Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bunsie's Arrival

The last month or so of this pregnancy was pretty much akin to torture for me. For the first time, I had to deal with swollen feet, so that it hurt to flex my ankle or bend my toes. Along with the puffy tootsies, I had constant heartburn that my papaya enzymes no longer eased. I was hitting the maximum dosage of Tums on a daily basis, no matter what I ate. My pelvis hurt. I pulled a ligament in my lower abdomen so it hurt to stand, it hurt to sit, it was painful to roll over. My ribs hurt. I had figured for a while that once again, my due date would come and go, so I gritted my teeth and carried on, but with each passing day, being induced sounded more and more pleasant.

The day before I hit 41 weeks, the OB's office had me do a NST and everything looked good. They brought me back in at 41 weeks and 2 days for an ultrasound to check on the fluid levels, and when they found that they were on the low side they started to push to induce. We talked to the OB and came to the decision that he would break my water and we'd wait for labor to start on it's own, as that is what worked with the last 2 babies which had both been homebirths. Both Ceci and Niko had been born within about 7 hours of my water being broken by the midwives. He called the hospital to let them know to expect me, and Nate and I went home to gather up my stuff and grab some food. After picking up some Subway sandwiches, we headed to the hospital, knowing that in a few hours we would be meeting our little one face to face.

We arrived at the hospital shortly after noon. We got settled in to the room, and my OB came in to break my water. After he left, my nurse started going through all of the admitting stuff with us - medical history, etc. She asked about pain medication and I asked that it not be offered, since I had the last 2 at home naturally I knew that I could do it again. We continued through the rest of the questions, and then it was time to take my vitals - temp, pulse, and blood pressure.

That is when the "fun" suddenly started. She put the blood pressure cuff on me, and looked confused when it was done reading my BP. "Are they inducing because of your blood pressure?" No, it's been fine throughout my pregnancy. It was fine two hours ago at my appointment. She checked it on the other arm. Still high. She brought in another BP machine and read it again. 3 readings, 2 arms - it was now official. My blood pressure was too high - 180/120. I wasn't having any symptoms of high blood pressure like a headache or blurred vision. They started taking blood to check my liver, to make sure it wasn't preeclampsia. I had to stay laying down because every time I sat up, my BP was high enough to set off alarms on the machines. The first attempt at starting an IV left me with a blown vein, which burned like crazy every time the blood pressure cuff went off.

With in a few hours, I was hooked up to magnesium sulfate and then another blood pressure medication in an attempt to get my blood pressure down to a level they were satisfied with. There was fear-inducing talk of stroking out or having a heart attack. This was not what I had hoped for or expected. I had planned on being able to be up, walking around, leaning on my husband for support, changing positions as necessary, and instead I was tethered to multiple IVs, strapped to the fetal monitors, oxygen mask on my face, pulse ox on my finger, laying on my left side, and unable to cope with everything that was suddenly overwhelming. I caved and asked for "something" to help, and was given Nubain. Unfortunately, I had a similar reaction to the Nubain that I had to the Stadol I was given during my oldest daughter's birth. Once again, hallucinations of colorful cartoons were streaming through my mind, and I was endlessly prattling on much to the amusement of my husband and the nurse - cockle shells, gnomes, hot dogs, chocolate.

Unfortunately, even though the Nubain whacked me out mentally, it did nothing to help with the actual pain. I seemed to be stuck at 6cm for what seemed like an eternity to me, since I was unable to move or do anything to help myself cope. I started begging for the epidural, and had to try to explain myself through the drug-induced haze that I was mired in. Really, honey, I'm serious. I need it. I can't do this. My mind is off in la-la land, but I'm still shackled to this earth-bound pain every time a contraction comes along. I don't want to lay here in screaming agony.

Within 10 minutes of the epidural being in place, my blood pressure was suddenly in the normal range. It was no longer setting off alarms, and I was able to rest peacefully for a couple of hours. They started pitocin at some point during this time, because the magnesium sulfate had slowed my labor to a crawl and contractions were still a lengthy 10 minutes apart. It was getting close to midnight when the nurse checked and found that I had progressed to 9cm, and they started setting up the room for the delivery. The OB came in and had me start pushing, and within 10 minutes our "little" Catie was born... all 8lbs 12oz of her, with no episiotomy or tearing. For the first time in all of my births, I didn't have a problem with excessive bleeding after the birth, but for the 2nd time I did have problems with passing out. When the nurse got me up to use the restroom for the first time, I passed out three times - although to me, it only felt like once, so I guess the first 2 times she roused me i wasn't fully conscious. By the way... smelling salts are foul.

