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Thursday, May 26, 2011

John's First Year: Sleep Through the Night

When I was pregnant, I read a veritable library of books on labor and delivery. This despite the fact that I was a labor and delivery nurse and already knew quite a bit about the subject. I failed to read anything about newborns. In my nursing career, I dealt with babies up to a few hours old until they went to the nursery. I reasoned that I would be okay with those early hours. Which only left me with the remaining 17.999 years to figure out.

When we got relatively settled in Houston, I made a beeline to the library to get books on babies. Infant sleep was at the forefront of my mind because my sleep was being rudely interrupted night after night.

Sleep training is a very controversial topic these days it seems. I certainly don't consider myself an expert on that or anything else in parenting. I only have one easy baby who I have managed to keep alive for a merely a year. I'm a parenting novice. Nevertheless, I wanted to share what worked for us in getting John to sleep through the night. He is a fabulous sleeper. No doubt his easy temperament has something to do with his good sleep habits. But I think our choices helped too. In fact, I truly believe we could have ended up with a totally different baby had we not established the habits that we did. I'll never know this for sure, but I have reasons for believing this way. I'm recording what worked for us in detail as much so that I'll remember it for the next baby as the hope that this information might be of use to anyone else.

Since about day three of his life, John has slept well at night. Don't get me wrong, he woke up every few hours to eat but he went back to sleep easily. I never had one of those up all night, pacing the halls with a screaming baby nights (see? parenting novice). Most of our sleep trouble involved napping and getting him to sleep initially at night.

The first book I read on the subject of sleep was Baby 411. It's not specifically about sleep but I liked the section on sleep. It laid out many of the popular sleep theories and methods and evaluated them side by side. I liked the aspect that I could gather a few different theories and then research them on my own. That said, the authors definitely favored the method popularized by Richard Ferber in Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, which I also read and found useful. Based mostly on those two books, here are the principles that I followed:

1) For the first two months do whatever you have to do to get the kid to sleep.

Fortunately for me, I didn't have to use drastic measures to get John to sleep. But the idea is that babies under four months aren't good at self-soothing. Which means they might need help to get to sleep. At this point letting them cry it out might not work (though I know some people for whom it has worked) because they are not neurologically mature enough to calm themselves down. For John, what worked to get him to sleep was rocking and swaddling. I would swaddle him up and rock him to sleep for naps. Before bed and during the night I nursed him.

2) Months 3-4 establish good sleep habits.

I guess what constitutes good sleep habits is up for debate. But the routine that was most often recommended to me by friends and pediatricians was eat, wake, sleep. This order of things prevents the baby from needing to eat to fall asleep (Though I did nurse John to sleep before bed. And during the night, of course, there was ideally no "wake time" in the cycle). During these months I was still rocking him to sleep. But I was also trying to get him to fall into a routine, which he did pretty easily. It might surprise you to learn, as it did me, that babies take naps as often as every 1.5 hours. If your baby is fussy and you've fed him recently (and there's nothing else obviously wrong with him), he might be crying because he's tired. That was often the case with us. I tried to notice when he would become tired, like when he would doze off in the swing, and then I'd lay him down for a nap. So we fell into an eat, wake, sleep cycle with him napping every 2-ish hours. The naps would last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This was by no means a rigid schedule. But it was a routine that helped me to plan my day and to anticipate what John would need.

3) Starting around 4 months old put the baby down tired but awake so that he can learn to fall asleep without help.

Finally after four months and 11 pounds of weight gain (for John!), I was exhausted by rocking that chunk of a boy to sleep multiple times per day and was ready for him to learn the art of falling to sleep on his own. I had been assured by all of my reading and by speaking to John's pediatrician that a four month old is fully capable of soothing himself to sleep, despite initial protests (crying). So, I nixed the rocking and put him in his crib drowsy but not asleep. He cried. Mostly for 5 minutes or less. But sometimes longer. Rarely for 20 minutes or more.

Here's why I think I could have ended up with a totally different baby if I'd made different choices: In my reading, it was also frequently recommended to go in and comfort and reassure the baby (without picking him up) at varying intervals while he is learning to fall asleep on his own. I tried that. Only, when I would go into the room, instead of being comforted, John would become enraged. Angry that I was in the room but was not picking him up to play. So I stopped going in. And when I stopped going in, he fell asleep more quickly with less crying. I think if I would have gotten worked up and continued to go in and out of his room attempting to soothe him, he might never have fallen asleep. Then I would never have gotten any sleep. Which means that one of us would most likely have been committed to a state institution by now.

