off my 101 list, I can also start working on Mo-mo's stocking.

9. Celebrate Christmas with Batman and Mo-mo! This will get it's own post tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Boredom makes the blog better.

Almost done with all my finals. I'm fiddling around with the blog right now, trying to think of how I want to organize it. Presumably this will result in some eventual changes for the better.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2 down

14. Get Mo-mo's picture taken with Santa
Done and done. Not a great photo but at least she wasn't crying! And I have to admit she's darling in those Christmas PJs.

87. Inspire someone else to start a "101 in 1001" list
I'm taking credit for this one. I posted about it on the message board I frequent and she liked the idea!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Checking it twice

I'm borrowing this blogger's idea: make a list of 101 things to do within 1001 days. I'm a habitual list maker so I love the idea. I decided to organize mine into categories to keep track of them better. I have about 2.75 years to accomplish the following (or until September 19, 2012):

NOTE: BLOGGER ATE SOME OF THESE GOALS AND ERASED THEM AS I TRIED TO CHECK THEM OFF. It doesn't like the strikethrough function and it's a bit buggy. Hope those goals were't important to my future happiness and success.

5. Take the LSAT
6. Create a long term plan for what sort of career I would like

9. Start a college fund for Mo-mo

15. Go trick or treating with Mo-mo
16. Get Mo-mo baptized
17. Take Mo-mo to a Cardinal's game
18. Buy Mo-mo '09 wine to open on her 21st birthday
19. Write a letter to Mo-mo to open on her 18th birthday
20. Join a mommy group
21. Make a Christmas ornament with Mo-mo

23. Finish filling out Mo-mo's baby book

Arts and Crafts
23. Learn to make a fondant cake

25. Learn to knit
26. Make pumpkin pie from scratch.

28. Complete at least 25% of my large "painting" cross-stitch
29. Make a set of baby hair clips
30. Sew a piece of clothing using a pattern

Lobster bisque counts!
33. Make a raggedy quilt


35. Take a dancing class with Batman
36. Take a wine tasting class
37. Visit brother in Boston
38. Take a martial arts class
39. Go skiing! (for the first time)
40. Attend a concert of one of my favorite bands.
41. Go camping
42. Visit siblings-in-laws in Lansing
43. Ride bike on the Katie Trail
44. Stay at a B & B
45. Play a round of golf
46. Fire a gun at the shooting range
47. Spend the night at the Lemp Mansion
48. Go line dancing with the in-laws
49. Visit Europe with Batman OR save up $3,000 towards trip
50. Attend a sci-fi convention
51. Read five "great" works of literature that I've never read before
52. Have a night out with friends A and C
53. See something at the Fox Theatre

55. Go tubing down the river
56. Eat at the only five star restaurant in St. Louis--Tony's
57. Do something amazingly special for our 5th wedding anniversary
58. Read poetry at a poetry slam

In the House
59. Decorate the outside of the house for Christmas
60. Purchase at least two large, framed, art prints
61. Organize old photos into albums

63. Start an herb garden

65. Decorate the outside of the house for Halloween
66. Purchase a matching set of living room furniture
67. Host a family holiday party at my house
68. Get a matching set of kitchen dishes
69. Organize files
70. Collect five more Painted Ponies (2/5)

Physical appearance/health
71. Complete the 30 day shred
72. Get acrylic nails
73. Buy new *quality* make-up

75. Lose those last 10 pounds to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight
76. Whiten teeth for 1 month

77. Write two chapters of novel that I've been working on forever

79. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
Thanks ya'll!
81. Write five new poems (0/5)

83. Draft a will
84. Clean out everything from my room at parent's house
85. Find a church to attend
86. Pay off $7,000 of debt

88. Write a letter to a congressman
89. Give blood at least three times (1/3)
90. Write down everything we spend for one month
91. Make Batman breakfast in bed
92. Back up everything on external hard drive
93. Read up about a complex political decision
94. Buy a set of pearls
95. Start a holiday tradition

97. Become pregnant with my second child
98. Purchase a new car for Batman
99. Teach the dogs to behave on a leash
100. Find a "mommy friend"
101. For every goal I accomplish, put away $10. When it hits Sept 19, 2012 do something fun with that money.