Although Catherine's birth didn't turn out as peaceful as we had hoped for, it did make me feel better about not being able to plan a home birth this time. If I had spent the thousands of dollars to hire a midwife this time and had ended up with this same blood pressure problem and wound up in the hospital, that would have been far more devastating. Two weeks after her birth, my blood pressure is still high. I'm on two different blood pressure medications and have already seen my PCP four times. I am hoping it resolves itself soon and I can get off all this medication.


Catie's 2 week checkup:

At 13 days old, Catherine was up to 9lbs. 14oz. She has passed her hearing test, her newborn genetic screening came back clean, and she is growing fat and healthy on mama's milk.



Catherine Lana K.
Born 12/2/2010
@ 11:36pm
8lbs. 12oz.
21 inches

Monday, November 29, 2010

......and still baking.

40 weeks, 6 days.
I had a NST today and baby's heartrate was just dandy. Another appointment on Thursday for another NST and an ultrasound to check fluid levels. And if I don't go by next Monday, another NST and we'll probably start talking induction as I'll be 42 weeks on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Still cooking...

...and I don't mean Thanksgiving dinner. Bunsie is apparently very cozy as yesterday was my due date, and she's still taking up residency in my womb. Next appointment is on Monday, and we'll see what happens then. I sort of expected to go over once again, but was hoping she'd pop out a little ahead of schedule.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***


Friday, September 24, 2010

Bentos #20-24

Bento #20
Bento #20 - Pita bread. Leftover chicken satay. Mozzerrella cheese. Edamame. Blueberry muffin. Clementines. Grapes. American cheese animal cutouts.

Bento #21
Bento #21 - Pita bread. Turkey rollup. Mozzerella cheese. Edamame. Blueberry muffin. Raisins, trailmix for the older girls. Clementines. Grapes.

Bento #22 - Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. Turkey rollups. Mozzerella cheese. Edamame. Clementines. Chocolate chunk muffins. Dried pineapple.

Bento #23 - Egg salad. Pita bread. Canteloupe, grapes. Chocolate chunk muffins. Cherry tomatoes for Ceci and Abbi.
Bento #24 - Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. Turkey roll up. Edamame. Garbanzo beans. Baby Carrots. Cherry tomatoes for Ceci and Abbi. Canteloupe. Grapes. Chocolate chunk muffins.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bentos #15-19

Bento #15

Hawaiian rolls, turkey and cheddar cubes, baby carrots, mini blueberry muffins, korean melon, and blueberries.

Bento #16

Plain mini bagels with cream cheese, turkey and cheddar cubes, Gogurt, grapes, korean melon, and blueberries.

Bento #17

Bagels with sliced roasted chicken lunchmeat, olives, edamame, Gogurt, cantaloupe, and blueberries.

Bento #18

Bagels with sliced roasted chicken lunchmeat, edamame, cheddar and mozzarella cheese cubes, grapes, cantaloupe, mini blueberry muffins, and trailmix for the older two girls.

Bento #19

Friday's bento... I woke up feeling particularly worn out from a head cold, and didn't really feel like making lunches. They got chicken on white bread, the last of the olives, my attempt at apple slice bunnies with raisin "bunny poop", mini blueberry muffins, and trailmix added in for the oldest two.

And you'll notice that this week Sabrina's lunch has been packed in Rubbermaid containers, not her Bento box. Because she has lost it somewhere. She swears it is in the house somewhere, but with as much cleaning (aka nesting) as I have been doing, it hasn't popped up. Guess this shows that you really don't need special boxes to make bento style lunches though - The Rubbermaid containers have actually worked just fine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bento #14

Cheddar cheese quesadilla, oven roasted turkey, fruit salad of nectarines, strawberries, and grapes... mini blueberry muffins, and trail mix for the two oldest.

Bento #13?

Not sure whether to count this one as Bento #13 or not... this was a lunch for my hubby to take to work. 2 of the 4 little ones forgot their lunchboxes at school on Wednesday, so they all bought school lunches on Thursday.
A bento for hubby
Hubby had leftover pasta (penne pasta with alfredo sauce, baby bella mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and proscuitto), carrots with peanut butter for dipping, strawberries, a cheese stick, and a mini blueberry muffin. And a pudding for dessert.

If you remember my complaints about the school lunch menu, I definitely have more to say on that subject after yesterday's experience. When the kids got out of school, I asked them each what they had. Niko said "meat, mashed potatoes, and a roll. With berry juice" Ceci said "Meat "stuff", mashed potatoes with gravy, and a roll. With orange juice." Sabrina started to say, "Chicken fried steak..." when Abbi interrupted her with "No! It was meatloaf!"

