Recipe Roundup

I’m in a funk folks. A food funk, at least. The last thing I’ve wanted to do lately is cook, and this coming from someone who loves to cook 😦 I’m blaming half of it on pregnancy and the other half on that fact that Jacob and I seem to be running in opposite directions most evenings of the week. So help a girl out please! I need some new, easy, weeknight recipes. Leave a comment with your ideas!!

In the meantime, I’ll share one of my favorite summertime meals with you:

Mediterranean Couscous (I’m typing this from memory so . . .)

1 box pine nut Far East couscous

1 1/4 c chicken broth

1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1/4 c feta cheese

freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste

1/2 c halved grape tomatoes

cooked chopped chicken

Heat chicken broth and seasoning packet from couscous in the microwave until boiling. In a large heatproof bowl, combine couscous and boiling broth. Cover bowl and let stand for five minutes. After couscous has absorbed all the liquid, fluff it with a fork and add remaining ingredients. And that’s it. Delicious served with a good salad and some crusty bread. Good for you too!

Sneak Peek

That’s right. I’ve hit my third trimester, and along with the full-time heartburn and return of the sleepies, I am suddenly feeling the urgency to get the kiddo’s rooms squared away. “Kiddos.” Wow, we are soon to have multiples! And it’s the multiples thing that’s making it a little harder this time around. When you’re pregnant with your first child, you have the freedom to run around making plans. It’s easy to store hop and spend an entire Saturday getting ideas. Not quite as easy when you have a toddler in tow. Not to mention TWO rooms to decorate! So I’ve resorted to spending endless hours in the evenings looking for the perfect bedding online. And were I able (or even wanted to) spend $300-$500 a pop, I could have had this decided some time ago. But I’ve had it in my head that I wanted to make a quilt and bed skirt for Emma using scraps from an awesome old coverlet I found at a flea market a few months ago. This prompted the search for the perfect coordinating fabrics. Of course, if I’m going to make Emma’s bedding, I would have to make something for Winn, and just like that, hours of my life have disappeared searching Fabricworm and the likes. Thank goodness that has all ended because I just bought a fabric bundle that I LOVE for Emma’s room and will be doing the same for Winn’s shortly. You’ll have to wait a bit to see the finished products, but here’s a sneak peek…

For Emma ...

For Winn ...

And again ...

From the mouth of babes

Em and I were on our way home from the grocery store yesterday when she started talking about the flowers we had stopped to smell on our way to the car.  “Oooooh, flowers! Eat them Mommy!” I responded by telling her that flowers are fun to smell and pretty to look at, but, “Ewwww, yucky! We don’t eat flowers!” Well, Emma really ran with that one. “Eat flowers?! Ewwww yucky!” I laughed and that only egged her on. “Eat doodoo?! Ewwww, yucky!” Where did that come from?! “Eat armpit?! Ewwww, yucky!” That must have been the last of the gross things she could think about eating, because she just started repeating them over and over, and completely cracking up at herself. And how could I not join her  . . . hilarious!!

Pop, boom, to the MOON!! (i.e. Happy Birthday Emma!)

I just got a text from my husband who reminded me that two years ago right now, I was in labor with sweet Emma. We’ve been talking about her birthday all day, but somehow I had forgotten that significant detail! So in honor of the special event, I thought I’d go back and read something Jacob wrote not long after Emma was born. What a walk down memory lane! And what better way to get my head in the game about Winn’s arrival!

Here’s what he wrote:

At 3:40 on Wednesday afternoon I got a call.

She had been calling every 30 minutes so seeing her name pop up on my cell phone did not alarm me. She said the contractions were getting closer and closer. I told her I’d be right there.

I handed off what I was doing at work to a friend, grabbed my keys, and jogged towards the door like I had imagined doing so many times before. I knew that it was go time.

Early that morning we had gone to the Doctor for her last appointment and he said she was a good 4cm already, so we knew that we were starting out with a lot of progress already made.

When I walked in the door at about 4:00, she was sitting in the big chair in the living room having contractions 5 – 7 minutes apart. Cora, our Doula (like a birth coach/partner) was sitting calmly on the couch offering soothing words and thoughts. I felt like I had to do something but quickly realized that Micaiah and Cora had everything under control. I sat close by, held her hand, and played with her hair.

For the next four hours or so, the contractions picked up in intensity as we moved from the bed, to the exercise ball, to the floor, the couch, standing, squatting, everything. At about 8:15 we decided that Cora ought to check her cervix to assess the progress (we hadn’t checked since that morning). Cora slid her fingers in about 3 inches, looked up, and her face immediately changed.

“Uhh, yeah. We need to go.” was all she said.

Within minutes we were in the truck, Cora following behind and I couldn’t help thinking that we were much closer than we thought. The contractions were about 2 – 3 minutes apart now and we were on the way. Cora hadn’t told us how dilated we were.

Pulling into the Baptist parking deck I had to take it very slow going over each speed bump, I didn’t want anything moving that wasn’t supposed to be. I couldn’t help noticing the night sky and parking lot lights and the buildings. I wanted to remember everything exactly as it happened.

It was 8:30pm on the dot.

I pulled the truck into one of three open parking spaced that said “RESERVED FOR MATERNITY PATIENTS IN LABOR”. I had dreamed about that too.