There were several months like this where for every nap and before bed I would put him down tired but awake and he would cry. Like I said, usually only for a few minutes. But gradually, he learned to go to sleep on his own. Around somewhere between 6 and 8 months, if he cried at all, it was only long enough for him to get his thumb into his mouth. Today, I can put him in his crib fully awake for a nap or for bedtime. He smiles at me while I blow kisses to him from the doorway and he lays down and goes to sleep. He takes two good naps and sleeps for 11 hours at night. It took some time, and some research and some discipline, but I think our sleep training has been a success! We are all healthy, happy and well-rested around here these days. (Unless I decide to stay up all night reading...)

Of course, there's no one method that will work for everyone and it's import to do what works for you. But I've met several people who have 9,10, 11 months olds and older who mention to me that their babies still wake every two hours at night like a newborn and require 30 minutes or more to be rocked back to sleep. When do any of them get any sleep between waking, feeding and putting back to sleep?! I imagine the entire family is exhausted! I never give my advice unless asked (unless it's on my blog where people can feel free to read or not...) but I want to tell them that it doesn't have to be that way! Of course, if you prefer to have the company of your 11 month old throughout the night, more power to you. But if you'd like an unbroken night of rest, it is possible. You don't have to do what I did, but find a way that will work for you and stick with it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Small Time Crooks

The couple that's arraigned together stays together, right?! I can only hope.

I was driving home from Goodwill last week when I was pulled over. I was a little baffled because I knew I wasn't speeding. He was stopping me for out of date inspection and registration. Who gets pulled over for that?! During this episode I could not have more authentically come across as a car thief if I'd been trying.

The officer asked for my license, which I had, thankfully, and insurance, which I could not find. It was later found inexplicably on the floor in the back of the car. I was flustered, naturally. And I began to stammer out the reason why the registration was out of date while explaining that I do indeed have current insurance despite the fact that I cannot produce evidence of such. "By the way, did you see my cute baby in the back of the car who needs money to go to college?"

The reason for the expired registration is, in my opinion, one of the better reasons a person could have. We bought this car six months ago from a private seller who had posted his car online. When we tried to have the title transferred (which we did try!) we realized that we had to have the seller's signature on the title transfer application. A document that we didn't even know about until we attempted to transfer the title after the sale had been made. Do most people know about this application and have one ready when purchasing a car?! I was surprised that the seller's name was required on a paper which seemed like something that most people would not look into until they are already done interacting with the seller. But perhaps Peter and I are just simpletons. When we realized we would need to get back in touch with the seller, Peter didn't even have his contact information anymore. Eventually Peter tracked him down but it took a while for them to find a time to meet. I'll admit, we should have had this done by now but it got buried under other priories and then pretty soon I'm getting pulled over six months later. Without transferring the title, we couldn't update the registration. "Don't you see, Officer, this is all a big misunderstanding! Along with the fact that I can't locate my current insurance."

After my spiel, he went back to his car to determine who's vehicle I'd stolen, I'm sure, being that I was so antsy, the title was not in my name and I could not produce insurance. He returned and, to my surprise, he did not read me any Miranda rights or tell me that we needed to go down town. He simply gave me a court date, explaining that I should be able to get everything cleared if I can produce all the correct documents for the court.

Meanwhile, the next day, Peter is in a minor fender bender. Hilariously, a young Asian boy (about 10 years old) who was involved along with his mother who didn't speak English very well, threatened to sue Peter for all he is worth. Eventually the boy calmed down, a police report was written and Peter was also issued a ticket for reckless driving (Peter is not a reckless driver but, alas, the accident was his fault). The officer mentioned that Peter could pay the ticket or he could appear at court. The officer said that if he, the officer, didn't show up at the court date, Peter could get the fine dropped. We're assuming since he said this, that he most likely will not show up. Won't that be a barrel of laughs if we're assuming incorrectly? You do know what they say about people who assume too much...

When Peter arrived home after his accident, we were comparing tickets. Guess what. We have the same court date! Isn't that cute?! June 16th. Justice will be done.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It Began and Ended With Vomiting

Sometimes I feel like my life sees more than its fair share of bodily fluids. Perhaps its just my perception.

Last post I wrote about John's first birthday party during which he vomited for the first time ever. (This is not counting all the spit up of his first several months of life. Spit up and vomit are very different, which many of you already know. Spit up, while not pleasant, is much less disgusting.) His party was Saturday night. We had driven into San Antonio earlier that day. Peter's schedule had worked out nicely so that he could take Sunday and Monday off. We were looking forward to time with family and a little time to relax- more than we had anticipated since Peter rarely has two days in a row off.

