30 November 2008

Thats it!

I love my daughter, I love her more than I ever thought possible and while there were times during my pregnancy I was ready to call it quits, I'd do it all over again. With that said, she is very high maintenance, with today being one of those days where I couldn't put her down. Not only would she fuss if I did, but she would get herself into such a tizzy with her ear-piercing screams that there would be moments where she wouldn't be breathing, as if she was taking a second to muster up as much energy as she could to put into her rage. It breaks me heart when she gets like that, but it is also frustrating because I sit and helplessly watch as the tumble furs flutter across the floor, laughing at me since they know I am unable to catch them because my hands are occupied. I then think of the toilets that need cleaning, the tubs that need scrubbing, the dishes waiting to be put away, the laundry piling up in the buckets (albeit clean laundry), and on and on. I am able to get her diapers washed and at least one meal in (heating dinner right now), and I consider myself lucky if I find time to do anything else. So, knowing that I will be returning to work in a few weeks, I am going to discuss with my husband that we have a few options as of now - 1) since he will be off on 2 week days while Ruby is in daycare, HE can be responsible to take care of the chores, 2) get someone to watch Ruby on Saturday or Sunday so I / we can get the house cleaned, or 3) we're going to hire a housekeeper. If it's not stressful enough having to deal with Ruby when the colic monster is visiting, its so much worse if my house is in shambles - especially when I'm alone. I'm not sure how we go about finding a housekeeper, but I have 3 weeks to figure it out.

I don't know how other people do it and I feel a little bit like a failure to think about it, but whatever we are doing right now is not working an I need some cleanliness to keep my sanity! Le sigh...

So, dear husband of mine, you have a choice to make, because if you leave it up to me, we're hiring a housekeeper!

My latest obsession

BABY LEGS!!! These things are great and make diaper changing SO MUCH EASIER. What is also great is that they'll fit her for more than just a month or two, considering she is already growing out of some of her 0-3 month clothing and it makes me sad! Yes, I know some of the reason is the cloth diapers are so much fluffier, but even with a disposable on there are several outfits and onesies she no longer fits. I can't believe it is already time to put some of the clothes away. *wipes tear away*

Anyhow, here are the sets I've already received and oh how I love them!

Pumpkin Muffins

While on the search for a dairy free Thanksgiving menu, I found a recipe for pumpkin muffins (which I used in my dressing - recipe to come) that required no substitutions. I love pumpkin almost as much as I love banana, so I not only bought enough canned pumpkin to make these muffins once along with a pumpkin pie, I bought several more cans as well to have on hand. These will most likely become something we have often especially since I can have them for breakfast, which is the one meal that seems to be the hardest without milk.


1 can pumpkin (not pie filling)
2/3 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 C Flour
2 C Sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt


Mix pumpkin, oil and eggs. Combine will remaining ingredients and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool and enjoy!

29 November 2008

Pasta E Fagioli

This is modeled after Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli soup that I've been craving. I actually wrote Olive Garden to see what they had on their menu that didn't have any butter or milk products and the response I got was not to eat there. Joy. Well, if nothing else, this milk free diet will surely help our pocketbook AND my waist line, but thats another post.

I grabbed this recipe off some website and changed a few things to suit my tastes, plus I had a zucchini left over from Thanksgiving to use. I am very happy with the way it turned out and will be making this again. The one thing to note is that I cook the pasta separately and add it to the individual bowls. I'll store it in a separate container too - I haven't figured out how to keep it from getting all gummy, so this method works for me!


1 lb ground beef
1 C diced onion
1 C grated carrot
1 C diced celery
1 small zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
29 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 lb ditali pasta


Brown meat in a large stock pot, drain off any fat.

Add onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, and garlic - saute about 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for about an hour.

Cook pasta per directions to al dente.

Spoon pasta into bowl and top with soup - enjoy!

This is love

Ruby and Daddy

Ruby sleeping on Mommy

Ruby and mommy

24 November 2008

Mr. Octopus

See this? Look close - see Mr. Octopus hanging there? He is Ruby's favorite toy, she will lay there and stare at him, making all sorts of facing and some random noises. It is one of our weapons to fight the Colic Monster. We have even recently learned to take him with us and hang him from her car seat handle when we are out to help keep her content - and it is wonderful. The problem? You can't just buy Mr. Octopus, you have to get the whole playmat - which sucks since we were all prepared to buy another one or two of these for her. Phooey. It actually kind of reminds me of the scene from "Best in Show" where they are screaming at the sales clerk in the store as they are looking for a replacement toy for their dog - I could totally see my husband and I being THOSE people if we lost Mr. Octopus, but THAT will never happen because we will NEVER lose him. (NOTE for any grandparents and family reading this - if you can find Mr. Octopus for sale somewhere such as second hand shops or what-not, please snatch him up for us!) So, we will continue trying to get some of those random smile pictures of Ruby playing with Mr. Octopus to post in the near future - so stay tuned!!