Edit: This list project is a lot bigger than I was aware of when I first started. If you google "101 in 1001" you can see many bloggers have already done this!
96. Move to St. Louis
87. Inspire someone else to start a "101 in 1001" list
82. Keep a food diary for a week
80. Get at least 25 followers to my blog
78. Update blog at least two times a week for four months
74.Drink nothing but water for two weeks
64. Frame 4 photos (4/4)
62. Have a garage sale
54. Go scuba diving
34. Make some sort of toy for Mo-mo (felt food, "Hide and Seek" pillow, taggie blanket, etc.)
32. Learn to make an excellent crab bisque
31. Finish the cross-stitch cats for stepmom
27. Organize recipes.
24. Cross-stitch a Christmas stocking for Mo-mo
22. Plan and execute a successful 1st birthday party for Mo-mo
14. Get Mo-mo's picture taken with Santa
13. Bring Mo-mo to Faust park to see the Butterfly House and ride the carousel
12. Take a water babies class with Mo-mo
11. Bring Mo-mo to the zoo
10. Breastfeed until Mo-mo is at least six months old
8. Send out five job applications by Feb 1, 2010 (5/5)
7. Become proficient in GIS mapping software.
4. Finish my master's research paper.
3. Get a professional job
2. Raise more than $20,000 for the MS Walk in April 2010
1. Graduate with my master's degree with a 4.0 GPA

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Recipe: Bruschetta and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I took the basic recipe from Kraft.com and switched it up a bit. I love this recipe because it's something different to do with boring chicken.

Serves 2-3. Prep time: 15-20 minutes. Cook time: 50 minutes.

  • 1 can of diced Italian style tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of dried basil
  • 1/2 package of Chicken Stovetop Stuffing
  • 1 package of boneless skinless chicken breast halves (3-4 per package)
  • Italian dressing

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix tomatoes, 3/4 cup of cheese, and basil in bowl. Add stuffing mix, stir until just moistened.
3. Place chicken breasts into large freezer bag. Pound with mallet or heavy can until chicken is 1/4 inch think. Remove from bag, place top side down, and pour thin layer of dressing on chicken breast. Spread chicken with stuffing mixture. Starting at narrow wend, tightly roll up each breast. Put in baking dish seam-side down and repeat with other breasts.
4. Drizzle with dressing.
5. Bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with rest of cheese, bake 5 minutes more.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Homeless American Girl Doll

You don't know what American Girl dolls are? Then you've been living in a child-free bubble, my friend.

American Girl dolls are extremely popular and expensive dolls with accompanying story books. You can buy them elaborate wardrobes. There's even an American Girl Place in New York where you can get your doll's hair done and eat lunch at a doll-friendly table for a mere 24 dollars a person.

I used to like the American Girl books. They're fun, nice pictures, and the girls have nice historically accurate adventures. I even had a Samantha doll (the Edwardian era one for those of you not in the know.)

The latest one is (drum roll please)....a homeless doll.

That's right, you heard me. This beautiful doll pictured above (in the oh-so-precious sundress) is homeless. And she costs $95.

Her "story"? Her dad abandons the family and she and her mother are forced for financial reasons to live in their car.

Here's my issue with this.

1) This trivializes homelessness. We do not introduce serious literary themes like gangs, drugs, and mental illness to children until they are at least in middle school. The 6-9 year old girls playing with these dolls will see homelessness as another "adventure". They'll more than likely pretend they are homeless and pretend to be living in a car.

2) It makes it so it seems that living in your car is the ONLY option. There are so many resources out there for people to utilize--I hope that no child ever gets the message that sleeping in your car is the only option.

3) None of the proceeds go towards helping homeless children. I would forgive the first two issues if the company was doing this to raise awareness and help children....but nope. No dice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The "Necessities" Round-up

Since Miss Mo-mo is at the three month mark, I thought I'd go through and evaluate all the baby gear that I have...what I can't live without, what is nice, and what is ridiculous. This is only what I've used in the first 3 months, I have plenty more stuff that I'll evaluate at the six month mark!

Oh, and some of this is season dependent-- if you have a baby during the winter, you'll want some extra clothes and blankets.