We were able to enjoy most of our day Sunday. Which included a book discussion over Cleopatra's Daughter with my mom and her friends to which everyone wore a homemade hat in the style of the Royal Wedding. This kind of thing would only ever happen at my mother's house with her friends. Not that I wasn't a willing participant.

Sunday evening I began to feel a little nauseated. Peter and I went to dinner with some friends during which my veggie sandwich seemed as palatable as a cat carcass. Finally, towards the end of the meal I ran to the bathroom for my own "baby John moment." Thankfully, I made it in the toilet, unlike my son. We went home and I went to bed shortly thereafter. Overnight, one by one, everyone under my mom's roof fell victim to whatever it was that was that had made me sick. We all spent the night jockeying for position on or over the toilet.

However, when John woke up bright-eyed at 6:30 am on Monday morning, I didn't yet know that everyone else had become ill. I got up with him- he showed no signs of being sick whatsoever. I told myself that the very next person to arise would get the pleasure of John's company while I went back to sleep. Then, it slowly dawned on me that no one else was going to wake up. Well, not that day. No one died. But everyone slept the day away. Except John who was positively brimming with energy! Yay!

We never determined what made us all sick. We ruled out food poisoning relatively certainly. It could be that John gave us all a virus that he had. But John never seemed sick. Everyone else seemed like death warmed over.

Most of us perked up by that afternoon, so Peter and I were able drive back to Houston Monday evening. On the way out of town we stopped by Smoothie King. My goodness. Have you been to Smoothie King? It is like Starbucks on steroids in terms of the decisions that have to be made.

They had a helpful sign which outlined the process of choosing a smoothie. Methinks the menu is a mite complicated when it requires an algorithm simply to order. There were four steps. The first injunction was to "pick your function." Is it necessary for my smoothie to have a function, I wondered? I can't remember what the functions were, something about bulking up or slimming down. I pretty much only wanted to eat something that would not make an encore appearance outside of my stomach.

While I'm trying to follow the instructions for choosing my smoothie Peter nudges me and says "look who's behind you."

"Who?!" I ask, a little panicked because I look like someone who has had a poor night of sleep punctuated with moments of cradling the toilet bowl as if it were a long lost child. I wasn't in the mood to reminisce with high school friends.

"It's David Robinson," Peter said.

"Oh. Thanks goodness, it's only David Robinson." Relieved, I turned and stole a glimpse of David Robinson, a former Spurs player for those that don't know him. (Which I would not if I hadn't been raised in San Antonio.) He, of course, is a very tall man and he drives a very nice Porsche, which we saw as we exited. And he is just the person I would want to see in a Smoothie King looking the way I did, since he most certainly didn't give me a second glance.

I finally managed to order a smoothie without knowing what exactly would be in it despite the posted tutorial. Whatever it was, it stayed down.

While I was laying on my sick bed Sunday night I was reminded of this Bible verse: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thess. 5:16-18 I found several things to be thankful for that night and afterward:

1. I'm so thankful that I can be sick in the lap of luxury with things like, air conditioning, running water, pillows and huge plastic bowls in which I can throw up without ever leaving the comfort of my bed.

2. I'm thankful that the vomiting and diarrhea portion of the illness passed quickly for me. As I mentioned, John was healthy and full of energy. As I realized that no one else would be waking up to help me with him, I also realized that I only felt weak and tired. Which is much better than feeling like everything that I've ever ingested is trying to make it back to the outside world.

3. I'm thankful that John didn't get very sick. He has had a very healthy first year!

4. I'm thankful that whatever made us sick was not something that we ate at the party. There were around 30 people there and we would have felt terrible if they had all gotten sick.

5. I'm so thankful for restored health! Everyone seems to be back to normal now. What a gift!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

First Birthday Party: Projectile Vomiting Edition


It was a memorable first birthday party.

There was succulent grilled fajita meat. There were the indulgent banana split cake and the whimsical ice cream cone cupcakes. Family and friends were gathered around. The weather was sublime, absolutely sublime.

Mini Banana Split Cake

And then there was the entire Dole factory's worth of regurgitated pineapples spewing from John's mouth covering my person from stem to stern.

First birthday, first projectile vomit. At least I'll never forget it!

John didn't, and still doesn't, appear to be sick. He acted like his happy self for the duration of our celebration. He has been having some intestinal issues for the past week or so in the form of a few episodes of diarrhea. But mostly it didn't seem like anything was wrong.