22 November 2008

Picture of the week

Ruby and her Grandpa having a grand ole time. She sure is turning into quite the little chunk!!!

Sausage Rolls

My husbands favorite breakfast item is Sausage Rolls, with the problem being that most places seem to use sausage with cheese in it. Well, that, and the fact that I don't know what is in the roll part - so we had to find a way to make these at home. And we did. These are so simple and really quite tasty, plus there are little so I'm sure it will become something Ruby enjoys eating when the time comes.


Little Smokies
1 Can refrigerated crescent dough

Preheat oven according to crescent roll instructions.
Roll out dough and cut triangles in half, roll each half around a little smokie and place on cookie sheet.
Cook according to crescent dough instructions.

Lentil Soup

With Ruby's milk allergy, I have to basically learn a completely new menu of foods - all without cheese and sour cream, and, of course, without any other milk proteins such as whey or casein. My first NEW recipe was a lentil soup recipe from Cooking Light. This was actually quite impressive and will be a wonderful base for future soups which I will be adding various vegetables and meats to. Plus, it is going to be great for winter - hooray!


2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 1/2 C Chopped Onion (sweet is preferred)
1 C Chopped Celery
1 C Chopped Carrot
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 C green lentils
4 C chicken broth
1 C water
1 (14.5 ounce) can petite cut diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
3/4 tsp black pepper


Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion through bay leaf to pan and saute for about 12 minutes.

Add lentils and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in broth, water, and tomatoes - bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Remove from heat, let stand for about 5 minutes and discard bay leaf.

Add juice, salt, paprika, Cajun seasoning, and pepper.

Serve with crusty bread or rolls.

10 November 2008

Our own tradition

A World Wildlife Fund catalog randomly appeared in our mailbox one day, filled with a variety of precious stuffed animals which can easily be obtained by a donation. After quickly browsing through the pages while my husband and I continuously "oohhh'd" and "aahhh'd" over them all, he mentioned this could be the start of a Christmas tradition with Ruby. I previously stated I wanted to start donating to some sort of animal foundation, whether it was giving money, food, supplies, or time to the local shelter or dealing with something different, I wanted to make sure we were doing SOMETHING - and it is now obvious that my husband does listen to me since HE is the one that mentioned going this route. We have since decided we are going to donate to the WWF each year for Christmas and Ruby will get the stuffed animal representing the animal we choose to sponsor as well as an adoption certificate, color photo, and a species spotlight card. We'll keep all the certificates and paperwork in a photo album for her and she'll have the stuffed animals to play with, plus, the main reason for doing this, it will teach her about donating in a way that gives her something to look forward to. Of course, once she is older we can look into doing something along the lines of soup kitchens or Susan Komen events, but for now we can begin this as a tradition that we hope will stick with her for the rest of her life.

That, and what does a 3 month old really NEED for Christmas? I mean, the clothes are really for us, not her and we'll obviously buy her toys as time goes on. AND, it's not like she will be able to OPEN anything herself, so at least this way she has something from her first Christmas even if she won't remember it.

If you are interested in what's available, you can see it all here.

09 November 2008

You can't bottle this up or I'd be a millionaire

As I sit holding my daughter, who is sleeping so soundly it renders me motionless, I am overcome with a wave of emotions so strong it becomes almost impossible not to cry. I am quickly learning what it means to be a mother, and how simple acts such as sleeping and eating become the most precious moments of my day, times where I am able to forget the rest of the world and instead snuggle with this ball of love my husband and I created. It is times like this when I understand what people mean when they previously muttered "You won't understand until you have your own child" because in all honesty, there are so completely right.

Looking down at her while she is sprawled across my chest makes me feel like life is just too good to be true and any minute this magnificent existence is going to slip away from me as I wake up from the best dream ever. It's that feeling of "this is too perfect to be happening to me", and I can only compare it to the feeling I had as I was walking down the aisle at my wedding, the complete giddiness of what's to come and how wonderful I felt, that total amazement of the moment actually being MINE, knowing this moment, this life, everything turned out so much better than I ever could have expected or hoped - and recognizing that for the rest of my life, there will never be a shortage of love. And even all THAT doesn't truly explain just how euphoric she makes me feel, because there are no words that can ever sum up what it means to be a parent.

So, as a wise person once told me, you'll finally understand when you have a child of your own.