The meal actually was chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, and a dinner roll. Yup... breaded meat, potatoes, and bread. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Two of the four kids said there was a salad bar with lettuce and carrots, but they didn't go to it. Abbi was not happy that she had missed out on a salad bar since she is actually one that will eat salads, yet none of the cafeteria workers seemed to have pointed out that it was there. None of the kids could remember a fruit being offered. I think it's ridiculous that the kids were given THREE carbohydrate heavy items, that there was no veggie or fruit put on their trays (really? it's too hard to add a scoop of green beans or peas? put some fresh grapes on each tray?), and that 3 of the 4 kids weren't even sure what they were being fed!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bento #12


A failed experiment - "confetti" cream cheese inspired by Weelicious. While the girls enjoyed this on crackers the night I made this, Niko completely refused to even bite into the wrap. Cecilia said it tasted like shrimp, and Brina said it was just gross. Abbi was the only one who liked it.... like I said, she's the one that will eat just about anything.

These bentos included: turkey wraps with confetti cream cheese, corn chex, Teddy Bear cookies, grapes, nectarines, and strawberries. And pretzels for the oldest 2 girls.

Bento #11

Bento #11

Cinnamon Raisin English muffins with Peanut Butter. Korean melon and nectarines. Mini banana chocolate-chip muffins. Indulgent trail mix for the 2 oldest.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bento #10 - or, picky eaters rear their heads.

Bento #10

Abbi, 10, has decided she does not like the sandwich thins. She refused to eat yesterday's PBJ sandwich that I made her (after telling me she didn't like the turkey and cheese sandwich) because the bread is "icky". So at 6:30am while I rolled my eyes at this bit of news, I pulled out the whole-wheat bread and made her PBJ on that instead. Aren't I accomodating?
Everyone else is still satisfied with the sandwich thins, so same thing as yesterday - Turkey for Brina and Ceci, PBJ for Niko. I'm starting to feel like a short order cook.
Cantaloupe and red grapes. Pretzels. Colby Jack cheese sticks. Half a granola bar each for Brina and Abbi.

Recess snack (not shown): Vanilla creme brulee mini rice cakes.

We also found some cute "mini" fruits at the grocery store yesterday that my kids insisted on trying out. These won't make it through the 3-day weekend with my fruit loving chowhounds, but I thought I'd show them off anyways.
Mini apples and bananas!
Such a tiny banana.
So petite, so cute!

We also found a new fruit to add to our regular rotation of fruit offerings... Korean melons! These small yellow melons, about the size of a large Russet potato, have a firm white flesh that tastes like cantaloupe, but a little sweeter. Even Mr.SuperPicky himself, Niko, was convinced to try a sample at the store and his eyes lit up as he called them "the best fruit ever!"

Bento #9

Bento #9

Two turkey sandwiches and two PBJ sandwiches on multi-grain sandwich thins. Turkey rollups for those with the PBJs. Cheese sticks. Cantaloupe. Trail mix for all, pretzels added in for the big girls.
Not shown, recess snack, apple-cinnamon mini rice cakes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bento #8

Bento #8

Multi-grain sandwich thins with oven roasted turkey and american cheese (and american cheese giraffes). Peas and corn (in the bigger cups for the 2 older girls), and grapes. Pretty simple today!

Bento #7 - And our first bento related loss.


Sabrina accidentally threw out one of the silicone cups we'd been using to hold their veggies with the rest of her lunch trash (napkin/juice box), so I'll have to work around that until I can go buy another pack of the cups.

Today's bentos included: PBJ on whole-wheat white bread, peas/corn, grapes, pretzels, dried pineapple, trailmix, mini chocolate-chip banana muffin.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bento #6 - Or what to do when your fridge dies.

Sunday morning, I went to get a glass of water from the fridge... and my water was warm. Because I didn't want to stock the fridge with food that might spoil, I knew I wouldn't be able to buy lunchmeat, eggs, chicken, or some of the other items that I was planning to put in the kids (and hubby's!) lunches this week until I knew the fridge would be working properly.

So, what did we end up with? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on toasted whole-wheat white bread, peas and corn (from the freezer), grapes, banana chocolate-chip muffins (from the freezer), and trailmix for the older 2 girls. Each kid also packed a granola bar for recess snack time, since their lunch schedules got rearranged this year and some of them aren't eating until NOON (after having breakfast at 7am at home!)


What was wrong with the fridge? The coils in the freezer were completely frosted over and there was no flow of cold air going into the fridge half of the unit. My husband and teen took everything out of the freezer, removed the back panel, and were able to defrost the coils using my hair dryer... so for now, the fridge is staying cooler... But I'm still nervous about buying things that might spoil. Tuna casserole for dinner anyone??