I had just filled a little plate for him with chicken, cheese and guacamole and was about to put him into his highchair when the gate of his bowels opened and gushed forth what seemed like gallons of sour, frothing pineapple vomit. It was quite shocking. He has never projectile vomited before. Visions of the exorcist flashed through my mind. He spewed three or four times while I stood there in the deluge, dumbfounded.

Someone finally came and took him, suggesting that I aim him away from me. That never even occurred to me! I was so surprised by how much was flowing out!

How he ingested so much pineapple, I don't quite know. I had cut up about half a ring for him to eat. Prior to that, my mom had been feeding him little pieces as well. It didn't seem like that much. But even if we both fed him much more than we thought we did, it still doesn't seem likely that we would have inadvertently given him the equivalent of an entire tropical island. And yet, nearly an entire tropical island's worth came out. I was surprised he could hold that much. He's had pineapples before and never had a problem. I don't know exactly what was wrong. But, it didn't really seem to matter because he seemed completely happy, projectile vomit notwithstanding!

Aside from that, the party was a success. We were happy to have our families and a few friends around. We are also happy that they are gracious because a few of them were casualties of "pineapple incident." Peter's aunt and sister were later spit up upon during a smaller, non projectile episode. Whenever you're around kids, you should probably just acknowledge that being soiled with some type of bodily fluids is always a possibility. Then, if you manage to escape squeaky clean, you will be pleasantly surprised!

We did get a picture of John with his birthday cake. But considering the events of the day, I thought better of letting him eat it. But the rest of us got to eat cake, and I suppose that's all that really matters, right? Hopefully, in the coming years, John will have many more birthdays and many more cakes and far fewer pineapples.

John while we sang Happy Birthday. He doesn't look too happy here. This isn't representative of the way he felt at the party. Mostly I think he wasn't sure what was going on because he's not used to 30 people simultaneously breaking out in song.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One

May 13, 2010

My baby boy is one today. I can't believe it. I am in awe that a year has passed and that he's changed so much. And that the next year will bring even more marvel.

I have to say that May 13th, 2010 was the best day of my life in some ways. I don't mean that I haven't loved John so much more everyday after that or that the births of any subsequent children will be any less important. But on May 13th, 2010, the day John was born, our circumstances were so ideal and our lives were so simple.

I was actually admitted to the hospital on the morning of May 12th. My friend reminded me of that yesterday. I asked Peter "do you remember what we were doing yesterday last year?" He paused for a moment, then replied: "walking." That's exactly right. If there is one word to sum up that day, walking is it. We walked for hours. But out of all the days that a person could be required to walk for hours, May 12th, 2010 was a good one. It was cool, clear and we had a great view of the mountains.

It was just the two of us, well three of us as of 3:46 pm on May 13th, we had no family in town and no other children. We were free to sit and stare at our baby. And eat pie. (There was a Marie Calendar's across the street.) Though it would have been nice to have family in town, it would have meant that we would have had to share John. As it was, we had him all to ourselves. We had no other children to consider during my marathon labor or postpartum days. We could just snuggle up to our baby for hours upon hours without interruption! Things were so simple and I don't know if they'll ever be that simple again.

My favorite memories were of Peter. I think he was one of "those dads" in the delivery room. First of all, he missed his most important line because he was so deliriously happy. Prior to delivery we hadn't found out whether John was a boy or a girl. When he was born everyone was waiting for the big announcement but Peter had to be prompted by the midwife because he was off in la la land. (As John came out I looked down and saw boy parts, so I wasn't kept in suspense...) Then when the nurse carried John to the infant warmer to do all of her measuring and weighing and all of the other nonsense that they have to do (I can say that it's mostly nonsense because I used to do that in my job) Peter kept on picking him up and bringing him back to me! I had to tell him to let the nurse do her job! He was so endearing.

During my postpartum hospital stay there was a brief moment of hysteria one night when I'd been breastfeeding for what seemed like 4 hours straight while Peter slept soundly in his reclining chair. And I was like "It's the middle of the night and I should be sleeping! And if I'm not sleeping, no one should be sleeping!" But that was really a very small episode. Aside from that I couldn't imagine a more perfect, peaceful experience. And I'll get to relive it every May 13th.

Happy Birthday, baby boy!