08 November 2008

Diapers, diapers, diapers

After fighting with the fitted and covers and learning the one's my cousin gave me are still either too big or don't fit right, I finally found a cloth diaper that seems to work on Ruby - the BumGenius 3.0 one size. We currently have 2 of these, I ordered a few more as well as a I figured I'd give a few of the other one size diapers a try. Lucky for me I was able to not only get free shipping, but I also got $10 off my order. (You can too at diapers.com, use coupon code RUBY to get $10 off your first order - plus they carry disposable diapers, formula, clothing, bottles, etc.) Now I wait for my "fluffy mail" aka cloth diapers to arrive. Once we get a few more so that my husband can get more experience with them, then I'll look into buying a full set so that we can finally get Ruby OUT of the disposables completely, and I can take them into our daycare and attempt to convince them to use them. I may need to purchase another diaper pail liner or large wet bag to use at the daycare, but I'll wait until they agree to use them. Keep your fingers crossed they say yes!

06 November 2008

And so it goes...

We think Ruby has a milk allergy. Le sigh. This means eliminating ALL dairy items from my diet for at least 3 weeks to see how she reacts. Okay, no milk, cheese, yogurt - simple enough. Not. It means no products that contain any milk proteins, which means nothing with milk, butter, whey, or casein in the ingredients. It's amazing what that cuts out. Some breads, frozen french fries, rice-a-roni's, and on and on. Basically, 80% of what I eat has some trace amount of dairy in it - usually in the form of cheese (cream cheese, Parmesan, etc). It also means I have very little options when it comes to dining out since I have no way of knowing what is in what I'm eating, and since my husband is working evenings and Ruby hates being put down, cooking dinner is close to impossible so I need quick, easy choices. And yes the moby wrap lets me "hold" her without using my hands, but since it puts her right up against me and she is notorious for spitting up ALL THE TIME, I limit how much I use it right now - one can only handle smelling like spoiled milk for so long! With that, wish us luck that either 1) she isn't allergic to milk and it is something simpler like a simple stomach bug or allergy to something I rarely eat or 2) this dairy free dining gets easier. In the end, as long as Ruby is happy and healthy, it is all worth it.

04 November 2008

Bottle Drying Rack

I registered for this during one of my "add everything" frenzies and then regretted it once I got it since we are using the Playtex Drop-In's, thinking I wouldn't get any use out of it. I was planning on returning it but never got a chance to to do it since things got so crazy between being put on bedrest and then actually having Ruby, so it sat in her room. And now, I'm so glad I did keep it! It's perfect to use for drying the pump parts, the milk storage bottles, the bottle nipples, and her binkies. Who knew? It's actually to the point where I'm sure I would regret it if i actually HAD returned it, since we all know the bottles and parts wouldn't dry as fast or completely by just laying them on a towel. Hooray for being a procrastinater!

Bottle drying rack - 2 thumbs up!

03 November 2008

Month 1

The day we brought her home:

Ruby at 1 month:

Ruby turned 1 month old on November 1st and while I was hoping to make this post then, she had other plans for me: she introduced me to a night of colic. So, I apologize for being a little late on this but I've also learned that we are no longer on OUR schedule, we are now always on HER schedule, meaning LATE is going to happen. With that, lets get on to the good stuff.

First off, I'm going to go back to the hospital days and list what I took and found useful while there. (This is just a copy from what I previously posted on a message board)

Remember, this is coming from someone who was induced, a needle phob who had an epidural, who is breastfeeding, had a very mild, grade 1 tear, and dealt with 9 full months of heavy throat mucus which lead to nausea most of the time.

Hospital bag - what I used:
My own pillows (both DH and I)
Blanket for DH
Towels (hospital ones suck)
Comfy clothes for after birth (they helped me feel much more human than the gown - although I did use the gown as a sort of robe since I didn't have one)
My own toiletries - showers before made me sick and the first shower post birth was like heaven, and so nice to have my own stuff.
CD of calm music - used when I napped during the day
Notebook - used to track questions I had as well as my birth experience
Snacks - after birth
baby clothes / blankets - the 0-3 months swollow her so I'm glad I brought extras, as well as she spit up before we even left, and the blankets were good in the pictures.
I did not bring make -up but I don't ewar it often anyhow. I did have lotion and chapstick though.
Camera, cell phones, laptop, and chargers
Boppy - I LOVE this pillow and use it often, both to support Ruby as well as to lean on since my back is sore
Breast cream (Lansinoh)
Money for parking and for snacks / soda

And here are a few things I learned those first few days:

The epidural was NOTHING compared to what I expected. I am a HUGE needle phob and just cry when they MENTION taking blood. Seriously, it hurt worse when I have a big pimple on my back than the epi did. Also, the epi is applied by gravity, so don't sit up too much. I did, and it wore of on my left, I started have extreme back labor and thought I was going to die. I can't IMAGINE going through that without med's. My IV sucked 10x more than the epi.