Nursery items
  • Crib/mattress
  • 2 or 3 sets of crib sheets
  • 2-3 waterproof mattress pads
  • Breathable bumper. She started getting her feet caught in the bars around 2 months.
  • Baby monitor. I just have the basic one.
  • Battery powered mobile. We have this one. She didn't care for it until she was about a month old. Now it's the only way I have time to shower in the morning.
  • Baby dresser. Instead of one with drawers, I got this one with soft crates at Target. Great for organizing, I have a crate for PJs, pants, onesies, bibs, shoes and socks, etc.
  • Changing table. It's nice to have a designated place for this. Mine has a nice little railing so that while I wouldn't leave her unattended, it still feels safer than one without.
  • Rocker and ottoman. Check out Craigslist if you don't want to pay a lot. I have spent more hours in mine than I can count
  • Floor lamp with 3 way bulb. Goes from dim, brighter, brightest--good for those late night diaper changes.
  • Pack N Play with bassinet level. Not only did she sleep in this in our room for the first month, she also napped in it. It was great to be able to wheel her around the house in it when she was newborn and sleeping all the time.
  • Diaper pail. I don't have a fancy one and it doesn't smell.
  • Clothes hamper
  • Bibs. Lots and lots of cloth, soft bibs! Your baby turns into a drool machine at about 8 weeks. Mine soaks three a day.
  • About 10 onesies in newborn and 0-3 month. Really, you don't NEED more. Matching pants are nice depending on the season.
  • 2 nice outfits in newborn and 0-3 months. Again, I had way too many of these.
  • About 5-6 pairs of PJS. My baby wears them two nights in a row unless she spits up. The gown types are okay for the first two weeks and then become a pain. The BEST is the zipper ones (Gerber has some)--you don't want to mess with snaps in the middle of the night.
  • Socks
  • Baby hats
  • Crib shoes--I like these. While not the cutest, they are very functional! Those itty bitty sneakers are awfully cute but a pain in the butt to put on.
  • Mesh bag (like the kind to wash lingerie in) to wash baby socks and hats so they don't get lost.
  • Burp cloths. Old style cloth diapers work great for this.
  • Diapers! I started cloth diapers once she hit 6 weeks (see earlier post). Before that, I used Pamper's Swaddlers which were great because they had an indicator line to help clueless parents know if your baby was wet.
  • The Boppy. Love it! My husband loves it too.
  • Pacifiers and bottles: While a necessity, WAIT before you buy a bunch of these, or at least save your receipts. Many babies will only take one brand and it takes awhile to figure out what brand. I have tons of pacifiers that I opened and sterilized that will never be used because they are the wrong brand. I have about 9 Medela bottles that fit with my breastpump.
  • Breast pump and accessories. I love my Medela Pump in Style Advanced. You might want to wait to purchase one until you know if you're going to stick with breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding stuff: Lansinoh, pads, nipple shells (if your nipples get sore, these help a bunch!), and icepack/heating pad for the first week when your breasts are engorged.
  • 2 nursing bras and 2 or 3 nursing tanks
  • Sterilizer kit
  • Dishwasher caddy
  • Bottle brush
  • Baby bath tub
  • 3 hooded towels
  • 6 baby washclothes. We have 20 for some reason and there is no way we will ever use all of them.
  • Johnson's baby wash, the type in the yellow bottle. It's both body wash and shampoo, no reason to buy anything else.
  • Aveeno scentless lotion. It was gentle enough for our newborn's skin.
  • Don't do what I did: Buy a travel system and realize that the stroller doesn't fit in the car. I do like our Graco Snugride system but we had to buy a Snap 'N Go stroller for going places. It's so much easier when your baby is young to not have to worry about unstrapping them.
  • Diaper bag with travel wipe container, insulated bottle holder, and changing mat.
  • Baby carrier. I love my sleepytime wrap, it's the only way I could get Mo-mo to nap for the first two months of her life! The Snugli is okay, not the most comfortable but easy to use and she likes it.

  • Swing. It has saved my sanity.
  • Bouncer/baby papasan chair. We use this when we're eating, she can sit and watch us. It doesn't put her to sleep though.
  • Lovie blanket. This is the first toy she really showed an interest in!