May 13, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Things I Liked For Baby's First Year

For what it's worth, I wanted to share a list of baby things that I found useful over John's first year:

0-3 Months

Swaddle Blanket
I didn't even know what one of these was until our friends gave us one before John was born. I am so glad we got one because I wouldn't have known to look for it. John did not sleep without being swaddled until he was three or four months old. Without it he would flail his arms and wake himself up. It's like a cute little baby straight jacket!

Swing
We used this all the time in the first several months. After he learned to turn over we used it less and less because he wanted to be on the floor rolling hither and thither. I have never heard anyone say that the swing did not soothe their baby. John was a serious swinger:



Travel Crib/Bassinet
For the first 4 months John slept in this beside our bed. But it has proven itself even more useful since then. I keep it in my car and take it almost everywhere. It is really compact. John will sleep in it anywhere whether for a nap or overnight. I don't know how typical this is of most children. It has been a huge help for me to be able to, for example, put John to sleep in it at my Tuesday night Bible study which I had to do several times when Peter was on call. (We didn't spend the night at the Bible study. I would wake him up and take him home and put him back to sleep in his crib. He's always been really good at going back down at night after waking up for whatever reason...)

Play Yard
There are so many variations of play yards with dangling objects. We referred to ours as John's farm. This is one of the first toys he was able to interact with starting at about 2 months. He was so cute laying on the floor batting at the dangling sheep and pig.


Burp Cloths
My suggestion is to keep several burp cloths in every room at arm's reach at all times. If your baby doesn't spit up a lot at first you might think, like I did, that he is a super-talented genius baby who is completely above regurgitation unlike all of those other regular babies. Then one day I read that infants often won't start spitting up until around 8 weeks. Sure enough, when he was two months old my smugness was doused in curdled milk. There was a month or two (maybe 3 or 4...) in which I smelled like sour milk all day everyday. Don't bother changing clothes unless you want to wash your entire wardrobe daily. Just get used to it. It will pass.

Breast Pump
This was helpful to have mostly for my peace of mind. I didn't ever end up needing most of the milk I pumped. I pumped a lot because I wanted to ensure a good supply. But it was helpful to have milk on hand to send with him when I left him in the nursery at the YMCA or on the rare occasions that I wasn't around during feeding time. The main comment I wanted to make regarding breast pumps is to make sure to see if your insurance covers them. I got a Medela Pump in Style model which is over $200 in stores. The insurance I had in SLC covered it and I only had to pay a $30 copay.

3-6 months

Jogging Stroller
We bought a BOB stroller. They are expensive but we found ours on craigslist with the car seat adapter and cup holder included for well over half-off the full price. I love this stroller. It helped me get back into shape. And, with its swiveling front wheel, it is much nicer to maneuver than a typical, four-wheeled stroller. It comes in handy when you find yourself involved in a high-speed chase on foot. You just never know what will happen when you go out for a walk.


Bouncer
There are a lot of variations on the bouncer as well. I can't find a picture of him in it, but John loved the Rain Forest Bouncer that we bought it at a consignment shop.

Johnny Jumper
We got this for free from Peter's sister. John LOVED it. I still use it occasionally when I'm taking a shower. I've heard a lot of people say that their babies didn't like it. So I'd suggest borrowing one to try it out if possible.


6-9 Months

Bumbo
We used this a lot during these months. I started feeding him rice cereal at 6 months. We didn't have a high chair until my mom bought us one at nine months. So we used the bumbo at pretty much every solid feeding for three months. He also liked to do some reading in the Bumbo:


9-12 Months

These days John still uses some things from the earlier categories like the travel crib and jogging stroller. However, most of those things are stored in his closet. Since he is mobile now, he doesn't want to be confined in anything (like a swing or bouncer). I think a baby this age would be happy with any number of toys or non toys (e.g. tupperware, old cell phones...). But here are some things he has shown a particular interest in:

Things That Move
Obviously this is a very broad category. One example is a free wind-up car we received when Peter ran the Houston Half Marathon. John really likes it and now he will go retrieve it and bring it back to me to wind up again.

Touch and Feel or Flap Books
John seems most interested in books where he can feel different textures like Clifford's Furry Friends or books that have flaps to open like Dear Zoo. Three words: Half Priced Books

Almost all of these things we got for free or used. I totally recommend avoiding buying baby things new or full price. Babies go through stages, and products that accompany those stages, lightening fast. You can find a lot of baby items at consignment stores, craigslist or garage sales that are like new because they were probably only used for a few months. Then you can put all the money that you save on baby stuff into a college fund!

I'd love to hear any of your suggestions for toddler "must haves." Or even any baby items not on my list since we'll hopefully have another baby or two. (Though not within the next nine months as far as I know...)