We got out and walked slowly across the foot bridge, and turned down the hallway towards the elevators. We had to stop on the way and get through a contraction as Cora applied pressure on her hips. A nurse walking down the hall stopped and asked if we needed a wheelchair – Micaiah looked at her calmly and said “No thanks, I think we’ve got it.”

At this point I think it’s important to note that Micaiah was handling everything like a champ. She looked like an earthy hippie chick that was happily and peacefully communing with all things natural. I was astounded and amazed. I had full confidence in her to see this thing through exactly as we had planned.

We took the elevator to the 2nd floor, and walked down the hall towards the Labor & Delivery Ward. Cora had already called ahead and I had talked to the Doctor on the way. Our room was ready and waiting for us when we arrived.

Micaiah stripped down and put on the hospital gown backwards (intentionally).

We got her in bed and the nurses went to work checking her in and getting all the paperwork signed. They put heart rate and contraction monitors on her belly and left us alone as she quietly continued contracting.

The Doctor came in and checked her cervix. He said that all she had left was an “anterior lip” which meant that she was about 99% ready (I was 9.5 cm!). This baby was coming very soon. The Doc said he had just enough time to go take care of another patient before ours would arrive. That was at 9pm.

After that everything slowed down. She was contracting every few minutes but not quite as intensely as before. For the next two hours everything moved slow. It was as if God was giving her a little rest before the storm.

At 11:00 she was ready to push and the winds started howling. She got in every position imaginable and the contractions picked back up – much more intense than ever. Every 2 minutes or so every muscle in her body would tense up and she would drop her chin and give it everything she had. Her water still hadn’t broken and she wasn’t making much progress to get it popped.

The Doc came in to check her again and as soon as he did, her water popped and squirted all over his legs and arms. He was still just wearing his scrubs and said “Ok, I think I’m gonna go change my underwear”.

The night pressed on and midnight came and went.

At 12:30am we could barely see her little head and the Doc said that if she isn’t crowning in the next 30 minutes he would try to reposition her. We really wanted her to come out exactly like she wanted to so we knew that we needed to make some serious progress. By this time Micaiah was holding my hand and almost clawing into my skin with each push. Cora was putting pressure on her lower back and the nurses were doing everything they could to make everything perfect and comfortable.

The pushes got crazy hard and Micaiah was seriously running out of steam. She wasn’t sure she could go much longer but all she needed was a little confirmation and assurance that she could and would do it just right. The Doc came back at 1:00 and little Emmy’s head was getting very close.

All of a sudden Emmy’s heart rate started to drop very fast and the room went from relatively calm in between pushes to TV worthy drama. The nurses were moving fast, checking vitals and monitors, the Doc was barking orders for IVs and Oxygen, clips and scissors. Micaiah started to freak a little bit and my whole life was gone in an instant. My entire existence was nothing but a hand to squeeze and a voice in her ear.

It turned into a moment of LIFE AND DEATH. I had no idea how serious it was but it seemed to me (and Micaiah) that if this kid did not come out NOW, she was going to die.

The Doctor looked into Micaiah’s face and yelled “GET THIS BABY OUT NOW.”

I said into her ear “Babe. You’ve got the strength. It’s right now or never. DO IT. NOW.”

She gave it one more insane, incredible, mind blowing push and the head came out.

The cord was wrapped around her neck and the Doc quickly clipped it and kept going.

One more serious push and out came Emmy amidst a whirlwind of hands, towels, clips, suction bulbs, rags, thermometers, and stethoscopes. In two seconds she was clean, ready, and laying on Micaiah’s sweaty chest.

Her hair was a mess, her face was red, and her arms were spent. All she could do was say

“Hi, Emmy. You made it!”

The Doc and nurses said she was perfect and perfectly fine.

My heart broke and I found myself standing on the surface of the moon.

Glory glory hallelujah.

My baby made it home.

It was 1:09am, Thursday, April 24th, 2008.

May I present – Emma Kaye Slaton.

it’s nice to finally meet her.

Dana’s done it again

Just when I was trying to figure out what to make out of this adorable and hard-to-come-by fabric for Emma’s birthday

Dana goes and comes up with a pattern for the exact thing I was hoping for. I think I could probably figure it out on my own, but since I got the fabric in Missouri, I don’t want to take any chances on messing it up! Guess I’ll have to get it 🙂

He finally has a name!!

My little conversationalist

Emma is a gabber. If she is comfortable with you, she will talk and talk. But there is also a side of her that knows how to be quiet and soak in her surroundings. I can already tell she’s going to be that kid who asks a million questions. And I’m ok with that. Actually, I love it! It tells me that she’s interested in the world around her, she’s very observant and perceptive, and she wants to engage with others.

She has also started having entire conversations with herself in bed at night. Em typically goes to bed between 7:30 and 8, and lately has been staying awake in her crib until 9:30ish just talking up a storm. We’ve even started going in there to tell her it’s time to go to sleep. But the things we hear in that hour and a half are worth letting her stay up late! Recent topics of conversation have been: popsicles, her monkey, Papa, taking pictures where she keeps saying “Smile!”, and baby brother.

It’s so much fun to be at that stage of motherhood where you can actually talk to your child and they will intelligently respond. It’s a nice change from the days of cooing at your infant, and feeling crazy for it! Those days will soon be upon us again, but until then, I’m going to enjoy talking with my daughter 🙂