  • Baby meds! Stock up on baby tylenol, Mylicon for gas, gripe water, thermometer, aspirator, rubbing alchohol, baby q-tips, medicine eye dropper, etc.
  • Wipes
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Receiving blankets (I would say about 5) and 2 fuzzy soft blankets for floor use.
  • Swaddle-me or some other swaddle blanket. These are WONDERFUL! I didn't think I wanted one, I just figured I'd use regular receiving blankets but she broke through her swaddle too frequently. Get two in case one gets spit-up on it.
  • All Free and Clear detergent. Just get one bottle and wait to see if your baby has sensitive skin because you might be able to use regular detergent. Oh, and Dreft is overpriced and overperfumed!
  • picture books
  • Baby robe. While cute, they are utterly impracticle. You'll just use a hooded towel instead.
  • Baby comforter. It came with our bedding set and has done nothing but collect dust. I use a quilt or fuzzy blanket for sitting on the ground with her. There's no room for us to use it as a wall hanging or anything, and it can't go into the crib because it's a suffocation risk.
  • Pack N Play sheets. Don't have them, might be nice to have them but my baby has never minded.
  • Changing table sheets. I just fold up a receiving blanket and put it over the pad.
  • Tummy time mat. I have three of these and never use them. I prefer to put a soft blanket on the ground and use the Boppy instead--and Mo-mo likes that better.
  • Bottle warmer or wipe warmer. Don't have either of these, and I think they'd be more trouble than they're worth. Besides, at some point in time you'll be out and you won't have these things around...easier to just not use them than to get your child used to them.
  • Bottle sterilizer. I just use the microwave bags or run them through the dishwasher. Then again, I'm not a germaphobe.
  • All the baby clothes. No, you don't need nearly as much as you probably already have.
  • Baby undershirts/tee shirts. Mo-mo just wore onesies and it didn't bother her umblical cord stump.
  • Baby handprint kit. I tried to do this with my sister-in-law and we failed miserably at it.
  • She hasn't yet used the high chair and most of her toys. Those can wait until your baby is a bit older if you need to.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Pregnancy Hospital Bag

Advice to pregnant ladies: First of all, relax. Your labor isn't going to be ruined because you forgot a robe. It also isn't a huge deal if you over pack--I know I did.

I was lucky enough to have a hospital bag packed up and ready to go when I went into labor. If something happens and you go into labor without a bag, the only thing you'll truly miss is your digital camera. I used a small duffel for myself and the diaper bag for Mo-mo.

That being said, here's my list of the good, the bad, and the unnecessary.

The Good
  • digital camera and charger
  • chapstick
  • going home outfit for me. I packed something comfortable enough that I could sleep in, if I wanted to nap. The nursing tank and sweatpants were not the most glamorous, but nice and comfortable.
  • gum for dry mouth
  • cellphone and charger
  • list of phone numbers of family to call, including work numbers
  • laptop and charger
  • basic toiletries- shampoo, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant
  • Snacks for husband
  • Going home outfit and receiving blanket for baby
  • baby nail clippers. Baby nails are sharp and for some reason, they won't clip them for you at the hospital.

The "I used it because it was there"
  • my ipod. I didn't make a special playlist or anything. I played Counting Crows in the time after my epidural/before pushing.
  • my robe. I only used it when I walked into the hospital hallways, trying to get reception on my cell.
  • champagne
  • Make-up. I used under-eye concealer the day after giving birth. The rest was just a joke.
  • My pillow. But then, I'm not overly attached to my pillow like some people are.

The Unnecessary
  • Stopwatch for the contractions. I used www.contractionmaster.com when I was at home. Then at the hospital I was hooked up to a machine that counted them for me.
  • Nightgown, slippers. I really thought I was going to use my own nightgown the evening after giving birth. I promise that you will be so disgusting that it's just better to wear the damn hospital robe.
  • Written birthplan. No one looks at it--just make sure that your husband or coach knows what you want so that they can be your advocate.
  • Massage stuff. But I had an odd labor with my water breaking--if my contractions had slowly built up, I would have wanted them.
  • My baby book. I actually forgot this, but they put Mo-mo's footprints on cards so I can just glue them in. Much easier than hauling around the actual book.
  • The boppy. I didn't even bring mine and didn't miss it.
The Hospital Provided (And don't be shy about asking for more!)
Hospitals are all different, be sure to ask on your hospital tour what yours provides.
  • perineum bottle
  • nipple shield
  • pacifier
  • mesh underwear (believe me you DON'T want to wear your own)
  • pads
  • diapers
  • disposable towelettes for "blotting" after using the bathroom
  • Either a small hand pump or new tubing for an electric pump

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Many Faces of Mo-mo

Mo-mo is a lady of many expressions.