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bento #5



Mini cinnamon bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jelly. Hardboiled egg. Edamame. Pretzels, Baby carrots.
Fruit salad with strawberries, cantaloupe, and grapes.
One half of a strawberry cereal bar added to both Sabrina and Abbi's bentos.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

So, what's with all the bento stuff? Part 1

What are bento lunches?
Doesn't it take a lot of time?
Where do you buy the stuff?
How much does it cost?
They look so small; is it really enough food?

These are just some of the questions I have been asked since my kids started carrying bento lunches as opposed to the typical American sack lunch. Honestly, I was just getting irritated at packing their lunches every day and having them come home with a crushed sandwich with one bite taken out of it, an empty "junk food" wrapper, and a guilty admittance of throwing away the fruit or vegetable that I had included. School lunches weren't a much better option, and were a bit pricey when buying for four children... at $1.35 each, that adds up to $27 a week... and add in another $10 a week if they want to buy an orange juice to have with their lunch since they don't like the vanilla soy milk the school offers as a cow milk substitute (bottles of water are even more expensive at a shocking $1 each!). That is nearly $40 a week out of my food budget! I don't know about your budget, but that is quite a big chunk for me!

The other problem that I have with school lunches is the quality of the food that is being served. Like most schools, ours rely on frozen, processed, and often breaded "meat" products, a lot of fruit cocktail swimming in heavy syrup or applesauce sweetened with HFCS, and canned vegetables that I am sure are not the same no-sodium added kind that I buy. Since I only buy fresh meat, fresh fruit or fruit canned in 100% fruit juice, fresh/frozen/canned no-sodium vegetables, all natural applesauce and peanut butter, etc. for us to eat at home... why would I want my children to be served inferior quality foods five times a week at school?

If I look at next Friday's menu in our district?
Okay - throw some nasty, preservative-filled frozen bread with a bunch of cheese gunk on it in the oven, rip open a big bag of that nutritient-void iceberg lettuce w/ shredded carrots and cabbage, provide one type of fatty chemical laden dressing, and open a can of fruit cocktail swimming in sugar. Yeah... healthy. And 2 of my 4 little ones wouldn't even EAT the salad, so exactly how nutritional would this lunch be for them?

Bento #4



Mini cinnamon bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jelly. Bologna and cheddar, edamame. Canteloupe and strawberries. Pretzel sticks, 1/2 granola bar, trailmix.
Ceci's also had some grapes and 2 cherry tomatoes (she has claimed all of the cherry tomatoes in our garden as hers, and hers alone). And Niko had a little dried pineapple mixed in to his trail mix... yet I forgot to put edamame in his lunch. I was tired this morning when I was packing and taking pictures.
I used a little plastic wrap to try to keep Ceci and Niko's dry snacks dry so they wouldn't get soggy from the fruit since I didn't have big enough silicone cups to hold all of the goodies. I used Glad's PressNSeal to do the same for the cups in Brina and Abbi's boxes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bento #3

I prepped these boxes all tonight, so I can just pop them out of the fridge and in to the lunch bags in the morning.

Bento #3

Wednesday's bento includes: turkey and cheese wraps with cream cheese (lettuce for Abbi and Ceci, none for Brina and Niko). Edamame and carrot sticks. A few cheese cubes for Ceci and Niko. A mini banana-chocolate chip muffin. Strawberry, with grapes added for Brina and Abbi. Mini teddy bear cookies. Cantaloupe.

Just for cuteness sake, I made little teddy bears out of american cheese (used mini cookie cutters we have from Michael's - 4 teddy bears from one slice of cheese, "glued" in place with a smear of cream cheese.

Our cute little picks come from Nijiya Supermarket and the kids are loooooving them!

Bento #2

Day 2, Bento #2...

Last night I hardboiled some eggs and put them in egg molds. Unfortunately, the bunny face one for Ceci's lunch got stuck in the mold and fell apart... so, we improvised a bit and she took an egg salad wrap with a flour tortilla.

Other components of today's bentos: kidney beans, shelled edamame, carrot sticks, banana chocolate-chip muffins, cheese, strawberries, grapes, and the same "Indulgent Trail Mix" from yesterday.

Bento #2

A close-up of the bear egg from Niko's lunch, with the contrast adjusted so you can see the details more clearly:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bento #1

The 4 little ones started back at school this morning. Here are the bentos that I packed for them:

Bento #1

Each one contains: Mini cinnamon bagel with cream cheese & grape jelly. Smoked turkey roll ups. Grapes and a strawberry. Edamame. Trail mix with almonds, peanuts, cashews, white chocolate drops, chocolate drops, peanut butter drops, golden raisins, and cranberries.