I think being completely numb also takes away any modesty I had. I had no issues laying there for all the world to see and examine since I couldn't feel anything - and I've always been one to be a little more modest, even at the doctor (I refuse to go to a male OB/GYN). Amazingly, even being numb, I was still able to push just fine and had Ruby out within half an hour.

Recovery is not nearly as bad as I expected. My back and abdomen are more sore than my vag is. Bowel movements haven't been that bad either, although the pushing is a little strange feeling - not sure how else to explain. Make sure to take your colace and just be patient and you shouldn't have any issues.

The bleeding didn't last nearly as long as I expected. I figured it would still be heavy, but honestly, the heavy, red stuff was basically gone by day 2.

I didn't feel that immediate connection when she was first born since it STILL didn't seem completely real to me, so don't feel bad if it doesn't happen to you. I have since gone through those emotions though and am totally in love with her. There are still days it doesn't seem real and I'm waiting for her REAL mom to come take her back - luckily I AM her real mom so that won't happen.

Now, on to the first month of her life, which by the way is filled more with her dad and I learning than it is with her milestones.

Breastfeeding SUCKS at first. I've never been one to have tender breasts so I was hoping this would be fairly easy for me - nope. There were several times where I sobbed while feeding her because I was in so much pain and told my husband I was ready to give her a bottle. Luckily, I also told him BEFORE her birth that I'd need his support at times to encourage me when I felt that way - which is exactly what he did. Between the first and second week I remember it being the worst, and one side hurt more which lead me to favor the other side. I was a little worried it would cause supply issues on that side, but by pumping that side some as well as still letting her feed on it every 3rd or 4th time, we never had any issues. By the end of week 2 the horrible, miserable, stabbing, my nipple is being chopped off pain went away and while it still took another week or two for the discomfort to go away, it was significantly much more manageable. Now, at over a month, we are still strictly breastfeeding and while there are still times its uncomfortable, I am glad I didn't give up. There are even times where it is stress reducing and feels like nice bonding time with her. With that, I'll say the same things I've read from other people a million times, don't quit until you've stuck with it for at least 3-4 weeks (unless of course you have other health reasons).

Speaking of feeding, we also introduced her to a bottle at 4 weeks, since once I'm back at work she'll have to take a bottle at daycare. I pumped, filled the bottle for dad, he gave her the bottle and she took it like a champ, drank a full 4 ounces, then came back to me a nursed a little longer - so it appears she isn't too picky about where her food comes from, as long as she gets it. Hooray!

Diapers - this has been a rocky road for us. I'm still planning on making it to 100% cloth diapers, but we've been fighting major leaks and issues. The fitteds and covers seem extremely bulky on her and leave red marks on her legs, which of course worries me some. I had to get some help on how to put the covers on to prevent leaks and I think we MAY have this down with them, but the red marks still bother me. Not sure we'll keep using those particular diapers but who knows. The really cute ones my cousin made still seem to leak, so I might contact her to see if she has any suggestions. According to the pediatrician today, Ruby is a very long and lean baby, so the lack of chubby thighs might be part of the problem. Also, she can be a pretty heavy wetter at night and the fitted diapers get soaked quickly, so I just bought some BumGenuis 3.0 one size that so many people swear by for night time - we still need to try these out and see if they work. I know I might have to try several different brands to find some that work, I just hope I can find them before my husband decides we don't need to spend anymore money on cloth diapers that don't seem to work. Meanwhile, we continue with a combination of cloth and sposies while we work through our trials. Wish me luck!

The Moby Wrap ROCKS. Ruby doesn't like to be put down so once my husband went back to work, it was hard for me to get ANYTHING done. That, and I feel guilty if she's awake and I'm not holding or entertaing her so I really try to limit the amount of time she is in her swing or bouncer. This of course leads to my house getting clutter and me getting stressed out. So, when I went to our local cloth diaper store (Babies Bottoms and More) to ask about her leaking, I was also able to talk to them about a carrier. They had me try the Moby Wrap. I bought one, then went to Babies R Us and used it - holy cow this thing is wonderful! Our BRU was having a huge sale so the store was filled with families and strollers and just wandering through the aisles was a chore. However, since I had her against my chest and didn't have to manuever a stroller through the chaos, it was a rather stress free trip for me. Oh, and Ruby slept through it wonderfully. I can't rave about this enough.

Those are the main things for now. I'll be back later to add pictures and anything else I forgot, but at least I've got this started!