She's concentrating hard on figuring on the quadratic equation in her head.

This is her skeptical face. "I don't think you really have my nose. That's just the tip of your thumb. Do you think I'm stupid or something?"

Her artistic pose. She's thinking deep, philosophical thoughts while staring off into the distance. Perhaps she will start going to coffee shops, wearing black, and majoring in English or film studies.

Grumpy old man. "You kids get off my lawn!"

Jim calls this one her "Puss N Boots" face, like from Shrek. I prefer to think of it as an Oliver Twist face. Please sir, may I have some more?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baked Salmon

I've been attempting to introduce more fish into our diet....but I hate "fishy" tasting fish. This recipe is great!

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time (with marinade): 1 hr 35 min Servings: 2

  • 2 Salmon fillets. I buy a bag of individually packaged ones from Walmart.
  • 6 tablespoons light olive oil
  • about 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • about 1 fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper--up to you how much
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (or in my ever so scientific way, "a couple of squirts"
1. Mix up the marinade in a large ziploc bag. Mix together the garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon into ziploc bag and marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

3. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lactation Activation

I could talk for hours about the benefits of breastfeeding. I'm planning on breastfeeding Mo-mo for a year. I consider myself a "Lactivist". I get pissed off when I read stories such as these. (Really? Lactation is NOT a condition linked to pregnancy?) Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural and blah blah blah, you get the point.

And yet I am completely creeped out by this.

I think it's in part because of the reason he's doing it. "Anything that doesn't do any harm is worth trying out." Hmmm. That's pretty sketchy reasoning. I bet he used the same line to talk his girlfriend into a threesome.

It's not that he's committed to the idea of being a nurturer or wants to bond with his child better, he just can't think of a reason NOT to do it. The benefit to future fathers seems almost like an afterthought.

And he clearly is in it for the shock value. He has to pull out the pump during class? Breastfeeding women don't even do that. They do their best to find a quiet, private location and pump there. Women who adopt and want to breastfeed go through the same routine of constant pumping--but I bet none of them find it necessary to do it in class.

Oh, and I love how the quoted endocrinologist makes all dads sound like bumbling idiots who can't deal with a crying baby if there is no pacifier nearby. I know my husband's first reaction when Mo-mo's crying is to pull a Peter Griffin. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Besides, would you really want to see this guy breastfeeding a baby?

Don't you want to suckle from my teat?

I shall leave you with that image. Happy nightmares.

Crockpot Chicken Burrito Mess

This is a work in progress--someone on a message board I frequent suggested it without giving any specifics. I'd love any suggestions for extra/different ingredients.

Serves 6-8. I'm attempting to freeze half, not sure how that's going to turn out.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 6 hours.

  • 1 pack of chicken breast tenders
  • 1 can of medium salsa
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • large burrito flour tortillas
  • other Mexican fixings: shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.
  1. Put chicken in crock pot.
  2. Add in salsa, corn, and beans. Be sure to drain the water from the corn and beans before adding it.
  3. Stir.
  4. Cook on low for six hours.
  5. The chicken is now very tender and will shred simply by stirring it vigorously.
  6. Serve as burritos on flour tortillas
The verdict? A teensy bit bland but still pretty tasty. Next time, I think I'm going to consider adding lime, chicken taco seasoning (you can buy the packets at Wal-mart, I use it for quesadillas), and perhaps canned diced tomatos and onions (the type you put in chili).

My three bajillion dollar ideas

I basically have three ideas that I think could make a bajillion dollars. At least.

1. A Jean Store
A woman's jean store that sells ONLY jeans, all with length and waist measurements. Have a couple of different styles, a couple different shades of denim, and you're in business. Sell them for 40 dollars a pair. You know how many women have problems finding jeans that fit them? A million. So there's at least 40 million dollars right there.