Monday, May 09, 2011

April Books

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
April was a big reading month. Thanks in part to my iPod which I bought from my sister. She usually has the updated models and gives me the old ones which are outmoded after days of use. I listened to The Help on the iPod. I would not have been able to read, in the old fashioned sense, this many books in one month.

I loved the Help. I would recommend it. I got it initially to listen to while jogging. But I got absorbed in it and began listening, oh, all the time. I love audio books. They can make the most mundane chores full of intrigue!

Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Diebler Rose
This is a great true story of a missionary in New Guinea who was captured by the Japanese during WWII. She remained for 4 years in a POW camp. The story of her faith and how God provided for her was very edifying. I was particularly impressed by the fact that she had devoted so much time to memorizing scripture before the war. When the hard times came, when she was in solitary confinement, for example, the verses that she had hidden in her heart were life-giving. I would recommend this.

On Becoming Babywise II by Gary Ezzo and Robert Buckman
I keep reading the babywise books even though I tend not to get a ton out of them. So many people seem to love them. I thought maybe this one would have some more of what I was looking for but found lacking in the Toddlerwise one I read in March. I liked this one better. It has some good stuff but overall: Meh.

Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
Technically I finished this one in May but most of it was read in April. It was recommended to me as the best Biblical parenting material out there by a trusted friend whose children at (approximately) 7, 4, 2, and 3 months are more mature than I was when I graduated from college. It is about exactly what the title suggests: getting at the heart of a child rather than controlling behavior. Isn't that always the crux of life- getting at the heart of the matter? I was really encouraged to read this. I would recommend it. It did make me feel that parenting is much more wonderful and much harder than I had anticipated.

A Movable Feast by Earnest Hemingway
This was one of my book club's books. It is Earnest Hemingway's memoir about living as an expat in Paris during the 1920's. There were some enjoyable things about it. But if I were going to read a Hemingway book, I wouldn't read this one. I don't think it's the best example of his writing. Also, from what I read about it, it's not entirely honest. For example, he portrays himself as a starving artist when he apparently had access to a lot of money. Furthermore, it was published posthumously and had been edited by several different people with varying agendas.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Last year I thought I might have my baby by Mother's Day. I was due May 6th and Mother's Day was May 9th. Originally my "due date" was at the end of April. Even though I knew that first-timers are likely to be "late," I thought that I might just be snorggling my baby's face by May 9th but that wasn't the case.

Instead John was content in my womb. He was packing on the ounces thanks to vicarious doses of Mexican food of which I happily partook for last year's Mother's Day lunch.

Since it's Mother's Day month and John's birthday month, I'm planning on posting entries about my first year as a mom. However, being a mother often precludes writing about being a mother. But I'm working on a few posts so hopefully I'll finish them before the month is over!

This year's Mother's Day was wonderful. We ate lunch with a wonderful family from our church. But the best part is that I had cake for dinner! (As much as I write about cake and frosting, I really am a healthy eater.)

And Happy Mother's day to all of you mothers out there. And not only women who have given birth to children but women everywhere who love and invest in the lives of little ones around them- Happy Mother's day to you!

Friday, May 06, 2011

International Eat Handfulls of Frosting Day

Did you know that today is International No Diet Day? (I interpreted that to mean that I should fill my bathtub with frosting and swim in it. Unfortunately, I didn't quite have enough frosting on hand to accomplish this...). I didn't know it either until I got an email from my favorite recipe website with a recipe to try that is definitely in keeping with the theme of the day: Buttered Rum Pound Cake with Bananas Foster Sauce. Say that three times fast.

Is there a day left on the calendar that is not an "International Day of... take your pick?" If so, I have a few ideas that might fill up the holes. Perhaps international hat day. Definitely international everyone take a nap day (babies and almost-one-year-olds included!).

Anyways, I think everyday should be no diet day. I don't diet. Instead I try to make healthy choices everyday. And, of course, indulge in food every once and a while. I love frosting and would never willingly abstain from it for the sake of diet. That would only be setting myself up for failure.

In the spirit of "no diet lifestyle," here are some healthy recipes we've tried recently and enjoyed (Peter requested more seafood so we've tried some new seafood recipes lately):

Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia

Lemon-Pepper Shrimp Scampi

And here are a some treats, the last two pancake recipes that we've tried:

Pam-Cakes with Buttered Honey Syrup

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
with Bourbon Pecan Sauce

Just don't eat honey butter everyday and you'll be fine!