2. Something like Tupperware but cooler
It should a) be able to stack b) should include a lid storage system and c) should be able to use a special marker to write on the outside it but the marker comes off in the disherwasher.

3. A cell phone/land-line
I'm envisioning a docking device that you plug your cell phone into and it hooks it up to the regular phones in your house. So you don't actually have a real land-line, it's just your cellphone can convert to use regular phones. Why do we need this? Because I can't hear my cellphone ringing in my purse when I'm in another room.

Yes. That is culmination of my brilliance. This is the sort of thing I think about when I'm driving.

EDIT: Apparently my 3rd idea already exists. I think that the company who created it was secretly listening in on my brain. And they need to publicize better.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Alfredo

I'm always looking for something new to cook in my crockpot and I came across this recipe. Here's my scaled down version of it.

Serves 4-6. Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 7 hours.

  • Half a jar (7.5 oz) of alfredo sauce. Classico brand is very good.
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of pesto
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, or one clove of minced garlic. I'm lazy and buy the pre-minced stuff from a jar.
  • 1 pack of frozen chicken breast tenders
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • 1/2 cup of Italian blend cheese
  1. Pour the alfredo sauce into the crockpot.
  2. Add milk and stir well.
  3. Drop in garlic, butter, and pesto, and do not stir. I have no idea why not, but it worked for me.
  4. Place frozen chicken on top of alfredo sauce.
  5. Cook on low for six hours.
  6. After six hours, remove lid, stir, and add cheese on top. Cook for one more hour.
  7. Serve with pasta!

The Diaper Dilemma

Tiny baby, big diaper

Cloth diapers are confusing. There's prefolds, contours, fitted, pocket diapers, and all-in-ones...

If I was a better consumer, I would have done this: Changing Diapers, Changing Minds

You can try a bunch of different types of cloth diapers for only $10. You have to pay an initial deposit for all of them.

Instead of doing my homework like a good mommy, I just went with the recommendation of two different friends and bought Bum Genius 3.0 diapers. These are definitely NOT what comes to your mind when you think cloth diapers: no folding or diaper pins required. They're great.

  • One size fits all, or at least 7-35 pounds.
  • Not a single blowout yet. We had one at least once a week when we used disposable diapers.
  • WAY cheaper than disposables. You save about $1,500 all together by using cloth diapers


  • Washing is a bit of a pain. It takes 1 cycle on cold, 1 on hot, then 1 rinse. We do it every other day.
  • You get the baby fluffy butt. While cute, it also means that they go up a half size or so in clothes.
  • It's a large initial investment. If your not skeeved out by the idea of buying previously used diapers, this is a great website: Diaper Swappers. You can also check out your local Craigslist.

Other things to consider:
  • We have 20 diapers and we seem to run perilously close to running out every other day. I wish I had bought about 4 more. EDIT: now that she's a bit older, 20 diapers are the perfect amount.
  • The liner inserts do get stained occasionally, but I have it on good authority that you just put them to dry in the sun and the stains disappear.
  • We still use disposables on trips where its not feasible to wash the cloth diapers.

If I was richer, I'd use these: gDiapers

They're diapers with an cloth outer liner and flushable inserts. Wet inserts are even compostable. How cool is that?

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Birth Story

I suppose I should begin at the beginning, right? I have an awesome husband.

We've been married for three years.

We decided to start our family--but we had only three ovulation cycles to get it right, otherwise we'd have to wait another year. We're both in professional/grad school right now and we wanted our baby to be born in the summer.
Everything worked out perfectly. After a fairly uneventful pregnancy, we had this pumpkin:

Mo-mo was born on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm. She weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces and was 21 inches long at birth. I gave birth to her when I was 40 weeks, 3 days.
Wednesday night I was having some contractions—about four an hour and they weren’t increasing in intensity yet. I tried to go to sleep around 2 a.m. and woke up to use the bathroom and maybe relax with a shower. In the bathroom I saw a bit of red spotting and the next thing I knew I was leaking, and it wasn’t stopping. I was fairly sure that my water had broken, but the bright red color kind of scared me. I woke my husband and we were checked into the hospital by 3 a.m.
I was taken into an exam room to be checked. The nurses didn’t seem to think it was very urgent—they thought that because I was a first time mother, I must be overreacting. They ushered me into a bathroom and told me to put on a gown. I told them that there was no way I could leave that bathroom unless they wanted me to drip amniotic fluid and blood all over their floor.
That made the nurses decide that yes, perhaps I was ready to be escorted to a birthing room.
This was not the labor I had in mind. I was envisioning a slow progression of contractions. I wanted to wait for the epidural and see how necessary it truly was. My husband armed with massage tools, positions to suggest, and ready to be supportive.
Sounds lovely, right? Yeah...none of that happened. Because my water had broken, I had to have an IV for the first hour. That meant no moving out of bed, no trying different positions. By 4:30 a.m., my contractions were 1-3 minutes apart, very painful, and I was only dilated to a one centimeter.
I had an amazing first nurse. The invisible doctor on call did not want to give me drugs. I call him invisible because I never saw him--the nurse just talked to him over the phone. This lovely lady convinced him because the contractions were coming SO fast that I didn’t have time to rest between them and thus rightly needed the drugs. I got the first round at 6 a.m.
The Stadol made me loopy. I could still feel the pain but it was then easy to ignore it. Between contractions I was very relaxed, almost to the point of falling asleep. The Stadol also made my mind jump from one thing to the next very fast, but I kept most of my thoughts to myself.
At one point I did apologize to my husband for waking him up. He very kindly told me not to worry about it--I did have a rather good reason to do so.
I got a second dose of Stadol after an hour and then the nurses switched. The next nurse was not very nice. I was told that the anesthesiologist would be able to see me until 7:30 a.m. This was about a half hour after the Stadol would be wearing off—not a big deal, I thought, because the second dose had almost come too fast and made me a little too out of it. Well, 7:30 came and went. When I gave in and asked for Stadol and I was told I couldn’t have it because the epidural was coming soon.
This was the WORST time of my entire labor—I kept saying “I can’t do this” and almost crying with each contraction--they were one minute apart.
After refusing to give me Stadol for awhile, I told the nurse twice that I didn’t care if the epidural was delayed, it had been delayed so long that I needed SOMETHING. She finally gave me the Stadol—and the epidural arrived five minutes later (8:30 a.m). The anesthesiologist didn’t care whatsoever that I had just received Stadol—so I have no idea why the nurse kept telling me no. I suspect secret sadism on her part. At this point I was 4 centimeters dilated.
The epidural = heaven. The numbing shot pricked a bit but I was so full of Stadol it didn’t matter, especially compared to my contractions. I had some feeling in my legs but was in no pain at all. I was able to nap for an hour, visit with the family who had come, and generally feel okay.
This was taken after the epidural. You can tell because I'm smiling, and not ripping the arm off the person who is taking the picture and using it to beat them because they are not getting me drugs.
My crappy nurse had to assist with a c-section, and my new one was AMAZING! She checked on me regularly and talked to me like I was a human. My baby had passed her meconium so the nurse hooked something into me to flush out the water and keep it moving, along with a catheter and an internal contraction monitor. It wasn’t comfortable to get any of those, but it wasn't too bad.
Around noon, I mentioned to my nurse that I was a bit uncomfortable—not bad, just had some feeling on one side of my body. The on-call doctor came in and ordered some Pitocin for me, because according to the internal contraction monitor, my contractions were not very strong. She then did an internal exam and to everyone’s surprise, I was dilated 9.5 centimeters! I’d be ready to have the baby by one! My epidural was so strong that I didn’t even feel it coming.
One o'clock came and went and the doctor was busy with another patient. The nurses were a bit worried because my baby’s heartbeat was dropping every third contraction when I was on my side. They were considering a c-section but it turned out not be necessary. The doctor came in and told me I could start pushing at 2:30. I felt kind of dumb—I didn’t have the pressure and it was difficult for me to tell when to push, but Mo-mo was out within an hour! She had a bit of help via an episiotomy and a vacuum extractor. Labor itself was surprisingly not very painful, I couldn’t feel the episiotomy or the stitches afterward. Mo-mo had to be cleaned up for a half hour after birth because of the meconium and because her umbilical cord was wrapped (very loosely) around her neck. It was so hard to wait those 30 minutes to hold her.
Mo-mo and I checked out of the hospital 23 hours later. And our lives were never again the same...